With high school football reaching playoff mode, and basketball and soccer starting this week, we have reached the transition stage of the 2020-21 sports season.
With transition comes a look back as well as a glimpse of what lies ahead for sports fans.
Prep football playoffs begin ... for some
The 2020 gridiron season came to an end for four Daily Corinthian coverage area teams last week. Tishomingo County, Alcorn Central, Thrasher and McNairy Central have hung up the helmets and cleats, at least until spring practice.
That is if COVID dwindles and there is a spring practice.
The Braves were the only one of the quartet to conclude their season with a win by pitching a 47-0 shut out at Potts Camp. The Rebels may be the first team in Mississippi football history to fall out of the playoffs without actually playing themselves out. Coach Jason Allen’s squad was forced to forfeit their final two games due to COVID when they discovered a player had tested positive for the virus at 3:15 p.m. last Friday, less than four hours before their scheduled home kickoff against Ashland. A win over the Blue Devils could have earned Thrasher a playoff berth, although in a likely tiebreaker with the Blue Devils.
Biggersville has already captured the Division 1-1A title, their second in a row, while Baldwyn and Myrtle occupy spots two and three.
As for Kossuth, the Aggies snapped a six-game losing streak by winning their final two games against Belmont and Alcorn Central to earn the No. 4 seed in Division 1-3A and a road playoff contest at Winona this Friday. Booneville finished second in the region with their win at Nettleton and will receive a first round bye due to Region 3-3A having only two teams finish the season after three of the five division squads either opted out of the season or ended their season after just one game.
Corinth is the talk of north Mississippi football this week. Actually, North Pontotoc is the team being talked about following the Vikings shocking 49-46 win at Warrior Stadium II that meant nothing to either team’s playoff positions. The Tribe won the Division 1-4A championship a week before while the Vikings had already wrapped up the No. 4 seed from Region 1.
It was the fashion in which NPHS won the game that most are talking about. Corinth’s defense was sliced and diced for 634 yards and seven touchdowns. Of the five possessions the Vikings didn’t score they punted three times, just once in the first half, and had a pair of passes intercepted.
The Warriors surrendered four scoring plays of 50 yards or longer in addition to allowing North Pontotoc quarterback Reece Kentner enough time, on 4th-and-12 with 16 seconds remaining, to scramble free and find wide receiver Kaden Wilson for a dramatic 17-yard TD catch in the back of the end zone that sealed the deal.
Walnut capped a 7-2 regular season with a 15-point home victory over Mantachie and will be in action this Friday in the first round of the MHSAA playoffs.
In addition to the Kossuth/Winona playoff game this week, Walnut will host MS Palmer at 7 between the hedges at Wildcat Stadium.
The remaining playoff teams have a two week wait before taking the field for postseason play. That includes defending 4A state champion Corinth.
The Warriors will host West Lauderdale next Friday, Nov. 13 while Booneville will get the winner of the first round matchup between Byhalia and Noxubee County the same night. That contest will be a BHS road game.
Biggersville, by virtue of winning the Division 1-1A title, will host West Lowndes on Nov. 13 in a first round game.
Should Kossuth defeat Byhalia they would face the winner of the Senatobia/Houston first round contest while Walnut would draw the winner of the East Webster/Pelahatchie first round game.
Good luck to all area teams in the playoffs.
It’s hardwood time
Unless COVID says different, the 2020-21 hoops regular season begins this week as Alcorn Central takes the court first.
Hang on, check that. New Site and Belmont actually were the first teams to play a regular season game. That happened last Thursday at New Site as the Royals handled Belmont.
As for the remaining area teams most do not play until next week, with the exception of the Golden Bears. Both AC squads will be in action for their regular season opener Tuesday as they travel to Blue Mountain. Then Friday they will play their home openers by hosting Tremont.
Corinth will open at Kossuth next Tuesday while Tishomingo County opens at Saltillo. Walnut is scheduled to open that night at Wheeler and Alcorn Central will host East Union.
Biggersville will open the regular season on Nov. 24 at Alcorn Central.
Why the delayed start for the Lions? It has a little something to do with a deep run in the state football playoffs. Biggersville plans to be in the state 1A championship game on Dec. 4 and most of the basketball team is playing football currently, so that season opener may be delayed a bit longer.
More cross country state titles
The Kossuth Lady Aggies captured their second cross country state championship Saturday in Clinton, while Corinth swept the 4A titles on Tuesday, giving Alcorn County three more state championships.
More on the Aggies and Warriors title wins is upcoming.