Kemper County Messenger
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  • Kemper County’s fast-pitch softball team wrapped up its regular season last week with a pair of losses to Class 6A Columbus.

    Now, the Lady Wildcats are getting ready to take part in the MHSAA Class 3A state playoffs.
  • East Mississippi Community College’s David McFarland will continue his college basketball career at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. The sophomore guard signed his National Letter of Intent during a Tuesday afternoon signing event on the EMCC campus.

    A two-year standout for head coach Billy Begley, McFarland led the EMCC Lions in scoring (17.3 ppg) and rebounding (6.2 rpg) this past season as the lone team member to start all 21 games. The Raymond High School product also shot 49 percent overall from the field, 40 percent from three-point range, including a team-high 52 made 3-pointers, and 77 percent from the free throw line.
  • The Lions of East Mississippi Community College couldn’t solve East Central Community College’s pitching tandem in dropping a home conference doubleheader, 8-3 and 9-1, to the eighth-ranked Warriors Friday afternoon at the EMCC Softball Field.

    Coach Kyndall White’s 17-22 EMCC Lions, 14-10 within the conference, were set to take on Northwest Mississippi in a Wednesday road doubleheader at Senatobia.  East Mississippi will then close out its regular-season softball slate by playing host to seventh-ranked Mississippi Gulf Coast in a 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon twin bill on the Scooba campus.  

  • Nanih Waiya brought home one state champion, three state runners-up and an overall team finish of third last Friday when the Warriors ventured to the 2017 MHSAA Powerlifting Championships.

    The Class 1A State Meet, like all six MHSAA classifications, was held last Friday at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson.
  • In the midst of a two-week MACJC baseball home stand, the Lions of East Mississippi Community College held on for an 8-7 win in Friday’s opening game against Hinds Community College to earn a doubleheader split at Gerald Poole Field.  The visiting Eagles came back to claim a 9-2 victory over the Lions in the nightcap.

    Coach Chris Rose’s 17-13 EMCC Lions, 7-9 within the conference, were set to continue their current home stand by playing host to the Eagles of Meridian Community College in a Wednesday doubleheader on the Scooba campus.
  • Warriors claim district title, prep for playoffs
    Nanih Waiya’s perfect run through division play came to an unsuspecting end last Thursday with a historic loss to cross-county rival Noxapater.

    But the Warriors are still the Region 5-1A champions, and they’re still headed to the playoffs.
  • Area leaders meet new KCHS football coach
    Last Thursday night several Kemper County residents had the opportunity to meet new Kemper County High School head football coach Joshua Pulphus at a gathering held at the school.

    Pulphus was accompanied to the gathering at the KCHS library by his wife, ShaRonda, his three daughters, Tyleria, Saniyah and Jocelyn, along with other family members. They were greeted by a number of school and elected officials from around the county. Pulphus spoke briefly to those gathered, as did several other officials.
  • A four-run seventh inning in the second game enabled East Mississippi Community College to earn a road softball doubleheader split with Hinds Community College Saturday afternoon.   The Lions’ 8-7 comeback win in the nightcap followed a 5-3 setback to the Eagles in the opening game at Rene Warren Field.

  • The 15th-ranked East Mississippi Community College men’s rodeo team placed fourth this past weekend at the University of Tennessee at Martin’s 49th annual Spring College Rodeo.
  • Nanih Waiya’s softball team hung with Sebastopol last Tuesday before the Lady Bobcats pulled away late. But two days later, the Lady Warriors rebounded with a big win over rival Noxapater.

    After Sebastopol scored six times in the seventh inning to take a 12-7 win over the Lady Warriors on Tuesday, they roared back with an 8-6 win over Noxapater on Thursday to improve to 5-10 on the season.
  • Nanih Waiya continued to pile up wins on the baseball diamond last week, sweeping a pair of division contests from West Lowndes to improve its record to 18-1 on the year.

    The Warriors were scheduled to battle cross-county rival Noxapater this week in a pair of district contests: Tuesday at Noxapater and Thursday at home.

