Oxford vs. Shannon
Potts Camp vs. Houlka
Okolona vs. Center Hill
Oxford (9th) vs. Saltillo (9th)
North Pontotoc vs. Saltillo
Senatobia vs. Charleston
Winona vs. Lewisburg
Hernando vs. Corinth
East Side vs. Aberdeen
#15 - Oxford vs. Lafayette
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Anyways, in the middle of the third quarter, Oxford was leading by about 6-8 points, a foul was called that looked very questionable from the fans vantage point. Head Girls Basketball Coach Shane Stone really saw it differently and argued with the referee to the point where he received a Technical Foul for his efforts to try to reverse the call. Likely received it for saying a few magic words.
About 10 seconds after getting assessed the first one, he threw a towel against his chair that had so much force behind it that it tipped the chair to the ground. That is when he was assessed the second Technical. When someone receives two Technicals in the same game - player or coach - you are ejected from the ball game. Not to mention that if a coach gets ejected, he has to pay a hefty fine for doing so.
The tide did turn - in the other direction.
The first play after Stone was ejected, Tamera Wadlington hit a deep 3 that shut the Lafayette fans up and got Oxford's fans going. Lafayette committed two straight turnovers that led directly to two Oxford layups. All of a sudden, Oxford built a 13-15 point lead and Lafayette had to call a timeout.
It would not matter as Oxford went on to win 65-38, blowing out Lafayette by 27. Oxford outscored Lafayette by around 20 points after Stone was ejected in the third quarter. It seemed though that Stone accomplished what he wanted to do in terms of how the game went after that. The referees kept a watchful eye on things and the girls played like Stone was a teammate that got unfairly treated and thrown out (in a sense he was).
The way Oxford responded to that game after their coach was ejected is why this made my top 20 list at #15.
The Oxford Athletic Booster Club will be sponsoring a "Meet the Chargers" night for all OMS and OHS athletes that will be participating in fall sports.
The Fall Sports include Cross Country, Football, Volleyball, Swimming and Cheerleading.
"Meet the Chargers" night will be held Monday, August 13th at 5:30 PM at the OHS Cafeteria.
It's a great way to help start the fall sports season and know the student-athletes who represent Oxford Sports.
For more information, contact Booster Club President Cal Mayo.
#3 - Henry Webb
Henry Webb is a wall in more ways than one. He is the one that has to catch every pitch from Noland Parham, Steven Whitfield, Hunter Roth and the rest of the staff and has also caught for Hunt Halford, Zac Barber, James Lear among others that have since left Oxford High School.
It falls on him to not let a ball get by him. He had 12 Passed Balls (Balls that got away from the Catcher that should have been controlled) his Sophomore year in 25 games he played in, but only just 3 last year and it took until the Tupelo game (the 13th Game last season) to have one - which was also the longest game played by Oxford last year at nine innings. He was one of four players to have played every game last year.
Watch for him to be a better wall than the last two years. Out of around 3000 pitches he caught last year, only 3 got by him, an amazing number, but if you ask him, he wants that at 0. He goes to the Soccer pitch first as the Goalkeeper, watch for him to keep his team in every game. Probably because of how the season ended last year, he will work even harder to protect the goal from any balls getting by him. If Oxford Soccer is going to win the State Championship from Starkville next year, he will be one of if not the biggest reason why Oxford gets its first title in soccer in either gender.
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*Editor's Note: This post has been previously published here. (Link)
It is that time of year again. It is that time of year where you go into your local supermarket and get that college-ruled paper, binders, two-pocket folders, backpacks, No. 2 pencils, those big pink erasers, pens (blue or black only, not red and in many cases for the girls: colorful pens), markers, crayons, scissors, Elmer's glue (both the bottle and the stick).
For the new and old college students: scantrons, the TI-84 Plus graphing calculators and those ever expensive text books once you figure out which to get for what class unless the college bookstore at your campusalready knows. With technology today, laptop computers are becoming much more of a need today than a luxury students want with many teachers and professors telling students to turn essays in online.
