Article Comment 

Starkville football team rallies to edge Columbus


Adam Minichino



There''s something magical about the fourth quarter for Jaquez Johnson and Chuck Tillery when the Starkville High School football team plays Columbus. 


A year ago, Johnson connected with Tillery for two touchdown passes to help the Yellow Jackets score 22 unanswered points in the fourth quarter in a come-from-behind victory. 


On Friday, there was more riding on the outcome, which made the fourth-quarter heroics even sweeter. 


Johnson''s 36-yard pass to Tillery and the two-point conversion pass to Martavious Foster helped Starkville complete a 15-point rally in the final 8 minutes, 3 seconds and steal a 29-28 victory from Columbus. 


"We kept on playing and we never gave up," Johnson said. "We played like Yellow Jackets tonight." 


The win helped the Yellow Jackets (4-7, 4-3 Class 6A, Region 1, District 2) secure the fourth and final playoff spot out of the district. Starkville will go on the road next Friday to play Madison Central. 


Johnson shook off the effects of two interceptions in the final 8:35 and regrouped to score on an 11-yard run and then hit Tillery with a nice led pass over the middle that cut the Yellow Jackets'' deficit to 28-27 with 2:33 remaining. 


Starkville High coach Bill Lee initially sent kicker Cody Berryhill on the field, but he called timeout and reconsidered. 


Lee said even if the Yellow Jackets had failed to score on the conversion and would have lost 28-27 they would have advanced to the playoffs. He said it was advantageous for Starkville to go for the conversion because Columbus needed to win by at least six points to earn the tiebreaker against Tupelo, which beat it during the regular season but lost to Olive Branch on Friday in its regular-season finale. 


Lee didn''t have to worry about all of those possibilities because Johnson looked to his right, got the secondary to bite, and then looked back to the middle of the field for Foster, who cradled the ball and fell to his knees in the end zone. 


"As long as we lost by five points or less we still would have went to the playoffs, so I thought we might as well go for the win right here," Lee said. "Jaquez executed it and Martavious Foster caught it. That is a great play. It always has been a great play for years."  


Columbus (3-8, 2-5) used a 26-yard touchdown run by Damian Baker to build a 28-14 lead with 9:55 to play. The Falcons seemingly had all the momentum after Byerson Cockrell intercepted Johnson on a fourth-and-3 from the Columbus 41. 


But Baker (21 carries, 248 yards) fumbled on the next play to give the ball back to the Yellow Jackets. 


After two incompletions, Johnson connected with Tillery, Foster, and Justin Rogers on three passes to move the ball from Starkville''s 48 to Columbus'' 11. Johnson then did the rest, scampering 11 yards for the touchdown. Berryhill''s extra point made it 28-21 with 6:04 to play. 


"We had the plays wide open we just didn''t execute," Johnson said. "In the second half, we told ourselves we were going to come out and execute and win the game." 


Starkville then recovered an onsides kick and took over at the Columbus 46. The Yellow Jackets drove the Falcons'' 19, but Martin Sherrod intercepted Johnson in the end zone to stall Starkville''s momentum. 


But quarterback Cedric Jackson fumbled on third-and-9 to give the ball back to the Yellow Jackets with 2:37 to go in regulation. 


Johnson wasted little time, hitting Tillery over the middle for the wide receiver''s first touchdown of the season. 


"When I came off the ball I gave him an outside release and I just took my foot in and went one way and I went the other way," Tillery said. "Jaquez made a good throw and I caught it for a touchdown. 


"I have been waiting all season for it. I sat out the first five games of the season, and it just feels like a blessing from God." 


Last year, Johnson hooked up with Tillery on touchdown passes of 8 and 9 yards in the fourth quarter to help Starkville rally for a 29-21 victory. 


Columbus had 2:33 to go and all three of its timeouts to make one last drive. But a sack on second down and a pass breakup by Adonnis Scales on fourth down ended the Falcons'' hopes. 


Columbus coach Bubba Davis said the final eight minutes epitomized the Falcons'' season. He said the team played well in spurts Friday night -- and for long stretches of many games this season -- but hurt itself with penalties, missed assignments, or turnovers. 


"The thing that has killed us all year has been us," Davis said. "You look back at what could have been and that is the tale of this year. We may be the best 3-8 team around. We played people tough but we just can''t put them away." 


Columbus controlled the lines for large portions of the game. The Falcons rushed for 361 yards on 44 carries and played like a team destined to advance to the playoffs. They answered a momentum-sapping hook-and-lateral play that tied the game at 14 with a five-play drive that Randy Brown (16 carries, 100 yards) capped with a 16-yard touchdown run. 


"We didn''t quit. We didn''t play good," Davis said. "I am disappointed we didn''t play better, but, again, this is an experience most of these kids have never had. It is like a playoff game. It is a game you have to win and win by six, but we''re not over the hump yet. I am proud for the kids. I hate that we blew what we had. It would have been great to have the opportunity to get a young team into the playoffs. We had that opportunity and didn''t take advantage of it." 


On the other sideline, Lee preached patience as time wasted away in the fourth quarter. He also praised Johnson for his ability to put the interceptions behind him and execute. 


