Hometown Rankin - August & Semptember 2017

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volume 4 number 4<br />

august <strong>2017</strong><br />

Friday Night Lights!

2 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 3

4 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>


Tahya A. Dobbs<br />

CFO<br />

Kevin W. Dobbs<br />


Mary Ann Kirby<br />


Dacia Durr Amis<br />


Camille Anding<br />

Samuel Collum<br />

Alex Foust<br />

Mary Ann Kirby<br />

Susan Marquez<br />

Melanie McMillan<br />

Leah Mitchener<br />

Nick Wallace<br />


Othel Anding<br />



Alisha Floyd<br />

Brenda McCall<br />


Daniel Thomas - 3dt<br />


Leah Mitchener<br />

• • •<br />

Teamwork! That will be the resounding theme on football fields over<br />

the coming days. The countdown is on for high school Friday nights,<br />

marching bands and rivalries, plus game days all across college campuses.<br />

This <strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> issue offers a kick-off of our own for the<br />

upcoming season on the gridiron. If you had been able to stand on our<br />

sidelines, you would have seen the incredible teamwork and dedication<br />

required to prepare this giant 172-page issue. Our editorial team, sales<br />

team, design team, and administrative support team have all stepped up<br />

their games to make this issue a reality. I can’t go another step without<br />

acknowledging them and thanking them for their commitment to the<br />

process. It’s a BIG WIN!<br />

Check out every page to see lots of fans and players you’ll recognize.<br />

Pay close attention to the colorful ads and to those businesses and<br />

supporters who help make <strong>Rankin</strong> County the winning place it is to<br />

live and raise a family.<br />

And thank you, to everyone, for your continued support of<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> Magazine! We’re excited to be a part of your wins, too.<br />

Have a great season!<br />

www.facebook.com<br />

/hometownrankinmagazine<br />

For subscription information<br />

visit www.htmags.com<br />

Contact us at info@HTMags.com<br />

601.706.4059<br />

26 Eastgate Drive, Suite F<br />

Brandon MS 39042<br />

• • •<br />

All rights reserved. No portion of <strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong><br />

may be reproduced without written permission from<br />

the publisher. The management of <strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong><br />

is not responsible for opinions expressed by its<br />

writers or editors. <strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> maintains the<br />

unrestricted right to edit or refuse all submitted<br />

material. All advertisements are subject to approval by<br />

the publisher. The production of <strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong><br />

is funded by advertising.<br />

In this issue Let’s Read <strong>Rankin</strong> 10<br />

Young Writers’ Conference 17<br />

The Vision of Georgia Blue 24<br />

Changing Lives at Delta Streets 50<br />

The Falling Season 58<br />

Raw Talent 62<br />

Friday Night Lights 67<br />

The Fraternity That is Football 156<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 5

Champions<br />

of Service<br />

In sports, the goal is to be the best.<br />

The same is true for Alfa Insurance®.<br />

We work to make every quote,<br />

claim or call a highlight. That’s why<br />

customers consistently give Alfa®<br />

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car and life insurance.<br />

Auto Home Life<br />

www.AlfaInsurance.com<br />

Call Alfa®. The best agents in the business.<br />

Jerry Brewer<br />

5412 Lakeland Drive, Ste. 1A<br />

Flowood, MS 39232<br />

(601) 992-3013<br />

jbrewer@alfains.com<br />

AO16<br />

6 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 7

8 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Shop local.<br />

Save local.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 9

10 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Let , s Read <strong>Rankin</strong><br />

A Girl’s Guide to Literacy<br />

Leah Mitchner<br />

A good book enthralls you. It allows you to<br />

climb aboard the weathered ship of a<br />

swash-buckling pirate, crack the case of a<br />

mysterious crime spree, or meet magical<br />

creatures and head off for adventures in a<br />

distant land. More than anything else though,<br />

it helps you become a better person. Scientific<br />

studies have proven that reading increases<br />

intelligence, boosts brain power, relaxes you,<br />

helps fight off Alzheimers, and even makes you<br />

more empathetic toward your fellow man.<br />

That is what inspired Amanda Roberts to start<br />

her own literacy and reading initiative called<br />

Let’s Read <strong>Rankin</strong>!<br />

Having always been an avid reader, Amanda<br />

grew up with the mindset that she wouldn’t be<br />

able to pick a favorite book until she had read<br />

them all, just so she could be confident that she<br />

was making an informed decision. The joy of<br />

reading was always readily available to her, but<br />

she noticed that wasn’t the case for several of<br />

her classmates in Florence. While Amanda<br />

saved up all of her money from doing chores<br />

around the house to spend at Scholastic book<br />

fairs, she saw other kids looking on longingly<br />

and leaving empty-handed. That didn’t sit well<br />

with her, so she decided that she was going to<br />

start hosting her own book fairs so that every<br />

kid could walk away with books to enjoy.<br />

With the help of her mother and many<br />

generous donors, Amanda collected used<br />

books and monetary donations through the use<br />

of drop-off locations and a Go Fund Me<br />

fundraiser. 100% of the money donated to her<br />

fundraiser was used to purchase hundreds of<br />

books at her local Goodwill store and other<br />

booksellers. “When we’d get to the checkout<br />

counter the cashiers would be amazed that they<br />

were going to have to check out almost 300<br />

books.”<br />

After sorting all of the books by reading<br />

level, Amanda arranged with local schools to<br />

host a free book fair for kindergarten through<br />

second grade classes. In addition to distributing<br />

two books to every single child, Amanda gave<br />

pep talks to the young students about how<br />

exciting reading can be and encouraged them<br />

to go home and really dive into their new<br />

stories. “It’s really fun when the kids come up<br />

to me and they know exactly what they want<br />

and ask if I can help them find it. Each kid gets<br />

to write their name in their book with a marker<br />

so they know that it’s their book and no one<br />

else’s,” she said. “It makes me hopeful that they<br />

are going to be readers in the future. I just want<br />

to encourage them to love reading because it’s<br />

becoming less and less popular of an activity.”<br />

Amanda sends the kids off with their new<br />

books and a bookmark emblazoned with the<br />

motto “Learn to Read. It can open doors to the<br />

world, take you on amazing adventures, and<br />

introduce you to many new and incredible<br />

things. If you can read, you can achieve any<br />

dream.”<br />

To date, she has hosted three separate book<br />

fairs and distributed somewhere in the<br />

neighborhood of 2,500 books to eager little<br />

readers. As Amanda heads into her junior year<br />

of high school at Jackson Prep, she hopes to<br />

continue this project for as long as she can<br />

sustain it saying, “I’ve been thinking about<br />

asking some underclassmen to help me out,<br />

and when I graduate they can take over.” If<br />

there are any students as excited to read as<br />

Amanda always has been, there’s no doubt she<br />

will find some willing helpers to take the reins.<br />

Through the spirit of giving and the desire<br />

to share the goodness of literature, Amanda<br />

Roberts has made a difference in these kid’s<br />

lives. “That is the greatest thing,” Amanda said,<br />

“giving a gift to these children; a lot of whom<br />

don’t usually get to have these gifts. It is just<br />

amazing the way they give their appreciation to<br />

you. You don’t see smiles on people’s faces like<br />

that every day. I’ve had kids come up and hug<br />

me and say, ‘Thank you so much!’ and it just<br />

feels great. That’s what encourages me when<br />

I’m sitting in my house organizing books for<br />

hours at a time.”<br />

______________________________________<br />

To contribute to Amanda’s Let’s Read <strong>Rankin</strong> initiative,<br />

please consider making a monetary donation to her<br />

Go Fund Me page at gofundme.com/lets-read-rankinfree-book-fairs<br />

or donate your gently used children’s<br />

books. You can also follow her on Facebook at<br />

LetsRead<strong>Rankin</strong>.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 11

12 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 13

Call us to schedule<br />

your next visit.<br />

(601) 825-3368<br />

Sarah Langston, DMD<br />

14 Woodgate Drive<br />

Brandon, Mississippi 39042<br />

14 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 15

16 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

<strong>Rankin</strong> County School District<br />

Young Writers’ Conference<br />

June 19-23<br />

The <strong>Rankin</strong> County School District held a conference this summer for emerging writers. Upcoming eighth<br />

graders were nominated by their home schools to participate in the conference. Throughout the week,<br />

students worked on their own individual pieces of writing, received feedback from other students, and also<br />

heard from various publishers, and young writers. Special guests included author John Floyd, publisher Tahya<br />

Dobbs, author Janet Ferguson, and the "Northwestern Newspaper" staff. The students also submitted one of<br />

their best pieces of writing. two of which would be selected and published in the <strong>August</strong>/September issue of<br />

"<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong>."<br />

Students who participated include: Samuel Collum, Aidan Adams, Eliza Buie, Miles Warfel, Kaitlyn White,<br />

Megan Berry, Sydney Collum, Nicolas Parker, Reece Gibson, Madelyn Craig, Ben Burkhalter, Vaibhavi<br />

Mahajan, Gabby Fielding, ali Peters, Lauren Seymour, Nick Wallace, Abygail Owen, Cait Waddell,<br />

Zack Templeton, Ariel Hinton, Grace Carpenter and Elizabeth Jackson.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 17

The<br />

L0ve of<br />

a Child<br />


Anthony sat at his plain wooden desk at 4:57pm. He wasn’t even<br />

sure what day of the week it was. They all blended together. Two<br />

minutes and 35, 34, 33 seconds until he would walk out of his<br />

manila cubicle, down the hall, and clock out; just as he had done<br />

five days a week for the past two years. He would get in<br />

his gray Honda car. He would drive six and a half miles to his<br />

“luxurious” neighborhood.<br />

Anthony walked down the gray stone path to his front door.<br />

He thought about “why.” Why does he even live? His life was<br />

meaningless. When he opened the tall, heavy door, he was<br />

snapped out of his monotonous trance. The smell of<br />

cookies instantly filled his brain, but he forgot<br />

about that when he remembered the<br />

things he would have to do<br />

tomorrow in the manila<br />

cage where he had spent<br />

most of his adult life.<br />

He made a beeline to the<br />

bedroom. “Why?” he thought<br />

again. He looked down at his legs.<br />

That was the answer to his question. Latched<br />

around his bottom half was his reason for living. Staring<br />

up at him was a six-year-old boy. The piercing blue eyes,<br />

as deep as the ocean, showed him what his life meant.<br />

Anthony was everything to this little boy. This little<br />

boy was everything to him.<br />

“You want a cookie, Daddy?” the little boy asked.<br />

“Of course,” Anthony replied.<br />

18 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Ode to Pizza<br />


O, dear pizza,<br />

The way your crisp, golden crust matches your long, stringy white cheese,<br />

only to be hiding that thick, red tomato sauce.<br />

O, the way you stare at me with your wide, beady red eyes (pepperonis) sends me into a deep state of joy.<br />

O, how I enjoy your brown freckles (sausages), placed so elegantly across your magnificent face,<br />

Like flowers placed upon the meadow.<br />

O, how your heat melts not only your cheese, but also my heart.<br />

The way you bare such a beauty must be unimaginably strenuous.<br />

Why, pizza slice, must you leave me so soon?<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 19

20 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>



©2014 Ergon, Inc. All rights reserved.<br />

ergon.com<br />

808 LAKE HARBOUR DRIVE // RIDGELAND // 601.856.0789<br />


©2016 BUFFALO WILD WINGS, INC. BWW2016-4063<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 21

: architects<br />

: engineers<br />

: interior design<br />

J. Guadalupe Arellano, AIA<br />

Principal Architect<br />

118 Service Drive, Suite 9<br />

Brandon, Mississippi<br />

601.829.6915<br />

jarellano@pryor-morrow.com<br />

pryormorrow.com<br />

22 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong><br />

READER<br />


Mandi<br />

Arinder<br />

Why did you decide to make <strong>Rankin</strong> County<br />

your home?<br />

My husband and I chose to move to <strong>Rankin</strong> County<br />

to be near family.<br />

How long have you lived in <strong>Rankin</strong> County?<br />

I was born in <strong>Rankin</strong> County and moved back<br />

in 2009.<br />

Tell us about your family.<br />

I have been married to Deckie Arinder, a Scott<br />

County native, for almost 16 years. Our sons, Haze,<br />

14, and Haden, 12, always have us on the go.<br />

What is your favorite memory of living in<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> County?<br />

