Mike Dennis: A Hall Of Fame Recruitment

[caption id="attachment_7541" align="aligncenter" width="839"] Iron Mike Dennis was so good at Murrah High, he might have had six stars.[/caption] Mike Dennis came along before high school football recruits were judged by stars. But had stars applied back in 1961, Dennis might have had six. Dennis, who will be inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Saturday night, was a speedy, bruising running back at Murrah High under Hall of Fame coach Jack Carlisle. He was a sprint champion at 200 pounds. He possessed the power to run between the tackles...

Before Title IX, There Was Carla Lowry

Carla Lowry, nicknamed Shorty, loved basketball at a time when organized basketball didn't necessarily love young girls back. As a young girl in Forest in the 1940s, she loved to shoot the basketball and [caption id="attachment_1647" align="alignright" width="150"] Cleveland[/caption] she was especially proficient at shooting. That was because she practiced and practiced and practiced and then practiced some more. She did this even though there was scant future in basketball for females back then. There was no WNBA. College scholarships were practically non-existent. “The only reason to play was because...

Record crowd assured for induction banquet

The Class of 2015, from left to right: Steve Knight, Brett Favre, Gwen White, Clarence Weatherspoon, Fred McAfee, Mike Dennis. Already assured of the largest crowd in history, the BancorpSouth Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Induction Banquet moves to the Jackson Convention Complex this Saturday night. Tickets remain on sale for the event at the Hall of Fame and Museum, at msfame.com, or by calling 601 982-8264. The move to the downtown Jackson convention center was to assure that all folks who want to attend will have the opportunity. The...

George Bryan most deserving of Rube Award

[caption id="attachment_7716" align="aligncenter" width="1614"] George Bryan receives MGA award from Golf Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez.[/caption] Sixteen years after the fact, it still seems hard to believe West Point's George Bryan pulled off what he pulled off. Bryan, in June of 1999, brought the U.S. Women's Open Championship to [caption id="attachment_1647" align="alignright" width="150"] Cleveland[/caption] Old Waverly, the lovely golf course he built outside of his hometown. Covered by media from all over the planet, the USGA event was attended by more than 130,000 spectators. It was a smashing success. The...

Small-town Mississippi rocks sports world

What is it about small-town Mississippi? Last night, Amory's Mitch Moreland hit two home runs for the Texas Rangers and now has 12 for the season. He is hitting .300. In Cincinnati, Taylorsville's Billy Hamilton swiped four more bases and now has 40. In the same game, Brian Dozier of Fulton launched his 16th home run, a three-run shot. In the Big Leagues, as in all sports, small-town Mississippi rocks. Just last week, Tori Bowie of the tiny community of Sandhill won the national 100 meters sprint championship. She is...

What a Father’s Day gift from Wilson Furr!

[caption id="attachment_7691" align="aligncenter" width="1145"] Bill and Wilson Furr share Father's Day victory smiles.[/caption] So, Dads, what did you do on your Father's Day? Here's what Bill Furr did. He rode in the golf cart with his 16-year-old son, Wilson, who became the youngest champion in the 100-year history of the Mississippi State Amateur. “That was a blast!” Bill Furr said. [caption id="attachment_1647" align="alignright" width="150"] Cleveland[/caption] Had to be. It was fun to watch even if you weren't the father. Wilson Furr, who hits the ball every bit as purely as...

A Father’s Day story: Here’s to all dads

[caption id="attachment_7681" align="aligncenter" width="1566"] Ace Cleveland, at his desk, circa 1960.[/caption] (My father, Ace Cleveland, died 20 years ago, and, still, nearly every day, I want to pick up the phone and call him. It might be to tell him something that just happened in the Braves game. It might be about something I just read. I might need help with the New York Times crossword puzzle. I might want to ask him about one of his recipes. I might need some advice. Or I might just want to hear...

Here’s to 100 years of rich State Am history

[caption id="attachment_7667" align="aligncenter" width="1753"] Mike Taylor en route to one of his 10 State Am champioships[/caption] This week, Mississippi’s top amateur golfers will converge at Country Club of Jackson to compete [caption id="attachment_1647" align="alignright" width="150"] Cleveland[/caption] for the State Amateur Championship, the 100th in the event’s history. That’s a lot of history. Today, hopefully we will learn some. At times our State Am has seemed like the Queen City Open. Meridian golfers have won a whopping 25 of the previous 99. That’s far more than golfers from any other town...

Could a player on losing team win MVP?

One guy's opinion on the NBA playoffs, which the Warriors now lead three games to two: Golden State's Stephen Curry, who shoots as if the basket is four feet wide, won the NBA MVP for the season, and that's all well and good. The best player on the planet remains LeBron James, and he showed in Game Five with his 40 ponts, 14 rebounds and 11 assists. No telling how many assists James would have had if his teammates had finished after several of his precise passes. They did not....

RIP, Farley Salmon: an Ole Miss legend

Five feet, eight inches tall and 145 pounds was tiny for a big-time college football quarterback, even back in 1948 when Farley Salmon quarterbacked the Ole Miss Rebels to eight victories and one defeat. [caption id="attachment_1647" align="alignright" width="150"] Cleveland[/caption] Salmon, who died Sunday at the age of 88, made up for his size with speed, quickness, smarts and no small amount of grit. He was a winner. Several years ago, I interviewed Gene Phillips, who was Salmon's fraternity brother and close friend. Phillips was talking about his first day at...