"You could see his intensity and his heart by the way he stepped up and came back," Lee said. "When bad situations happen and you''re down, you still have to have hope, but you have to learn how to cope. He showed that tonight. A lot of people when adversity is down they will quit. He didn''t quit. He fought through this." 


The rest of the Yellow Jackets also persevered and rose to the challenge just when it appeared that time had run out. 


"We played as a team, we never got down on ourselves, and kept our heads in the game," Tillery said. "We just played together to win the game." 


Said Lee, "We grew up tonight. We''re going to go to Madison Central with loaded guns." 



Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.


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Reader Comments

Article Comment URABIGJOKE commented at 11/8/2009 7:14:00 AM:

You say you are the best 3-8 team. Yes you win that one because you are all by yourself dummy. 120,000 dollars a year and that is what we get. I can't wait to see what he has in store for us next year. Losing in the forth quarter like that is strenth and conditioning. Getting whipped in the forth you have to have it. Obviously we don't and never will. Coach's have to go. Please be pro-active and make something happen.


Article Comment seenenough commented at 11/8/2009 7:23:00 AM:

You think it is the coach. It is not just the head coach. It is all of them. You are right. Fourth quarter does come down to strenth, conditioning, execution,===COACHING PREPERATION!!
If you believe things will change don't fool yourself. After I read the article you can listen how the opposing coach is just tooling with Columbus. Let me see I am still going to the playoffs win or lose by 5 or less. What the heck lets just shove it down their throat anyway. What a nice job. I wonder if columbus coaching staff even knew that not only they had to win but by a pt margin. I doubt it very seriosly. That coaching staff needs to pack their bags and move on for the beterment of these kids. Have a heart.


Article Comment goodmorning commented at 11/8/2009 7:42:00 AM:

I have a better idea. Maybe we can become class 7a. Doesn't that represent bigger n better. NOT!
We need to move down in class and try to even things out. Can the school district do that for us. We need divine intervention. I should not have read the article this morning. This coaching staff is embarassing, u r right!


Article Comment formerplayernparent commented at 11/8/2009 8:08:00 AM:

To hear him say this was like a playoff game. How can you be 3-8 and say this is like a playoff game. He talks to the media with deception. Their is no reality to it. He thinks 3-8 is not that bad. Open mouth and insert foot. The sad thing is he represents all of our children. He states this is an experience these kids have never had. Are you kidding. They lost 8 games. They knew if they won they were not going to do anything in the playoffs. These kids are not as stupid as coach thinks they are. The other coach summed it up like a pro. "We just played together to win the game." That coach exudes confidence. I was there and could see how prepared they were. They were in control of this game even when they did not have the ball. Two 3-7 teams playing one another and the better team won, hands down. What a way to end another dissmal year at columbus!


Article Comment enough commented at 11/8/2009 8:52:00 AM:

Wake up columbus. This is unacceptable. wake up and make your voice heard. all of you making noise hear is not enough. Do it in writing to the district, principal, superintendent! Make a concerted effort this week to have them all replaced. Expressing your frustrations on this forum is just a way to vent. Take it a step further. DO IT FOR THE KIDS! THEY DESERVE BETTER!


Article Comment ISEEYOU! commented at 11/8/2009 9:54:00 AM:

First of all word has it Bubba Gump came in with a 3 year deal, so he will be back next year. People this is Phili's hire that man is a dictator he is not going to get rid of his coach. He is also the same one that brought the other coach in that was missing with the little girl and she ran off for a week. Notice you did not hear anything else about that. Notice the math teacher that goes with the linebacker is still teaching at the school? How many superintendents stand under the field goal and talk to the refs at the beginning of the game? This man has issues and he is over your children. I am really disappointed in Tommy and Jordon and Turner I sure thought that they were much smarter than that to be fooled by this man. Him and his hitchman Shannon came in and ran Mr. Love off then they came in and started demanding extra from the custodians, then they sold out the bus drivers, took an hour when they were only getting four hours from the jump, now they are down to 3, took their days, and their medical insurance. Spent at least a million in football (They sure look good when they are out) matching outfits and not just for the coaches either,look the next time you are out. And the teachers haven't gotten a raise and these are the ones they actually work. Does the name Hitler come to mind? It's time to change the rules and elect our School board memmbers and superintendent just like the county, then they will be accountable to the parents. 3-8 with a 14 point lead just to lose is unacceptable. How long people of Columbus High are you are going to take this. All they are doing is dummbing down the students, the word is all over town. Its time to lookout our for not only your child but others as well.


Article Comment openureyes commented at 11/8/2009 9:58:00 AM:

When teams are losing it's the coaches fault. When teams are winning the players get the credit.
Maybe not only is the coaching bad at Columbus, maybe the kids just aren't any good. Come to think of it, Columbus football has never been a powerhouse regardless of who was coaching.


Article Comment u r right openeyes commented at 11/8/2009 10:38:00 AM:

But, back then the coach's didn't make 120,000 dollars a year. Just because teams before him did not succeed, does not mean that this team should not. old saying, money can't buy everything. pitifull coaching. three year contract means nothing. let his sorry a$$ go. With his two bit helpers. These coach's are like leaches. They will stick around and bring us down as long as we tolerate it.


