2011 had several good story linesPublished 12:01am Sunday, December 25, 2011
When we look back on this year, it certainly proved to have both ups and downs for area teams.
Basketball season quickly became postseason basketball season early in 2011, and something unprecedented happened for Trinity Episcopal — both the boys and girls teams made it to the state championship game.
After having already won a state title during the 2010 football season, the special group that was Trinity’s 2010 graduating class was hoping to add a state championship ring in another sport.
For the Trinity girls, it was their second shot at a state title after being denied by Delta Academy in the 2009-10 season. The Lady Saints would face Delta Academy again in the title game this year.
Unfortunately for the Trinity faithful, both the boys and girls lost close battles. The Lady Saints fell 39-37 to Delta Academy, and the boys fell to Greenville Christian 54-53.
But the Trinity senior boys were not going to be denied twice, and the Saints were able to get another state championship ring in the spring before those seniors graduated. The Trinity baseball team beat Winona Christian in convincing fashion during the state championship tournament in May, winning Game 1 9-0 and Game 2 10-1.
In MAIS Class AA, Centreville Academy also claimed a state title, but the championship series was much more nail-biting than Trinity’s. After losing Game 1 to Simpson Academy 6-3, the Tigers stormed back to get a walkoff 5-3 win in Game 2, then held on for a 4-3 win in Game 3. The final two wins came on the same day in Centreville, setting up for a lively celebration that night in Centreville.
The dog days of summer soon turned to fall, and several area teams made runs at a state title before being eliminated in the postseason.
While Natchez High School, Adams County Christian School and Vidalia High School went through rebuilding years, Trinity Episcopal, Cathedral High School and Centreville Academy all had state title aspirations.
Ferriday High School introduced new head coach Richard Oliver, who managed to lead his team to a playoff berth despite a young roster and numerous injuries.
And perhaps unexpectedly to some, Wilkinson County Christian Academy soon joined that list of teams looking to win it all. After winning just two games in 2010, the Rams, led by first-year head coach Ray McDaniel, won their district and made it to the second round of the MAIS Class A playoffs before being eliminated by Riverfield Academy. The Rams finished 11-2.
Trinity and Centreville faced off in the second round of the AA playoffs, with the Saints getting the win 39-19. But Simpson Academy ended Trinity’s hopes of a third straight state title, beating the Saints 23-7 in the South State championship game.
Cathedral High School also made it to the South State title game, but the Green Wave were eliminated by Noxapater on the road 54-39. Still, it was the best season for Cathedral in more than a decade, as the Green Wave finished 12-2.
As the year draws to a close, we can only hope 2012 continues to provide interesting storylines for sports fans in the Miss-Lou. For now, though, I hope you all have a Merry Christmas.