High school football is officially over for 2019
In seems like a blink of an eye, the 2019 high school football season officially ended Saturday as the Bernard Blackwell Football Classic closed out the year. The North team defeated the South team 28-7 on a cold, rainy afternoon that was fitting since we had several weeks where games were moved due to weather.
For me, it was special to be able to see players I covered this season put on their helmets one last time to represent their high school. I was able to stand alongside the South team as they were introduced and the National Anthem was played.
The score did not turn out in the South team’s favor, but being able to see the kids enjoy the day was great. There were many from the Sports601 coverage area taking part, but Hattiesburg High’s Rhyen Brisco caught the lone touchdown for the South. The North team got to see just how fast he was as he blew by a defensive back while shaking him out of his cleats.
It was a fun season, and as we turn our attention to basketball and soccer, I cannot help but peek ahead to baseball and spring football in 2020. Here’s to the “Roaring 20s.”
New Year’s and Bowl games
I will be taking some PTO on New Year’s from the 28th to the 31st, so you will not hear much from me those days. I’m sure I will be somewhat active over on Twitter, and who knows, I might even write a column between then (there really are no days off).
I cannot wait though for the upcoming start to 2020. While high school football is over, there is still the Sugar Bowl on January 1st and the Armed Forces Bowl on the 4th. Pugh and I are officially heading out on the 3rd and will take in the Ft. Worth area, trying to find some places to do landscape photography.
It will be a busy time, as I will be on the road from the 28th to the 4th for a total of 2,360 miles and just over 36 hours of drive time.
I would not have it any other way, though. It is a blessing.
What do Mississippi State and Southern Miss fans want for Christmas
On the surface, we know both team’s fanbases want a bowl win. That much is obvious. If we dig deeper, there is more that both team’s fanbases likely want to see.
For Southern Miss, their fans will want to see energy. Over the final few games, the energy seemed to be lacking on both sides of the ball. If they come out against Tulane with the same energy they did against Western Kentucky and FAU, then Tulane will take the bell back with them.
They would also like to see their wide receivers healthy and ready to go. When healthy, Quez Watkins is arguably the best wide receiver in the conference. A healthy wide receiving depth chart opens up what Hopson and the company of assistants can do with the offense. It will also make Jack Abraham a happy quarterback.
For the Bulldogs, they got one wish when Garrett Shrader was named the starting quarterback for the Music City Bowl. Like Watkins for the Golden Eagles, a healthy Shrader makes the Bulldog offense run much better.
Mississippi State fans also want the same intensity from their defense that they saw from them in the Egg Bowl. Holding an athlete like John Rhys Plumlee down for less than 40 yards rushing was a big feat considering he ran for over 200 yards against LSU.
Finally, a well-coached game would go a long way in calming down fans who are still not thrilled with Moorhead at the helm. Having a great performance against the Cardinals from Louisville will calm the nerves of Bulldog faithful for a bit.