Article Comment real world commented at 11/8/2009 10:42:00 AM:

All of you need to go to work Monday and ask your boss if you can keep your job if you are a sucessful worker 3 out of every 8 days of work. Let me know how fast he throws you on your tail. Only find this stuff in schools systems. I am convinced!


Article Comment falcon future commented at 11/8/2009 10:59:00 AM:

You will one day soar above all others football programs. Then you wake up and realize you are just dreaming. Great job coach for selling our kids short once again!


Article Comment playoffs commented at 11/8/2009 1:27:00 PM:

Maybe its not the coaches. Maybe the other team just wanted it more. I like the how Starkville's Quarterback stepped up in the 4th quarter after 3 picks in the game. The Jackets just wanted it more. Coach Davis didn't cause those two fumbles in the fourth quarter or the touchdowns given up by Columbus. The players did so get off his jock and tell those players to have more heart and pride and finish the game!


Article Comment roderick commented at 11/8/2009 1:28:00 PM:

Hey Parents of Columbus, you can stop it all really! With all the schools that surround Columbus, which 90% are playoff bound, why don't you take your children and enroll them elsewhere seeing how the coaching staff is not going to get changed. I mean it does look bad when the largest school in the county doesn't make it and really can't beat the smaller schools around it. If a coaching staff is asking for college ast coaching salaries, then you all are right something must be shown and the only way to see it is with wins, and you guys are definitely not getting that. So get your kids and get of the city limits lol.


Article Comment Cora Miller commented at 11/8/2009 1:47:00 PM:

Where do you folks get the salary info? Some of you say $100,000. Some say $120,000.

Give me a break!


Article Comment Tommy Knight commented at 11/8/2009 1:58:00 PM:

The salary amount was given to Roger by the superintendent several months ago. This is public knowledge.Yes you can say defense fail to do their job seeing as though they were up by 14.But you know what coaching play a part in it to, do you know that my wife called the on-side kick and going for 2. I told her no, but it surprised me when my nephew said that out of 15 coaches no one expected those two things to happen. All Starkville had to do was keep it within 5.DUH!


Article Comment Cora Miller commented at 11/8/2009 2:08:00 PM:

Who is Roger?

$100,000 or $120,00--doesn't sound like a real answer to me!

How would your nephew know what 15 coaches expected? ESP?


Article Comment Glitz commented at 11/8/2009 2:26:00 PM:

Thank God, Columbus High football is over with. Going to watch Coach Darrell Jones, Calloway Chargers play New Hope Friday nite. Maybe, Bubba & crew can come & see what real coaches do, by the way, bring your leader, Del Phillips, so he can stand at the goal line. :]


Article Comment get real playoffs commented at 11/8/2009 3:18:00 PM:

columbus coach's coming on here. How pathetic. That is what you guy's do best. Blame it on the players. The players are not disciplined. That is why they fumble, miss assignments, throw interceptions. Not being put in position to suceed. That is the coach's job. PLAYOFFS you are an IDIOT.


Article Comment Tommy Knight commented at 11/8/2009 3:33:00 PM:

I am sorry Cora I forgot they don't have the packet under rocks. Roger is the editor of The Packet. He did an in depth article on the pay for surrounding coaches. And since Bubba Gump is in the area his salary along with his staff was mentioned. No ESP he overheard one of the high paid Numb knotts talkiiing.


Article Comment all ears commented at 11/8/2009 3:52:00 PM:

Yes, he is correct. I did read it also. My wife and I stopped attending games after reading. The public knows what is going on. The sad part is that america has become acceptable to mediocracy. This coaching staff needs to recieve their walking papers.


Article Comment coachsmustgo commented at 11/8/2009 3:55:00 PM:

Forget about what they make(not earn). If you can't make our boys winners their is no need to be here. It is that simple. That is what you are being paid for. If you can't cut it, GET LOST!


Article Comment Cora Miller commented at 11/8/2009 5:31:00 PM:

Yes, I do remember reading it. I don't remember anything about $100,000 - $120,000, though.

He supposedly heard one coach and you now say 15.

A little truth..but exaggerations are much juicier!


Article Comment Rollcall commented at 11/8/2009 6:03:00 PM:

GOOD JOB COACH. You can't disquise yourself as CORA MILLER. Concentrate on winning ball games. YOU BIG DUMMY!


Article Comment LEM1970 commented at 11/8/2009 7:25:00 PM:

Boy you guys are vicious. You had a loser football team with a losing attitude when you hired the current coaches from a rebuilding program in Petal. Changing a team from losers to winners with football skills takes more than 2 years and takes everyone's support. If I remember correctly, coach Davis built a state championship program at West Point that is still going. Your choice, pitch in and help make our kids a winner or sit on the sidelines and complain and keep them losers.


Article Comment Rollcall commented at 11/8/2009 7:51:00 PM:

Good JOB COACH. You can't desquise yourself as LEM1970. Concentrate on winning games. I will pich in and help. This isn't west point and we are not in the 1980's. We have gotten no better since his arrival. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. YOU FREAKIN IDIOT!!!