    Next week, the Warriors are scheduled to host Union on Tuesday (April 18) before the MHSAA Class 1A state playoffs begin April 21-24.
  • For the second straight year, Kemper County’s fast-pitch softball team has clinched a spot in the postseason.

    The Lady Wildcats ventured to Aberdeen last Tuesday and swept the host Lady Bulldogs, assuring Kemper of the No. 3 spot in Region 4-3A action.

  • Stepping out of conference play, the Lions of East Mississippi Community College split a road baseball doubleheader with Baton Rouge Community College Saturday afternoon.  EMCC prevailed 8-3 in the opener but dropped a 6-4 decision in the nightcap at Pete Goldsby Field.
  • Kemper Academy got into its 2017 district baseball schedule last week, and the Rams wasted no time establishing their dominance.

    After a 21-2 win over Central Academy on Tuesday, the Rams ventured to Pheba and hammered Hebron Christian School 22-1 on Friday.

    Those two wins lifted KA to 5-3 overall and 2-0 in district play heading into this week, when the Rams were to go to Calhoun Academy on Tuesday and then host Hebron on Friday.
  • Nanih Waiya's baseball team keeps cruising right along toward the postseason.

    Last week, the Warriors picked up three more victories to run their record to 16-1 on the year -- trouncing McAdams in a division doubleheader and then taking a 7-4 win over Class 4A Cleveland.

  • A planning retreat, featuring leaders from each of Kemper County's governmental bodies as well as the chamber of commerce and economic development authority, is set to be held in Columbus later this month.

    Craig Hitt, executive director of the Kemper County Economic Development Authority, said he was excited about getting this group together to map out a unified plan for the future of Kemper County.
  • Lady Lions split pair with Pearl River

    A 3-2 comeback win in the extra-inning nightcap earned the visiting East Mississippi Community College softball team an MACJC road doubleheader split with Pearl River Community College this past Saturday afternoon. Host PRCC held on for an identical 3-2 victory in the day’s first contest.

    PRCC starter Olivia Holley gave herself a 1-0 lead in the nightcap by hitting a two-out, solo home run off EMCC’s Carly Thompson in the fifth inning.
  • The East Mississippi Community College softball team improved to 9-1 in MACJC play with a 16-5, 13-0 road doubleheader sweep over Coahoma Community College last Wednesday in Clarksdale.
  • Sophomore Gabe Sciple threw a no-hitter and Kemper Academy smashed homestanding Columbus Christian Academy 16-0 last Monday.
  • The 2017 fast-pitch softball season is in full swing for Kemper County, as the Lady Wildcats are already into the meat of their division schedule.
  • Featuring an MACJC season-opening baseball matchup between two nationally ranked teams, the 14th-ranked Lions of East Mississippi Community College dropped a pair of hard-fought decisions, 8-5 and 3-1, to top-ranked Jones County Junior College Saturday afternoon at Gerald Poole Field.

    In the scheduled nine-inning opener, the Bobcats took an early 1-0 lead in the first frame after lead-off batter Fred Franklin laced a double to right field before moving to third on a passed ball and scoring on Shelton Wallace’s infield out.
  • The Lions of East Mississippi Community College extended their softball winning streak to eight consecutive games and remained unbeaten in MACJC play by sweeping Copiah-Lincoln Community College, 5-3 and 3-1, on the road Friday afternoon.  

    In compiling their longest win string since putting together a nine-game streak in 2013, the EMCC Lions had 10 hits in both contests against Co-Lin.  In the circle, freshman right-handers AG Stewart and Carly Thompson each threw three-hit complete games during the doubleheader sweep.  
  • Nanih Waiya just keeps finding ways to win baseball games.

    Last week in the Rush Invitational Baseball Tournament in Meridian, the Warriors scored on a passed ball in the seventh inning to knock off Ethel 9-8.

    It was one of two victories last Tuesday at Q.V Sykes Park for the Warriors, who also whipped Puckett 5-1 to improve to 12-0 on the season.

  • Kemper Academy's baseball team got in two games during its spring break, whipping Scott County 14-3 last Tuesday before dropping a 19-3 decision to Winston Academy on Saturday night.

