Kemper County Messenger
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  • Starkville students took top honors in EMCC math tournament
    Four students from Armstrong Middle School in Starkville took top honors last Friday at a district math tournament at East Mississippi Community College. Winners of the tournament are pictured with EMCC President Dr. Thomas Huebner, left,
  • EMCC students to represent state in DECA International
    RAYMOND — Two East Mississippi Community College students who competed in the Mississippi DECA Winter Leadership Conference and Competition in Raymond qualified to represent Mississippi in the international competition in Anaheim, Calif., next month. Both of the students are enrolled at EMCC’s Lion Hills Center.
  • EMCC Lions baseball team drops doubleheader to Wallace State
    Despite an 11-strikeout effort by sophomore Whitt Davis, the East Mississippi Community College baseball team dropped a hard-luck 1-0 nightcap decision en route to being swept by Wallace State Community College in a Wednesday home doubleheader played at Gerald Poole Field.  The visitors from Hanceville, Alabama also earned a shutout victory (15-0) in the opening game.
  • Wildcats drop tough contest to Velma Jackson in state tourney
    JACKSON – The Kemper County boys basketball team will not replicate the MHSAA 3A state championship of the football team this school year. In a quarterfinal game Friday at Jackson State that was not decided until 6.7 seconds were left on the clock, Velma Jackson edged the Wildcats 44-40.

    It was a matchup of schools that combined for the last five championships. Kemper has gold balls in the school's trophy case for last year and 2012, while Velma Jackson won three straight titles, 2013-15, before being eliminated from last year's tournament by Kemper.
  • 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.
  • PACES takes MAPE Excellence Award
    PACES Project was one of only two such volunteer community based programs in the state to be recognized for its outstanding development of partnerships that have had a positive impact on high school students. Since 2009 PACES has stimulated and nurtured the development of almost 50 business, community organization, and individual partnerships that have helped to increase the rate of those going to college from approximately 50 percent to nearly 80 percent and each passing year the members of PACES average ACT scores have improved.
  • Rams fall in state championship game
    LEARNED – Kemper Academy basketball coach Scott Johnson must have wondered what he’d gotten himself into after his injury-riddled, depth-challenged Rams lost four of their first five contests this season.

    But just a couple months later, Johnson’s bunch made a historical run at the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class A State Tournament.
  • EMCC honor society students renovate Scooba Library
    While looking for a college project to tackle, members of East Mississippi Community College’s student honor society, Phi Theta Kappa, stumbled upon the Scooba Public Library, which was in dire need of renovation.

    “We wanted to find a project that was in the community and off the college campus so we could help more people,” PTK member Parker Dial said. “We knew the library was here and we knew it needed work. We just thought we could help them out.”
  • KCHS Wildcats looks to continued championship run
    Seniors Matt Dale and Gus Nave Jr. know exactly what is within the grasp of the Kemper County High School Wildcats.

    After knocking off St. Andrews 70-50 on Friday, the KCHS boys basketball team is now just two wins away from playing for its second consecutive MHSAA Class 3A State Basketball Championship. Toss in last December's win in the MHSAA Class 3A State Football Championship and you have quite a run for the seniors.
  • Wildcats repeat as Region 5-3A Champions
    The Kemper County Wildcats seem to be heating up at just the right time again this season
       The Wildcats picked up a pair of wins in their Region 5-3A tournament at Philadelphia to repeat as district champions.

    In girls' action, the Lady Wildcats kept their season alive with a pair of wins the district tournament but lost their opening round game of the playoffs on Monday at Port Gibson to finish out the year.
  • Snowden: No big cuts for Kemper schools
    While conceding that funding levels may not remain the same, a leader in the Mississippi House of Representatives told a packed house at the Kemper County Farmer's Market on Monday night that reports of the Kemper County Public Schools potentially losing more than $4M in funding in the upcoming budget was greatly exaggerated.
  • Kemper Academy Rams win North State Championship
    Kemper Academy was on the brink its season ending last Tuesday night in Marvell, Ark. Less than 96 hours later, the Rams were hoisting a North State championship trophy.

    Playing after a 12-day layoff, Kemper gutted out a win over Tunica Academy last Tuesday night in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class A North State Tournament. Then first-year head coach Scott Johnson’s bunch turned in back-to-back solid performances over the weekend to bring the North half hardware back to DeKalb.
  • Rape prevention specialist speaks at EMCC
    A renowned speaker who has dedicated her life’s work to preventing sexual assault brought her message to East Mississippi Community College’s Stennis Auditorium last Wednesday night.