Article Comment FRAUDS commented at 11/8/2009 8:10:00 PM:

MS has the worst educational system in the United States (according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, see website below). This is why successful high school sports programs are essential to students! Students deserve the opportunity to excel in a great high school program that helps open doors at the next level. Shannon is a FRAUD and Phillips is a FRAUD if they don't recognize this! Our kids suffer. Ponder this, African Americans at the high school, on average, performed below the state standards in English and Math on the state exams. Not a race issue, but because the majority of the students at CHS are AA, the majority of students at CHS aren't proficient in English and Math....according to the state. The numbers don't lie. 3-8 seasons (37% winning pct.) won't get our kids looked at by any colleges. Posting those kinds of stats should be against the law. Wake up Columbus. We're the laughing stock of the GTA! Forgive us Lord for not protecting our precious children!

Numbers in regard to English/Math proficiencies came from a report on the CMSD website


Article Comment Accountability101 commented at 11/8/2009 8:16:00 PM:

Frauds u are brilliant. Thanks for educating everyone. You made my day. Could not have said it better if I tried. Another reason why 750,000 worth of salary should be used on better coaching and students performance in the classroom.


Article Comment Readyforchange commented at 11/8/2009 9:29:00 PM:

Hey Thom how can we change the School Board and Superintendent situtation? As far as how they are appointed. It's time we take back our schools. if we did not have children these people would not have a job.


Article Comment Half Full commented at 11/8/2009 11:16:00 PM:

"We may be the best 3-8 team around." Wow! Did he really say that? Adam, please tell me that was a misprint! This guy is incredible! We miss the playoffs and instead of admitting that he fielded one of the worst teams in the state this year, he expects us to be proud of being "the best 3-8 team around"! I believe in seeing the glass as half full, but give me a break! But thanks Bubba Gump, I guess it's better than being the best 1-10 team in the state like last yr! Give this man another raise!


Article Comment playoffs2 commented at 11/8/2009 11:33:00 PM:

Actually GETREALPLAYOFFS their are no coaches on here. But every time things go wrong everyone starts to point fingers. Columbus has never been good in football. EVER!!! Columbus coaches put them in a position make the playoffs. It's people like you that hurt a team. The people that are always ready to quit and blame someone. Every team train all summer and condition. The players have to want it themselves. The coaches don't play on the field with them, all they can do is tell them what do and hope they do it. One day we're going to have to make these kids grow up and take responsibility for their own actions.


Article Comment LEM1970 commented at 11/8/2009 11:40:00 PM:

Rollcall, I am not a coach and don't want to be. You are Obviously a failure when you were in school for the primitive name calling language you use. It was a loser football team when the coaching change was made, which the team is giving a lot of effort and coming up short on the scoreboard. With supporters like you, the kids need all the help they can get. If this doesn't improve after a couple more years, then the program should be reevaluated Bubba is a coach, not a miracle worker. You probably would not do as good as he does, I KNOW I'm not a coach, apparently you don't.
Fraud, you may have a point, maybe the kids don't have enough education and savvy to play the level football CHS is attempting to play.


Article Comment Rollcall commented at 11/9/2009 7:37:00 AM:

LEM1970, If you had a brain,you would have it in your hand playing with it. Coach's are hired to win. Let me say it againg if you can't hear me, COACH'S ARE HIRED TO WIN. Plain and simple. What part of the english language do you not understand. Frauds say's it best. NO COLLEGE AND I MEAN NO COLLEGE IS COMING TO SEE THIS TEAM. Caoch's are here to COACH a team to victory. THat is not being done! Plain and simple. And guess what? You are now a bigger freakin IDIOT then you were last night!


Article Comment LEM1970 commented at 11/9/2009 8:42:00 AM:

Rollcall, You are correct, coaches are hired to win and that is the reason the coaching change was made. How many colleges were coming before the coach change? The coaches can't prevent the dumb penalties, fumbles and other player errors that have killed the teams chances to win, which have to be embedded into players over time. You apparently have an axe to grind with the coaches and school system and it shows. Look at his comments, then yours and if you were a college recruiter, decide which would make you think there could be a player or 2 worth recruiting. Those who can play at the next level want to thank you for making sure they don't get a chance to be considered at the next level.


Article Comment FRAUD commented at 11/9/2009 8:46:00 AM:

playoffs2, not sure how a 10-3 record and a #5 ranking in the state of MS back in 2000 qualifies as Columbus never being good in football...(EVER). But let's just say that Roy McCrory taking the team to the playoff two yrs. back to back, Rusty Funk taking the team to the playoffs his first yr, and Coach Jones taking his team to the playoffs in his two yrs at CHS don't qualify as being "good in football". How can you defend this coaching staff? In three years they've managed to win something like 5 games? Seriously? I think you have it backwards. Blaming the kids is the cop-out! Coaches are paid to win. You figure out ways to make your kids buy into your system. And LEM1970, refer to the stats above...again, not sure how a program that went to the playoffs all those yrs. qualify as a "loser football team when the coaching change was made". I think this staff and all their supporters need to really look at the numbers! They don't lie. It's not personal at all. I understand that you want your job, but 5 wins in 3 seasons is terrible! To hell with healthcare, we need to write our Senators and Representative about state employees being able to perform like this and still have a job! Look at the NUMBERS and be honest with yourself (even if you're a current coach)!!!


