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|NFFHF banquet stil a treat|
It continues to be one of the classiest events of the Miss-Lou.
It's certainly an event I look forward to each year.
Thursday night, the National Football Foundation Miss-Lou Chapter held its 29th banquet at the Natchez Eola Hotel.
And for the 27th time I left the banquet feeling good about our coaches, our youth and uplifted by another positive message.
I say 27 because I missed two. There was no way Mike Grubb was going to let me cover the event in 1991 when Archie Manning was the guest speaker so I got stuck with sports desk duty. I've only missed one other since then.
Another class group of young men were awarded and recognized as Cathedral's Dylan White won the $2,200 scholarship, Vidalia's Gary Stewart the $2,000 award and Ferriday's Xavier Allen the $1,750 scholarship.
Allen became the first Ferriday nominee to win more than $1,000.
The $1,000 winners were Deacon Newman of Trinity, Cody Dye of Huntington and Bryce Murray of ACCS.
Premo Stallone won the Distinguished American Award and Trinity head football coach David King was honored with the Contributions To Amateur Football Award.
Mississippi State head football coach Dan Mullen was the featured speaker and spoke about reaching your potential and goals.
"We have a sign in our lockerroom that says, "Reach Your Potential Every Day," Mullen told the crowd. "When I was young I wanted to be like O.J. Simpson. Make that the younger O.J. Simpson."
Mullen said being a champion in the classroom is just as important as being a champion on the field.
"If a guy shuts it off in the classroom, then how am I to know he's not going to shut it off when the other team has fourth-and-goal at the 1-yard line with 30 seconds remaining. Being a champion means being a champion all the time."
Mullen coached Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow as offensive coordinator at Florida and No. 1 NFL Draft pick Alex Smith at Utah.
"I had a quarterback who just received a full scholarship to Vanderbilt who thanked me for my letter of recommendation," Mullen said. "That means just as much to me having even the slightest impact on his life and, who knows, one day he may be responsible for a medical breakthrough."
Mullen also took time to poke fun at "That School Up North," as he refers to Ole Miss.
Turning to past Miss-Lou Chapter President and avid Ole Miss fan Terry Estes, Mullen said, "We've got a new case for the Egg Bowl Trophy is you ever want to come up and look at it."
Mullen was presented a key to the city of Natchez by Mayor Jake Middleton.
**The National Federation of State High School Associations Football Rules Committee is finally getting with the program.
Effective with the 2010 high school football season, any player who shows signs, symptoms or behaviors associated with a concussion must be removed from the game and shall not return to play until cleared by an appropriate health-care professional.
**And it's not because Canada's hockey team won the gold medal because I would feel the same way if the United State had won the gold after losing to Canada earlier. I just don't like the format where if you lose to a team in a tournament format you can come back and play for a title against that same team.
When we were kids, if we lost a game in the backyard, we were sitting on the front porch watching until the next tournament started up.
**And finally, congrats to LSU basketball coach Trent Johnson and the Tiger basketball team for getting that win against Arkansas (65-54) on Feb. 24.
You may be thinking I'm being sarcastic, but I am not. There's a big difference in going without a win in conference to at least getting one win.
It showed the team still has a lot of pride and fight.
And better days are ahead again with the latest recruiting class.
Johnson is a class act and it's good to see people not breathing down his throat as would be the case in a lot of other instances.
College basketball is exciting and at least they have a playoff system. But something has to be done about allowing players to leave after one year.
This is the reason you have a Cinderella each year because a small school can keep a group together for four years and that makes a big difference.
I would love to see a breakdown of the college players selected in the NBA Draft the past several years and how many in the first two rounds actually played four years of college basketball.
It's not fair to the colleges, the coaches or the fans.
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