Then you have items on the elementary and sometimes middle school list that make it on there yearly. Those items include Kleenex tissues, hand sanitizer, paper towels, baby wipes, Ziploc storage bags that have no barring in how a student learns or what a student needs to excel in the classroom. Those are things years ago that the school would normally supply (save for maybe the tissues). Usually they ask in multiples of them so that one would make it through the entire school year without needing to ask again to dip into families pocketbooks and get some more. These items these days typically add up to around $50-$75 per person - and that the schools don't have to spend.
Let's say on average a typical classroom has 20 students with 10 teachers for each grade to make the starting class of 200 students. A typical elementary school has three grades per building. There's a "lower" elementary school (Kindergarten - 2nd Grade), an "upper" elementary school (Grades 3-5), and a middle school (Grades 6-8). 200 students x 9 total grades (including Kindergarten) is 1800 students who each have to get those "want" items the school wants. 1800 students x $50-$75 per student = $90,000-$135,000 that the overall school district doesn't have to spend, and it is a lot more for the bigger schools who hold around 600-700 students per grade, just triple that total and it comes around to about $400,000 to a half-million dollars for these luxury things the school wants.
The problem with that today is for two reasons: We are still in a recession and many states are making cuts in education that is not fully funded to begin with, and local schools are trying to save money in areas where they put the burden (where it does not need to be especially now) on those families who have kids attending these public schools.
It is costing those families one less dinner date in a restaurant, one less shopping trip to buy what you wanted or (in today's world), one fill-up at the gas station because the schools in chain reaction from not being fully funded put these wants of tissues, towels, wipes, plastic bags and sanitizer for your hands in the pocketbooks of the kids' families.
You almost cannot do without tissues - those have been a staple on the school list for years now, even I remember having to get them. Everybody has to sneeze and sometimes the teacher goes into their pocket to buy this so that the students don't have to because they are pretty cheap.
The paper towels is inexcusable; the only uses that a school paper towel they provide in bathrooms cannot do is use as a plate for those Christmas, Valentine Day, and those "end-of-the-year" parties. I cannot see why one cannot go to the bathroom and get a couple or ask the school to have a stack of those paper towels in each one of the classrooms.
The "baby wipes" or the "wet wipes" are normally for the dry erase boards when the erasers start making the board too dirty or to clean the tables and other odds and ends to help clean up. It is the most excusable thing to add to the list.
The hand sanitizer is a complete want and should never be on a school list. It is just a more convenient way to wash your hands than to go down to the bathroom and wash them. That serves the same purpose as a sanitizer would. The worst part is that hand sanitizer kills good germs too (yes there are good germs that help the body), washing your hands the old fashioned way can save those good germs.
The plastic bags are pretty excusable since those much of the time are used for school projects, though the teacher usually uses the plastic bags for personal use around the classroom that do not involve the students for other storage.
These want items are coming out of your pocketbooks and are being used for convenient ways instead of using items the school has already. They could easily be saving families a lot more money by not putting items on the school list that the school could easily be providing using other methods - especially in the towel department. If schools could find more convenient ways of doing these things without costing the families another penny (and in a way not cost a penny to the school) then by all means do it, but how can families tighten their belt if the school list gets more expensive every year because the schools are adding want items to it?
Provide them yourself schools or don't have them at all. Find other ways to get the same objective done, families cannot save for the growing college tuition costs if they're spending it on all these items.
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#16 Oxford @ Saltillo (1st Meeting)
Saltillo got the one run back thanks to a 1 out-double and then a 2 out-RBI single in the same inning Oxford scored its runs on.
In this game, pitcher Steven Whitfield had a low pitch count all night and just threw 69 pitches to get this win. 13 Batters finished their at-bat taking just 1 pitch, he got 11 of those batters out.
Enough about the actual game, you just want to know how it ends right? Well we won 2-1.......
With 2 outs in the bottom of the 7th and a man on first, Whitfield tried to make a pickoff move but over-threw first baseman Parker Adamson. Runner reaches 2nd. The very next pitch, Oxford's signature "OMG I threw it to Center Field!!! - but I really didn't" pick-off play worked to perfection. The runner fully believed Center Fielder Chadwick Lamar was chasing a ball that Whitfield had overthrown - again. Probably the big reason why this worked so well is that Whitfield overthrew first so badly the play before, the runner believed he did it twice.