Article Comment all ears commented at 11/9/2009 9:05:00 AM:

Fraud, I will say it again loud and clear. YOU ARE A BRILLIANT!! You speak the truth. I am so tired of people selling these young people short. These are coach's trying to save their jobs. I won't buy it and I know the public isn't either. Reality check is hard to accept. That is what this is. They are scared knowing their job is on the line. That is why they are here trying to save face. UNACCEPTABLE COACHING!!! Can you hear me.


Article Comment yroveragain commented at 11/9/2009 9:14:00 AM:

3-8 that means they got no better. I am blown away by the tolarence of this school sytem. We are still in the dark ages when it comes to accountability!


Article Comment Anthony Jones commented at 11/9/2009 9:58:00 AM:

How can you hold someone accountable when they do not have to be. These people were hand pick by Del Phillips, their job ARE NOT on the line. "Hitler" would die first before admitting he made a mistake. Any man that stands under the goal line to watch a footaball game has some serious issues and the sad thing is he is over Columbus children. I don't know if you all remember this, but this is the same man that stood on the side line breathing down Coach Jones' neck he and our Mayor. Then he walked up and down the side line when Bubba Gump got here. No one loves the game that much.


Article Comment Matt commented at 11/9/2009 10:03:00 AM:

We need some new younger coaches in the mix. Our current coach is far past his prime and children respect a coach that can get out there and show them how to do things not just try to explain it. If we get a coach that will change our style of offense maybe someone that has played atleast some college football in the past 10 years we will be headed in the right direction. It takes alot of hands on teaching at the highschool level especially when the team is so young and davis just does not have that. I really doubt that we will see the same coaches next year but if we do I am sure it will be more of the same "old school" offense that just won't work anymore.


Article Comment Have Mercy commented at 11/9/2009 12:12:00 PM:

Perhaps many of the posters were in a hurry when they wrote their responses - OR - they need to quit worrying about the football team and hope that the young people graduate with a better grasp of the English language than the majority of people who have written on this thread. Made me want to pull out the red pen...


Article Comment FRAUDS commented at 11/9/2009 12:59:00 PM:

Have Mercy,
Whut duz eenglish skillz hav 2 due with tha futbal coachz needin two be fired?

If you can make out what I'm trying to say above, then your post about mastery of the English language is irrelevant. Pull out the red pen all you want to!! The coaches are FRAUDS and action must be taken!


Article Comment Marco Baker commented at 11/9/2009 1:07:00 PM:

Everyone has made valid points, coaching is sub-par, players need to execute and the community deserves better. If you haven't notice my last name is Baker, Damien (#2) is my little cousin. I will start with him first, HE MUST TAKE CARE OF THE BALL! I was not able to make it to Columbus for the game(work) but I heard he made a costly fumble. I have stressed that with him before, take care of the ball. I do not sugar coat anything with him, if we do not have constructive criticism for him, he will never get better. I adivse anyone with a player on the team to support him, push him and tell him when he do something right and definitly when he messes up. I am not on here to bash my little cousin because he is doing good, just got to hold on to the ball. If your family member is the QB tell him to tighten up, if he is the RB tell him to hold on to the ball and run hard, if he is the WR catch the ball block down field, O-line block, D-line plug the holes, LB knock the crap out of someone, DB cover and hit. Tell it to them preach to them. Thats the first step in getting US CHS on the right track.


Article Comment heardenough commented at 11/9/2009 1:10:00 PM:

Matt, you you are much brighter then your one syllable name. You brought up the same very pt we were stating at the game. To old, to worn out. Just cashing a check. He can just say fire me, I will just retire anyway. The offense is as old and generic as the coaching staff looks. The defense, well need I say more. The dicsipline, I will yell at you and yell at you until I have to take another bood pressure pill. Wake up and smell the coffee. This staff needs to hit the old dirt road.


Article Comment all ears commented at 11/9/2009 1:18:00 PM:

Marco baker u are right. All of that helps. But, we are not the professionals getting paid all the big bucks with them 15hrs a weeek. Tell bubba gump. He is the one with his experienced coaching staff that has had 2yrs to work on this. If the same thing keeps happening it all goes back to the know it all coaching staff. COACHES PUT PLAYERS IN POSITION TO BE SUCESSFUL. THAT IS NOT TAKING PLACE AT CHS. THESE COACHES NEED TO BE THROWN TO THE CURB.


Article Comment FRAUDS commented at 11/9/2009 1:23:00 PM:

Your post has great points, but it shouldn't be your responsibility to coach your cousin up (I understand where you are coming from though). If it's all about the kids taking responsibility for the season and mistakes they made (as some have inferred), why have coaches? Why don't we just pay the players? Think about it....the coaches call the plays and run the team, but shouldn't have to take any ownership of the results? I think your advice for Damien is right on but Damien's fumble didn't cost CHS a playoff spot. Had Damien been on a team with great coaches his fumble wouldn't have mattered because CHS would have secured a playoff spot MUCH earlier in the season. So I respectfully disagree. The first step to getting CHS on the right track is hiring competent coaches!


Article Comment Oldschool4real commented at 11/9/2009 1:27:00 PM:

Lee High Sucks!


