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|Fedora latest class act|
Southern Mississippi head football coach Larry Fedora apologized beforehand to the crowd at the Miss-Lou Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.
"My voice is about gone," Fedora said. "We've gone from recruiting where I was talking softball to 'Black Dawn' where we get a lot of work done before the sun comes up. I got a lot louder."
No need to apologize, Coach.
The message you gave those student-athletes Thursday night at the Natchez Eola came across loud and clear.
Fedora is just the latest in the list of outstanding speakers the top-notch event has had over the last several years.
The likable and "seemingly easy-going" Golden Eagle head coach sat through the entire event and showed a lot of interest in the function and the young men.
That was very refreshing in this day and age of coaches wanting to hit and run at places and showing that they would rather be anywhere else than where they are at the present moment.
Fedora was in no hurry to leave and was accommodating to everyone who approached him.
Fedorda talked about dreams and goals.
"When I was a young boy my goals were to be 6-4, 225 pounds, play college football and make a B in a certain class," Fedora said. "I ended up being 5-11, 197 pounds, but I did say I haven't made that goal yet."
Former Delta State lineman and current Adams Christian head football Paul Hayles received a big laugh later when he said he overachieved that goal.
Fedora told the young men to make sure they set their goals high enough.
"If you think you can or you think you cannot, then you are right," he said.
Fedora had plenty words of wisdom.
"Why dread adversity," he said. "Adversity brings out the best in us. I don't look at someone when we're flying high and everything is going well. I look at the guy who is out there running in 100-degree weather, tired and thirsty to see how he reacts."
And this jewel:
"What you become when you achieve your goal is more important than what you get when you achieve your goal."
The Miss-Lou Chapter achieved its goal once again of being a first-rate event.
Another quality speaker and another quality program. I can't wait until next February.
By the way, speaking of great events, the Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration presented Field of Dreams: Sports in theSouth last week.
I had a chance to visit with Ronnie Nettles, president of Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Wesson, and his family Friday night before the showing of the documentary, "Behind the Whistle"
We were talking about Nick Fairley. Auburn had Fairley attend Co-Lin, but would only let him play one year to concentrate on his academics.
Fairley played in seven games in 2008 for the Wolves and recorded 63 tackles and seven sacks.
Of course, he then went on to Auburn and dominated, becoming the second player from Auburn to ever win the Lombardi Award.
Some NFL Draft experts feel Fairley will be the first player taken in April.
"When they talk about Cam Newton, they always say, 'He attended Blinn Junior College in Texas before attending Auburn,'" Nettles told me. "But when they talk about Fairley, they say, 'He attended junior college before attending Auburn.'"
I guarantee you Fairley appreciates his time in Wesson.
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