    Katie Koestner, executive director of Take Back The Night Foundation and president of Campus Outreach Services, spoke to close to 400 people that included EMCC students and employees, as well as members of the community.
  • PaceSetters blast off into interesting tour of space center
    Beginning at about 4:30 a.m. on Feb. 2 excited members of PACES began rolling out of bed to meet their charter bus to travel to the John C. Stennis Space Center located near the Louisiana state line in Picayune.
  • Rams complete sweep through district play
    Kemper Academy’s boys made it a clean sweep through MAIS District 2-A play with easy wins over Central Academy and Hebron Christian School last week.

    The Rams, who beat Central 66-20 last Monday night and topped Hebron 64-45 on Thursday, finished the regular season with a record of 10-6 overall and 6-0 in district play. KA’s boys have won nine of their last 11 games.
  • Football signing tradition continues for KCHS Wildcats
    When Chris Jones began trying to build the Kemper County High School football program to the status it currently enjoys, he said one of the things he set about doing is letting the community and athletes know that hard work on the field can lead to having a college education paid for.

    With the nine signings that took place last Wednesday, Jones has now been a part of 24 KCHS athletes getting a chance to play football on scholarship in college.
  • 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.
  • Perkins House brings past back to life
    A near five-year labor of love will have it's public unveiling on Monday, Feb. 13 when an open house will be held at the historic Perkins House located on the property of Billy and Frances Brown in the Townsend Community.

    "We just want everybody to be able to see this important part of history," said Frances Brown, who became acquainted with the Perkins House during her time on the board of the Kemper County Historical Association.
  • Two big wins improve 'Cats to 4-1 in league play
    The Kemper County boys seem to be clicking at just the right time.

    The Wildcats, who struggled offensively at times early this season, notched two big district wins this week to move their record to 10-7 overall and 4-1 in district play.
  • EMCC quiz bowl teams fare well
    MAYHEW — East Mississippi Community College’s two quiz bowl teams placed in the top three in a sectional tournament last Friday.

    “I am proud of the kids,” said EMCC Honors Program Director Scott Baine, who is the school’s quiz bowl coach. “They worked really hard.”
  • Champion Dinner honors 2016 KCHS football team
    The members of the MHSAA Class 3A State Championship football team from Kemper County High School were honored at a Champion Dinner at East Mississippi Community College last Thursday night.

    The event, sponsored by the Kemper County Sheriff's Department, brought together the team with supporters and business and community leaders from throughout the county.
  • 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.
  • Three county VFDs receive new pumper trucks
    When three new fire trucks rolled into DeKalb earlier this month, Kemper County Emergency Management executive director Ben Dudley said it gave each of the county's nine volunteer fire departments "a fairly new frontline pumper."

    The three new trucks, which were assigned to the Kemper Springs, New Hope and Preston Volunteer Fire Departments, cost a combined $731,435, with $210K of that expected to be refunded to the county through the Rural Fire Truck Acquisition Assistance Program.
  • 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.
  • Kemper County splits Sam  Dale Tournament contests
    The Kemper County Wildcats and Lady Wildcats bounced back from a loss in the opening round of the Sam Dale Tournament last week to win the third place game.

    The Wildcats fell to Northeast Lauderdale 65-61 in their opener but recovered to beat Quitman 73-57 on Wednesday in the tournament.
  •  DHS shows off new facility in DeKalb
    Kemper County Board of Supervisors president Johnny Whitsett said the new home of the Mississippi Department of Human Services in DeKalb is just an example of the upgrades to services and facilities the board is dedicated to bringing to the community.

    "People wonder what we are doing with the money from the coal mine, well this is just an example," Whitsett said on Monday morning, just moments before the ribbon was cut on the new facility located on Ponderosa Avenue near the City Park in DeKalb.
  • KCHS Wildcats split two games on hardwood
    The Kemper County Wildcats split a pair of games against strong competition last week to move to 6-5 this season.

    The Wildcats came back to beat Louisville 58-51 last Tuesday night before falling to Class 6A power Starkville 62-43. In girls' action, Kemper County lost its contest to Louisville 57-33 despite 19 points from Kiandrea Cherry.
  • More than 600 canned food items were collected by Mt. Salem VFD
    Helping out the less fortunate through a canned food drive has become somewhat of a Christmas tradition for residents in the Preston community.