Of course Whitfield never threw the ball and had it hidden in his glove. The moment the runner took off for third, Whitfield made a bee-line for him and pushed his glove hard onto him hard. He was pushed so hard that the runner nearly got sent into the outfield. He never knew until he hit the dirt that Whitfield still had the ball and never threw it anywhere. He did not show up in any line-up or played against Oxford for Saltillo in the other two meetings Oxford had against them - likely because of that game-costing base-running blunder.
Errors on defense and base-running mistakes (are you listening baseball players?) is what cost Saltillo this game. 3 Saltillo errors in the 2nd inning gave Oxford 2 unearned runs and base-running blunders all game long by Saltillo is what cost them the game and prevented them from scoring more than the one run they got.
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I've been largely quiet on here about what has been going on at Penn State. Now the sanctions by the NCAA and Big Ten conference has been given out and were well deserved for what PSU Football has kept covered for nearly 14 years.
The fact that for 14 years PSU Football has been able to cover up the Jerry Sandusky scandal without anyone being able to find out is mind blowing.
Penn State sanctions are as follows:
The Scholarship reduction will last longer than the 2017 season, the last season under the maximum 65 scholarship limit. It will take at least 6 years (with the 2020 season) before PSU Football can really get back to the full amount of 85 scholarships allowed.
By the time the sanction-rule is fully in effect, Penn State will really have just around 60 Scholarship players on the team (4 x 15 players allowed to bring in per year). I believe the only way to fill the extra 5 they will have is by giving them to the walk-ons that are still on the team.
I believe it will take 8 years before they can really get back to 85 Scholarships. It will start at around the 60-65 range. When they are allowed to sign 25 recruited players, it'll be back to 70-75 the first year and then 80-85 the second year after the Scholarship sanctions has been lifted, and that is if they are able to recruit 25 players to come to Penn State and play football after all that has happened each year. It will only go up around by 10 each year because of the difference of the proposed Senior graduates (15) and the number they can sign (25) (25-15 = 10). In the long run, Penn State lost more than 80 Scholarships - which is already a lot.
Of course that is thinking the BEST-case scenario for PSU. In reality, Penn State will likely not get back to the 85 Scholarship limit until a decade later. Players are not going to want to come to a school that has kept a scandal hidden from the public eye for more than a decade and especially short-term because of the inability of being able to win any kind of championship or go to bowl games.
It will be at least a decade before Penn State can probably compete for any title anyways. Depth will be a long-term issue at PSU Football since you are only allowed 65 scholarship players. Every single position will be reduced on the depth chart by 1 player going from Quarterbacks to Kickers. It is a fore-gone conclusion that blue-chip athletes will be at a premium at PSU and the ability to compete will be down.
Let's just put it this way; Memphis entered the 2012 season with 72 scholarship players on the roster and they are not under any sanction. They only have 5 wins in the last 3 years combined. That is what it is fixing to look like at Penn State or at least similar to that.
Speaking of the scandal, none of the sanctions listed above does not directly give anything to the victims of the Sandusky scandal. The $60 Million that will go to Sex Abuse programs will help to prevent any other potential victims but it does not compensate the victims from the Sandusky scandal that were already abused.
The sanctions, no matter how severe, will not be enough to fix the damage done to the victims. Nothing really will. Sandusky will be forever thought of as a convicted felon and deserving of every punishment he gets. It is exactly two months to the day that we will find out how long Sandusky will serve in jail (which is likely to be a LOT long than he can possibly live). He deserves every single year he gets too.
Paterno died before anything could be done to him, and he was hiding stuff for the majority of those 14 years that helped cover-up this scandal. Outside of the Penn State fanbase, he will forever be looked at as a long-standing coach but in the end had too much power for his own good. He will be looked at as a selfish individual that seeked to put the football program first over the university.
Reputations have been tarnished across the board. There are hardly no bad feelings for Penn State except for those that are affiliated.
So why is it that Penn State did not get the "Death Penalty"? The Death Penalty would hurt virtually every single sports program worse than they got hit today. For those that do not know, all but the Basketball programs gets its money from Penn State Football and that would not be right to the other programs that had nothing to do with the Sandusky scandal.