As a little girl, I can remember my Papaw, Cecil<br />

Payne, carrying me to town. He would go in the<br />

gas station and come out with jawbreakers in the<br />

pocket of his shirt. From there, we always made a<br />

stop at Walter’s Automotive and Bryant’s<br />

Hardware. We would get inside and he would let<br />

me peek in his shirt pocket for the candy to pacify<br />

me while he “visited”.<br />

Where are your three favorite places to eat<br />

in <strong>Rankin</strong> County?<br />

There are so many wonderful places to dine here<br />

but a few of my favorites are Georgia Blue for a<br />

house salad with Jen’s Vinaigrette, Kismet’s for<br />

broccoli bites, and blackened redfish from Half<br />

Shell Oyster House.<br />

What are some fun things to do in <strong>Rankin</strong><br />

County on the weekends?<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> County has so much to offer. You can catch<br />

a game at Trustmark Park, enjoy a boat ride on the<br />

reservoir, or shop at the many wonderful retailers<br />

we are so fortunate to have.<br />

Share some things you enjoy doing in your<br />

spare time.<br />

I absolutely love to cook when I have the time.<br />

I enjoy cooking all my boy’s favorites, including<br />

casseroles, appetizers, and desserts.<br />

What are three things on your bucket list?<br />

1. Go to Hawaii<br />

2. Learn to ballroom dance<br />

3. Run a 5K<br />

Who is someone you admire and why?<br />

Carolyn Boteler, president of Tempstaff. From the<br />

moment I met her, I was inspired by her ability to<br />

successfully balance a career and family. Her service<br />

to her church, county, and so many organizations<br />

is absolutely amazing! If I only accomplish a small<br />

portion of everything she has in her career, I will<br />

be happy.<br />

Where do you see yourself ten years<br />

from now?<br />

I hope successfully running the <strong>Rankin</strong> Chamber<br />

and continuing to grow our organization. Our<br />

members inspire me so much, and that makes<br />

coming to work fun and a place you want to be!<br />

What is your favorite childhood memory?<br />

As a child, every year we would go to Mamaw and<br />

Papaw Lee’s for Christmas Eve, as we still do to this<br />

day. I can always remember being so excited about<br />

going and anticipating when the news was going<br />

to track Santa on the weather report. My mama<br />

would tell me get ready and sit me down in front<br />

of the TV. I was always so afraid we weren’t going<br />

to make it home before he arrived at our house!<br />

If you could give us one encouraging quote,<br />

what would it be?<br />

“The most important things in life aren’t things.”<br />

What is your favorite thing about<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> Magazines?<br />

I love that it connects so many people through<br />

photos from different events. Even if you haven’t<br />

seen someone in a long time, you are able to keep<br />

in touch through the <strong>Hometown</strong> publication. n<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 23

TheVision of<br />

Georgia<br />

Blue<br />

Susan Marquez<br />

24 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Out of the mouths<br />

of babes, Georgia<br />

Blue got its name.<br />

“My wife and I were in the<br />

car with our then-four-yearold<br />

daughter,” Jason Ishee<br />

recalled, “and we were<br />

knocking around names for<br />

the new restaurant we were<br />

opening. Suddenly, our<br />

daughter said ‘call it Georgia<br />

Blue!’ Georgia is her name,<br />

and blue is my favorite<br />

color,” Ishee laughed. The<br />

name had a ring to it, and<br />

Georgia Blue opened its first<br />

location in Madison in 2005.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 25

That first location has evolved and<br />

expanded, and then cloned, with locations in<br />

Flowood, Hattiesburg, Brookhaven, and now<br />

coming soon to downtown Brandon. Ishee, a<br />

bear of a man, has put his heart and soul into<br />

growing the GB brand, despite the fact that he<br />

didn’t set out to be in the restaurant business.<br />

Ishee grew up in Hattiesburg and played<br />

football at University of Southern California.<br />

“I had a serious injury and lost my football<br />

scholarship, so I started washing dishes at a<br />

restaurant in California.” He worked his way<br />

up in the restaurant world from dishwasher<br />

to line cook, chef, bartender to owner. “This<br />

business chose me, and 26 years later, my<br />

business partner, Drew Beatty and I live by<br />

the same philosophy, which is to do the small<br />

things better than anyone else and treat people<br />

like family.”<br />

Along the<br />

way, the duo of Ishee<br />

and Beatty have been<br />

attentive to opportunities and used them to<br />

their advantage. When a location in downtown<br />

Brookhaven became available, a Georgia Blue<br />

was opened in an area that had not seen a<br />

restaurant like it. “Jason has great vision,” said<br />

Beatty. “He can see through the dust and mud<br />

and create a masterpiece.” The restaurant is in a<br />

historic downtown building near the railroad<br />

tracks. Because it was the first bar in the area, it<br />

was important to be sensitive in the design.<br />

26 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

“We put the bar in the back, and have it<br />

petitioned off in such a way that it’s not<br />

in-your-face,” explained Ishee. Another<br />

addition to the GB brand is the bakery across<br />

the tracks from the Brookhaven location.<br />

“There is an amazing baker from Brookhaven,<br />

Trey Maddox, who made it his life mission to<br />

learn to bake the very best cheesecake. He ran<br />

our Hattiesburg location for five years before<br />

we put him in charge of the bakery,” said Ishee.<br />

“His cheesecakes are out of this world,” added<br />

Drew. “They are so light it’s like eating air with<br />

flavor.” And what flavor – Maddox makes<br />

banana pudding cheesecakes, red velvet<br />

cheesecakes, turtle cheesecakes and more.<br />

They are made and sold in the Brookhaven<br />

bakery, called GB Bakery, and also sent to the<br />

Georgia Blue restaurants around the state.<br />

Now the GB Bakery experience is coming<br />

to downtown Brandon, along with a new GB<br />

restaurant called Genna Benna. “We named it<br />

after our youngest daughter, Genna,” beamed<br />

Ishee. “I nicknamed her Genna Benna early on<br />

and it stuck. And lucky for us, the initials are<br />

GB, so it fits in perfectly with our brand.” The<br />

new restaurant will be located in the oldest<br />

building in Brandon, with the bakery next door.<br />

“The buildings once housed hardware stores,”<br />

said Ishee. “There were also old jail cells in<br />

there, and we are taking that area and creating a<br />

speakeasy.” The restaurant will be doing a little<br />

of what is done at other Georgia Blue locations,<br />

but the focus at Genna Benna will be on<br />

gourmet burgers and pizza. “Most restaurants<br />

don’t serve both in the same place, so we’re<br />

going to give that a go. We’ll also offer a daily<br />

lunch special.”<br />

The speakeasy will be so discreet it won’t<br />

have a name on the door. Called The Whiskey<br />

Barrel, cut whiskey barrels will form one wall<br />

with lots of copper and wood. There will also<br />

be a second story sky bar.<br />

Ishee and Beatty are hoping to open the<br />

new Brandon location in the first quarter of<br />

2018. The bakery will also serve coffee, the<br />

same as the Brookhaven location. “We actually<br />

bought our own coffee roaster, so we roast our<br />

own beans,” said Beatty. “Soon we’ll be coming<br />

out with K-cups of our coffee for sale.”<br />

On the heels of the Brandon opening, a new<br />

Madison location is set to open in summer 2018.<br />

A free-standing building is planned near the<br />

Baptist Healthplex, just behind the new Marriott<br />

that is being built. “It will be a two-story<br />

building with both a patio area and an upper<br />

deck outdoor area,” explained Ishee. “It will also<br />

have a Whiskey Barrel bar, with the backs of<br />

antique cars forming booths. The balcony will<br />

have a semi-private room, and we will also have<br />

a private room downstairs. The big thing is that<br />

we will have a banquet hall that will serve 250<br />

to 300 people.”<br />

Throughout the company’s expansion,<br />

Ishee and Beatty have been focused on<br />

maintaining their brand’s integrity. “We serve<br />

what people want,” said Beatty. “We feel like<br />

we made country cooking cool again. We are<br />

a made-from-scratch restaurant, and we listen<br />

to our customers. We know that without our<br />

customers, we are nothing.”<br />

Georgia Blue customers are very loyal,<br />

even helping with the décor. “We started<br />

using license plates in our décor in Madison,”<br />

explained Ishee. “It was an idea to honor my<br />

father, who died in a car wreck. He collected<br />

license plates from all over. I used them for<br />

table tops, with polyurethane poured on top.<br />

We had so many plates we decided to craft<br />

them into serving baskets. People started giving<br />

us their old plates, and they told us when the<br />

plates were special to them for some reason.<br />

We have also had people make art objects such<br />

as guitars covered in license plates. People love<br />

to look at the old plates, and now at the art. It’s<br />

a fun thing that has become a signature for us.”<br />

n<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 27


202 North College Street • Brandon, MS<br />

To schedule a tour or to make reservations, call 601.706.4059<br />

28 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>


Deputy Sheila Tucker<br />


Why did you decide to pursue law<br />

enforcement?<br />

I never really thought about being in law enforcement<br />

and one day, in 1989, the police chief of<br />

Pelahatchie, Mississippi, came to me and asked<br />

me about coming to work for him as a dispatcher.<br />

I told him I needed to think about it because I was<br />

pregnant with my youngest child. I discussed it with<br />

my husband and I decided to give it a try. After I got<br />

in it I was hooked on helping people. After I had my<br />

child in February 1990, the chief called me and<br />

asked me to come in and talk with him. He wanted<br />

me to come back as an officer on the street instead<br />

of a dispatcher and that’s exactly what I did.<br />

How long have you been in law<br />

enforcement in <strong>Rankin</strong> County?<br />

I have been a in law enforcement in <strong>Rankin</strong> County<br />

for my whole career. I went through MLEOTA in<br />

Pearl, Mississippi, in 1993 through Pelahatchie PD,<br />

left and went to Pearl PD in 1994 and worked until<br />

November 2000 and then got out of law enforcement<br />

for 8 months. It was in my blood so I had to<br />

get back in. I came to the <strong>Rankin</strong> County Sheriff<br />

Department in July 2001 and been here ever since<br />

because this is finally home for me.<br />

Tell us about your family.<br />

I’m married to Alan Tucker. I have two daughters,<br />

Angie and Brittany, and three grand-daughters,<br />

16, 15, and 7.<br />

What is the toughest thing you have<br />

experienced in your job?<br />

Seeing the children being the victims of sexual and<br />

child abuse. It’s a tough job working these cases but<br />

I work them because I care about our kids and want<br />

to see them get justice.<br />

Share some things you enjoy doing in your<br />

spare time.<br />

Spending time with my family, sitting on the back<br />

porch looking out at my pond, and traveling and<br />

reading.<br />

What are three things on your bucket list?<br />

Travel to Las Vegas, Nevada. Travel to Hawaii, and<br />

fly for the first time.<br />

Who is someone you admire and why?<br />

I actually have two people. Jerry Jones for believing<br />

in me and telling me I could do this. And Sheriff<br />

Bryan Bailey for also believing in me and giving<br />

me the opportunity to advance in my career now<br />

working with children, and for always having my back.<br />

Where do you see yourself ten years<br />

from now?<br />

Retired and enjoying life.<br />

If you could give one piece of advice<br />

to a young person, what would it be?<br />

Be the best that you can be and always feel like you<br />

have someone on your side to keep you safe.<br />

What is a favorite childhood memory?<br />

Going to the Smoky Mountains on a family vacation<br />

and dancing with the Cherokee Indians.<br />

What is the biggest mistake you think<br />

young people make today?<br />

They give in to peer pressure and feel like they<br />

have to join in to belong.<br />

What is your favorite thing about<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> County?<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> County is my home and I love that I can feel<br />

safe because of the awesome Sheriff Bryan Bailey<br />

and the sheriff department that we have protecting<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> County.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 29