    The Rams, who entered this week with a record of 2-2, were slated to go to Columbus Christian Academy on Monday and are scheduled to visit Lamar School in Meridian on Thursday this week. Friday, KA is scheduled to host New Summit.
  • EMCC's Carly Thompson tabbed MACJC pitcher of the week
    East Mississippi Community College freshman Carly Thompson has been named MACJC Softball Pitcher of the Week for her recent efforts in the circle for the Lions.

    Thompson went 2-0 and did not give up an earned run in 15 total innings during three pitching appearances a week ago for the EMCC Lions.  While scattering six hits with 11 strikeouts and three walks during the week, Thompson recorded a stretch where she retired 23 consecutive batters during her combined wins over Holmes and Copiah-Lincoln.
  • Nanih Waiya dropped a pair of 10-0 decisions last week on the softball diamond in their final pre-Spring Break action of the 2017 season.

    The Lady Warriors fell 10-0 to a strong Ethel team on Monday and then dropped a 10-0 decision at Class 4A Kosciusko on Thursday. They are now off until Friday, when they are slated to see action in the Clarkdale Spring Fling Fast-Pitch Tournament at Northeast Park in Meridian.
  • The East Mississippi Community College softball team successfully opened MACJC conference play with a run-rule home sweep, 11-2 and 12-3, over Mississippi Delta Community College Wednesday afternoon at the EMCC Softball Field.

    On the day, the EMCC Lions totaled 23 runs on 22 hits while also receiving complete-game pitching efforts from freshmen AG Stewart and Carly Thompson.
  • After one contest was postponed and another rained out, Kemper Academy’s baseball team is scheduled to return to action this week.

    The Rams, who are 1-1 so far on the season under new head coach Tony Cawthorn, were slated to take on Scott County on Tuesday and will travel to Winston Academy in Louisville Saturday night in this week’s action.
  • Nanih Waiya’s baseball team rolled up four more victories last week, running the Warriors’ quick-start record to 10-0 on the season.

    Coach Tyler Rogers’ bunch started the week with a thrilling, 5-4 win over Eupora on Monday. On Thursday, they pounded French Camp Academy 17-4, then ventured to Stringer on Saturday and came away with a pair of solid wins. Nanih Waiya topped North Forrest 6-3 Saturday morning, then got past Jackson Academy 5-2 Saturday afternoon.
  • Pair of Rams head to MAIS All-Star Basketball Game
    For what is believed to be the first time in school history, Kemper Academy will have a pair of boys’ players take part together in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools’ All-Star Basketball Games.

    Seniors Dalton Sanderford and Tanner Owen are expected to play in the Class A-AA game, which is scheduled for Friday at 11:30 a.m., at Jackson Prep in Flowood.
  • A come-from-behind, extra-inning 10-9 softball win in the opening game lifted the Lions of East Mississippi Community College to a road doubleheader sweep over Marion Military Institute Thursday afternoon.  EMCC completed the sweep with a 6-2 victory over MMI in the nightcap.

    Coach Kyndall White’s 3-12 EMCC Lions were slated to begin conference action Tuesday with a home doubleheader against the Lady Trojans of Mississippi Delta Community College. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. at the EMCC Softball Field on the Scooba campus.
  • The Lions of East Mississippi Community College continued their hot start to the 2017 baseball season by sweeping preseason 18th-ranked Shelton State Community College, 8-5 and 4-3, Sunday afternoon at EMCC’s Gerald Poole Field.

    The EMCC Lions combined timely long-ball hitting with effective bullpen usage to improve to 9-1 overall on the year with their seventh consecutive victory.
  • A year after reaching the quarterfinals of the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools’ Class A state baseball playoffs, Kemper Academy has plenty of optimism heading into the 2017 season.

    The start of the Rams’ season was delayed by the success of the school’s basketball team – but now that basketball has ended, three additional players have joined the baseball roster and that number could end up being as many as five.
  • Nanih Waiya’s boys gave highly-touted Piney Woods all it could handle in a first-round, Class 1A state playoff game last Tuesday night. Unfortunately, the Warriors could not pull out a win, falling 61-51 on the Tornadoes’ home floor.