The Death Penalty would not be just a death to their football program for the year, but every other sports program that relies on its revenue to operate and would take longer for all sports programs to recover than the football program. That would not be right to the rest of the Penn State athletic programs that had zero to do with the scandal. The NCAA got the punishments right, it affected the football program only that put its program in-front of others, where it should be hit, but did not hit the other athletic programs besides the reputation of the school.
The Death Penalty would also hurt the town of State College, PA. Like Oxford, it is a small town that needs football. Without a football season, State College would lose a ton of money and the economic impact would be painful and even to the point jobs could be lost. This is not like SMU where they are in Dallas, TX and they can survive something like this. State College NEEDS Penn State to have a football season, it would not serve the town justice. The NCAA got this right too.
The NCAA basically got everything right and even to the point where the punishment fits the crime that the University did. One of the very few times the NCAA got everything right. The football program got hit hard but still allowed them to play and Penn State's reputation took a big toll. This is a major wake-up call to any university that decides to put the program in-front of others. Anybody else that is doing this needs to step forward now, or may the NCAA and the courts have mercy on their souls.
#17 - Oxford @ Neshoba Central (Game 2)
Baseball 2011 - "120-pitch Double Play"
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So here we are in Philly, the bases are loaded, 1 out, home team down by 3 runs in the bottom of the last inning, the pitcher is two outs away from a complete game and advancing to play for the Pennant.
Okay, okay, it is not the Phillies/Cardinals of the 2011 NLDS but the game was played in Philadelphia, MS and Oxford was not playing for a chance at the Pennant, but were 2 outs away from going to the North Half Title Series.
Zac Barber was on the mound. He had already thrown a whopping 119 pitches in the game. Oxford has played error-free baseball to this point and played a clean series after a very solid pitching performance in Game 1 from Hunt Halford to give Oxford the 1-0 series lead heading into this game.
The home plate Umpire was really bad with his strike zone, he earlier called a strike on Guy Billups that bounced in the dirt prior to reaching the plate - and no he did not swing. He should not be doing a game of this magnitude where a lot is on the line for both of these teams. The fact that his strike zone seemed to move a yard with every pitch in that game is what probably drew a bad swing from Barber's next batter after that meeting.
On a 1-1 count, the Neshoba Central batter grounded one straight to James Lear playing at Shortstop, flipped it to Dustin Williams playing at and tagging Second Base for the second out and threw a dart to First Baseman Avery Norris in which the throw barely beat the runner to get the final out and win the series to advance to play Ridgeland for the North Half Title.
This game and really the entire season was one to remember, one where a bunch of misfits proved a bunch of people wrong and it was Coach Baughman's first season as the Head Coach of this team. Plenty of games to choose from in that season, but this series-ending Double Play just stuck out and made this list at #17.
#4 - Baxter Elliott
Baxter Elliott does not play in what is considered 'major' sports that is Football, Basketball or Baseball.
Elliott believes Soccer and Tennis are major sports. If you ask the Athletic Department, all sports are major to Oxford, that though is another story for another day.
The fact of the matter is that Elliott is really good at both sports. He is good at being a Soccer player, he is REALLY good at being a Tennis player.
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He normally plays Forward/Midfielder on the Soccer team and looks to make a run toward the 5A State Championship that looked like was going to happen last year. This team returns its core group of players including Elliott to lead the team to another playoff run. Watch for him to help his team avenge the loss that happened against Starkville, a team that they had previously beat last season, that saw them go on to win it all.
Once he is done with the season in Clinton (hint), he'll pick up his racket that has helped him obtain a Doubles Championship (with Will Swindoll) that he had to beat teammates Andrew Mullen and Robert Nance to do. He does not do it to win Championships for himself though, he has also helped be a part of the current 5-peat Championship the Tennis team is on. Then again it does take an individual effort to actually do the team part. Watch him dominate on the soccer pitch, then come to the tennis courts and watch him dominate in that sport - again.
This year, he hopes to be adding somewhere around 3 more Championships to his collection of hardware he has already helped earn.