Article Comment Marco Baker commented at 11/9/2009 1:45:00 PM:

Now about the coaching. You all are over paid! Most of the fault lie on those shoulders of yours. I am tired of everyone talking about what he did at West Point back in whenever. What have you done for me lately? He took the job thinking that the people would not have high expectations for the program or hoping to stay around long enough and hopefully land back in West Point. If his staff was rebuilding in Pearl they should have stayed and kept on building. I live in the Jackson metro area and Pearl is not Hot. A good coach can make ok teams good and a good coach can make good teams great. I do not belive that No Hope, Caledonia, West Lowndes, Starkville, West Point or even Noxubee have any better talent than COLUMBUS. I have seen Columbus teams beat every team in the GTA before (not in the same yr). We all drink the same water and breath the same air. I tell it to Damien all the time. Trust me, when he hit the field on friday nights, he does not fell inferior or intimidated by no one South Panola , Meridan , anyone. I have seen Columbus come down here and beat NW Rankin in the PLAYOFFS. We have talent, just got to get better coaching. What worked back in the 80s may not work now or you may not have the players for the type of offense or defense you want to execute. We have talent, others fans have said it. What's the problem? We make 100,000+ and got a 3yr contract, guess we will just show up and play the role for 3yrs. I agree with Matt, we need younger coaches that have played college ball in the last 10 yrs. Don't say football is still football. Football 20yrs ago is not the football of 2009. Coaches got to go!


Article Comment BLAMEEVERYONE commented at 11/9/2009 2:01:00 PM:

All the coaches take the blame. Listen I see them prance around the stadium before the game. They are over weight, out of shape, bald, and know no more then you are I. Yes this is not the 80's. We need young, ambitious, energized, confident, compelling young coaches. They have to be willing to put in the extra hours, extra practice, extra effort. This old poop doesn't have any of the above. He bit off more then he can chew this time.


Article Comment MeatWagon commented at 11/9/2009 2:53:00 PM:

FYI: Coach Jones and his team will be playing New Hope (another GTA school blessed with super perfect kids) this Friday in the playoffs....Too bad we fired him after two seasons and a playoff appearance at CHS.


Article Comment Defense of Baker commented at 11/9/2009 3:10:00 PM:

I am not going to bash the coaches, but Marco Baker, as someone that has watched every down of CHS football, I can not let you or anyone else blame Damien Baker. He was asked to carry this team's offense by himself this year. No back, wheather you look at other high schools, colleges, or pros, is asked to carry the ball the entire game. He is human, and his legs and arms get tired. No matter who the the coach is at CHS, he has to make sure that other kids are ready, we have too many players on the side line to not give him ample rest. You guys can continue to say whatever it you like about the adults, but when you start naming player, you need to know the facts, related or not. Damien, is a warrior, and you need to tell him GREAT JOB, because without him, we would have been 0 -10, and all the games would have been blow outs!!!!


Article Comment Bill Joy commented at 11/9/2009 3:35:00 PM:

I know football is over seems like the same things is taking place in basketball. I think we need to let mini meat go with that old style of basketball. To lose to William Sullivan that way was pitful


Article Comment Matt commented at 11/9/2009 3:46:00 PM:

If we would give some younger guys a chance at turning this program around I think it would be really good for the school and for the kids. With the players that CHS has there should be no reason that we shouldn't win atleast 6 games every year. The buck must stop with the head coach because he is not taking input from the younger coaches he does have and I know this to be a fact. I watched a game in which chs had a 6-5 receiver one on one with a 5-7 db every play and was only thrown to twice. You can't pass if you can't run and you can't run if you can't pass. I went to the first game of the season we won in overtime but I have not witnessed a more boring game in my life.


Article Comment noonespecial commented at 11/9/2009 3:57:00 PM:

You know if we are going to compare apples to apples, lets compare them. And since COACHING SALARIES are public knowledge, lets everyone get your facts right. Looking back on the article that a few are referring to and not quoting effectively, or maybe they just have a poor memory. The highest payed coach in our area is the Head Football Coach at Starkville. Making around 90,000.00. and I did say 90,000.00 so that means if he is the highest, then in no way of fashion is Bubba Davis making more than him. And as to the 3 YEAR contract, there is no such thing in Mississippi in Education except for Superintendents. Supes are the only ones by LAW that can have multi-year deals. If that helps any.

And in another quote, someone made a statment that Columbus had made the playoffs multiple times under many various coaches, but truely Columbus has only made the playoffs under Mcrory (twice), and Funk (Once or Twice). These are the only playoff appearances since consolidaiton. If we are going to talk facts.

Again, I have said this before. We have to be behind the kids. They were up 28 to 14 in the fourth quarter. They had to be doing something right up until that point. Was it bad coaching that got them a 28 to 14 lead in the 4th. I think not. But the fact is the kids played their hearts out and just haven't quit figured out how to close teams out. This is very common among teams having to play such young players. I still say that the future is very bright for Columbus Football. People must quit bringing them down with all this mess. How about a positive attitude and getting behind the kids for once.


