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Top 10 Local Sports Stories for 2013

 

Scott Walters

 

1. NATIONAL CHAMPIONS: The East Mississippi Community College football team won its second NJCAA national championship en route to a 12-0 mark. The Lions secured their fifth MACJC North Division championship and third state championship before defeating Georgia Military College 52-32 in the Mississippi Bowl in Biloxi to secure the first national championship since 2011. 

 

2. GOING FISHING: Rick Dendy and Carl Froshour teamed to win the Crappie Masters AllAmerican Tournament Trail One Pole Ultimate Challenge on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. Dendy and Froshour combined to land a weight of 18.09 pounds while fishing the Aliceville Lake. 

 

3. STATE CHAMPIONS: The Columbus National League All-Stars made noise won the Dizzy Dean 11-12-year-old South State tournament at Propst Park. This group of players had suffered back-to-back losses in the state championship game, but got it right the third time around with a 6-4 victory against Louisville. 

 

4. TRAGIC NEWS: Former New Hope High School and Oak Hill Academy football standout Park Stevens was killed in a car wreck in July. Stevens later played at East Central C.C. and was a first-year redshirt player at Ole Miss at the time of his death. 

 

5. NEW TO THE HALL: Tony Stanford was chosen for induction to the Mississippi Association of Coaches Hall of Fame earlier this season. Stanford's 38-year coaching career most recently included a four-year stint as coach at Columbus. 

 

6. CHAMPIONS: Donna Mellott captured the annual Possum Town Triathlon in Columbus with a time of 1 hour, 28 minutes, 7 seconds. Mellott placed third in last year's event but recorded better times in all three phases of the event to win the title. John Mooney won the men's title. The event grew to 145 participants in its second installment. 

 

7. MORE SUCCESS: Coach Mark White and the East Mississippi C.C. men's basketball team continue to re-write the school's record book. The Lions won their fourth straight NJCAA Region XXIII championship in March and made a fourth-straight appearance in the NJCAA national championship tournament in Kansas. 

 

8. LOCAL ALL-STARS: The Golden Triangle was well-represented at the Junior Sunbelt Classic baseball tournament this summer in McAlester, Okla. Local players participating in the event included Columbus High's Trace Lee and Chris McCullough and New Hope's Will Golsan. Jeffrey Cook, of Columbus, and John Wilson, of Caledonia, helped coach the squad with former New Hope coach Stacy Hester. 

 

9. TRAVEL PARTY: Mississippi State baseball fans caught that feeling in June. More than 20,000 Maroon and White-clad fans trekked to Omaha, Neb., for the College World Series. MSU finished second nationally, losing to UCLA in the national championship series. While the Bruins won on the field, the Bulldogs won in the stands, with more than 75 percent of the crowd for the championship series having traveled from the Magnolia State. 

 

10. REALIGNMENT BUZZ: A new year meant another new realignment from the Mississippi High School Activities Association. Of note in the latest realignment, Louisville High School moved from Class 4A to Class 3A, where it won a football state championship. Starkville High moved back to Class 6A, where the Yellow Jackets renewed their football rivalry with Columbus High. 

 

-List compiled by Scott Walters

 

Scott is sports copy editor and reporter

 

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