    The Warriors, the No. 4 seed from Region 6-1A, finished the season with an 8-15 record. No scoring details were available.
  • A few trips to Trustmark Park in Pearl for championship action have kept expectations high for the Nanih Waiya baseball program in recent years.

    That certainly won’t change this season.
  • For a second straight year, Kemper Academy’s baseball season has been severely delayed by the success of the school’s basketball team.

    The Rams have high hopes on the diamond after being eliminated in the MAIS Class A state quarterfinals a year ago, but they’ve already postponed a pair of contests this season.
  • The nationally ranked East Mississippi Community College men’s rodeo team collected runner-up honors this past weekend as hosts of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s Ozark Region spring season opener.  The three-day college rodeo concluded Saturday night at the Lauderdale County Agri-Center in Meridian.
  • Nanih Waiya turned a few heads earlier this month at the Region 2-1A Powerlifting Meet at Calhoun City, breaking five individual records on their way to a second-place team finish.

    Coach Ryan Keeton’s squad will now compete in the Class 1A North State Meet on March 11, also at Calhoun City. The State Meet is April 14.
  • Nanih Waiya finds going tough in district tourney
    Both Nanih Waiya basketball teams found the going tough in the Region 6-1A Tournament last week.

    The Lady Warriors saw their season come to an end with a 27-23 setback to rival Noxapater last Tuesday night. While Noxapater moved on as the eventual No. 3 seed, Nanih Waiya’s girls finished their season with a 5-17 mark.
  • Looking to get into the win column, East Mississippi Community College continues its softball home stand this week on the Scooba campus.  The Lions will welcome Marion Military Institute and Wallace State Community College-Hanceville for respective Tuesday and Thursday doubleheaders.  Both twin bills were set for 2 p.m. starts at the EMCC Softball Field.
  • SCOOBA — More than 200 college cowboys and cowgirls will compete this week at the Lauderdale County Agri-Center in Meridian during a National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association-sanctioned event hosted by East Mississippi Community College’s rodeo team.
  • Red-hot Wildcats looking for postseason success
    The Kemper County Wildcats are hoping a red-hot regular season finish with carry over to postseason success.
        The Wildcats took the Region 5-3A regular season crown on Tuesday night with a 58-44 win at Forest and beat Northeast Lauderdale 54-52 to close out the regular season with a 15-8 mark.

  • The East Mississippi Community College basketball teams couldn’t hold onto halftime leads in dropping home decisions to Northeast Mississippi Community College during Thursday’s MACJC North Division action at Keyes T. Currie Coliseum.  The EMCC women fell, 68-60, to the division-leading Lady Tigers, while the Lions surrendered 54 second-half points in dropping an 87-78 nightcap decision to the Northeast men.
  • Nanih Waiya’s basketball teams are in action this week in the Region 6-1A Tournament at Sebastopol, where the Warriors and Lady Warriors will try to earn a berth in the Class 1A state playoffs that start next week.

    Both squads were to face off against Noxapater in a No. 4 vs. No. 5 seed matchup on Tuesday night. A loss Tuesday would end the season for either team.
  • This week, the Lions will first play host to preseason 12th-ranked (NJCAA Division II) East Central Community College in a Wednesday (Feb. 15) doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. on the Scooba campus. EMCC is then scheduled to welcome preseason 10th-ranked (NJCAA Division I) Shelton State for a 2 p.m. Friday twin bill. East Mississippi stays at home the following week to entertain Marion Military Institute and Wallace State-Hanceville on Feb. 21 and 23, respectively.
  • The East Mississippi Community College baseball team enjoyed a successful 3-1 weekend at the season-opening Max Bruner Classic played this past Friday and Saturday in Niceville, Fla. Competing against two NJCAA Division I opponents, EMCC swept Enterprise State (Ala.) Community College and split with host Northwest Florida State College
  • Tipping off the second half of MACJC North Division regular-season play, the visiting East Mississippi Community College basketball teams were swept by Northwest Mississippi Community College Thursday evening at Howard Coliseum in Senatobia. The EMCC women fell, 86-81, while the Lions were downed in the men’s nightcap, 85-79.
  • Mercedez Jackson signs with Lady Lions basketball team
    The Lady Wildcats celebrated senior night on Friday night but senior Mercedez Jackson got to celebrate a little extra on Friday afternoon.