    Members of the Mt. Salem Volunteer Fire Department drive the roads in their district at designated times each December, collecting canned goods from homeowners to be delivered to God Cares Ministries in DeKalb and to Henderson Ridge Church. From there the food is distributed to those in need.
  • 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
  • Cats, Lady Wildcats bounce back from first-round loss
    The Kemper County Wildcats and Lady Wildcats both dropped a game to Canton in the opener of their Christmas tournament in DeKalb last Thursday, but bounced back for wins over West Lowndes on Friday night to take third place.

    The Wildcats fell to Canton 48-31 on Thursday night before beating West Lowndes 69-61. The Lady Wildcats dropped their first game to Canton 44-40 and beat West Lowndes 61-49
  • Legislature eyes excess budget waste

    State Legislators are hoping to cut excess waste from the state budget in the upcoming 2017 legislative session.

    Top lawmakers are proposing a Mississippi budget that would be 3 percent smaller for the coming year
  • Rams hammer Starkville Christian
    The Kemper Academy boys – through cancellations, to football injuries, to a short-handed roster, to a brutal non-district schedule – waited patiently for their first win of the 2016-17 basketball season.

    Last Monday night, it came in a big way.
  • Clayton, Nave get one last chance to impress during all-star game
    A pair of Kemper County High School football standouts got one last chance to show what they could do on the high school level last Saturday as they helped the South post a 21-14 win over the North in the 68th Bernard Blackwell North-South All-Star game.

    Both D.J. Clayton and Gus Nave hoped to catch the attention of college coaches during practices and workouts during the week leading up to the Saturday contest, that was played at Milner Stadium in Gulfport.
  • Kemper County communities host annual Christmas parades
    Despite the threat of inclement weather, both the DeKalb and Scooba Christmas Parades were able to take place last week in front of appreciative and enthusiastic crowds.

    The Scooba parade was held on Tuesday, while the DeKalb parade took place on Thursday. Both parades are among the most anticipate community gatherings each year, sin galling Christmas is just a few weeks away.
  • EMCC wins Mississippi Bowl; ranked No. 2 in nation
    The Lions of East Mississippi Community College remained undefeated in postseason bowl play under head coach Buddy Stephens with a 27-17 win over No. 13 Kilgore (TX) College in Sunday afternoon’s Mississippi Bowl played at A.L. May Memorial Stadium on the campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

    With EMCC’s bowl victory, coupled with Garden City’s 25-22 triumph over Arizona Western during Saturday’s NJCAA National Championship Game/El Toro Bowl, the Lions finished the 2016 campaign ranked second nationally.  AWC fell a notch to third in the final NJCAA Top 20 poll followed by Trinity Valley and Mesa at fourth and fifth, respectively. 
  • Kemper County uses big plays, defense to bring home football championship
    STARKVILLE — What many thought would be a high-scoring affair turned out to be a defensive battle, as Kemper County High School used several huge defensive stands along with a pair of big offensive plays to take a 12-8 win over Charleston in the MHSAA Class 3A State Championship Game played at Mississippi State's Davis Wade Stadium on Saturday.
  • Wildcats win South State title with strong defensive effort
    With just over a minute left to play, Kemper County football coach Chris Jones called the best play of his coaching career.

    “Let’s run victory formation,” Jones told his team.

    That’s just what the Wildcats did as they ran out the clock to beat Raleigh 28-20 to win the MHSAA Class 3A South State championship game on Friday night before an overflow crowd at Landon B. Mitchell Field.
  • Big second half pushes Wildcats into 3A South State title game
    SEMINARY – It's on to the South State finals for Kemper County after the Wildcats stretched their winning streak to 13 with a dominating 48-23 victory over Seminary in the MHSAA 3A quarterfinals.

    Kemper County will host Raleigh Friday with a 7 p.m. kickoff for a chance to reach the championship game.
  • Kemper's assets should lead to optimism
    A large gathering attended the Kemper County Chamber of Commerce/Economic Development Authority Annual Dinner last Thursday at the beautifully decorated Kemper County National Guard Armory. Attendees were treated to a delicious dinner provided by Pilgrim’s Foodliner of Dekalb, and served by members of Kemper County High School PACES PaceSetters.
  • Wildcats roll into third round of 3A State Playoffs
    The Kemper County Wildcats continued to impress at home on Friday night by controlling Wilkinson County in a 36-16 victory in the second round of the Class 3A playoffs.

    The Wildcats held a 28-8 lead at half and had little difficulty with the visitors after exploding for 20 unanswered point in the second quarter.
  • Local residents gather at Courthouse to honor veterans
    On Friday morning, November 11, under overcast skies, citizens of Kemper County gathered on the courthouse lawn for a Veteran’s Day Ceremony. It was a time to come together to honor those who have served in the Armed Forces, and a remembrance of veterans who have given so much to secure and protect our freedoms.
  • Wildcats roll to easy win in 3A playoff opener
    The Kemper County Wildcats had little trouble in taking their first step in the Class 3A playoffs.

