McKee: USM, MSU to battle on the gridiron again
by Dale McKee
Aug 14, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I recently had the honor of attending the 2017 Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies and found time over that weekend to tour the Hall. It is such a great place to visit for a true sports fan. The HoF prominently displays Jones County Junior College's memorabilia, including items from the Rose Bowl game as well as from various national championships in both football and basketball. It also features a Sanderson Farms Golf Tournament display.

Notable past athletes from the area who are enshrined in the HoF include the likes of track star Ralph Boston, Laurel coach Buck Cameron and his tennis star son (Mack), the great golfer Spec Wilson, football standout Hal Easterwood, sportswriter Carl Walters, baseball great Fred Walters, and football player Bobby Collins. Bay Springs native Hill Denson and Waynesboro’s Claude Passeau, both outstanding baseball players, are also residents of the HoF. Two past greats that I knew little about were Ellisville native Buddy Meyer and Moselle great Thurman Blacklidge. While in college Meyer hit the first grand slam in Mississippi State baseball history and went on to be a major league all-star who played with both Washington and Boston. His story is a great read. Blacklidge, a star basketball player at JCJC (1937-1939) and also an All-American at Delta State in 1941, was the first Mississippian to be awarded an All-American jacket.

Bulldogs vs. Golden Eagles

Mississippi State and USM will meet on the gridiron again. The schools agreed to meet twice in Starkville (2019 and 2023) and once in Hattiesburg (2024). The all-time series is tied at 14-14-1. MSU won the last game in Hattiesburg, 34-16, in 2015. The schools will meet on the hard-court and on the baseball diamond this school year. The hoopsters clash is on December 23 in Jackson. The baseball teams will meet in Hattiesburg in a three-game series February 16-18, 2018, at Pete Taylor Park. They will also meet in their annual baseball contest at Trustmark Park in Pearl.

JCJC football is almost here

The JCJC Bobcats will travel to Scooba on August 31 to open their 2017 season. Second year head coach Steve Buckley returns 25 sophomores from last year's 6-3 club. JCJC won a 27-25 thriller over East Mississippi in 2016. It was the Lions' only loss of the season. East Mississippi is ranked first in College Football America.

Dozier shines

Former USM baseball star Brian Dozier hit his first grand slam of his career last week. The Fulton native has hit at least 20 home runs in each of the past four years.

San Diego’s Hunter Renfroe (MSU) and McComb native Corey Dickerson (Tampa Bay) have both hit over 20 home runs this season.

Billy Hamilton entered the week with a dozen doubles and nine triples. He is also on pace to break his own personal stolen base mark of 58 this year.

Ole Miss will appear before the NCAA on September 11. Ole Miss is charged with 21 rules violations, including 15 Level 1 violations, which are the most serious. The charges include academic, booster and recruiting misconduct. Ole Miss got a little good news when a Federal Judge dismissed the Houston Nutt lawsuit against the school.

Special People

I would like to wish my grandson Cayson Miles McKee, who turned one on August 15, a happy birthday. Also, I want to wish my wife a happy 37th anniversary on Wednesday.

Contact Dale at
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