Article Comment sometimes the truth hurts commented at 11/9/2009 4:13:00 PM:

Well said noonespecial...the truth is the truth. People need to get their facts straight before running their mouths about things they are clueless about. Openureyes - you are very correct as well. Coaches are the backbone of the team, however, the players have to take some responsibility. They can't go out in the world always blaming someone else and that is exactly what you neigh sayers are teaching them!


Article Comment goingnowhere commented at 11/9/2009 4:14:00 PM:

Strenth and condioning that is why we lost in the fourth Quarter. We don't have it! Coach doesn't do good enough job. Who is the strenth and conditioning coach anyway? Obviously he should be FIRED!!!!!!


Article Comment Holdup commented at 11/9/2009 5:45:00 PM:

Yes it is true Bill Lee makes 90,000 dollars a year but he is also the A.D. All Bubba Gump does all day is parking lot patrol in the mornings after that he is a ghost. Lee did not have the advantage Gump has, a blank check from his employer. $750, 0000 dollars was pumped into Gump's football program. Lee don't even have a fieldhouse. Not to mention 2 trucks, 15 coaches, 40,000 trees around his field, New state of the art speakers, a stand so someone can video his games, the support of the Mayor in the end zone, the luxury of manipulating players ISD and OSS time so they still can play on Friday night and they even start. Oh I guess no one saw the signs that go doen Falcon Drive and all over the pressbox? As far as law is concern since when Columbus abide by that. Ask some of the people they have fired for no violate reason. Or the old textbooks that they are teaching out of, you do know that it is against the law don't you? What about macing students because they do not want to give up their hat or because they are standing in the hallway and you want to talk about law. You need to have a student at CHS. Not to mention the teacher that is still over children and she likes little boys. Law ha, ha you got jokes. Watch I got a thousand dollars right now I bet you Bubba Davis will be back unless he quits on his own. That 3 years is in stone and you can take that to the bank.


Article Comment Sue Davidson commented at 11/9/2009 5:56:00 PM:

Basketball is a joke neither team will make it out of district. The 1960's coaching for the boys is outdated. That's why Greg and the Starkville Yellowjackets is always beating Columbus and moving deeper into the playoffs. Someone needs to tell the girls coach that favoritism and stomping and yelling don't win ball games. That's why the girls will never be successful. Can't leave baseballl out when was the last time you guys won a district game? Columbus High Sports Programs needs a complete overhaul. Starting with footabll, baseball and basketball these are your top money makers. People are going to stop coming to the games and then where you be?


Article Comment we need to stop this commented at 11/9/2009 6:55:00 PM:

As citizens of Columbus we need to stand up and put a stop to this. First we need to start with the school board. They need to be elected not appointed. Then we need to move on to Phillps, he needs to be elected by the people. He is the highest paid supe in the state(over $160,000) and has done nothing but make things look like all things are going good, which they are not(just look at the test scores). I used to teach at CHS and he and Mr. Shannon drove me out. I have moved on with my life but I will never forgive them both for taking me away from the students that I loved and cared deeply for. Yes, I am jaded but at least I am honest. We need to make it so the people who are in charge of our schools are elected not appointed. Then we will have no one to blame but ourselves.Please someone out there stand up and lets work to have these school officals elected.

As for the football team, Coach Jones was a great coach and he was pushed out just like me. And by the way his last season he coached them to a 6-5 record, but he never made the playoffs. I should know I helped with the football team that year. The students at CHS don't know how to win, its sad but the truth. Don't know if that will ever change.


Article Comment FRAUDS commented at 11/10/2009 3:02:00 AM:

noonespecial, you are correct. Coach Jones didn't make the playoffs.... I just assumed that a 6-5 record surely got our team into the playoffs if we had a chance to make the playoffs with a 4-7 record this year. Forgive me. But please agree that this coaching staff is the worst staff in CHS history since McCrory and his staff took over. Again, the numbers don't lie!


Article Comment Bill Joy commented at 11/10/2009 9:22:00 AM:

I see alot of talk about strength and conditioning. Perhaps CHS coaches should consider
bring on Mr. Tony Phinsey who I think is the best around in strength and conditioning, etc...
may if they look into what he has to offer and bring him aboard this will help. At this time the need all the help they can get.

Also we must reall do something about our B-Ball programs, and Truly must get to the buttom of educating our Children so they want be left in the dust.


Article Comment Parent commented at 11/10/2009 10:04:00 AM:

Guys, We have blamed the Coaches, we have blamed the kids, what about the parents. We are allowing our kids to show up high before games, we are not making our kids respect their teachers. We are allowing them to roam the streets at all times of the night. Where does our responsibility lies when it comes to us. We have to take some accountability. There is only so much a coach can do. I do love the fact that commercial dispatch is allowing this forum for open debate, thank you. But, let us not forget, at the end of the day, the buck stops at home.


Article Comment Defense of Baker commented at 11/10/2009 10:12:00 AM:

Marco baker, I give you a big pat on the back. You must be the best cousin in the world. Now get real and stop lieing to yourself, because you are not fooling anyone on here. You may talk to Damien, but come on now, you can't be there all the time. You are just one of these band wagon relatives that show up once the lights come on. If he makes it, you will tell everyone that it is because of you. Well the truth is, if J Rock makes it, it will be because he has a fire in his eyes, that I have seen since he played pee wee ball. Has a heart the size of a watermelon, the desire to be the best he can be. You can tell people you are related, but please do not try to take any of the credit, that goes to God, his mom, and him!!!!


