Article Comment 

Columbus, Starkville meet with playoff spot on line


Danny P Smith



Bubba Davis and Bill Lee have playoffs on their minds. 


Unfortunately, only one man''s team could get to realize those dreams. 


That will be the storyline at 7 tonight when Davis'' Columbus High football team plays host to Lee''s Starkville Yellow Jackets. 


Starkville and Columbus enter the game at 3-7, but the Yellow Jackets are 3-3 in Class 6A, Region 1, District 2 and the Falcons are 2-4. 


All Starkville has to do is win and it''s in the playoffs. 


"I always like for it to be in our hands," Lee said. "I never like having someone else lose for this or that to happen. If we win, we''re in. We''ll deserve it." 


The scenario isn''t so clear for Columbus. 


If the Falcons win and Tupelo loses to Olive Branch, Columbus, Starkville and Tupelo would be tied at 3-4. 


Since Tupelo defeated the Falcons (10-6), the point system would come into play and it''s believed Columbus would have to beat the Yellow Jackets by at least 15 points to extend its season. 


Davis, who won only one game in his first season last year, likes that his team is in the playoff conversation.  


"It''s good for the kids and good for the program," Davis said. "That''s where we want to be at this time of the year." 


The coaches anticipate a playoff-type atmosphere in the regular-season finale. Davis noticed a little more emotion from his players in practice this week. 


"They think it is (a rivalry)," Davis said. "They know a lot of those kids over there and it''s a big game for both of us." 


Lee knows Columbus will do everything it can to prevent his squad from making the playoffs. 


"Columbus would like nothing better than to turn our lights out," Lee said. "If we don''t handle our business, they will turn our lights out for the season." 


The Yellow Jackets and Falcons have met 17 times since 1992 when Caldwell and Lee High Schools consolidated into Columbus High. 


Starkville leads the series 14-3. The Yellow Jackets won the first 11 times, but the Falcons broke through with a 13-7 victory in 2003 and went to the playoffs that season. 


Columbus also defeated Starkville 31-21 in 2005 and 20-19 in 2007. All of the Falcons'' victories have been at home. 


The 2007 win knocked the Yellow Jackets out of the playoffs. 


Last year, Columbus led 21-7 entering the fourth quarter, but Starkville scored 22 unanswered points to take a 29-21 victory.  


That loss left the Falcons (1-10, 0-7 in the district) with a bad taste going into the offseason 


Davis wants it to be different this time. 


"The bottom just fell out in the fourth quarter and we let it slip away," Davis said. "That''s part of the process and they''ve learned something. Hopefully if they get in that situation again, they''ve been there and won''t let it slip away again." 


Lee said a victory would provide a huge boost for his program. 


"It would be like spinach to Popeye," Lee said. "That''s what this one means. It''s going to fill us up. We need it. We''ve had so much adversity this year. We need to come out with something a little more positive." 


The Yellow Jackets lost their first four games but won their first three district games against Desoto Central (9-3), Tupelo (14-7), and Horn Lake (34-6). 


Starkville has lost its last three games, including a 51-7 loss to district leader South Panola last week. 


Lee hopes his team has gotten over the sting of that defeat. 


"You''ve got to get yourself back up and go on to the next day, whether it''s good or bad," Lee said. 


Columbus lost to South Panola 53-7, but has won two if its last three games. The Falcons defeated Desoto Central (12-7) and Horn Lake (28-0) before losing last Saturday at Olive Branch (33-7). 


"The more you look at them on film, the better they get," Lee said. "They are starting to grow and mature. Defensively, they are a sound and scrappy bunch. Nobody has really scored that much on them except for Olive Branch and Panola." 


Davis has challenged the Falcons to grow through the year and believes the performance late in the season is proof they have. 


"We''re proud of the kids for what they''ve done and where we are," Davis said. "People who have seen us play last year and this year know there''s a tremendous difference. It may be slow, but we''re making progress."



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Reader Comments

Article Comment BOSS commented at 11/6/2009 1:10:00 PM:

It's all on you, BUBBA! Win and you might be coaching Falcons next year. Lose tonite, you know the rest. FALCON PRIDE!


Article Comment goingnowhere commented at 11/6/2009 5:27:00 PM:

What kind of mess is it that a school 3-7 can make it to the playoffs. Something to really be proud of. Columbus has A losing record. Overpaid coach's, underachieving coach's. Give them a raise, win or lose and bring them back. Isn't that the american way!


Article Comment bigbubba commented at 11/6/2009 5:31:00 PM:

So glad big bubba is proud of where he is. He is about the only one. What a horrible statement. I hope he doesn't tell his players that. I wonder how good he would feel if they were 500. could you imagine. He says we are making progress. I will save my gate fee again.


Article Comment OutCoached commented at 11/6/2009 10:10:00 PM:

Hey Phil why don't you call Bill Lee. A hundred thousand dollars is too much for 3-8. Up by 2 touchdowns with 7 min on the clock.Carma is a mother. Columbus High all the wheels have come off the wagon. Now it time to run Phil and the million dollar coaching staff out of town>


Article Comment ?????????? commented at 11/6/2009 10:14:00 PM:

Look like he needs to spend more time on education and stoping teachers from dating the students, instead of standing in the end zone trying to coach football, or better yet why don't he just coach the team.


Article Comment NONEOFYRBISNESS commented at 11/7/2009 8:21:00 AM:



Article Comment justthebegining commented at 11/7/2009 8:28:00 AM:

Coach's don't care. they are still getting paid. Hell they will ask for a raise you idiot. That is why this program is going no where. Anyway who wnats to go to the playoffs with a 4-7 record anyway. That should not even be allowed. just think if blubba won last night he would be saying we are a playoff team and anything can happen.