    Jackson signed with East Mississippi Community College during a press conference at the gym on Friday. According to Kemper County coach Jennie Vance, the point guard should be a great addition to the Lady Lions roster next year.
  • Wildcats win thriller at home against Choctaw Central
    It just seems like every district game seems to come down to the final possession for the Kemper County Wildcats this season.

    The Wildcats dropped a heartbreaker to Southeast Lauderdale 48-46 last Tuesday before beating Choctaw Central 61-60 on senior night on Friday night.

    "I've started calling us the "Cardiac 'Cats," said coach John Alan Darnell. "Every division game seems to come down to the last play for us."
  • Kemper County boys take two key region victories
    The Kemper County Wildcats took the driver's seat in district play this week with a pair of big road wins.
       The Wildcats held off Philadelphia last Tuesday night 56-53 and then avenged an earlier loss to Choctaw County with a 56-51 win to move to 6-1 in district play.
  • The Mississippi Wildlife Federation and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks are currently taking applications for a youth squirrel hunt to be held at Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge on Feb. 11. The hunt targets youths ages 10 to 15 with little or no hunting experience who are interested in learning about the sport. 
  • The East Mississippi Community College basketball teams were swept by visiting Itawamba Community College during Thursday night MACJC North Division action played at Keyes T. Currie Coliseum.  EMCC dropped a 62-57 decision in the women’s contest, while the Indians maintained their division lead with an 83-69 victory over the Lions in the nightcap.
  • Kemper Academy will wrap up its 2016-17 regular season basketball slate at home Thursday night by celebrating “Senior Night” and hosting Hebron Christian School.

    Junior-varsity action begins at 4 p.m., and a total of seven seniors will be recognized later in the evening.
  • The East Mississippi Community College basketball teams recorded a key MACJC North Division road sweep over Northeast Mississippi Community College last Tuesday at Bonner Arnold Coliseum.  The EMCC women remained unbeaten in division play with a 68-55 win, while the Lions completed the sweep with a 77-70 victory in the nightcap.

  • Nanih Waiya swept a pair of District 6-1A basketball contests last Friday night at home, topping Sebastopol 50-45 in the girls’ contest and winning 54-51 in the boys’ game.

    Those wins capped a perfect week for the Warriors and Lady Warriors, who swept French Camp Academy in non-district action 63-37 and 55-46 last Tuesday night.
  • Both Kemper Academy teams picked up three victories, including a pair of district wins each, on the hardwood last week.

    While KA’s girls got their two district wins via a forfeit after Calhoun Academy failed to field a girls’ team after schedules were finalized, the Rams earned all three of their victories last week the old fashioned way.
  • Nanih Waiya splits pair with arch-rival Noxapater
    Nanih Waiya’s basketball teams opened district play last week with a pair of losses to Leake County and a split against Noxapater.

    The Lady Warriors dropped a 56-30 decision to No. 4 ranked Leake County, while the Warriors fell 63-49 last Tuesday.
  • Lady Wildcats improve to 3-0 in district play
    The Kemper County Lady Wildcats jumped out to a 3-0 district record with two big wins this week.
       The Lady Wildcats beat Choctaw County 57-52 and then knocked off Southeast Lauderdale 66-62 to remain unbeaten in the district.

    In boy's action, Kemper County dropped a tough 55-50 decision to Choctaw County but recovered to beat Southeast 54-45 on Friday to move to 8-7 overall and 2-1 in district play.
  • In the resumption of division action following the holiday break, the East Mississippi Community College basketball teams earned a doubleheader road split with Coahoma Community College Thursday night at the Pinnacle.  The EMCC women stayed unbeaten in MACJC North Division play with an easy 88-62 victory, while the Lions dropped a 64-60 decision to the Tigers in the men’s nightcap.
  • The champions of the Native American Sports Association (NASA) adult basketball tournament were crowned Saturday night before a standing room only crowd at Choctaw Central High School.

