Buckles gets love of game from his dad

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 7, 1999

Madison Central senior tackle Doug Buckles said his father, Matt, talks a lot about when he was a football player at Franklin Christian Academy in Meadville.

&uot;He said he used to run through people like me,&uot; Doug said.

Matt jokingly corrects his 6-foot-5, 270-pound son.

Email newsletter signup

&uot;I ran from people like that,&uot; he said. &uot;I weighed 168 pounds. Doug was that in the seventh grade.&uot;

There were a lot of running backs unsuccessfully trying to run away from Matt this year.

The preseason Dandy Dozen defensive tackle helped lead his Jaguar team to a win over Jackson Provine last Friday for the Class 5A state championship.

Doug credits his father with getting him into football.

&uot;He taught me a lot about the game when I was growing up,&uot; Doug said. &uot;He talked about how he enjoyed it and had a lot of fun.&uot;

Matt played football at Franklin Christian from 1969-75. He was a quarterback and tight end.

Franklin played against all of the area private schools. Matt’s Franklin Christian team played an Adams County Christian School team with Ronnie McGehee on the squad. McGehee is the current principal at Madison Central.

Matt was born in Meadville and married Karen Dillon of Meadville. His late father, Billy, worked at International Paper for 35 years.

Matt attended Copiah-Lincoln Junior College and in his second year there joined the Baptist ministry. He served his first church in 1979 in Hamburg before being called to a church in Wesson in 1979.

In 1990, Matt began his current duties with the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board.

He and his wife graduated from Mississippi College, although most people believe they are Mississippi State graduates.

&uot;I think that rumor got started when an Internet service called Doug and he told them we graduated from Mississippi College and they wrote that down as Mississippi State,&uot; Matt said.

Matt added that he is a fan of all Mississippi schools.

&uot;I was an Archie Manning fan growing up like all kids, but I also like State,&uot; he said.

Right now he’s a staunch Madison Central fan. And his son is still enjoying the feel of being a state champion.

&uot;I woke up Saturday morning and it really hit me,&uot; Doug said. &uot;And then Sunday at church everybody was coming up congratulating me.&uot;

Madison Central finished the season 15-0.

&uot;I knew we had a good team and that if we played hard we had a chance to win it all,&uot; Doug said. &uot;I never thought we would go 15-0 and beat people like South Panola and Starkville and blow other people out.&uot;

Doug said he was surprised the Jaguars’ opponent would end up being Provine.

&uot;Since I’ve been in high school, generally Moss Point and Hattiesburg have been the top teams,&uot; Doug said. &uot;I had not heard much about Provine the last couple of years, but they stepped it up while some other people kind of went down.&uot;

Provine had several players close to Doug’s size.

&uot;They were a big and physical team, but they hadn’t seen anybody who could match up with them like we could,&uot; Doug said.

Doug has narrowed his collegiate choices to Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Florida, &uot;and a couple of others.&uot;

Florida visited Doug Sunday night and there are colleges slated for the next five nights to visit.

&uot;It’s been great so far,&uot;&160;Matt said. &uot;It’s not like there are 50 colleges storming our door. Some have eliminated themselves because they know they don’t have a shot. We’ve got about six or seven who are very serious now.&uot;

Joey Martin is sports editor of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at (601) 446-5172 ext. 232 or at joey.martin@natchezdemocrat.com.