Letting Go As They Grow<br />

Mary Ann Kirby<br />

30 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

It’s all happening so fast. Life, that is.<br />

They say, “Don’t blink. Your kids<br />

will be gone before you know it.”<br />

And they’re right. But it didn’t happen<br />

gradually. It just happened one day.<br />

Like, on a Tuesday. And all of a sudden,<br />

everything was just different.<br />

Last year around Thanksgiving, I was<br />

trying to gear myself up for decorating<br />

for the holidays. Christmas was<br />

approaching and everything had been<br />

down from the attic since Halloween,<br />

but I couldn’t muster the spirit to put it<br />

out. Maybe it’s because it was 80-degrees<br />

outside. Maybe, because it was our first<br />

Christmas after tragedy had struck our<br />

extended family back in the summer.<br />

But down deep inside, I knew the real<br />

reason. It’s because my son, my only<br />

child, was getting older. And as ridiculous<br />

as it sounds, I struggle with that.<br />

We pull the same boxes out of the attic<br />

every year. The ones marked “fragile,”<br />

“living room,” “dining room,” and “mantel.”<br />

There’s one marked “Parker” that I<br />

haven’t brought down for eight or nine<br />

years. Long ago, he had his own little tree<br />

in his room but we eventually stopped<br />

using it. He had simply outgrown the<br />

whole notion of it. I just boxed it up with<br />

everything else; the train sets, the picture<br />

books and all the other collectibles that<br />

I can’t bring myself to part with—and<br />

stored it in the attic.<br />

So Thanksgiving night, decorating<br />

night, I simply didn’t have the juice.<br />

As crazy as it sounds, for a brief moment,<br />

I even considered skipping the tree<br />

altogether—but that would have been<br />

wrong—so I decided to put the easy<br />

stuff out first. I put the garland on the<br />

mantel. Put it out, plug it in. Can’t get<br />

any easier than that.<br />

As I stood there in my mood, I stared<br />

at that lifeless pre-lit garland draped<br />

around the fireplace feeling downright<br />

sorry for myself. My baby isn’t a baby<br />

anymore and I’m not ready for what’s<br />

next. It’s gone too fast, I’ve made too<br />

many mistakes, and I needed to re-capture<br />

moments to which I didn’t pay close<br />

enough attention. I wanted to stop the<br />

clock – if only for a moment – just to get<br />

my bearings. But no one can hold time in<br />

their hands that way. (Cue the superdramatic<br />

theme music and hand me a<br />

box of tissue, stat!)<br />

Then it hit me. Why not put all of<br />

my son’s former “little-tree” ornaments<br />

in the garland? All of his little snowman<br />

ornaments and Santa ornaments and<br />

gumdrops and trains. So I sent my<br />

husband up into the attic to retrieve a<br />

thickly dust-covered box that was about<br />

to find new life. Little did I know it<br />

would give me new life, too.<br />

I felt reinvigorated as I started<br />

hanging and tucking those long-hidden<br />

treasures into the greenery. It brought<br />

me joy and helped me re-connect with<br />

memories I realized I wasn’t ready to<br />

permanently relegate to the attic. It<br />

helped me appreciate that everything<br />

would be ok. Seasons change—both<br />

literally and figuratively.<br />

❀ ❀ ❀<br />

As it turns out, parents aren’t the<br />

only ones that struggle with letting go.<br />

Kids have to process it, too. There have<br />

been times when my son has tried to<br />

resist it and has struggled with the<br />

changing dynamic.<br />

At ten-years old he was getting a<br />

bedroom makeover. He was excited with<br />

the idea of a bigger bed, some cool<br />

artwork, and a desk. His “little-boy”<br />

room would soon be a thing of the past.<br />

All was well with the universe until we<br />

started removing things—things he’d<br />

never remembered not having. Light<br />

sabers and action figures and various<br />

stuffed animals and matchbox cars were<br />

now boxed up in containers labeled,<br />

“Donate.” He looked at me at one point<br />

and cried out, “But these are my<br />

memories! It’s a timeline of my whole<br />

life!” He was near tears.<br />

God bless him. I love that kid so<br />

much. He has no idea what I would give<br />

to stop time. I wish we could keep it all<br />

and never let it go. It took all I had<br />

within me not to fall down in a heaping<br />

mess and flail about in a show of<br />

solidarity—but God knew I needed to<br />

be strong in that moment and, by His<br />

grace, I was. Of course the payoff of the<br />

new room was quick to come and my<br />

son was able to recover and move on<br />

pretty swiftly. I guess that’s a guy-thing.<br />

But I’ve never forgotten it. Letting go is<br />

for the birds.<br />

❀ ❀ ❀<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 31


So this summer, the boy is fourteen. To say it’s<br />

been different is an understatement. When only a year<br />

or so ago he’d never dream of spending the night away<br />

from home, this year he tromped off to baseball camp<br />

for an entire week! The only thing he wanted to do<br />

when I picked him up was eat. We hit a local buffet<br />

and he had fried chicken, steak fries, pizza, and a<br />

pancake. It was at that time that he told me about his<br />

time away from home. It very much felt like a forecast<br />

of things to come.<br />

He now stays gone nearly every waking moment—<br />

and I miss him. No one ever said this would be easy.<br />

While I’m looking for ways to connect, he’s trying to<br />

disconnect—and that’s ok, too. He’s right on pace.<br />

It’s just all a part of it, right? But it literally happened<br />

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And I’ve had to learn to evolve. What made sense<br />

when he was four obviously doesn’t work when he’s<br />

fourteen. What worked an hour ago might not work<br />

an hour from now. This is a fast-moving train.<br />

I’m also trying to listen better—because when kids<br />

feel like they can talk to their parents, they feel safe<br />

and supported. Sounds reasonable. Lord help me.<br />

Please pass the parenting handbook . . . and the wine.<br />

They say the hardest part about growing up is<br />

letting go of what we’re used to and moving on with<br />

something we’re not. I’d say that pretty well sums up<br />

parenting, too. But, when it’s all said and done, your<br />

kids will become who you are. So be who you want<br />

them to be. After all, it takes a lot of courage to grow up.<br />

For all of us.<br />

❀ ❀ ❀<br />

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32 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 33

34 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 35

36 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

(L-R): Karen Stockton (Oxford), Robby Carr (Madison),<br />

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<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 37

Jerious Norwood<br />

A <strong>Hometown</strong> Star<br />

Jerious Norwood, a pro football<br />

running back, started his game<br />

days in Brandon, Mississippi,<br />

as a young boy. After 8,000<br />

all-purpose yards, 92 high school<br />

career touchdowns, and being<br />

named the Mississippi Gatorade<br />

Player of the Year in 2001, he<br />

was signed by Mississippi State<br />

as a Four Star running back<br />

recruit right out of<br />

Brandon High School.<br />

During his senior year in<br />

2005, he was awarded<br />

the Conerly Award, which<br />

is given to the top college<br />

football player in Mississippi<br />

by the Mississippi Sports Hall<br />

of Fame. He was later drafted<br />

in 2006 by the Atlanta Falcons<br />

as the 79th overall pick, and<br />

played in the pro leagues for<br />

seven years, including seasons<br />

with the St. Louis Rams and the<br />

Toronto Argonauts. In addition<br />

to his successful football<br />

career, people know him best<br />

for being a polite guy with an<br />

endlessly infectious smile.<br />

38 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Jerious norwood<br />

What was the biggest adjustment<br />

you had to make from college football<br />

to the pros?<br />

The speed and demands of the best<br />

level of football were staring me in the<br />

eyes and I had to overcome both tests<br />

by believing in all of my abilities and<br />

training to overcome the doubt<br />

to be effective.<br />

What’s one of your fondest memories<br />

of living in <strong>Rankin</strong> County?<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> County gave me access to play<br />

on a team—and that ultimately started<br />

my dreams of being an athlete, which<br />

has allowed me to travel the world.<br />

So big shout out to <strong>Rankin</strong> County!<br />

As a pro football athlete, what do you<br />

enjoy doing in your free time?<br />

Hunting and fishing has always been a<br />

passion of mine, so the outdoors is my<br />

comfort zone. I’d rather be relaxing on<br />

a pond bank or in a deer stand.<br />

What or who was your greatest<br />

motivation to become a pro?<br />

My grandmother motivated and<br />

inspired me to be the best at whatever<br />

I did in life—and to love—to treat others<br />

as you would like to be treated.<br />

What’s your favorite food?<br />

Chocolate cake is my favorite.<br />

Aunt JoeAnn makes the best cakes.<br />

What are some negatives about being<br />

a professional athlete?<br />

Everyone looks for the bad; everyone<br />

wants money; and we never know<br />

who’s around for the wrong reasons.<br />

Who are some coaches who had a<br />

positive impact in your life in high<br />

school?<br />

Dan Davis, Sammy Dantone, David<br />

Lara, Steve McCane, Keith Cox, John<br />

McCinnis, Randy West, West Shivers,<br />

Coach Tullos.<br />

What one football play stands out in<br />

your mind from high school?<br />

Toss left or right was my favorite play<br />

because it gave me the opportunity to<br />

use my speed and get to the edge for<br />

a big play.<br />

What are three things on your bucket<br />

list?<br />

Swim in a cage while watching a great<br />

white circle me, skydive, and go to<br />

Jerusalem.<br />

What are you plans after football?<br />

I travel the world to encourage and<br />

motivate others to dream big and to<br />

realize that there is nothing that can’t<br />

be accomplished with the belief in<br />

yourself. So dream big and smile.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 39

40 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

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<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 41

Business<br />

After Hours<br />

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Proceeds benefitted<br />

Make A Wish Foundation<br />

42 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 43

44 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 45

Surely, two of the most satisfying experiences in life must<br />

be those of being a grandchild or being a grandparent.<br />

What’s your favorite thing<br />

about your grandparents?<br />

Ben Boyd<br />

They give me money<br />

and treat me like a king<br />

when I come home.<br />

Natalie Lindsley<br />

They always answer my<br />

phone calls and are really<br />

excited to talk to me.<br />

Curt Jordan<br />

They make me feel<br />

like I’m always welcome<br />

in their home.<br />

Braden Rodriguez<br />

They’re hilarious!<br />

No matter what, they always<br />

put a smile on my face.<br />

Aiden Flowers<br />

My grandparents are<br />

very generous. They give<br />

the best gifts!<br />

Emily Allen<br />

The older I get, the more I can<br />

relate to my grandmother. She’s<br />

so goofy and fun to be around.

What’s your favorite thing<br />

about being a grandparent?<br />

David Prevost<br />

Knowing and experiencing the<br />

love and grace of God every time<br />

I am with them! It just goes on<br />

and on and on! Truly amazing!<br />

Gene Newman<br />

It’s so much fun watching them<br />

grow up. And they go home!<br />

Phyllis Spann<br />

Being a grandparent helps you see<br />

the world from a different point<br />

of view. I enjoy that pure joy<br />

feeling when I spend time with<br />

my granddaughter and am able to<br />

create lasting memories with her.<br />

I aspire to being my granddaughter’s<br />

role model, as she will be my role<br />

model as she grows older. Having<br />

a granddaughter keeps me in the<br />

moment and gives me the<br />

opportunity to transmit the<br />

values I hold dear to my heart.<br />

Naomi Pack<br />

Wow! Everything! Buying them<br />

something they want, doing things<br />

with them, cooking something they<br />

like and sharing my love. Receiving<br />

those hugs and kisses afterwards.<br />

Becky Wallace<br />

Being a grandmother to three<br />

beautiful grand girls, Ivy, ZZ, and<br />

Emerson, has opened my heart in<br />

more ways than I could ever count.<br />

These things make my heart sing:<br />

kisses, cuddles, giggles, hugs, prayers,<br />

songs, smiles, winks, innocence,<br />

unconditional trust, and of course<br />

the, “I LOVE YOU, GRANDMA,”<br />

get me every time. I am blessed.<br />

National<br />

Grandparents<br />

Day is Sunday,<br />

September 10<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 47


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48 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

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<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 49

TMac Howard<br />

50 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

“A Micah 6:8 man – that’s how I see myself,” TMac Howard said in trying to describe himself.<br />

That verse summarizes three things that the Lord requires of us;<br />

“To do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God.”<br />

Those three elements weren’t TMac’s foremost<br />

goals when he graduated from Northwest<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> High School and entered Mississippi<br />