    The tournament started Thursday and brought together teams from tribes mostly along the East Coast. Tribes were represented from New York to Florida and Alabama. The majority of teams were from the Choctaw Indian tribe. The tournament is played each year and rotates to different sites.
  • Nanih Waiya split a pair of non-division basketball contests at Clarkdale last Tuesday, including an exciting win for the Warriors over the Class 2A Bulldogs.

    Coach Ron Swart’s boys used a strong fourth quarter to whip the host Bulldogs 66-55, while the Nanih Waiya girls dropped a 44-31 decision.
  • The East Mississippi Community College women’s basketball team held on for a 61-59 road victory over Meridian Community College to successfully open the new year last Thursday

    In the teams’ first game action following the holiday break, EMCC held the home-standing Lady Eagles scoreless over the final three minutes of the contest to secure a second straight season series sweep over Meridian and improve to 6-3 overall on the campaign
  • KA shuffles dates with Calhoun
    Long before last week’s wintry weather forced the postponement or cancellation of a host of basketball games in the area, Kemper Academy knew it wasn’t going to have any action on the hardwood.

    KA’s teams, which were set to open MAIS District 2-A play last Friday by hosting Calhoun Academy, had those plans scrapped early in the week after a scheduling conflict with Calhoun.
  • Ferguson looking to play football on next level
    Kameron Ferguson never played football before his junior season in 2015.

    “They lost their kicker and needed someone so I decided to try it,” Ferguson, now a senior at Neshoba Central, said. “I was already playing soccer and baseball. I really liked playing football and now I’m hoping to play on the next level.”
  • Kemper teams both spit pair in Lamar Bash
    Both Kemper Academy basketball teams split a pair of games last week in the Lamar School Christmas Bash in Meridian. A total of 17 teams and 10 schools were represented in the event, which began Tuesday and ran through Friday.

    KA’s girls opened the tourney with a 33-25 win over Sylva-Bay Academy last Tuesday, then fell 53-19 to Patrician (Ala.) Academy in Thursday’s semifinals.
  • STARKVILLE – Mississippi State women's basketball made more history Monday as it rose to a program-best No. 4 in the nation in this week's Associated Press Top 25 Poll.

     The Bulldogs earned the ranking after opening SEC play with a 74-48 win against LSU on Sunday. That victory improved the Bulldogs to 15-0 overall, the second-best start in program history. State remains the SEC's only undefeated team and one of just three teams in the nation without a loss.
  • Both Nanih Waiya basketball teams were set to return to action this week as the Warriors and Lady Warriors continue to prep for the beginning of district play.

    Coach Jaimee Childs’ Nanih Waiya girls finished the first semester with a record of 3-6, while coach Ron Swart’s Warriors enter the new calendar year with a 2-6 mark
  • Nanih Waiya swept at West Lauderdale and East Webster
    Both Nanih Waiya teams dropped contests at bigger schools last week, as the Warriors and Lady Warriors fell to Class 4A West Lauderdale and Class 2A East Webster.

    The Lady Warriors finished the pre-Christmas portion of their schedule with a 3-6 record, while the Warriors will enter the new year with a record of 2-6
  • Kemper Academy set to play in Christmas Bash
    After taking a couple of weeks off, Kemper Academy’s basketball teams will return to action this week in the Lamar School Christmas Bash.

    The three-day tournament actually started Tuesday, when Kemper’s girls were to square off against Sylva-Bay Academy and the KA boys were to face Russell Christian Academy
  • State champ Kemper County dominates all-region team

    Kemper County, the 2016 Class 3A state football champions, dominated this year’s All-Region 5-3A team which was recently released.

    Eric Clark was the Region’s Overall Most Valuable Player, while D.J. Clayton was the Offensive MVP.
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