Dale’s Sideline View

Posted on: August 09,2021

So, are you ready for some football?  How do you begin to answer that question as we head into the 2021 football season after what we’ve had to deal with the last 12 months? We just finished the longest and strangest football season ever. So what’s ahead? My advice as we enter another unknown season is to adhere to the old Bear Bryant quote: “Have A Plan, Work Your Plan, Plan for the Unexpected.” 

Mississippi State and Southern Mississippi hit the practice field in helmets and shorts last Friday but donned full gear on Sunday. Ole Miss started on Sunday in the helmets and shorts and will switch to full gear on Tuesday.  In Starkville head coach Mike Leach says there will be a quarterback battle between last year’s starter Will Rogers and USM graduate transfer Jack Abraham. Down in Hattiesburg, three potential quarterback candidates in Trey Love III, Ty Webb and possibly incoming freshman Ty Keyes will all have their shots at leading Will Hall’s first Golden Eagle edition. Up north at Ole Miss, Matt Corral will be the starter with Kinkead Dent waiting in the wings. 

Mississippi Recap of the Summer Olympics 

The Tokyo Olympics wrapped up two weeks of competition even with the huge dark cloud of COVID-19. The USA team won the most medals overall with 113 and captured 39 gold medals. China was second with 38 gold and 88 overall medals. The only gold brought home with a Mississippi connection was Moss Point native Devin Booker as the USA basketball team won their fourth consecutive Olympic gold. Six MSU Bulldogs competed with the USA team as Erica Bougard finished ninth in the heptathlon and Curtis Thompson 21st in the javelin. Anderson Peters, representing the country of Grenada, finished 15th in javelin. Marta Pen Freita finished 10th in the semifinals of the 1500m while representing Portugal. A pair of Bulldogs represented Canada as Brandon McBride was 29th in the 800m while Marco Arop finished 14th in the 800m. Five Ole Miss Rebels took part as Gulfport native Brittney Reese won a silver medal to lead the Rebels. Reese, competing in her third Olympics, lost the gold medal by .03centimeters in the closest competition in Olympic history. Reese won a gold medal in London at the 2012 games and won silver in 2016 at the Rio De Janeiro games. Raven Saunders won a silver medal in the shot put. Ali Weisz finished 14th in the individual 10m shooting competition while helping the mixed USA team finish 6th overall. Sam Kendricks was scheduled to compete in the pole vault but was sidelined by COVID-19. He won a Bronze in Rio back in 2016. Rebel soccer player Rafaelle Souza represented Brazil, but her team lost to Canada in a shootout in the quarterfinals. Jackson State’s duo of Anaso Jobodwana and Adell Colthrust participated as Jobodwana represented the South African team in the 200m, finishing 10th in the semifinals, while Colthrust’s 4×100 meter relay team representing Trinidad and Tobago did not make it past the heats. Pass Christian’s Cory McGee fell in the semifinals of the women’s 1500m but still advanced to the finals despite her injuries as she finished 12th. Abbeville’s Shelby McEwen competed in the high jump and also finished 12th overall. Waynesboro’s native Jeffery Mays was part of the USA Boxing coaching staff that won three silvers and one bronze. The 2024 Olympics are scheduled for Paris, France.  

Odds & Ends

The Mississippi Braves will host the Biloxi Shuckers in a six-game series this week from Tuesday-Sunday at Trustmark Park in Pearl. The Shuckers on their last visit to Pearl in July swept all six games from the Braves. The Braves (47-36) and Montgomery (46-36) are battling for the Double-A South lead entering the week while Biloxi is (31-52).

Oxford was voted by ESPN as the Best College Town in America followed by Athens, Georgia; Madison, Wisconsin; Ann Arbor, Michigan; and State College, Pennsylvania. 

Dale is a Waynesboro resident who has been writing sports since 1973. 

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