State. But he had always had a love for the poor<br />

and a sensitivity toward the “loners.” During<br />

TMac’s sophomore year at State, he spent a<br />

summer working at Desire Street Ministries<br />

in New Orleans where he saw individuals,<br />

like himself, dedicate their lives to love their<br />

neighbor by revitalizing neighborhoods through<br />

spiritual and community development. His path<br />

was becoming clearer.<br />

By the time TMac graduated from State in<br />

2007, he knew he had a heart for teaching, but<br />

his goals had changed. “My first plans were to<br />

move back to the Reservoir and do what every<br />

other twenty-three year-old does,” he said, sitting<br />

athletically erect in his Delta Streets Academy<br />

shirt and jeans. TMac knew that the delta was<br />

calling his heart and life to make an impact in the<br />

lives of young men with little hope.<br />

God opened that door to that call when<br />

Greenwood High School offered him a job as<br />

head baseball coach, assistant football coach<br />

and Algebra teacher for six classes in 2008.<br />

When his first semester at Greenwood turned<br />

into disappointment in the control he had over<br />

his students, he initiated an after-school program<br />

in the summer. Here he could lead daily Bible<br />

studies and share the Gospel.<br />

TMac is a disciplinarian at heart and understands<br />

the value of discipline in lives. Latecomers<br />

to his summer activities learned immediately that<br />

to be late meant being locked out of the day’s<br />

activities. Instead of turning young men away,<br />

their innate desire for discipline drew them to<br />

TMac’s rules and standards.<br />

In the second year of the summer program,<br />

he and volunteers were discipling forty middleschoolers<br />

in Bible study. “They were also improving<br />

their reading skills, working Algebra problems<br />

– doing everything we were asking,” TMac<br />

said about their progress with the young men.<br />

Yet when they returned to school, their grades<br />

dropped again, and they fell back into their old<br />

patterns. “We needed those guys for a full day,”<br />

TMac decided.<br />

Delta Streets Academy was officially opened<br />

in 2012 for any young man, grade 7 to 12, on<br />

the third floor of the First Baptist Church of<br />

Greenwood. Tuition is $75 a month. TMac<br />


<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 51

52 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

elieves personal investment by the student<br />

promotes accountability.<br />

The school is an oasis in a state’s public school<br />

system that is routinely ranked among the lowest<br />

in the nation. Public schools in Greenwood<br />

operate with “D” and “F” designations by the<br />

state’s grading. Poverty and collapse of the<br />

family continue to perpetuate a cycle of hopelessness<br />

in the town that TMac and his family<br />

now call home.<br />

Drugs are a constant threat and a way of life<br />

for a large portion of the populace in the area.<br />

“We accept students knowing they do drugs,<br />

but we tell them that Delta Streets has zero<br />

tolerance for drugs. We tell them to share that<br />

rule with their peers to help lessen the pressure<br />

to take drugs. We actually become a safety net<br />

for our students,” TMac said.<br />

Delta Streets Academy enrolled sixty-nine in<br />

this year’s classes and finished with fifty-eight.<br />

Their first class of five students graduated in May,<br />

and all five plan to attend college or junior college<br />

in the fall. These young men leave the academy<br />

with a notable education, ingrained discipline, and a<br />

mind filled with Biblical principles that will be key<br />

to their future – a future now bright with hope.<br />

The growth of the Delta Streets Academy<br />

and how God has provided is a faith-builder for<br />

all who have observed. Their home, the third floor<br />

of the historic First Baptist Church, is offered rentfree<br />

along with use of their kitchen for noon meal<br />

preparations.<br />

Their first year’s faculty consisted of two<br />

pastors and TMac, all qualified in their particular<br />

fields of education and with hearts for the<br />

hopeless. That staff has expanded with more<br />

talented teachers and all with the same goal for<br />

the school.<br />

However, the challenges are increasing.<br />

This year’s budget of $615 thousand dollars will<br />

depend solely on its contributors – churches,<br />

organizations and a list of individuals. It’s a perceivable<br />

concern for TMac that his teachers earn<br />

a decent salary, although he knows that good<br />

teachers are always underpaid.<br />

“In a school this small, we all have to make<br />

sacrifices,” he said. He speaks from experience<br />

as a three-sport coach, bus driver, office manager,<br />

secretary, payroll officer, and fund raiser. TMac<br />

quickly commends his wife Meagan (Reans) for<br />

her sacrificial role in their lifestyle of raising<br />

their four-year-old son, Henry, and two-year-old<br />

twin boys, Mac and Witt.<br />

Wilson Whitten, a former resident of Brandon<br />

and presently a church planter in California, taught<br />

English and track and put on the school’s first<br />

student play during his tenure.<br />

Nate Carroll was at Christ Covenant School<br />

teaching Bible but felt led to become a part of<br />

Delta Streets. Last year he drove from his home<br />

in Madison to Greenwood three times a week.<br />

This year he was hired as history and Bible<br />

teacher and makes the drive to Greenwood five<br />

days a week.<br />

Josh Reagan, a close friend of TMac’s and<br />

another former resident of Brandon is another<br />

teacher who has caught the Delta Streets vision<br />

and is a teacher, coach and mentor in the school<br />

for the second year.<br />

Like the sacrificial spirits of the staff at this<br />

model school, some of the readers of this article<br />

will want to be a part of this life-changing system.<br />

You can go to their website for information on<br />

how to give, and you can plan to be a part of the<br />

upcoming Open Date Classic, September 21-22.<br />

There will be a clay shooting event at Turcotte<br />

Shooting Range that Thursday at 8:30 a.m.<br />

followed in the evening with a drawdown and<br />

silent auction. The chance of winning a $5000<br />

purse for the $100 price of admission for two<br />

should certainly whet your appetite!<br />

On Friday, Castlewoods Country Club will<br />

host a golf scramble beginning at 8:30 a.m. All<br />

proceeds will be <strong>Rankin</strong> County’s way of endorsing<br />

the Delta Streets Academy.<br />

Sit across from TMac Howard and you’ll be<br />

“infected” with his passion for lifting the hopeless<br />

out of their cycle of despair and failure. “Right now<br />

we’re just a good school,” he says confidently,<br />

“but I have a vision for the future that someday<br />

an orthopedic surgeon in Greenwood will want<br />

his son enrolled in Delta Streets Academy.”<br />

Have you ever been a part of a vision to free<br />

lives from inherited and eternal bondage? Here’s<br />

your chance! n<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 53

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54 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

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<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 57

<strong>Rankin</strong><br />

County<br />

Dove<br />

Shoot<br />

The Falling<br />

Season<br />

Alex Foust<br />

58 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

As Mississippians, it is no secret that<br />

each season of the year brings its own<br />

gifts, some more pleasurable than others.<br />

Whether it’s the humid heat of the<br />

summer or the inconsistency of the winter<br />

months, each season in Mississippi speaks<br />

about some aspect of our culture here.<br />

Arguably, one of the most soughtafter<br />

seasons of the year for us, is the fall.<br />

What’s not to love about the fall? Cooler<br />

weather arrives in such fashion that the<br />

trees begin to blush, revealing beauty<br />

you only get to see this time of year.<br />

The rushing anticipation of our beloved<br />

football season comes to a satisfying<br />

close as teams begin strapping up for<br />

competition. Last but certainly not least,<br />

hunting season begins in Mississippi.<br />

Just as we begin watching our favorite<br />

football match-ups, here in <strong>Rankin</strong><br />

County something else is falling just<br />

before the leaves. Dove season is making<br />

its debut throughout numerous places<br />

in the county within miles of each other.<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> County native Josh Thrash<br />

describes the dove shoots of opening<br />

weekend as the “gateway to the hunting<br />

season and the welcome of the fall.”<br />

Each year as dove shoots open up<br />

around the county, people get together at<br />

some of their favorite spots with friends<br />

and family for a good hunt. Considered<br />

more than just a hunt, the dove shoots of<br />

opening weekend are treated more like a<br />

social gathering that brings people in the<br />

community together. After having<br />

months of not being able to hunt, it is a<br />

good, fun way to kick the season off right.<br />

Josh explained it as “the first opportunity<br />

for you to get out and hunt before you<br />

start preparing for more serious hunting.”<br />

One thing that makes dove hunting<br />

so easy, fun, and social, is how relaxed it is<br />

compared to other hunting in Mississippi.<br />

Oftentimes, hunters in close proximity<br />

to each other will hang out and visit<br />

while waiting on birds, which isn’t quite<br />

the same for many of the other types of<br />

bird hunting you might do here. Dove<br />

hunting is also a great way for kids to<br />

start planting their roots and getting a<br />

taste of what it’s like to hunt. “It’s a more<br />

laid-back type of hunting. You don’t have<br />

to be real still or quiet and typically you<br />

don’t even have to dress in full camouflage.<br />

If the birds are flying, it doesn’t matter.”<br />

Josh says that growing up, it was the<br />

first type of hunting he was able to do,<br />

and he even remembers the first field he<br />

went to and the gun he used. “I actually<br />

hunted that same field last year.” Thrash<br />

continues this tradition of letting his<br />

own children tag along with him when<br />

he goes to hunt.<br />

In the past, hunters were only<br />

allowed to start shoots in the afternoons,<br />

but now the regulations have allotted for<br />

shoots to begin in the morning. Rather<br />

than just being an afternoon event, shoots<br />

can now serve as all-day gatherings.<br />

Usually before daylight, hunters will get<br />

all their hunting necessities, breakfast,<br />

and a good spot in their field and wait as<br />

the sun rises and the birds start flying.<br />

Here in <strong>Rankin</strong> County, dove shoots<br />

truly are a staple to the life of those who<br />

hunt and something that is looked<br />

forward to each year. This year, dove<br />

shoots throughout the county will begin<br />

on opening weekend of dove season,<br />

which falls on Labor Day weekend.<br />

There are plenty of ways to kick off<br />

Mississippi’s favorite time of year,<br />

embracing God’s creation, watching your<br />

favorite ball team score, or even scoring<br />

a few birds yourself with friends and<br />

family. After all, it is the falling season.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 59

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<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 61

Raw<br />

Talent<br />

Making<br />

the Most<br />

of the<br />

Game<br />

Melanie McMillan<br />

Few people can say that<br />

they began their careers<br />

at the tender age of four,<br />

but in a sense, <strong>Rankin</strong><br />

County native and<br />

professional golfer<br />

Jonathan Randolph<br />

did just that.<br />

62 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

As golfing buddies from an early age, Jonathan and his dad,<br />

Dr. Richard “Rick” Randolph, spent countless hours on the course.<br />

“I would drop the ball and hit it over and over until he made me<br />

pick it up and go back to the cart,” Jonathan says. He finished<br />

his first nine-hole round at age six, began lessons at ten, and by<br />

the age of twelve Jonathan had given up other sports to focus<br />

solely on golf.<br />

Although he showed talent at an early age, he was not<br />

necessarily a golf prodigy. “What was extraordinary was that<br />

he saw himself as a golfer through and through,” his parents say.<br />

“You could say he loved the sport, but it was more than that<br />

– it was a part of who he was. He believed very strongly that<br />

this was God’s path for him.” Jonathan’s two sisters, Megan<br />

Cook and Miriam Shufelt, were not bitten by the golf bug,<br />

but had their own interests. Dr. Randolph and his wife Rae<br />

Anne admit that there was “quite a bit of ‘give’” on the part<br />

of their daughters when it came to Jonathan’s golf schedule,<br />

but they were very accepting of the inconveniences.<br />

Megan and Miriam still live close by and are two of<br />

Jonathan’s biggest fans.<br />

After attending University Christian and First Presbyterian<br />

Day School in his elementary years, Jonathan began seventh<br />

grade at Jackson Prep, where he played golf for six years. Nell<br />

Bradford, Prep’s golf coach for the last 24 years, was instrumental<br />

in developing Jonathan as a player. “It was fun being around<br />

her,” Jonathan says, “She saw me play well and she saw me<br />

play badly. She would take the cover off my club, rub it and<br />

say, ‘Now, you’re good to go.’” Coach Bradford notes that<br />

Jonathan was “never anything but a pleasure to be around.<br />

He fit in and started playing on the varsity team as an 8th grader,<br />

which is very unusual because a young guy doesn’t usually<br />

have the length to complete against high school students. We<br />

won a state championship that year and Jonathan medaled,<br />

so he lettered on the varsity team for 5 years.”<br />

When asked what she remembers most about Jonathan,<br />

Coach Bradford says that “he always gave it is all.” She shares<br />

the story of a particular state tournament: “Jonathan was the<br />

best individual but he was one down going into 18, so I went<br />

up to him and told him he needed a birdie, which as a coach<br />

you aren’t supposed to do as it puts pressure on the player.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 63

64 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

He got the birdie and won in a playoff.” Watching<br />

Jonathan over those six years, his coach definitely saw<br />

his potential. “I thought he had a good chance to be a<br />

pro. Some players just have it—the ability to will it into<br />

the hole. That is something that can’t be taught but you<br />

have to have that to be successful.”<br />

Following his graduation from Jackson Prep, Jonathan<br />

headed to Oxford to play golf at Ole Miss. His coaches<br />

there, Ernest Ross, Jonathan Dismuke, and Jack O’Keefe,<br />

helped him grow as a player, and by his junior year,<br />

Jonathan was ranked the #4 amateur player in the world.<br />

He is proud of the success the Ole Miss golf program has<br />

seen in recent years and says, “I hope I helped in some<br />

way lay the groundwork so that people see that if you<br />

play here, you can grow and become a better player.”<br />

It was while he was a student at Ole Miss that<br />

Jonathan met his future wife, Lacy. Originally from Noble,<br />

Oklahoma, Lacy played soccer at Ole Miss. Jonathan<br />

and Lacy just celebrated their third wedding anniversary,<br />

not surprisingly on the road to the next tournament.<br />

“Being on the road for thirty weeks a year can get very<br />

old, but having my wife with me is a real blessing,”<br />

Jonathan says. “We get to see so many different places<br />

and have experiences that most couples in their<br />

twenties don’t.”<br />

Following an impressive career at Ole Miss, Jonathan<br />

began playing golf professionally in the fall of 2011. He<br />

was named the NGA Tour’s Rookie of the Year in 2012,<br />

and by 2014 had earned a spot on the PGA Tour.<br />

Despite being a rising star in the golf world, Jonathan<br />

keeps everything in stride, focusing on improving his<br />

game and developing positive<br />

relationships with his competitors.<br />

“He enjoys spending time with<br />

fellow touring golfers in practice or<br />

over a meal,” Jonathan’s dad says.<br />

“He will genuinely cheer for and congratulate a competitor.”<br />

This was certainly evident during the recent U.S.<br />

Open when Justin Thomas, with whom Jonathan was<br />

paired, set a new major PGA tournament record by<br />

finishing with a score of 63, 9 under par. Jonathan was<br />

happy for his fellow golfer saying, “It was really cool to<br />

watch someone play that well and be a part of history.”<br />

Jonathan would be the first to say that he did not get<br />

to this stage of the game by himself. He has a wonderful<br />

partner in his caddy, Dave, and the two of them make<br />

a great team. In addition to the coaches that he had in<br />

high school and college, Jonathan has had the opportunity<br />

to work with some of the best golf coaches around;<br />

Jay Jordan at the Refuge, Chris Rutherford at Patrick<br />

Farms, and V.J. Trolio and Tim Yelverton, both at Old<br />

Waverly in West Point. V.J., considered one of the best<br />

golf instructors in the country, is a <strong>Rankin</strong> County native<br />

and former golfer for the University of Southern Mississippi.<br />

He has coached Jonathan, or “J.R.” as he affectionately<br />

calls him, for thirteen years. “I’m really proud of J.R. for<br />

what he has done for Mississippi and for the kids who are<br />

watching him,” V.J. says. “It’s great for kids to be able to<br />

watch someone playing in major PGA tournaments who<br />

grew up right here in <strong>Rankin</strong> County. He’s not only<br />

changing his life, but he has the opportunity to change<br />

the lives of players who will come along after him.”<br />

It’s often said that it takes a village to raise a child,<br />

and it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a “strong village”<br />

to help raise a champion. A supportive family and<br />

dedicated coaches play a big part in taking intrinsic<br />

talent and turning it into a career. And as Dr. Randolph<br />

acknowledges, “Ultimately, Jonathan<br />

knows this all begins and ends with<br />

God, who daily directs his steps.” n<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 65

66 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

The smell of fall will soon be in the air. The drumlines<br />

can be heard for miles when the clouds are just right.<br />

Players have been sweating it out in two-a-days for<br />

weeks. Their hearts are bigger, their bonds are<br />

stronger, their hits are harder, and the value of their<br />

traditions cannot be put into words. It’s high school<br />

football in the south–and for most of us, it can’t begin<br />

soon enough. There are championships to be won...<br />

and memories to be made. Two teams–one goal.<br />

Don’t wait. Don’t hesitate, for the battle has just begun!<br />

Intimidate and dominate, for our team is number one!<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 67

68 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong><br />

What are you<br />

looking forward to<br />

the most about<br />

Brandon High<br />


Jordan Broome<br />

Friday night football is very thrilling!<br />

I’m looking forward to the amazing<br />

crowd, the atmosphere, and watching<br />

the Brandon Bulldogs kick butt!<br />

Lilly Klahn<br />

I look forward to continuing<br />

the old student traditions in the<br />

brand new stadium.<br />

Proud Sponsor of the Brandon High Fan Page<br />

Johnny Beck<br />

The sense of pride one feels when<br />

approaching the stadium, hearing the bands<br />

and music, seeing the fans and players of<br />

Bulldog Nation preparing to represent our<br />

town. It truly is a scene to look around our<br />

impressive new stadium and see generations<br />

of all ages come together to support our<br />

beloved Bulldogs!<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 69

70 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Brandon High Bulldogs<br />


<strong>August</strong> 11 TBA Home Brookhaven (Jamboree)<br />

<strong>August</strong> 18 7:00 pm Away Madison Central (Classic)<br />

<strong>August</strong> 25 7:00 pm Home South Panola<br />

September 1 7:00 pm Away Clinton<br />

September 8 7:00 pm Home Tupelo<br />

September 15 7:00 pm Away Northwest <strong>Rankin</strong><br />

September 22 7:00 pm Away Terry*<br />

September 29 7:00 pm Home George County (Homecoming)*<br />

October 6 7:00 pm Away Petal*<br />

October 13 7:00 pm Home Meridian*<br />

October 20 7:00 pm Home Oak Grove*<br />

October 27 7:00 pm Away Jim Hill*<br />

November 3 7:00 pm Home Pearl*<br />

*Denotes Region 3-6A Game.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 71

72 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong><br />

We proudly<br />

support<br />

Brandon<br />

High School.

Go<br />

Dawgs!<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 73

74 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong><br />

What are you<br />

looking forward to<br />

the most about<br />

East <strong>Rankin</strong><br />


Reeve Watson<br />

Since it’s my senior year and last<br />

football season, I am looking forward to just<br />

having a good time playing the sport I love.<br />

I’m also praying for a safe and healthy<br />

season for my whole team.<br />

Jamie Perry<br />

Cooler nights and bright lights<br />

of Friday night football.<br />

Proud Sponsor of the East <strong>Rankin</strong> Fan Page<br />

Neely Brunt<br />

One of big things I’m looking forward to<br />

is gettting to sit and enjoy the game<br />

with people that love it, too.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 75

76 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

East <strong>Rankin</strong> Patriots<br />


<strong>August</strong> 18 7:00 pm Away Jackson Prep<br />

<strong>August</strong> 25 7:00 pm Away RiverOaks, LA<br />

September 1 7:00 pm Home Washington School<br />

September 8 7:00 pm Away Leake Academy<br />

September 15 7:00 pm Home Winston Academy<br />

September 22 7:00 pm Away Simpson Academy<br />

September 29 7:00 pm Away Lamar School<br />

October 6 7:00 pm Home Copiah Academy<br />

October 13 7:00 pm Home Hartfield Academy<br />

October 20 7:00 pm Away P.C.S.<br />

October 27 7:00 pm Home Pillow Academy (Homecoming)<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 77

78 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong><br />

We proudly<br />

support<br />

East <strong>Rankin</strong><br />


Go<br />

Patriots!<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 79

80 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong><br />

What are you<br />

looking forward to<br />

the most about<br />

Hartfield Football?

Nick Stinson<br />

Playing my last year with such a close group<br />

of guys. I’m also looking forward to the<br />

excitement and support we receive each<br />

week from the Hartfield family.<br />

Laird Johnson<br />

Getting to play with my friends<br />

and throwing the football!<br />

Proud Sponsor of the<br />

Hartfield Academy Fan Page<br />

Leigh James<br />

Friday Night Lights is more than a stadium<br />

filled with cheering fans. It’s community and<br />

family gathering to fellowship, play, and<br />

encourage our children, all while supporting<br />

our school and its mission.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 81

82 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Hartfield Hawks<br />


<strong>August</strong> 18 7:00 pm Away Pisgah<br />

<strong>August</strong> 25 7:00 pm Home Pelahatchie<br />

September 1 7:00 pm Home Leake Acaemy<br />

September 8 7:00 pm Away Madison Ridgeland<br />

September 15 7:00 pm Away Jackson Academy<br />

September 22 7:00 pm Away St. Andrews<br />

September 29 7:00 pm Home Copiah Academy (Homecoming)<br />

October 6 7:00 pm Home Simpson Academy<br />

October 13 7:00 pm Away East <strong>Rankin</strong> Academy<br />

October 20 7:00 pm Home Tri-County Academy<br />

October 27 7:00 pm Away Lamar<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 83

84 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong><br />

We proudly<br />

support<br />

Hartfield<br />


Go<br />

Hawks!<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 85

86 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong><br />

What are you<br />

looking forward to<br />

the most about<br />

Jackson Prep<br />


Sarah Tillery<br />

The Pacer’s dance team performing<br />

at half time.<br />

Zach Hilt<br />

Hanging out with my close friends.<br />

Proud Sponsor of the Jackson Prep Fan Page<br />

Lynn Lovertich<br />

Friday night lights–how can you not be<br />

excited? I’m most excited about tailgating<br />

with friends and watching Chance and his<br />

teammates in their senior season!<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 87

88 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Jackson Prep Patriots<br />


<strong>August</strong> 18 7:00 pm Home East <strong>Rankin</strong> Academy<br />

<strong>August</strong> 25 7:00 pm Away Washington School<br />

September 1 7:00 pm Away Forest High<br />

September 8 7:00 pm Home Pillow Academy (Homecoming)<br />

September 15 7:00 pm Home St. Joseph<br />

September 22 7:00 pm Away Presbyterian Christian<br />

September 29 7:00 pm Away Jackson Academy<br />

October 6 7:00 pm Away Oak Forest Academy<br />

October 13 7:00 pm Home Madison-Ridgeland Academy<br />

October 20 7:00 pm Away New Hope<br />

October 27 7:00 pm Home Parklane Academy<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 89

We proudly<br />

support<br />

Jackson<br />

Prep.<br />

90 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Go<br />

Patriots!<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 91

What are you<br />

looking forward to<br />

the most about<br />

Northwest <strong>Rankin</strong><br />

Football?<br />

92 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Derrel Palmer<br />

The energy and excitement from the fans!<br />

The NWR student section, a.k.a., 12th Man,<br />

is absolutely incredible! They not only<br />

influence the game, but can affect a<br />

broadcaster as well! I’m ready for some<br />

football! Go Cougars!!<br />

Kristin Daniels<br />

The sights, sounds, and smells in the air:<br />

the lights, the cheering, the band, the smell<br />

of popcorn—and the excitement of a win!<br />

Proud Sponsor of the NWR Fan Page<br />

Mylissa Hodges<br />

Watching all the cougar fans in the<br />

community and the awesome student section<br />

come together to cheer on the Cougars!<br />

It’s so much fun being part of all the<br />

excitement while enjoying our new updates<br />

to the field and stands! I’m looking forward to<br />

another great year of NWRHS football!<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 93

94 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Northwest <strong>Rankin</strong> Cougars<br />


<strong>August</strong> 11 7:00 pm Away Petal<br />

<strong>August</strong> 18 7:00 pm Home Germantown<br />

<strong>August</strong> 25 7:00 pm Away Ridgeland<br />

September 1 7:00 pm Away Pearl<br />

September 15 7:00 pm Home Brandon<br />

September 22 7:00 pm Home Warren Central<br />

September 29 7:00 pm Away Starkville<br />

October 6 7:00 pm Home Provine<br />

October 13 7:00 pm Home Clinton<br />

October 20 7:00 pm Away Greenville<br />

October 27 7:00 pm Home Madison Central<br />

November 3 7:00 pm Away Murrah<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 95

96 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong><br />

We proudly<br />

support<br />

Northwest<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> High.

Go<br />

Cougars!<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 97

What are you<br />

looking forward to<br />

the most about<br />

Pearl Pirates<br />

Football?<br />

98 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Heather Sullivan<br />

Cheering on our team along with<br />

all of the other Pirate fans in the stands<br />

and watching our guys to see their<br />

improvement throughout the season.<br />

Tylan Knight<br />

Playing my senior year of football<br />

with my brothers, pursuing Pearl’s<br />

first state championship.<br />

Proud Sponsor of the Pearl High Fan Page<br />

Noel & Houston Griggs<br />

We love Friday Night Lights and our Pirates!<br />

The atmosphere is awesome on Pirate Cove.<br />

A tradition that now continues with my son.<br />

Noel Pace Griggs, Class of 1997;<br />

Houston Griggs, Class of 2024.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 99

100 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Pearl High Pirates<br />


<strong>August</strong> 11 7:00 pm Home Pearl Jamboree<br />

<strong>August</strong> 18 7:00 pm Away Brookhaven<br />

<strong>August</strong> 25 7:00 pm Home Warren Central<br />

September 1 7:00 pm Home Northwest <strong>Rankin</strong><br />

September 8 7:00 pm Shreveport Parkway, LA<br />

September 15 7:00 pm Away Madison Central<br />

September 22 7:00 pm Away Petal<br />

September 29 7:00 pm Home Meridian<br />

October 6 7:00 pm Away Terry<br />

October 13 7:00 pm Away George County<br />

October 20 7:00 pm Home Jim Hill<br />

October 27 7:00 pm Home Oak Grove<br />

November 3 7:00 pm Away Brandon<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 101

102 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong><br />

We proudly<br />

support<br />

Pearl High.

Go<br />

Pirates!<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 103

What are you looking<br />

forward to the most<br />

about Pelahatchie<br />

High Football?<br />

104 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Gabbie Walters<br />

Getting into game mode, watching each play<br />

up close and in detail, feeling an adrenaline<br />

rush when it’s 4th and goal on the 1-yard line.<br />

Then at the end of the game, win or lose, we<br />

huddle around the coach and say the Lord’s<br />

Prayer. There’s nothing like it.<br />

Wesley Anderson<br />

I am looking forward to hearing the crowd roar<br />

when the Chiefs cross the end zone and put<br />

scores on the board. Go Chiefs!!<br />

Proud Sponsor of the Pelahatchie High Fan Page<br />

Kessie Key<br />

Friday Night Lights is all about that<br />

hometown feeling of family, friends, and fans<br />

all focused on their passion of football. The<br />

excitement of watching our students shine as<br />

athletes beneath the lights (football players<br />

and cheerleaders) is a true passion. I love our<br />

Chiefs! #wearepelahatchie #getinvolved<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 105

106 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Pelahatchie High Chiefs<br />


<strong>August</strong> 18 7:00 pm Home Lake<br />

<strong>August</strong> 25 7:00 pm Away Hartfield Academy<br />

September 1 7:00 pm Home Richland<br />

September 8 7:00 pm Away West Lincoln<br />

September 15 7:00 pm Away Mount Olive<br />

September 22 7:00 pm Away Morton<br />

September 29 7:00 pm Home St. Joe<br />

October 6 7:00 pm Away Puckett<br />

October 13 7:00 pm Home Pisgah<br />

October 20 7:00 pm Home Scott Central<br />

October 27 7:00 pm Away Mize<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 107

108 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong><br />

We proudly<br />

support<br />

Pelahatchie<br />


Go<br />

Chiefs!<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 109

110 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong><br />

What are you<br />

looking forward to<br />

the most about<br />

Pisgah High<br />


Bryce Lofton<br />

Playing with my teammates<br />

on the field.<br />

Millie McDonald<br />

Watching Don Ragsdale score<br />

a bunch of touchdowns.<br />

Proud Sponsor of the Pisgah High Fan Page<br />

Hadley Patterson<br />

I look forward to the pep rally<br />

before the game and cheering on<br />

the Dragons during the game.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 111

112 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Pisgah High Dragons<br />


<strong>August</strong> 11 7:00 pm Home Florence (Jamboree)<br />

<strong>August</strong> 18 7:00 pm Home Hartfield<br />

<strong>August</strong> 25 7:00 pm Away Richland<br />

September 1 7:00 pm Home St. Andrews<br />

September 8 7:00 pm Away Lake<br />

September 15 7:00 pm Home West Lincoln<br />

September 22 7:00 pm Away Loyd Star<br />

September 29 7:00 pm Home Puckett*<br />

October 6 7:00 pm Away Bogue Chitto<br />

October 13 7:00 pm Away Pelahatchie*<br />

October 20 7:00 pm Home Mize*<br />

October 27 7:00 pm Away St. Joe*<br />

* District Games<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 113

114 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong><br />

We proudly<br />

support<br />

Pisgah High.

Go<br />

Dragons!<br />

NCI<br />

Independently Owned and Operated Construction Co.<br />

Specializing in Concrete and Dirt Excavation<br />

Noel Breedlove, Owner<br />

(601)260-2188<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 115

What are you<br />

looking forward to<br />

the most about<br />

Puckett High<br />

Football?<br />

116 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Toni Odom<br />

Being surrounded by the most loyal fans<br />

and friends that have been there for<br />

generations and seeing the love and sacrifice<br />

that everyone has put forth to make<br />

Friday Night Lights the best at the<br />

Puckett Wolves Stadium.<br />

Guy Warren<br />

Puckett has always had a great fan base.<br />

I love seeing old friends and teammates and<br />

listening to stories about the good old days!<br />

Proud Sponsor of the Puckett High Fan Page<br />

Ali Hammock<br />

There’s nothing like the feeling of “300<br />

friendly folks and the few sore heads”<br />

becoming one as the crowd roars when the<br />

Wolves walk through the gate. From hearing<br />

the music blaring to the cheerleader’s chants<br />

to the excitement of the student section – it’s<br />

the feeling of being a part of the Wolfpack.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 117

118 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Puckett High Wolves<br />


<strong>August</strong> 18 7:00 pm Home Richland<br />

<strong>August</strong> 25 7:00 pm Away Enterprise Lincoln<br />

September 1 7:00 pm Home West Lincoln<br />

September 8 7:00 pm Home Salem<br />

September 15 7:00 pm Home Clarkdale<br />

September 22 7:00 pm Away McLaurin<br />

September 29 7:00 pm Away Pisgah*<br />

October 6 7:00 pm Home Pelahatchie*<br />

October 13 7:00 pm Away Mize*<br />

October 20 7:00 pm Home St. Joe*<br />

* District Games<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 119

120 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong><br />

We proudly<br />

support<br />

Puckett<br />


Go<br />

Wolves!<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 121

What are you<br />

looking forward to<br />

the most about<br />

Richland High<br />

Football?<br />

122 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Abby Burtnett<br />

What I look forward to the most is the<br />

atmosphere. The roaring of the fans, the<br />

feeling when you’re team scores, and the way<br />

your heart beats when you and the student<br />

section cheer your team on to victory.<br />

Jonathan Osborne<br />

I’m looking forward to the support of the Richland<br />

community! It’s great when everyone comes out<br />

to cheer me and my brothers on!<br />

Proud Sponsor of the Richland High Fan Page<br />

<strong>August</strong> Corso<br />

Nothing is more fun and exciting during<br />

football season than Friday night high school<br />

football. My wife and I have been the public<br />

address announcers for the last 15 years for<br />

the Richland Ranger football home games<br />

and we look forward to another season<br />

as the voice of the Rangers.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 123

124 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Richland High Rangers<br />


<strong>August</strong> 11 5:00 pm Home Fall Jamboree<br />

<strong>August</strong> 18 7:00 pm Away Puckett<br />

<strong>August</strong> 25 7:00 pm Home Pisgah<br />

September 1 7:00 pm Away Pelahatchie<br />

September 8 7:00 pm Home McLaurin<br />

September 15 7:00 pm Home Wesson<br />

September 22 7:00 pm Home Lake (Homecoming)<br />

September 29 7:00 pm Away Florence<br />

October 6 7:00 pm Home South Pike (Pink Out)<br />

October 13 7:00 pm Away Raymond<br />

October 20 7:00 pm Home Lanier (Senior Night)<br />

October 27 7:00 pm Away McComb<br />

November 3 Playoffs Begin<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 125

126 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong><br />

We proudly<br />

support<br />

Richland<br />


<strong>Hometown</strong> Magazine <strong>2017</strong>.pdf 1 7/25/<strong>2017</strong> 3:42:58 PM<br />

Go<br />

C<br />

M<br />

Y<br />


Rangers!<br />

CM<br />

MY<br />

CY<br />

CMY<br />

K<br />

101 Sanders Cove<br />

Richland, MS 39218<br />

601.932.0135<br />

LillyForklifts.com<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 127

128 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong><br />

What are you<br />

looking forward to<br />

the most about<br />

Florence High<br />


Ashleigh Tucker<br />

Watching all the people of our small town<br />

come together at the stadium and cheer on<br />

the Eagles. Win or lose, we have the best fans<br />

that stand behind this team and help push for<br />

success in this football program.<br />

Cole Buskirk<br />

I am looking forward to hearing<br />

the crowd cheer us on and wear their<br />

‘We Believe’ shirts on Friday nights!<br />

Proud Sponsor of the Florence High Fan Page<br />

Courtney Williams<br />

Friday Night Lights generates unparalleled<br />

excitement for the entire Florence community.<br />

As a coach’s wife, I enjoy showing Eagle<br />

Spirit, seeing friends and sharing perspectives<br />

on how the team has grown, developed, and<br />

perfected their skills and strategies.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 129

130 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Florence High Eagles<br />


<strong>August</strong> 11 7:00 pm Away Pisgah<br />

<strong>August</strong> 18 7:00 pm Home Mendenhall<br />

<strong>August</strong> 25 7:00 pm Away Crystal Springs<br />

September 1 7:00 pm Away Terry<br />

September 8 7:00 pm Homecoming Scott Central<br />

September 15 7:00 pm Home Forest<br />

September 22 7:00 pm Away Kosciusko<br />

September 29 7:00 pm Home Richland*<br />

October 6 7:00 pm Away Raymond*<br />

October 13 7:00 pm Home McComb*<br />

October 20 7:00 pm Home South Pike*<br />

October 27 7:00 pm Away Lanier*<br />

* District Games<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 131

132 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong><br />

We proudly<br />

support<br />

Florence<br />


Go<br />

Eagles!<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 133

134 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong><br />

What are you<br />

looking forward to<br />

the most about<br />

McLaurin High<br />


Raja McLin<br />

Being with people that are all there for one<br />

reason: a great game! I love the cheers and<br />

the fellowship and the atmosphere—which<br />

makes it almost impossible not to have a<br />

good time. It’s an awesome way to get away<br />

from everything and just have fun!<br />

Katherine Walker<br />

Watching my old band excel to their highest<br />

potential as the new drum major fills the shoes<br />

I left behind, and being with family and friends.<br />

Proud Sponsor of the McLaurin High Fan Page<br />

Anna Bowlin<br />

To me, Friday Night Lights means pep rallies,<br />

football games, and hanging out with friends<br />

and family on and off the field. It is the one<br />

night on which the community comes<br />

together for one thing: Tiger Pride,<br />

all the way!<br />

www.eheartwood.com<br />

Relax in one of our<br />

Adirondack chairs or<br />

Adirondack rockers.<br />

Enjoy our swings,<br />

gliders & benches in<br />

cypress, walnut<br />

or mahogany.<br />

sales@eheartwood.com 601.845.8600<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 135

136 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

McLaurin High Tigers<br />


<strong>August</strong> 18 7:00 pm Away Bogue Chitto<br />

<strong>August</strong> 25 7:00 pm Home Loyd Star<br />

September 1 7:00 pm Away Sebastopol<br />

September 8 7:00 pm Away Richland<br />

September 15 7:00 pm Home Enterprise (Homecoming)<br />

September 22 7:00 pm Home Puckett<br />

September 29 7:00 pm Away St. Andrews<br />

October 6 7:00 pm Home Crystal Springs<br />

October 13 7:00 pm Home Raleigh<br />

October 20 7:00 pm Away Velma Jackson<br />

October 27 7:00 pm Away Magee<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 137

138 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong><br />

We proudly<br />

support<br />

McLaurin<br />


Go<br />

Tigers!<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 139

What are you<br />

looking forward to<br />

the most about<br />

Park Place<br />

Football?<br />

140 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Aliya Koehne<br />

Coming together as one big Crusader<br />

family and cheering for the boys through the<br />

good times and the bad and eating<br />

Ray Bailey’s famous hamburger.<br />

Katie Jeffries<br />

I am looking forward to cheering on<br />

the guys with family and friends.<br />

Proud Sponsor of the Park Place Fan Page<br />

Yvette Cole<br />

Seeing the moms arrive early to get a good<br />

view for video and pictures. Watching as fans<br />

arrive sporting their unique school spirit attire.<br />

Cheering as I watch the players give their all<br />

on the field after all of their hard work and<br />

practice. But the most beautiful of all is when<br />

I see the players and the coaches huddle<br />

together to pray before and after the game.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 141

142 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Park Place Crusaders<br />


<strong>August</strong> 18 7:00 pm Away Bowling Green<br />

<strong>August</strong> 25 7:00 pm Away Delta Streets<br />

September 1 7:00 pm Home Union Christian Academy<br />

September 8 7:00 pm Home Clinton Christian Academy<br />

September 15 7:00 pm Away Winona Christian School<br />

September 22 7:00 pm Away St. Aloysius<br />

September 29 7:00 pm Home Riverfield Academy<br />

October 6 7:00 pm Home Hillcrest (Homecoming)<br />

October 13 7:00 pm Home Central Hinds<br />

October 20 7:00 pm Away Porter’s Chapel<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 143

We proudly<br />

support<br />

Park Place<br />

Academy.<br />

144 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Go<br />

Crusaders!<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 145

By skillfully crafting a philosophy of excellence to our customers, our community<br />

and our staff, we’re making a real difference for the people we serve.<br />

• More than a century of growth through a unique approach<br />

with staff-owners providing solid advice and real solutions.<br />

• Highly-personalized service and cutting-edge technology makes<br />

banking more efficient and easier than ever for our customers.<br />

• Recognized for consecutive years as one of the Best Banks<br />

to Work For by American Banker Magazine and Best Places<br />

to Work by the Mississippi Business Journal.<br />

W. GOVERNMENT ST / 601-825-4323<br />

SPILLWAY RD / 601-203-2500<br />

FLOWOOD / 601-919-4200<br />

PEARL / 601-939-7979<br />

146 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

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601.853.7300 • 1.800.844.7301<br />

www.hederman.com<br />

Voted Best<br />

Printing<br />

Company<br />

2016 by the<br />

Clarion-Ledger<br />

People’s<br />

Choice Awards.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 147

Quarterly Luncheon<br />

May 23 • Table 100<br />

148 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 149

Passionate<br />

about Hinds Community College<br />

Jerry Agent<br />

A.A. Alexander<br />

Lola Allen<br />

Bobbie Anderson<br />

Lou Anne Askew<br />

Billie Banes<br />

Sharp Banks<br />

George Barnes<br />

Anna Cowden Bee<br />

Emma and T.T. Beemon<br />

Charles Bell<br />

Walter Bivins<br />

Peggy Brent<br />

Sue and Fred Brooks<br />

Gov. Phillip Bryant<br />

Bill Buckner<br />

Tom Burnham<br />

Robert Cannada<br />

Emma Grace and<br />

W.H. Cochran<br />

Bobby Cooper<br />

Rosia and Johnny Crisler<br />

Lamar Currie<br />

H.H. “Shine” Davis<br />

Katherine and A.L. Denton<br />

Bob Dunaway<br />

David Durham<br />

Beverly and Ben Fatherree<br />

Pat Flaherty<br />

Jane Flowers<br />

D.G. “Sonny” Fountain<br />

Howell Gage<br />

Walter Gibbes<br />

Albert Gore<br />

Durwood Graham<br />

Jackie Mangum Granberry<br />

F.M. Greaves<br />

Anne Hardy<br />

Jim El and Jobie Harris<br />

Colleen Hartfield<br />

Mike Hataway<br />

Linden Haynes<br />

Troy Henderson<br />

Mildred Herrin<br />

Dan Hogan<br />

Warren Hood<br />

Adam Jenkins<br />

Roger Jones<br />

Ted Kendall, III<br />

Dean Kirby<br />

Ann and Bob Laster<br />

Earl Leggett<br />

Dean Liles<br />

Bell Lindsey<br />

Joe Loviza<br />

Con Maloney<br />

Ray Marshall<br />

Lee Mayo<br />

W.M. McKenzie<br />

Cleon McKnight<br />

Joe Moss<br />

Bob Mullins<br />

Vashti Muse<br />

Mary Etta Naftel<br />

Clifford Nelson<br />

Carla Nicks<br />

Bill Oakes<br />

Donald Oakes<br />

J.B. Patrick<br />

Nell Ann Pickett<br />

Polly and Mike Rabalais<br />

Geneva and Leslie Reeves<br />

Joe Renfroe<br />

Irl Dean Rhodes<br />

Troy Ricks<br />

Virginia and Marvin Riggs<br />

Henry Riser<br />

Grady Sheffield<br />

Tom Shepherd<br />

O.H. Simmons<br />

Jim Smith<br />

Jimmy C. Smith<br />

Mary Ann Sones<br />

Lurline Stewart<br />

Wayne Stonecypher<br />

Dale Sullivan<br />

Larry Swales<br />

E.E. “Tad” Thrash<br />

Jack Treloar<br />

Michael Vinson<br />

Alice and Charles Walker<br />

Gary Walker<br />

René T. Warren<br />

Walter Washington<br />

Lynn Weathersby<br />

Tom Weathersby<br />

Gov. John Bell Williams<br />

Liles Williams<br />

R.E. “Ed” Woolley<br />

George Wynne<br />

David Yewell<br />

There is no doubt that there are hundreds of others who could have been on this list. With Hinds’ rich and distinguished history<br />

over the last 100 years, we realize that there are many more — much more than 100 — who have a passion for Hinds.<br />

