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Nicholls State University freshman football players Omar Pew and Matthew Williams were given Good Samaritan Awards from the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Department for recent actions assisting an elderly woman stranded at a truck stop. A department lieutenant saw what happened, which led to their commendations.

Two former Horn Lake High School football players were recently rewarded for “doing good” in their college home of Thibodaux, Louisiana.

Information obtained off the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Department website told how Omar Pew and Matt Williams, both freshman football players at Nicholls State University along with J’Amel Cooley, aided a woman stranded at a truck stop in the city without a way to get to her daughter’s home in Morgan City.

The trio reached into their own pockets and gave the elderly woman all that they had. A sheriff’s department lieutenant who saw what happened as he was trying to arrange the woman some transportation, noticed the Nicholls State shirts they were wearing and discovered who they were.

The trio was awarded Good Samaritan Awards for their actions. Williams will be an offensive lineman for the Colonels this fall; Pew looks to find a spot on the defensive line.

“It’s our way of thanking them for showing the good that resides within our communities,” Col. Terry Daigre said on the Facebook post. “We wish them well in their future efforts.”

CHESS INTRODUCED AS MHSAA ACTIVITY: This publication has done stories in the past about the sport of chess in DeSoto County Schools. District chess tournaments have been held with as many as 500 students competing to determine who can best “checkmate” their competition.

The DeSoto County tournament is considered the largest event of its type in the state of Mississippi. It has been held since 1994, when Hernando Elementary and Southaven Elementary students first faced each other with their respective kings, queens, knights, bishops and pawns defending their positions and attacking their opponents in a game of strategy and quick thinking.

Seeing the growing interest in the sport of chess, the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) has announced that it is adding chess as an activity at the state level.

The MHSAA is the same organization that oversees other sports played at the statewide level, such as football, baseball, softball, basketball, golf, tennis and so on.

As the MHSAA gets into chess on a participatory level, schools are this year being encouraged to start chess clubs. There will be no classifications for member schools playing chess and players must adhere to the same eligibility requirements the Association has for other sports. Rules will be formulated by a MHSAA Chess Advisory Committee and players representing their school can be in grades 7-12.

There will be no chess championships held this year, so no ‘Gold King’ trophy will be awarded, such as in other sports. However, state championships will begin in the 2020-21 school year at a time to be determined by the MHSAA.

Bob Bakken is Sports Editor for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.

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