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#18 - Oxford vs. New Hope - Baseball 2010
& - Jamboree Game (2 Quarters + JV Quarter)
* - Region 1-5A Game
^ - Senior Night + Homecoming
# - Crosstown Classic, TV Game
All times are PM
This year's schedule includes the defending 3A State Champions in Charleston and the 2x defending 4A State Champions in Lafayette. In addition, the annual Crosstown Classic will be held on a Thursday night on Regional TV to be broadcast on Fox Sports South.
Senior Night and Homecoming will be on the same night when the Chargers play Saltillo.
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It is awful clear that after coming off the worst season in Ole Miss history in the form of a 2-10 record and being blown out of the water after Houston Nutt was fired that included LSU taking knees the middle of the 4th quarter and MSU getting a 31-3 win in the Egg Bowl that Ole Miss is not expected to be very good.
Houston Nutt is not going to be walking through the door when Ole Miss opens with Central Arkansas or otherwise I would agree. I do not recall Auburn fans giving Gene Chizik a chance and he's sitting a home with the Crystal Football a couple years later.
If a new coach means anything in College Football - especially in the SEC - that coach could be in the mist of having a 9-4 season or winning huge games no one gave a snail's chance of doing so. A prime example is Ole Miss beating MSU 45-0 the year before and MSU turns around and smacks them 41-27. There is no reason Ole Miss cannot do the same thing after getting smacked 31-3 last year.
There are several games that Ole Miss could have easily won last year - of course we have to start with BYU that was gift-wrapped to them. Then add Arkansas who was on the ropes all day long. Ole Miss hung around and fought with Georgia who went on to win the SEC East. That's 5 wins and maybe the meaning of the rest of the season would be different than saying "who cares?". Of course it is likely we would still have Nutt today if Ole Miss were to finish out those games.
Ole Miss looked the exact opposite upon playing Lousiana Tech, Vanderbilt and MSU. In two of those three it was after the fact Nutt was fired. Against Vanderbilt, it was like they were playing Alabama that day.
There is talent on the Ole Miss football squad that was there before, plenty of it showed its spark at times. There is some talent coming in this year especially on defense. Hugh Freeze is going to run a "Basketball-style" offense (if you don't know what that is - look at Auburn's offense). Ole Miss won't be putting up 3, 7, 13 points on a consistent basis and settling for Field Goals with this style of offense.
With the offense putting up what should be higher numbers, the defense won't be going out on the field looking defeated and only having so little field (and points) to defend like they did much of the year last year and can be afforded some miscues. With Ole Miss scoring a little bit more, some of those drives can start on the 20 with 80 yards to defend instead of handing them the ball at midfield or better.
Ole Miss scored just 10 Touchdowns against SEC opponents last year - there will be more than 10 Touchdowns with Freeze running the offense. (Cue the "yeah, like 11" and such comments).
In terms of their schedule, Ole Miss can easily start 3-1 with their 4-game home stand to start the year, and the first big test with Texas should tell a lot about the season. If Ole Miss shows any fight in that game, there are teams later on down the road that should fear this team (Cue the laughter by MSU & LSU fans)
Don't believe me? Just look at how Ole Miss did against Wake Forest in 2008 (yes it was a loss, but no one gave them a chance in that game either that was won on a last second Field Goal set up because of a very questionable pass interference call) and then ask Tim Tebow, Urban Meyer and the Florida Team what they thought of Ole Miss coming into that game. I believe that same year LSU and MSU got beat too.
Freeze has not been given the chance to coach one game to change the minds of fans - for or opposing fans. His overall record at Ole Miss is 0-0 so far. He hasn't lost yet. It wouldn't surprise me that every national media outlet predicts Ole Miss to go something like 3-9, 4-8 or even 2-10. Go on ahead - that's what happened before Dexter McCluster, Kentrell Lockett, and Shay Hodge shocked the world. Freeze is already being judged (like Dan Mullen for example) that he will not be a good coach at Ole Miss.
