All posts filed under: SPORTS

The Saints go marching in

My mom and I found this pooch on the side of the road. She practically jumped in the car with  us when we saw her, and I couldn’t leave her behind. I took her home, gave her a bath, and thanks to Facebook, we were able to find her a home. When we drove to Brookhaven to take her to her new pet parents, we knew they were New Orleans Saints fans, so I bought a piece of Saints fabric, and we put a bandana on her before they arrived to pick her up. She was a sweet girl who deserved a good family, so I’m happy we were able to find someone generous enough to take her. Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save Advertisements

Ole Miss one of 15 schools nominated for ‘The South’s Best Tailgate’

Ole Miss was one of 15 colleges chosen for Southern Living’s “The South’s Best Tailgate” competition, But Clemson University was declared the winner. The contenders were listed in the magazine’s September issue. Southern Living Editor-in-Chief Lindsay Bierman said pre-game celebrations in the South matter as much as what happens on the field. “We’re asking readers to decide which school best honors our great tradition of Southern hospitality with the most stylish and spirited spread,” she said. The competition was held through Sept. 30. Southern Living crowned the winner at a fall home game. Here are the schools: 1. Appalachian State University 2. Clemson University 3. Florida State University 4. Louisiana State University 5. Marshall University 6. Oklahoma State University 7. Texas A&M University 8. University of Alabama 9. University of Georgia 10. University of Mississippi 11. University of Tennessee 12. University of Texas 13. Vanderbilt University 14. Virginia Tech 15. West Virginia University Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Unusual Mississippi mascots discussed on Yahoo blog

East Union Attendance Center was discussed today on Yahoo’s “Prep Rally” sports blog. Writer Cameron Smith took note of the team’s unusual mascot – a sea urchin. “There is no logical reason why a school in Mississippi should use the sea urchin as a mascot,” he said. “The school in question is not on the water, and Mississippi is not historically known as a particular sea-faring state, unless one conflates on a grandiose paddle boat on the Mississippi River as being seafaring. “That in itself should be enough to push the Blue Springs (Ms.) East Union High Sea Urchins into the realm of the absurd and right to the top of the Mississippi mascot lists. Incredibly it doesn’t, thanks to an equally bizarre mascot that looks like a bouncy ball with giant spikes protruding from all of its surfaces.” Smith goes on to talk about two other Mississippi schools and their unusual mascots – St. Stanislaus in Bay St. Louis and the Taylorsville High Tartars. You can read the full article here with more descriptions …

More of the story: Cheers or jeers for the beard that’s reappeared?

For 22 years, Mississippi State University baseball players were required to have clean shaven, squeaky clean, whisker-free faces. But after Trevor Fitts, a sophomore MSU pitcher, gave a 10-minute presentation to coach John Cohen this year, explaining reasons why Cohen should lift the ban on face fuzz, things got a little hairy. Fitts argued that having a beard would help store body heat, save time wasted shaving that could be spent practicing or preparing for games, boost confidence and intimidate the opposing team. Cohen was convinced, and now beards have reappeared — not only at MSU but across the nation. Look around, and you’ll see Abe Lincolns everywhere. Celebrites like David Beckham, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Hugh Jackman, Prince William, Jon Hamm and Superman Henry Cavill have jumped on the beard bandwagon. And websites like <; will tell you how to grow one. Tupelo resident and MSU grad Kevin Tate, 41, has a theory about why beards are back, and he thinks the MSU players may “help carve new paths for others in the …

More of the story: Mississippians believe in faith, family and “Duck Dynasty”

It’s obvious when checking my Facebook  feed, that there are many Mississippians who relate to and love the reality show “Duck Dynasty.” I have watched a few episodes myself, but didn’t quite understand why this show was liked by so many people I know until I interviewed several of them recently and learned that it appeals to their most cherished values – having a strong work ethic, having a strong family and having a strong faith. All of those values are apparently wrapped up in the reality show about a family who struck it rich by selling duck calls. Here’s another interview with Justin Byrd, a youth worker at a Corinth church, that didn’t make it into today’s story because of deadlines. Byrd, a Corinth native who attended Alcorn Central High School and Northeast Mississippi Community College, who is now attending Grantham University while serving in the Mississippi Army National Guard, said he became a fan of “Duck Dynasty” when the series premiered. “I am a die hard duck hunter, and have been for about …

Tune in to Animal Planet tonight at 9 p.m. to see three Mississippi noodlers compete

If you think noodling is something you play with in a swimming pool or add to chicken soup, think again. It’s another word for a type of fishing called hand-grabbing or grappling, and you can watch a Mississippi team compete in a new show called “Catfishin’ Kings” at 9 p.m. Monday on Animal Planet. The three-part series will air March 11, 18 and 25 at 9 p.m. Noodling is a sport that involves catching monstrous fish using only your bare hands. “You have to locate the fish nests or homes, check them to see if they are home, block the entrance with your body and try to retain them,” said Brandon resident Stephen Bowden, 40, a self-described “adrenaline junkie,” who is a member of the Mississippi team that will appear on the Animal Planet series. “Then, you hold your breath, go under water, feel around and try to catch them with your hand. This sport may not be for everyone.” Bowden said noodling or hand-grabbing season runs from May 1 through July 15 in Mississippi during …

More of the story: From b-ball to blues, Jarekus Singleton can’t lose

When Jarekus Singleton was 12, he played for a basketball team called the Jackson Panthers, and spent most of his time on the bench, despite the fact that he knew he could play ball. When he left the Panthers for the Jackson Tigers, his perspective began to change. “My coaches saw something in me that I guess the Jackson Panthers didn’t,” said Singleton, 28. “My first year playing, I won the Newcomer of the Year Award. We went to nationals, and I was one of the top 10 scorers. Nothing had changed. I was the same guy. I was the same player. But I had to sit on the bench and watch people play in front of me, and I knew I was better than that. “I guess that’s why I’m so humble now because every little thing that I get is a monumental thing for me. I’m glad God made me understand that at an early age in life. I’ve had to literally fight for every inch in life that I have gained, whether …

Mississippi grins and bears it

Ole Miss has a new mascot – the black bear. But does Mississippi have a bear population? Clarion-Ledger reporter Justin Fritscher tells us we do, and the number has grown from 40 to 120 bears in the last decade, most of which reside in the Delta and southwest part of the state. Fritscher says Mississippi once had a large bear population that lured President Theodore Roosevelt to Sharkey County in 1902 for a history-making bear hunt. The term “Teddy bear” was coined when the prez declined to shoot a black bear that his hosts captured and tied to a tree. Hunting and the spread of farmland in the 20th century caused the bear population to stagnate until there were few female bears left, but the girls eventually began to migrate back. Ole Miss isn’t the only evidence of the state’s black bear heritage. Mississippi hosts The Great Delta Bear Affair each year in Rolling Fork, a festival to increase awareness of bear protection. Last year’s theme was Just Another Day in Bearadise. The BEaR Education …

Colonel cupcakes?

Ole Miss fans who haven’t been completely won over by the new bear mascot may find this Colonel Reb cupcake sweet. It was recently displayed inside the Hey, Cupcake store in Jackson’s Canton Mart Square. I wanted to bring him home, but he was only a sample. Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Kayak Mississippi

Kayak Mississippi was founded by Keith Benoist and Melissa Morrison, who wanted to bring their love for kayaking to their hometown, Natchez. They established a race course in their backyard on the Mississippi River and now host the Phatwater Kayak Challenge annually. It’s happening this weekend. Visit their Web site for more information. Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker.