Sunday, August 5, 2012

From the notebook.......................
Southern Sports & Travel is excited to announce a new advertiser, Gateway Tire & Service Center. The company has 54 stores in 7 states (17 in Mississippi) and has committed to a full year of advertising. Equally exciting is their partnership in sponsoring a “Player of the Week” for the entire 2012/13 school year. Coaches, parents and fans are encouraged to email Southern Sports & Travel at or call/text 985-750-3455 to submit a player. The Player of the Week will be posted each Tuesday.
In eleven days the 2012 MAIS football season gets underway as two Thursday night games kick off what should be an exciting season. Canton will visit defending Class-A champion Tri-County while Class-AAA champion Jackson Academy treks to Hattiesburg to take on Presbyterian, but before those opening kickoffs there are Jamborees taking place this Thursday and Friday for those fans interested in getting an early look at area teams. A schedule of several Jamborees is posted on the right side of the page.
Opening week will include two district games, Calvary at Central and North Sunflower at Marvell and four squads will have an open date to start the season. That open date should be a huge benefit for teams such as WCCA who have new head coaches and get that extra week of practice before making a run at a state championship.
The Southern Sports & Travel “Pick Em” football contest will begin soon. Click on the tab at the top of the site to find out about week one games, prizes and rules. For the most up to date football scores during the season follow Southern Sports & Travel on Twitter. Just look on the left side of the website.
Seems as though two topics are reoccurring themes each football season. The early start of the season and the extreme heat that accompanies it and the concern over the increasing number of eight-man football teams in the MAIS.
The early start not only increases the risk of heat related health issues for players but it also creates a major strain on many schools who are focused on working to insure that the start of the 2012/13 school year goes smoothly for students, teachers and parents.
The MHSAA will follow a state mandated August 5th opening practice date for the 2013 season with Jamborees scheduled for August 16th. Whether the MAIS will follow in the same direction is not clear.
The steady rise in the participation of 8-man football should be a concern for the MAIS. In 2007 there were forty Class-A eleven-man squads and only six 8-man teams. Fast forward to the 2012 season and the number of 8-man teams has more than doubled to sixteen while the number of eleven-man teams in Class-A has dwindled to twenty seven. The guideline for schools who wish to play 8-man football seems cloudy at best and if some reports of schools with more than 20 varsity players competing in 8-man districts are correct the MAIS needs to clearly set a benchmark to preserve Class-A eleven man football.
I'll be hitting the road Thursday to cover a portion of the Copiah Jamboree and on Friday night the Parklane Jamboree.
See ya somewhere...........

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