Article Comment right right right commented at 11/10/2009 10:41:00 AM:

YOU ARE SOOOOOO RIGHT PARENT AND DEFENSE OF BAKER!!! These parents and children have to take some responsibility!! Not everything is going to be handed to them on silver platters all of their lives! Quit blaming the coaches and look in the mirror! Maybe if some of these kids had some home training, were taught at birth what a team really was, and that everything in life must be worked for, then things may would be different for CHS! The number one goal needs to be for these children to graduate and get a good education/job and stay off welfare!! If some of you put your time and effort on the above, then you wouldn't have so much time on your hands to argue over football!


Article Comment FRAUDS commented at 11/10/2009 12:42:00 PM:

right right right you are so WRONG WRON WRONG!Again you are attempting to shift the attention/blame onto someone else! The parents are not responsible for building a winning program at CHS. For everyone who wants to blame the players, parents, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, custodians, door knobs, and everything else, I BEG you to figure out how all the other programs in our area are so successful! Don't those parents face the same challenges with their kids? Don't the New Hope kids hang out in Columbus? I'm sure they watch the same television programs, patronize the same hangouts, and deal with the same teenage issues our kids deal with! The more we try to bring other factors into the equation, the more we fool ourselves into believing that this coaching staff is worth the money we pay them. If the parents are the primary reason our program is in shambles, maybe we should start paying them to create a Brady Bunch environment at home so that our football team can compete. Face it, coaches are paid to win! Stop making excuses!


Article Comment Marco Baker commented at 11/10/2009 7:17:00 PM:

Defense of Baker, this will be the last time I address you. Thanks for the pat on the back, that means alot coming from you. I never said that I am there all the time. I said I call (call meaning dail #'s on a phone)him and talk to him. You my friend said you have watch every down of CHS football this season. You are there all the time not me. I do not live in Columbus anymore so of course you will mainly see me when the lights come on and at hoilday time. Band wagon get for real. He is just one of many little cousins I support.I have a couple into B-ball and one doing all three sports. I talk to them all and give them adivce. They may play on a Saturday at Southside church or on Friday night, if I'm in town I'm there. Band wagon relatives WE ARE NOT. Credit don't want or need it. GOD gets all the credit. I will be home Nov. 25, we should meet. Email [email protected]


Article Comment Matt commented at 11/11/2009 9:44:00 AM:

If I were the coach and a player showed up to a game or practice high he would be off the team. Sports is about discipline even if the children aren't receiving it anywhere else. It should be like the military in that aspect. Sports are supposed to build strong character but we have coaches that let the players do whatever because they have some talent. The whole coaching atmosphere has to change at columbus.


Article Comment joseph howard commented at 11/11/2009 8:00:00 PM:

listen people of columbus we over here in starkville have had enough of bill lee as well.the only thing he has done is tear down our program,how can you be a head coach and never be at most practices? the kids at starkville high don' wanna play for him and parents that support the jackets are ready for him to go.


Article Comment Letsmakeadeal commented at 11/11/2009 10:09:00 PM:

Hey Jacket fans wanta trade Bill Lee for Bubba Gump and for a parting gift you get Dr.Phil


Article Comment Sam Johnson commented at 11/11/2009 10:17:00 PM:

The kids that are showing up to practice high are the ones Phil tell the coach to make sure they stay on the field the whole game. They play on both sides of the ball. These are also the same ones that ISD time and OSS time is fixed so they can play on Friday nights. Discipline has to start in the fieldhouse with the coach and superintendent since he is the Co-head coach. Hey Phil why don't you scrap the sports program and focus on academics, maybe you can do that right.


Article Comment Bill Joy commented at 11/12/2009 4:04:00 PM:

You are so Sam Johnson.Scrap all the programs you got problems in all of them Our basketball team lost Tuesday night to West Lowndes a 2A program because of the coaching not the kids but the coaching, so jackets fans we could offer you a bonus for the trade take Sammy (mini meat) Smith along with Bubba Gump,Phil and Smith all for lee deal


Article Comment Tom Williams commented at 11/12/2009 8:53:00 PM:

Bill I am with you. You know that the basketball team lost against William Sullivan another 2A team. This is going to be a long year.


Article Comment Louis Moore commented at 11/12/2009 8:59:00 PM:

Joe we really need Carlise too for our baseball program, that's another losing program.


Article Comment Action commented at 11/13/2009 7:40:00 PM:

To show you how much Dr. Phil care about the kids of COlumubus I am at a basketball game and one of the players got hurt, guess what there is NO TRAINER AVAILABLE! That is sad. I am calling Jackson on Monday and report this.


Article Comment Realist commented at 11/13/2009 7:47:00 PM:

I don't think there is a requirement for a trainer to be at every event.

At one of the away football games, there was no trainer. I do agree that it is a good idea to have one, though.


Article Comment Realist commented at 11/13/2009 7:49:00 PM:

I hope the athlete wasn't hurt too badly.

What was the injury?


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