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July 24, 2009

MPSA/MAIS FOOTBALL
A History of Champions
By Darron Thomas
The MPSA/MAIS is in its' fifth decade of football dating all the way back to 1969. While titles and names have changed the foundation remains what it was in the beginning. The pioneers that set the path didn’t know what the future would hold. Nor did they know whether their labor and vision would be fruitful. From that first championship game played at Mississippi Delta Junior College at Moorhead in 1969 between Bayou Academy and Cruger-Tchula to the championship games played in the three classifications in 2008, the MPSA continues to evolve.
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1969-1980
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*1969 – Bayou Academy beats Cruger-Tchula 21-6 to capture the first Academy Athletic Conference Championship.
*1970 – Indianola defeats Fayette (Tenn.) 21-7 to claim the first MPSA Class AA title. Only divisional winners were recognized in single A classification that year with North Sunflower (North), Central Academy (Central) and Sharkey-Issaquena (South) winning their respective divisions.
*1971 – Jackson Prep (10-0) captures the first AAA championship. The championship was decided through a 9-team round-robin schedule. In AA classification only divisional winners were recognized with Marshall, Old Hickory, Delta, Washington, Heritage, Leake and Simpson representing their divisions. Divisional winners in class A were DeSoto, Deer Creek, Brandon Academy and Pine Hills.
*1972 – Jackson Prep beats Indianola 21-14 to win the AAA title. The game was played at Indianola. North Sunflower hosted Heritage and took the AA title with a 9-7 win. In single A Strider beats Heidelberg 34-6 on the road to win their first state championship.
*1973 – A rematch of the 1972 AAA title game had Indianola getting revenge on Jackson Prep with a 33-0 win at Prep. In AA classification the Simpson Cougars won their first championship with a 20-12 home win over North Sunflower. Strider wins their second straight single A title with a 44-0 win at home over Walthall Academy.
*1974 – Jackson Prep (10-1) wins their third AAA championship. Prep and Indianola each finished 7-1 in AAA and by virtue of their head-to-head play Jackson Prep was crowned champs. Starkville Academy wins at home against Leake 31-13 to win the AA title. In single A Strider wins their third straight championship with a 32-0 win at Heidelberg.
*1975 – Indianola (11-0) captures another AAA championship. Starkville wins their second straight AA title beating Leake 45-26 at Leake. In single A Winston won at home over Trinity 33-16.
*1976 – Indianola (10-0-1) wins their third straight AAA title. Starkville beats Amite 24-14 to win their third straight AA crown. The Centreville Tigers win their first championship shutting out Strider 24-0.
*1977 – Jackson Prep (9-1) wins title number four in AAA. Prep, Lee and Washington all finished AAA play at 7-1 with Prep winning the title by tie-breaker. In AA classification Starkville becomes the first team to win four straight titles with a 21-20 road win at Brandon Academy. Magnolia Heights wins at home against Trinity 7-6 to claim the single A title.
*1978 – Washington (9-1) is one of three teams (Prep & Indianola) tied at 7-1 in AAA play at the end of the season and wins the tie-breaker to take the AAA championship. The Columbia Cougars win the AA championship 28-6 on the road against North Sunflower. Strider wins their fourth state title in single A with a 22-10 road win at Tri-County.
*1979 – Jackson Prep (10-0) wins the AAA title outright. Brandon Academy wins the AA crown at home against Central Academy 14-0. Centreville goes to Magnolia Heights and takes the single A title 6-0.
*1980 – Jackson Prep (9-1) wins their sixth AAA crown outright. The Copiah Colonels go to Central Academy and bring back the AA crown with a 28-0 win. Heidelberg hosts West Panola and wins the single A championship by the score of 36-0.

*Notes*
The A & AA championship games were played at campus sites from 1972-1986.

Gratitude goes out to the hard work of Mr James Ethridge and the kindness of Mr David Drake for providing me with so much data.
If you have data to add or an error has been noticed please email me at aafandaman@yahoo.com