This was also the first hire not made by Pete Boone - the former Athletic Director at Ole Miss. Boone hired Tuberville (left in a pine box to Auburn), Ed Orgeron (went 3-21 in SEC play and finished 7-25 against teams not named Memphis and blew countless 4th quarter leads) and Nutt (brought the team back up but buried them to the ground last year in the worst season in school history in terms of number of losses with 10)
In between the hires was David Cutcliffe - who was not hired by Boone because he took a different job between 1998 and 2002 (Cutcliffe was hired at the end of 1998 and coached the bowl game after Tuberville left). Boone returned in 2003. Cutcliffe was the person to ultimately grab Eli Manning out of high school and had some of the best years in Ole Miss history, especially when it came to offense.
After Manning was drafted first overall in the 2004 NFL Draft. Ole Miss nose-dived into a 4-7 year that showed plenty of close games and a win over MSU. Boone wanted to make a lot of changes on the staff. Cutcliffe did not want to and thus was fired because he did not do what Boone wanted.
Ever since that fire (and ensuing ridiculous hire that had Orgeron ripping his shirt off in his first press conference), Ole Miss has had 5 of the last 7 seasons where the Rebels have had a worst record than Cutcliffe's 2004 record. (2005, 3-8, 2006, 4-8, 2007, 3-9, 2010, 4-8, 2011, 2-10). It is still considered to be the most controversial fire in the last 10 years. This eventually started the group known as "Forward Rebels" asking for change in the administration in 2011 and we know the rest of the story.
The fact is that there is a new head coach in Freeze and a new Athletic Director in Ross Bjork who has already made several changes at Ole Miss including getting a new Women's Basketball Coach. Ole Miss has not been able to prove anything since the 2011-12 Sports Season especially in Football. If Ole Miss wins even 5 games this year in Football, a lot of people are going to look pretty stupid.
Am I saying that is going to happen? No. I am sitting in a "wait and see" mode to see if we do have something at Ole Miss instead of making accusations about a coach that has proven nothing in the SEC yet. The problem AD is also gone and a new one is in. He hasn't done anything stupid yet and both guys have made all the right moves.
September 1st cannot get here soon enough.
Back in May, Kendricks resigned from coaching Boys Track and was going to continue coaching Cross Country. Kendricks was a Head Coach in at least one of those positions for the past 13 years.
Kendricks will still teach at OHS.
During his 13 year coaching career at Oxford, Kendricks lead the Boys Track program to 5 State Championships (2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, and 2009) and 3 Cross Country State Championships (1 with Girls in 2000, 2 with Boys in 2001 and 2011). Kendricks has led the Chargers to 21 Total Division Titles and 18 Regional Titles.
Kendricks has produced 6 All-Americans and has produced Individual State Champions in all 17 Track and Field Events along with 21 medalists in the Pole Vault, the event he is going to assist in coaching in at Ole Miss.
An official announcement will be made at the next Oxford School District Board Meeting.
#19 - Oxford @ Tupelo - Football 2004
"Put Up 7 Points and Get Out of the Way!"
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Why was this so memorable? Oh, yeah...
"Coach, just put up 7 points and get out of the way!"
That was the quote I remember two weeks before I videotaped my first ever game for the Oxford Football Team, we did not have the athletic facility back then. Coach Bradley Roberson WAY before he became an administrator, Baseball Head Coach, Associate Athletic Director, and Principal, was the Defensive Backs Coach for the Football Team and was a Math Teacher at OHS. Coach Chris Baughman - who had yet to coach one single game Football or Baseball back then - put the quote on the white board after he had heard it.
Week 2 came around and my first away game came to Tupelo High School. I was a Sophomore back then taking over the videotaping duties from a guy that had died in the Spring of 2004. This was also Coach Johnny Hill's first trip back to Tupelo since returning back to Oxford from there and coach a game against them. (Tupelo came to Oxford the year previous and Oxford lost that meeting)
Coach Hill got his first (and currently only) win against Tupelo. Oxford improved to 2-0 on the year en route to a 10-3 record and reached the 3rd Round of the 4A Playoffs. That quote was used as my Senior Quote in the 2006-07 Yearbook (for those that produce the OHS Yearbook Flashback, go find that one and look for it).
For the most part, the game was dull to those that like offense, but was on the edge of your seat for those defensive minded fans. But for this game, the quote actually had meaning. "Put up 7 points and get out of the way." Since I've been with the football team, that is the only 7-0 game in the 97 I've done. It is also the only time since I've been with the team that we played Tupelo.