Coach Wobble’s golf tournament is today; stories will be told

Today, I will play in the Ole Miss M Club's Wobble Davidson Scramble Golf Tournament at Lake Caroline. The tournament raises money for a scholarship in Coach Wobble's name. Davidson, a Mississippi Sports Hall of Famer was an original. What follows is the column I wrote after his death 18 years ago... Wobble Davidson, who died Memorial Day of 1998, was an original. He was a philosopher who just happened to coach football. He possessed the vocabulary of an English professor and the delivery of a marine drill sergeant. He...

Best Miss. baseball season gives us a most unlikely scenario

This college baseball season in Mississippi has given us so much to cheer: conference championships, nationally ranked teams, splendid players and so much more. But did you ever think you would see what we saw Saturday? Mississippi State fans openly cheered an Ole Miss victory. The SEC Network showed it perfectly on split screen TV: State fans, in Starkville watching their Bulldogs on the field and the Rebels on their cellphones and portable TVs. Of course, State fans were cheering for their Diamond Dogs. But when Ole Miss got the...

Before John, Kris and Jake Mangum, there was Big John, Sr.

Posted on Categories Rick's Writings9 Comments
  I could never run as fast as Jake Mangum, nor could I hit a curve ball, but I have one thing on Mississippi State's C Spire Ferriss Trophy winner. I knew his grandfather, “Big John” Mangum. That's who I wanted to tell Jake about as we chatted prior to his winning the trophy as Mississippi's most outstanding college baseball player on the same day he was named the Southeastern Conference's most outstanding freshman. “Big John” Mangum, who died in 1994, was one of my first football heroes. He was...

Reed’s teams ran the Notre Dame Box to perfection

Legendary high school football coach Ed Reed won several championships in Mississippi and several more in Alabama. He won at small schools such as Rolling Fork and large ones such as Jackson Provine and Tuscaloosa Central. Reed won in an eccentric river town (Natchez), in the Piney Woods of Lumberton and at Picayune. He won before integration and he won after it. But there was one constant in Reed's 40 years of coaching and his nearly 300 victories, and that is this: His teams always ran out of the Notre...

Five C Spire Ferriss Trophy finalists announced

Three slugging outfielders, one pitcher and another player who pitches, hits and can play a number of positions are among the five finalists for the 2016 C Spire Ferriss Trophy, which will be presented at a luncheon Monday at the Cleveland Country Club. Chosen by Major League scouts, who cover Mississippi, and by Mississippi's college coaches, the finalists include three Mississippi State players and one each from Ole Miss and Delta State. The finalists include Delta State's Will Robertson, Ole Miss's J.B. Woodman and Dakota Hudson, Reid Humphreys and Jake...

In Division II, seven-team regionals are simply not fair

The scary part is that somebody, somewhere, in the deep, dark recesses of the NCAA thought that a seven-team NCAA Baseball Regional was a good idea. That it was fair, equitable. Whoever thought that was wrong. Delta State last week won the Gulf South Conference baseball championship, thus qualifying for the NCAA Division II championship tournament. Sunday, the Statesmen learned they will head this week to Tampa University as the fourth seed in the South Regional. So the Statesmen will play 5-seed Lynn University Thursday morning in a first-round game....

Plenty of good C Spire Ferriss candidates: At all levels

In Mississippi, we celebrate our most special college athletes with end-of-the-season most outstanding player awards. Athletes at all four-year colleges and universities are eligble. So, players at Millsaps, William Carey and Belhaven are candidates, just as players at Ole Miss and Mississippi State and Southern Miss. The awards, sponsored by C Spire, are named for some of the greatest athletes in Mississippi history: Charlie Conerly, Boo Ferriss, Bailey Howell and Peggie Gillom. Yes, athletes at the NCAA Division I universities have dominated these awards over the years, but there have...

Happy 77th birthday to the great Ralph Boston of Laurel

Happy 77th birthday to the great Ralph Boston, born May 9, 1939, in Laurel, MS. What follows is a column I wrote about Ralph four years ago when he was a mere 73. ••• It was 52 years ago this week, about a month before the 1960 Rome Olympics. Ralph Boston, a Laurel farmer’s son and the youngest of 10 children, was a nobody, a largely unknown 21-year-old student at Tennessee State. Boston, at 73, well remembers the night a nobody became a big somebody. The U.S. Olympic track and...

Updated May 9: C Spire Ferriss Trophy Watch list

What follows is an updated (Monday, May 9) C Spire Ferriss Trophy watch list. The trophy will be awarded May 23 at a luncheon at the Cleveland Country Club. The Ferriss  Trophy, named for Mississippi and Major League baseball legend Boo Ferriss, goes annually to the state’s most outstanding college baseball player. Unlike the other C Spire most outstanding player awards, the media is not involved in the voting, which is done primarily by Major League Baseball scouts and college coaches, with fan voting accounting for 10 percent of the...

Mississippi can still host NCAA Regional tourneys, but…

Posted on Categories Rick's Writings2 Comments
Yes, the NCAA has passed new legislation that sounds as if it would prevent Mississippi schools from hosting NCAA baseball regionals and first and second round NCAA Women's basketball regionals. No, the new legislation will not affect who hosts baseball regionals this spring. It doesn't go into effect until the next school year. The new legislation, passed by the NCAA's Board of Governors, requires that sites hosting or bidding on NCAA events demonstrate how they will provide an environment that is "safe, healthy and free of discrimination." The NCAA legislation...