Article Comment CHSparent commented at 11/7/2009 11:16:00 AM:

Can you believe that they have the kids buying into the fact that it is ok to be 4-7 and go the playoffs. From what my child and his friends tell me that if your are a certain player on the team you can do what ever you want you get a couple of days in ISD and still get out 7th period and go to practice. That is not the real world. If you get in trouble in the real world you will pay for it, either with a fine or jail time. Columbus High has been dummbing down our kids for the last 2 years. Do you know that they get a 100 just for bringing their textbook to class, 100 for bellwork, I overheard a couple of people complaining that they had to GIVE students a 50 even when they have not been turning in their work. What kind of mess is that? " You work, you eat". I see why 4-7 going to the playoffs is acceptable.


Article Comment Thom Geiger commented at 11/7/2009 5:09:00 PM:

Some folks who follow the Columbus school system and CHS in particular, know the problems I have had with the school, the complaints I have had and the extreme measures I've gone to try and bring attention to some serious ongoing problems at the school. Some of those folks may know how angry and nasty some people have been about my complaints, accusing me of trying to tear down the school system, of trying to embarrass the school administration.
I won't deny I did reach a point where I had to decide how far I was willing to go to try to bring some attention to the problems of the loud late night after game parties, with serious alcohol use on school property, the problem of teen drinking and driving after these parties, the horrible litter problems that have covered the parking lot for days on end.
My point, besides wanting to see someone, ANYONE, in city school administration make some effort, even if it a small one, to bring some sanity and common sense to the problems the high school has been bringing to the east Columbus neighborhood for the last five years or so, was to see a safer and more sane environment for the seniors, children and other residents who are neighbors of the city high school.
Unfortunately, Del Phillips, the school board, the mayor and city council have all chosen to ignore the problems. I have been blamed several times for the inaction by people responsible for seeing that no alcohol is consumed on school property, blamed for the failure of school and city officials to solve the problem of teen drinking and driving in the neighborhood around the school, blamed for the lack of rules enforcement at the school about crime, noise, trash, garbage and smoking on school property.
I said years ago that what is seen on the outside of the school reflects what is happening on the inside. I was ridiculed and harassed, told to move elsewhere, had several web sites attacked and vandalized, been confronted at my job and had my employment threatened.
Still, the question remains; where is the discipline? That was the point I tried to make years ago about the responsibility of the administration, the security staff, the principals. When the problems first began to appear, there were signs at the entrances to the student parking lot, with rules about on campus behavior- what was and wasn't allowed. As the problems got worse and worse, the signs were vandalized and eventually disappeared altogether.
So why are the scores (ball and academics) lower now than they were when I attended SD Lee High in 1970?
What would have happened if we had tried to have an obnoxiously loud party, complete with whiskey and gin, in the school parking lot after a game? If we had even tried to bring such illegal and unacceptable behavior to the neighborhood on Military Road and 18th? What would Principal Carr have done, or Tuffy, or Coaches Canale, Brewer, Youngblood or Acker, or Misters Goolsby, Shields Sims or James Trotter, members of the school board?
I was watching a local television interview with a mother whose grown son is serving time in prison for armed robbery. The mother said her son wasn't the type to get into trouble and the only reason she could think of for his situation was that he "fell in with the wrong crowd". That's a very familiar response by parents when their children are in trouble. It seems strange to me that it is the children of other parents, neighbors, other parents in the family, who are to blame. That's a lot of fingers pointed at other people.
Where is the discipline today? Between parents filing lawsuits when teachers touch their children, to an absence of any clear cut rules and enforcement, with consequences, it's no wonder the city, and east Columbus in particular, are circling the drain, with break-ins, burglaries, robberies, assaults, gun fights in residential neighborhoods, decaying areas.
Where in the timeline of the Lee High-to-CHS saga was it officially decided that rules are a thing of the past, that discipline is not only not necessary, but to be avoided at all cost? What public official will step up and accept responsibility for being first to promote that mindset?
No, I don't hate the school and I don't hate sports, nor do I hate the students or the staff. I do, however, hate anything that prevents young people from developing without being influenced by the evil weaknesses of the older generations. That is our responsibility, to do whatever we can to ensure our children and our grandchildren, the successive generations, live better than we did- not meaning that they get everything they want, but that they don't bear the burden of our prejudices, our weaknesses, our greed and our faults. No child's whole life should ever be determined for them by the age of six, but too many young girls are doomed to be single mothers before they can graduate from high school, and too many young boys are doomed to have a criminal record before they graduate. It's ridiculous and whose fault is it? It is ours, our leaders' and the people we depend on to do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done and how it needs to be done. Until we decide to change, things will only continue to get worse. All it takes is for us; taxpayers, voters, citizens, public officials, police officers, school officials, to wake up one day and say, "No matter what anyone else does, today I'm going to do what needs to be done."


Article Comment allfedup commented at 11/7/2009 9:00:00 PM:

I want to know why it is acceptable to pay coach's 100,000 dollars a year. I would rather see money go to the teacher of the year. Principal of the year. The proncipal at columbus does not like the coach's because of the pay that they are making. Coach's have been called out for talking bad about the program while making a ton of money from it. Let's call administration mon and ask for a change. Do it for your kids, community, and betterment of our school. enough is enough.


Article Comment Tired commented at 11/7/2009 9:34:00 PM:

It will not help to call adminstration. They are all in bed together. Phillips is just using our school district as a cash cow and stepping stone to Jackson. 1 million dollars was spent on the football program, but you have old computers, old textbooks, books, no trash cans in the parking lot. No cameras in the far end of the parking lot. Not nearly enough security officers,and no metal detectors at the doors. Can you imagine the weapons and drugs that are in the Columbus High school. It is time to find a way to elect our school board so they will be accountable to the parents and students of the district.


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