Roses and thorns: 12-2-18

December 1, 2018 11:26:30 PM



A rose to the East Mississippi Community college football team and coach Buddy Stephens after the No. 1-ranked Lions defeated No. 2 Garden City CC, 10-9, Thursday in Pittsburgh, Kansas, to claim the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) national championship. EMCC, which finished the season 12-0, survived its sternest test of the season in the title game, stopping Garden City on a potential game-winning two-point conversion in the fourth quarter. It's the Lions' fifth national championship, all of them coming in the last eight years and all of them under the direction of Stephens, who has become the community college version of Alabama's Nick Saban. Stephens' career win-loss record at EMCC is now 1100-13 and his .894 winning percentage is best in community college football history. We congratulate the Lions and Coach Stephens on yet another national championship. Go Lions! 




A rose to The Partnership, participants and spectators who made Monday's Starkville Christmas Parade a special event. The parade, which is sponsored by the Partnership, featured 70 parade entrants as floats and marchers weaved along the streets of downtown Starkville. Mayor Lynn Spruill served as grand marshal of the event, but - as always - Santa Claus was the main attraction. The Starkville Christmas Parade kicks off the holiday season in Starkville and continues to be a great way for community members to meet and socialize as the holiday approaches. Saturday, Caledonia held its Christmas Parade, which continues to be a much-loved event in the close-knit community. If you missed out on the fun, you have another opportunity to take in a parade on Monday, when the Columbus Christmas Parade kicks off at 7 p.m. downtown with Col. Samantha Weeks, commander of the 14th Flying Training Wing at Columbus Air Force Base, serving as grand marshal. The parade is presented by Main Street Columbus. 




A rose to the West Point High School football team, which made history even before taking the field Saturday night at M.M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg. The Green Wave met West Jones for the MHSAA Class 5-A championship Saturday (For details on the game, see the Dispatch Sports Section). In reaching the championship game, which was played in the University of Southern Mississippi's stadium, West Point became the first team to appear in championships in Hattiesburg (USM), Oxford (Ole Miss), Starkville (MSU) and Jackson, where the championship games were played before the games started rotating among the state's college stadiums. The Green Wave was seeking its third straight championship and its 10h overall. It's enough to make other high schools "Green" with envy.  




A rose to Mississippi School for Math & Science senior Victoria Gong of Vicksburg, who was honored recently for her creative writing. Gong's short story was selected for publication in "Best Teen Writing 2018" by Scholastic Publishing Co. Her work was selected from a group of 77 pieces that were selected for National Medals in the 2018 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, which drew submissions for almost 350,000 works from teens across the nation. Gong's work is one of 17 short stories that were selected for publication. Obviously, Gong has the Write Stuff.