We believe the story of<br />

Hinds Community College<br />

is best told through the lives of<br />

individuals who were passionate<br />

about serving the college and its<br />

students. These individuals were<br />

deeply committed to the mission<br />

of the college, and their influence<br />

lingers throughout 100 years of<br />

Hinds history.<br />

Please join us for a reception<br />

honoring these people<br />

Thursday, Aug. 10, <strong>2017</strong><br />

6:30 p.m.<br />

Hogg Auditorium | Cain-Cochran Hall<br />

Raymond, MS<br />

150 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 151

ankin<br />


BBQ Ranch<br />

Pasta Salad<br />

• 1 pound pasta, cooked al dente<br />

• 1 cup Hidden Valley® Honey BBQ Dressing<br />

• 1/3 cup sour cream<br />

• 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained<br />

• 1 cup canned corn, drained<br />

• ½ red bell pepper, diced<br />

• ½ small red onion, finely diced<br />

• 1 ½ cups diced cooked chicken<br />

• 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese<br />

• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro<br />

• 1 cup corn chips<br />

Place cooked pasta in a large bowl.<br />

Stir together Hidden Valley® Honey BBQ<br />

Dressing and sour cream and pour over pasta.<br />

Toss to mix.<br />

Add all remaining ingredients, except corn chips,<br />

and stir to combine.<br />

Refrigerate until ready to serve and sprinkle corn<br />

chips on top just before serving.<br />

Baked Ham<br />

& Cheese Roll Ups<br />

• 1 tube crescent dough sheet<br />

• ¾ lb. Boar’s Head SmokeMaster<br />

Black Forest Ham, thinly sliced<br />

• 12 slices Swiss cheese, thinly sliced<br />

• ½ cup butter, melted {I use salted}<br />

• 1 Tbsp. poppy seeds<br />

• 1 ½ Tbsp. yellow mustard<br />

• 1 Tbsp. dried minced onion<br />

• ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce<br />

Preheat oven to 350º and grease a 9x13 inch<br />

baking dish with cooking spray.<br />

Roll out your crescent dough and press into an<br />

approximately 13x18 inch rectangle. Top with ham<br />

and cheese.<br />

Starting on the long side, roll the dough up<br />

tightly. Pinch the ends together and place with the<br />

seam facing down. Cut into 12 pieces.<br />

Place your rollups in your baking dish,<br />

evenly spaced.<br />

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the butter,<br />

poppy seeds, mustard, onion, and Worcestershire<br />

sauce. Pour the sauce evenly over the rollups.<br />

Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes until lightly<br />

browned.<br />

Baked Pimento<br />

Cheese Dip<br />

• 8-10 slices bacon<br />

• 1 pound cheddar cheese (medium or sharp)<br />

• 1 4-ounce jar pimentos, drained well<br />

• 1 cup mayonnaise<br />

• 1/2 teaspoon salt<br />

• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper<br />

• 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic<br />

• 1 bunch green onions, diced<br />

• 1 cup crushed crackers<br />

(such as Ritz or Tollhouse)<br />

Cut bacon into 1/2 inch pieces then cook until<br />

crispy. Drain bacon on paper towels. Set aside.<br />

Shred cheese then add to a medium-sized<br />

mixing bowl. Add cooked bacon, pimentos,<br />

mayonnaise, salt, cayenne pepper and garlic then<br />

mix well until all ingredients are thoroughly<br />

incorporated. Fold in green onions.<br />

Spread cheese mixture evenly into a mediumsized<br />

shallow baking dish (I usually use an 8x10<br />

oval dish). Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.<br />

Remove dish from oven. If necessary, blot any<br />

excess oil from top using several paper towels.<br />

Sprinkle crushed crackers evenly on top of<br />

cheese and return dish to oven. Bake for an<br />

additional 20 minutes or until crackers are golden<br />

brown and cheese is bubbly.<br />

Serve with crackers and/or celery sticks.<br />

152 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

ankin<br />


White Chicken<br />

Chili<br />

• 4 cups chicken broth<br />

• 4 15.5 oz. cans Great Northern Beans<br />

drained and rinsed<br />

• 2 cups shredded chicken<br />

• 1 small can diced green chilies<br />

• 1 tsp. cumin<br />

• ½ tsp. garlic powder<br />

• ½ tsp. oregano<br />

• dash of pepper<br />

• 1 cup sour cream<br />

• 2 cups shredded cheese Monterrey Jack<br />

or Mexican Blend<br />

In a large pot, add broth, beans, chicken, green<br />

chilies, cumin, garlic powder, oregano and pepper.<br />

Simmer on low-medium heat for 20-30 minutes,<br />

or until it is heated through.<br />

Right before serving, stir in sour cream and<br />

cheese until it is all blended and melted.<br />

Million Dollar Dip<br />

• 5 green onions, chopped<br />

• 8 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded<br />

• 1½ cups mayonnaise<br />

• ½ cup real bacon bits<br />

• ½ cup slivered almonds<br />

Combine green onions, cheddar cheese,<br />

mayonnaise, bacon bits, and slivered almonds in<br />

a small bowl. Mix until combined and chill for at<br />

least 2 hours. Serve with your favorite crackers.<br />

Peanut Butter<br />

Chocolate Bars<br />

• 1 (18.25) package plain yellow cake mix<br />

• ½ cup butter, melted<br />

• 1 cup creamy peanut butter<br />

• 2 eggs<br />

• 1 (12 oz.) package semi-sweet chocolate chips<br />

• 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk<br />

• 2 Tablespoons butter<br />

• 2 teaspoons vanilla<br />

• 1 cup coconut (optional)<br />

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.<br />

Combine cake mix, melted butter, peanut butter,<br />

and eggs in a large bowl using a mixer or spoon.<br />

Press the cake mixture into a 9x13 pan reserving<br />

1 ½ cup of the mixture to crumble on top.<br />

In a small pot, melt chocolate chips, sweetened<br />

condensed milk, and butter. Remove from heat<br />

and stir in the vanilla and coconut.<br />

Spread chocolate mixture over the mixture<br />

pressed in the pan and then crumble the 1 ½ cups<br />

of reserved cake mixture on top evenly.<br />

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely before<br />

cutting into bars.<br />

Cheez-It Mix Up<br />

• 1 7-oz. box white cheddar Cheez-Its<br />

• 6 Tbsp. butter, melted<br />

• 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder<br />

• 1 1/2 tsp. onion powder<br />

• 2 Tbsp. chopped dill<br />

• 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley<br />

Combine all ingredients in a large microwave-safe<br />

bowl, tossing until evenly coated.<br />

Microwave on high 5 to 6 minutes, stirring every<br />

1 ½ to 2 minutes, until the butter mixture is<br />

absorbed by the crackers.<br />

Spread crackers onto paper towels to drain.<br />

Let cool completely.<br />

Glazed Bacon<br />

Crackers<br />

• 1 pound bacon<br />

• 1 box Townhouse crackers<br />

• ½ cup brown sugar<br />

• ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper<br />

Cut each bacon slice into quarters<br />

Place a rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet<br />

Place crackers on rack and place one bacon quarter<br />

on each cracker.<br />

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and<br />

cayenne. Sprinkle a small amount of the brown<br />

sugar mixture on top of the bacon.<br />

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until<br />

bacon is crisp.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 153

154 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

155 MARKET ST. FLOWOOD, MS 39232<br />


111 MARKET ST. FLOWOOD, MS 39232<br />


156 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Football Saturdays in the South is a<br />

phenomenon inexplicable to the rest of<br />

the world. The game itself has become<br />

a symbolic event that binds together<br />

students, alumni, fans, and players, both<br />

past and present. <strong>Rankin</strong> County has<br />

its fair share of former college players.<br />

They are part of a brotherhood that only<br />

those having played the game can share.<br />

We caught up with several of them and<br />

asked them to recall some of their best<br />

memories from the gridiron.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 157

Breck Tyler<br />

Mississippi State University<br />

University of Mississippi<br />

What was the foremost<br />

highlight of your football<br />

career?<br />

Signing a football scholarship to<br />

play for my father who was the<br />

head coach at Mississippi State.<br />

What was the most<br />

difficult part of being<br />

a college athlete?<br />

Focusing on effective time<br />

management in order to excel<br />

in athletics and academics in<br />

addition to participating in my<br />

faith-based and social<br />

organizations.<br />

Describe the favorite<br />

character trait you saw in<br />

your head coach.<br />

My head coach and father at<br />

MSU possessed numerous<br />

positive traits that I admired.<br />

My favorite trait would be his<br />

sincere love and personal<br />

concern for his players.<br />

Name some ways football<br />

influenced your life after<br />

football.<br />

Primary influences would include<br />

teamwork, hard work, loyalty and<br />

the focus of always trying to find<br />

a way to win.<br />

Who was the player you<br />

most admired on your<br />

team and why?<br />

Ole Miss wide receiver, Ken Tolar.<br />

Ken was extremely competitive,<br />

professional, and respectful of<br />

others.<br />

Share one of the ways your<br />

coach or coaches tried to<br />

motivate you for a “big”<br />

game.<br />

My coaches de-emphasized the<br />

importance and the emotion of<br />

the “big game” and emphasized<br />

our focus on the specifics of the<br />

game plan and the fundamentals<br />

of executing one play at a time.<br />

Eric Redd<br />

University of Southern Mississippi<br />

What was the foremost<br />

highlight of your football<br />

career?<br />

Meeting players from all walks<br />

of life and uniting to become a<br />

team with everything else aside.<br />

What was the most<br />

difficult part of being<br />

a college athlete?<br />

Separating academics and<br />

athletics–having to make time<br />

for studying after a hard day of<br />

practice.<br />

Describe the favorite<br />

character trait you saw<br />

in your head coach.<br />

He said what he was thinking,<br />

and he meant what he said.<br />

Name some ways football<br />

influenced your life after<br />

football.<br />

Nothing comes easy and without<br />

preparation it’s almost impossible<br />

to be successful.<br />

Who was the player you<br />

most admired on your team<br />

and why?<br />

We had a very unique team and<br />

were all very close. It’s for that<br />

reason that there wasn’t a single<br />

particular person I admired.<br />

Share one of the ways<br />

your coach or coaches<br />

tried to motivate you for<br />

a “big” game.<br />

We had a coach that would grab<br />

players with their helmet on and<br />

he would head butt the player<br />

until his head started bleeding–<br />

the coach’s head, that is.<br />

158 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Dan Boyce,Jr.<br />

University of Mississippi<br />

Cliff Thomas<br />

University of Alabama<br />

What was the foremost<br />

highlight of your football<br />

career?<br />

The wonderful friendships made<br />

during my time at Ole Miss are<br />

definitely the most enriching<br />

blessings.<br />

Describe the favorite<br />

character trait you saw<br />

in your head coach.<br />

Coach Brewer was very much a<br />

player’s coach and let us enjoy<br />

the game and camaraderie.<br />

Name some ways football<br />

influenced your life after<br />

football.<br />

I think football helps me to<br />

meet challenges head-on and<br />

always strive to be a good team<br />

member.<br />

Who was the player you<br />

most admired on your<br />

team and why?<br />

Jamie Holder because of<br />

his leadership skills and<br />

commitment to being his best.<br />

What was the foremost<br />

highlight of your football<br />

career?<br />

Starting my first game against<br />

Tennessee as a sophomore in<br />

front of over 100,000 fans.<br />

What was the most<br />

difficult part of being<br />

a college athlete?<br />

The hours spent 5 days a week<br />

during the season. Our days<br />

would start at 6:30am and after<br />

all our classes, training room,<br />

meetings, football practice,<br />

weight lifting, homework, and<br />

film work, the day may end at<br />

10pm or later.<br />

Name some ways football<br />

influenced your life after<br />

football.<br />

All the hard work we were put<br />

through. I broke my leg my<br />

freshman year and had major<br />

knee surgery my junior year. Both<br />

caused me to do a ton of rehab.<br />

When I’d get back to where I<br />

could play, there was always<br />

somebody ahead of me that<br />

stayed healthy and I had to practice<br />

that much harder to try and<br />

beat them out. Everybody was<br />

good—so you had to battle that<br />

and I feel it made me a stronger<br />

person going through it.<br />

Who was the player you<br />

most admired on your<br />

team and why?<br />

There were a couple and they<br />

were walk-on players. One<br />

played the same position I did<br />

and he could have played for a<br />

lot of SEC teams, but he loved<br />

Alabama. He worked hard and<br />

I always thought there’s no way<br />

I would walk-on and go through<br />

all he did and maybe never get<br />

to play. He got to dress out a<br />

couple of games our senior year<br />

and despite getting in trouble for<br />

doing it, I came out a play and<br />

went to him and told him to go<br />

in. He went through four years<br />

of all those hard workouts and<br />

practices to play one snap. That<br />

took a lot heart to do that.<br />

Share one of the ways<br />

your coach or coaches<br />

tried to motivate you for<br />

a "big" game.<br />

At Alabama it was business.<br />

The coaches didn’t have to<br />

motivate you to play. After all the<br />

hard work the week before the<br />

game and hours of practicing<br />

and studying film you were<br />

excited to get out and play in<br />

front of all your fans and family.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 159

John Emfinger<br />

Mississippi College<br />

Samford University<br />

What was the foremost<br />

highlight of your football<br />

career?<br />

Playing a game in Mexico City.<br />

What was the most<br />

difficult part of being<br />

a college athlete?<br />

Amount of time required<br />

year-round and injuries.<br />

Describe the favorite<br />

character trait you saw<br />

in your head coach.<br />

He would not ask you to do<br />

anything he would not do<br />

ten times himself.<br />

Name some ways football<br />

influenced your life after<br />

football.<br />

Keep going when times get<br />

rough.<br />

Who was the player you<br />

most admired on your<br />

team and why?<br />

Larry Evans. He came back from<br />

a knee injury to play for years in<br />

the NFL.<br />

Share one of the ways<br />

your coach or coaches<br />

tried to motivate you for<br />

a "big" game.<br />

Different ways he would show<br />

his energy and excitement. And<br />

you’d better get out of his way<br />

once he got started.<br />

Randolph Brown<br />

University of Southern Mississippi<br />

What was the foremost<br />

highlight of your football<br />

career?<br />

It was the game against<br />

Mississippi State in 1985 at the<br />

Memorial Stadium. We got the<br />

ball on the two-yard line and<br />

drove ninety-eight yards for the<br />

winning touchdown.<br />

What was the most<br />

difficult part of being<br />

a college athlete?<br />

Taking on the responsibility of<br />

being a student-athlete and the<br />

time that was demanded of you<br />

on and off the field.<br />

Describe the favorite<br />

character trait you saw<br />

in your head coach.<br />

Coach Jim Carmody. I would<br />

have to say toughness. He<br />

thought you should be carried off<br />

the field if you were really injured.<br />

Name some ways football<br />

influenced your life after<br />

football.<br />

Teamwork, compromises,<br />

leadership, and humbleness.<br />

Who was the player you<br />

most admired on your<br />

team and why?<br />

I would say Sam Dejarnette.<br />

Not a man of many words but a<br />

dynamic player on the field.<br />

Share one of the ways<br />

your coach or coaches<br />

tried to motivate you for<br />

a "big" game.<br />

By letting us know that we can<br />

play with anybody, anywhere,<br />

and anytime.<br />

160 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Flint Minshew<br />

Millsaps College<br />

Steve Joyner<br />

University of Mississippi<br />

What was the foremost<br />

highlight of your football<br />

career?<br />

Not what you’d think. The family<br />

of Millsaps’ Coach Tommy<br />

Ranager asked me to be one of<br />

the pallbearers for his funeral.<br />

Out of the hundreds of players<br />

he coached, for them to consider<br />

me was a great honor and truly<br />

humbling.<br />

What was the most<br />

difficult part of being<br />

a college athlete?<br />

Time management. You have<br />

all the obligations of a normal<br />

student plus practice, weights,<br />

meetings, etc. Unlike other students<br />

who have a lot of free time,<br />

you have to make sure you’re<br />

covering all your academic and<br />

athletic responsibilities.<br />

Describe the favorite<br />

character trait you saw<br />

in your head coach.<br />

All of my coaches (Barham in<br />

junior high and high school, and<br />

Coaches Ranager and Davis)<br />

were very tough on me. But they<br />

balanced that with caring for us<br />

and picking me up at the right<br />

times. All of them demanded a<br />

high work ethic and preparation.<br />

We beat teams more talented<br />

than us because we were in<br />

better shape and just mentally<br />

tougher. Our practices and<br />

conditioning were so hard that<br />

games were a break!<br />

Name some ways football<br />

influenced your life after<br />

football.<br />

My work ethic and the ability to<br />

deal with adversity. Sacrificing to<br />

reach goals. Picking myself and<br />

others up when things don’t go<br />

right, and to keep working. Some<br />

of my best friends to this day are<br />

those guys that went through<br />

that with me at Millsaps.<br />

Who was the player you<br />

most admired on your<br />

team and why?<br />

Two guys: Brad Dew and Shane<br />

Reed. Both guys played above<br />

their talent level and I could<br />

always count on them—on and<br />

off the field.<br />

Share one of the ways<br />

your coach or coaches<br />

tried to motivate you for<br />

a “big” game.<br />

Fortunately I didn’t play for big<br />

“Rah-Rah” coaches because that<br />

certainly wasn’t my personality.<br />

They were just about always<br />

working and being prepared,<br />

regardless of who we played.<br />

What was the foremost<br />

highlight of your football<br />

career?<br />

Catching the game-winning<br />

touchdown against LSU in<br />

Jackson in 1983 as a true<br />

freshman.<br />

What was the most<br />

difficult part of being<br />

a college athlete?<br />

Finding enough time to study.<br />

Describe the favorite<br />

character trait you saw<br />

in your head coach.<br />

Determination.<br />

Name some ways football<br />

influenced your life after<br />

football.<br />

Football taught me that you<br />

have to get up and go to work<br />

everyday if you’re going to have<br />

a chance in life.<br />

Who was the player you<br />

most admired on your<br />

team and why?<br />

The entire senior class during the<br />

1983 season. They never had a<br />

winning season and refused to<br />

quit until we made it to a bowl<br />

game. The 1983 Independence<br />

Bowl was the first bowl game in<br />

12 years.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 161

Neill Bartling<br />

Delta State University<br />

Sammy Dantone<br />

Mississippi State University<br />

What was the foremost<br />

highlight of your football<br />

career?<br />

I was just a kicker, so getting a<br />

“big hit” on a kick-off against<br />

top 5 ranked West Georgia<br />

sticks out.<br />

What was the most<br />

difficult part of being<br />

a college athlete?<br />

I would say time management.<br />

I played football and baseball<br />

at DSU. In the fall we had 6-8<br />

weeks of fall baseball, so I had<br />

to balance football, baseball and<br />

academics.<br />

Describe the favorite<br />

character trait you saw<br />

in your head coach.<br />

His positive attitude. We had<br />

some really good times along<br />

with some tough stretches. He<br />

always had a positive attitude<br />

through both.<br />

Name some ways football<br />

influenced your life after<br />

football.<br />

I’m going to have to use baseball<br />

on this one. Life has a way of<br />

throwing you curve balls sometimes,<br />

so the ability to adjust is<br />

pretty important if you want to be<br />

successful in life.<br />

Who was the player you<br />

most admired on your team<br />

and why?<br />

My first year playing football we<br />

had a freshman running back<br />

named Tregnel Thomas. He<br />

may have been 5’6” 150 lbs.<br />

Every time he touched the ball<br />

in practice, he was full speed 20<br />

yards down field when he didn’t<br />

have to. He ended up winning<br />

the Conerly Trophy that year as<br />

the Best College Football Player<br />

in Mississippi.<br />

Share one of the ways<br />

your coach or coaches<br />

tried to motivate you<br />

for a “big” game.<br />

Being that I was a kicker, motivation<br />

wasn’t quite as big a factor<br />

as it was for the offense and<br />

defense players.<br />

What was the foremost<br />

highlight of your football<br />

career?<br />

Kicking three field goals in one<br />

game–a record at that time.<br />

What was the most<br />

difficult part of being<br />

a college athlete?<br />

Mixing classes with football.<br />

Describe the favorite<br />

character trait you saw<br />

in your head coach.<br />

Communication.<br />

Name some ways football<br />

influenced your life after<br />

football.<br />

Coaching sports.<br />

Who was the player you<br />

most admired on your team<br />

and why?<br />

Buck Randall – tough as nails.<br />

Share one of the ways<br />

your coach or coaches<br />

tried to motivate you<br />

for a “big” game.<br />

Leaving a little note in my locker.<br />

162 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Steve Warner<br />

University of Southern Mississippi<br />

What was the foremost<br />

highlight of your football<br />

career?<br />

Playing on a top 20 team.<br />

What was the most<br />

difficult part of being<br />

a college athlete?<br />

Time invested in playing on the<br />

college level.<br />

Describe the favorite<br />

character trait you saw<br />

in your head coach.<br />

Leadership.<br />

Name some ways football<br />

influenced your life after<br />

football.<br />

Made me more of a team player.<br />

Who was the player you<br />

most admired on your team<br />

and why?<br />

Reggie Collier – most talented<br />

football player that I know.<br />

Welton Beverly<br />

University of Mississippi<br />

Jackson State University<br />

What was the foremost<br />

highlight of your football<br />

career?<br />

Making three crushing blocks<br />

on a Southern Miss. linebacker.<br />

What was the most<br />

difficult part of being<br />

a college athlete?<br />

Having to study and practice with<br />

limited amounts of sleep.<br />

Describe the favorite<br />

character trait you saw<br />

in your head coach.<br />

Ole Miss Coach Billy Brewer<br />

and Jackson State, Coach W.C.<br />

Gordon. Both men had a real<br />

passion for their players and<br />

their teams<br />

Name some ways football<br />

influenced your life after<br />

football.<br />

I have a greater understanding<br />

of what my coaches were trying<br />

to instill in us. It built self-esteem,<br />

growth within myself, and trust in<br />

myself and others. I understand<br />

why coaches were always on us<br />

about being on time for practices,<br />

meetings, classes and curfews.<br />

The rules that were taught to me<br />

in football are the same rules that<br />

I have to follow at my job as a<br />

Flowood police officer.<br />

Who was the player you<br />

most admired on your team<br />

and why?<br />

At Ole Miss, the player I admired<br />

was Jeff Herrod. I liked the way<br />

he carried himself on and off the<br />

football field. He always complimented<br />

me after a good block<br />

on him. At JSU, running back NFL<br />

player Lewis Tillman. I like how<br />

hard this guy worked while he<br />

was on the field. Not only did he<br />

work hard on the field, he did it<br />

in the classroom as well.<br />

Share one of the ways<br />

your coach or coaches<br />

tried to motivate you<br />

for a “big” game.<br />

I will never forget when JSU<br />

Coach W.C. Gordon and James<br />

“Big Daddy” Carson, gave us<br />

a motivational speech about<br />

Southern Miss. not wanting<br />

to come play us at Memorial<br />

Stadium in Jackson. Our stadium<br />

held more fans than the stadium<br />

in Hattiesburg. The staff only<br />

provided us a certain amount of<br />

tickets for the game. By the time<br />

they finished their speech, there<br />

wasn’t a dry eye in the locker<br />

room. The speech had everyone<br />

fired up.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 163





Richland Economic<br />

Development Association<br />

164 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 165

166 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Quality Care.<br />

Located in Richland.<br />

Open Seven Days a Week<br />

Scott Davis, MD<br />

Grace Applewhite, FNP-C<br />

Amanda Downard, NP-C<br />

Meredith Hayles, FNP-BC<br />

Hours:<br />

Monday – Friday:<br />

7:00 AM – 7:00 PM<br />

Saturday:<br />

9:00 AM – 6:00 PM<br />

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12:00 PM – 6:00 PM<br />

601-973-1576<br />

1201 Highway 49 South<br />

Suite 1<br />

www.baptistmedicalclinic.org<br />

The Following Is Not For Print/For Information Only<br />

Placement: <strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong>. 06/<strong>2017</strong>. 8” x 5”. Commissioned by Diane Martin.<br />

(CorpComm001/Layout A-L/Clinic/Ads/Richland Clinic FastPass ad)<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 167

168 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 169

Camille Anding<br />

The Time Coin<br />

Last times can be monumental times,<br />

and November 29, 1997 was a<br />

monumental last time for the<br />

Anding family. Our son, Eli, a senior<br />

football player at Ole Miss, would play his<br />

final college game – the infamous rival<br />

game between Ole Miss and State.<br />

It was a day of reflecting for me as<br />

I retraced the five years he had given to the game of football. God’s<br />

faithfulness had been evident in answer to so many prayers – in<br />

fulfilling so many desires, and in comforting a lot of disappointments.<br />

When Coach Billy Brewer offered Eli a Rebel scholarship, Eli said<br />

yes to a life-long dream of playing SEC football. That was one of those<br />

“jubilation” times, but there would be hard times ahead.<br />

We could only wait and watch when we saw Eli’s freshman dreams<br />

of quarterbacking vanish with the turnover in head coaches. His team<br />

would see three different head coaches over the next four years.<br />

The challenges were enormous, but hard times are proven teachers,<br />

and Eli learned much about perseverance, resilience, patience and<br />

determination. Some sympathetic fans told us that Eli’s versatility<br />

and athleticism in the sport would be his greatest disadvantage.<br />

By his junior year and his third position change, I began to understand.<br />

I continued to thank God that with each new<br />

coach and position, Eli only grew more<br />

determined. The injuries, time-consuming<br />

rehabs, grueling two-a-days, and adjustments<br />

to new coaches, never stifled his drive to be a<br />

team player and an ardent Rebel on and off<br />

the field.<br />

As a mother of a football player, I learned<br />

to watch the <strong>August</strong> weather patterns and to pray for cloudy, breezy<br />

breaks over the practice fields. I grieved when I saw him side-lined with<br />

spring practice injuries but rejoiced to find them all reparable. I<br />

thanked God for the enduring teammate friendships he made and the<br />

motivators among his gallery of coaches.<br />

On that last ballgame – the last college rival game with State,<br />

I entered the stadium with a grateful heart for everything that football<br />

had taught us and for surviving all the hard days. Would this be the last<br />

hard day or possibly a day of jubilation? I reminded the Lord what a<br />

win would mean for Eli – the nostalgia of it being his “last” game –<br />

as I prayed for all the teams’ safety.<br />

The final score that night: Ole Miss 15 – State 14. It was for Eli. n<br />

170 • <strong>August</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

More than 30 practices.<br />

Quick appointments.<br />

One number: 844-MSMERIT.<br />

Because there’s Merit in convenient care.<br />

With more than 30 primary care and specialty practices in four counties across the Jackson and Vicksburg metropolitan<br />

areas, Merit Health Medical Group providers offer quality care for your family with your schedule in mind. From sore<br />

throats and fever to annual wellness visits and more specialized care, we’ve got you covered.<br />

To see all locations and specialties, please visit MyMeritDoctor.com<br />

Call 844-MSMERIT for a provider near you.<br />

Walk-ins are welcome at all primary care practices,<br />

or ask about same-day and next-day appointments.

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