    Kemper County, now 11-1, rolled to a 42-0 lead at half and cruised to a 58-0 win over Crystal Springs in its first round contest on Friday.
  • Veterans Memorial Tribute installed on Scooba campus


    A memorial tribute to the nation’s military veterans stands sentinel outside East Mississippi Community College’s Sullivan-Windham Field thanks to an area business, EMCC employees and students in the college’s welding program.
  • Heritage Day Museum offers peek into the past


    Visitors to the Kemper County Historical Museum for the local historical association's annual Heritage Day were greeted with both good weather and a chance to travel back to yesteryear.
  • Visit to home of ‘Last Chance U’ highlight of trip to U.S. for English couple
    Kemper County residents Bernard 'Joe' Hulin and his wife, Loretta, were surprised to learn that the couple sitting next to them during East Mississippi Community College’s Oct. 15 Homecoming game against Northwest Mississippi were from London, England.

     It was a fortuitous seating arrangement for not only the Hulins, but for the visiting couple from the United Kingdom, Dan and Kelly Thomson. The two couples had a lot to talk about.
  • Rams take care of business against rival Central
    With the way the remaining schedules shape up, it’s mathematically impossible for Kemper Academy to improve its Mississippi Association of Independent Schools power-point rating for seeding in the upcoming state playoffs.

    That is, unless, No. 1 Tallulah (La.) Academy or No. 2 Marvell (Ark.) Academy were to lose a game.
  • Dollar General coming to Scooba
    Site work on a new Dollar General to be located near the intersection of Hwy 45 and Hwy 16 in Scooba has generated a lot of much-needed excitement in the community.

    "That is one of the best things that could have happened to us," said Scooba Mayor Allen Beatty. "It is going to make a difference in the community and the communities surrounding us."
  • Lions take MACJC shoot out over Holmes, 63-49
    GOODMAN – Competing in their highest scoring game since 2009, the fifth-ranked Lions of East Mississippi Community College topped 16th-ranked Holmes Community College, 63-49, during MACJC North Division football action Thursday night at Ras Branch Field.

    Scoring 112 points between them, Thursday’s slugfest between the Lions and Bulldogs marked the most total points scored in an EMCC football game since head coach Buddy Stephens’ 2009 Lions claimed a memorable 75-71 home victory in regulation over third-ranked Mississippi Gulf Coast to claim the school’s first MACJC state football championship. 
  • Homecoming 2016 Two of NJCAA's best to square off in Scooba Saturday afternoon
    In what likely ranks as one of the most eagerly anticipated regular season junior college football games in recent memory, the fourth-ranked and three-time national champion Lions of East Mississippi Community College are set to play host to the top-ranked and reigning NJCAA national champion Northwest Mississippi Community College Rangers Saturday afternoon on the Scooba campus.
  • Last-minute TD pass caps 26-point comeback with win
    The Kemper County Wildcats made sure the fans that traveled to Macon got their money's worth on Friday night against Noxubee County.

    The Wildcats, playing in their fourth road game in as many weeks, overcame a 21-0 deficit and scored on a pass from Eric Clark to D.J. Clayton with just over a minute remaining to pick up a 26-21 win.
  • It's Homecoming week for KCHS, Kemper Academy
    Both Kemper County High School and Kemper Academy are celebrating Homecoming this week, with festivities culminating at their respective football games on Friday night.

    Kemper Academy will hold its crowning ceremonies beginning at 6:30 on Friday before it's game with Delta Streets, while Kemper County High School will have elementary and junior high festivities before Friday night's 7 p.m. kickoff with Choctaw County High School and high school presentation during halftime.
  • Members ensure Camp Wahalak stays special
    For many Mississippians the transition from summer to fall means spending every minute at the hunting camp, but for the members of Wahalak Creek Hunting Club it isn’t even a question.

    Brandon Flake, 33, is a Neshoba County native and club president. He has hunted on the land since he was 10 or 11 years old and looks forward to years of bringing his young children, Kaylee, 5, and Rhett, 10 months, out to the camp where he learned to hunt.
  • KA Rams defend "The Hill" with solid win

    With time winding down in the final period Friday night, Park Place tight end Tyler Martins took a short pass with nothing but green grass between him and the end zone. Martins rumbled downfield with no defender in sight on his way to what should have been a 54-yard touchdown reception, his second of the night.
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