*After crisscrossing Mississippi and Louisiana the past three weeks I’ve seen some quality teams that could wind up taking home some hardware next month in tournament play. Trips to Jackson, Carrollton, Batesville, Brookhaven, Columbia, Alexandria, McComb and Franklinton have afforded me the opportunity to see eight of the top ten AA boy’s teams in action and five of the top ten girl’s teams. I’ll see top ranked Leake play East Rankin in girl’s action this Thursday night and I desperately want to catch Kirk’s girls before the end of January. Next month could provide some fantastic tournament play as this season may prove to be one with lots of parity.
*What I’ve also had the privilege of seeing is some great young talent that everyone will be exposed to over the next handful of seasons. Four that I’ve seen this season come to mind. Last week I was at the Presbyterian/Parklane girl’s game and was amazed to see this seventh grader playing on what many consider the best team in the MAIS. I’m not talking about mop-up play in the fourth quarter, she logged lots of quality minutes. Trista Magee, sister of Katye Magee, is a name to remember. Three freshmen to keep a close eye on as they progress through the next three years are Hannah Peoples of Leake, Mackayla Dykes of Bowling Green and Aaron McAlexander of Marshall. Peoples started as an eight grader on last season’s overall girl’s title team. Dykes has started for Bowling Green since last season’s district tournament at Centreville and has put up some big numbers this year and McAlexander could be one the better players in the MAIS as he moves up to the varsity level at Marshall.
*The weekly poll that was posted on Southern Sports & Travel last week regarding the new playoff format was interesting. The question was “Do you think the new playoff format will be better?” There were 82 responses with 41 saying yes and 41 no.
*As tournament play approaches I’ll be updating scores and information via twitter. To receive updates during post season sign on to follow me. Just look on the sidebar near the bottom of the page.
*An open invitation still exists for anyone with a passion for writing to contribute to Southern Sports & Travel. A week never goes by that I don’t get a text or email offering information about
something but the challenge north of Jackson is big. Southern Sports & Travel will continue to grow through its’ current form or a new one, who wants to be a part of it?
*Here’s a big “get well soon” to River Oaks head coach Roger Stockton who has been a bit ill lately.
*Please text scores to 985-750-3455.