Joe Fortunato golf classic this weekend

Published 12:09 am Wednesday, April 30, 2008

It is hard to believe that April is almost over and that May will be here before we know it. Most Spring high school sports will reach their championship climax in the next couple of weeks.

A few Miss-Lou teams are still in the championship hunt, but I was sorry that Trinity lost out to Copiah Academy last week. I do admire the Saints’ athletic program for its continued success, despite having to move up to MPSA Class AA.

Glad to see that Cathedral won both Saturday contests against West Lowndes and will move on to face Stringer in the next round. I know that Stringer, in Jasper County, is really in South Mississippi but it is hard for me to put West Lowndes in the southern part of the state. Maybe West Lowndes is not really in Lowndes County, but I can find no other Lowndes on the Mississippi map.

Email newsletter signup

My guess is that so many small schools in South Mississippi merged into larger schools that there were not enough 1A schools to make a South Mississippi A Classification. I also noticed that Cathedral Coach Craig Beesley became agitated at an umpiring call or two in his team’s Saturday contests.

I do not know if he was ejected, but I doubt if it got that bad. Craig, much like his father Ken, has never been one to dwell on officiating calls. Ken always reasoned that if the coach spent a lot of time criticizing officiating calls, his players would tend to start using that as a crutch and would forget about playing the game.

Many high school and college football coaches I knew failed to follow that philosophy.

I must, in all journalistic honesty, state that Craig Beesley is my son-in-law. Also, at least two of his players, Hunter Foster and Kole Junkin, are my great-nephews.

One of Trinity’s outstanding senior athletes, Parker Brumfield, is also my great-nephew. But to spread the connections, two of my daughters teach in the Natchez Public School System.

One of those daughters coached the Natchez High tennis team through some of its fledgling seasons. I also have a step-grandson playing baseball (and football) at Madison Central. Madison Central lost Saturday to Tupelo in their round-robin play-off series.

Tupelo spent a few days atop the national high school baseball rankings before losing a game last week. They will likely meet Northwest Rankin later in the State Championship series, and Northwest Rankin has spent s few weeks atop the Mississippi high school rankings. I look forward to seeing that series.

This weekend will see the Joe Fortunato Celebrity Golf Classic at Duncan Park.

Sponsored annually by the Miss-Lou Chapter of the National Football Foundation, the event raises funds for the scholarships awarded to local graduation high school scholar-athletes.

Only a handful (to my memory) of the scholarship winners over the years have received athletic scholarships to major schools, and thereby been ineligible to receive funds from the Miss-Lou Chapter.

To my thinking, that is just another of the NCAA’s silly rules that are counter productive to education. The rule makes about as much sense as the 11.7 scholarship limit placed on college baseball programs. I don’t blame Ron Polk for staying after the NCAA on that rule.

A final reminder about the golf outing this weekend. The cause is education, which is on everybody’s mind these days, and there is always great fun.

And, That’s Official.

Al Graning can be reached by e-mail at