The Oct. 18 schedule for high school football in DeSoto County again features some important pairings on the way to the playoffs.
Starting with MHSAA 5A, Lake Cormorant hosts Columbus, where in division play, the Gators are 2-1 and Columbus comes in at 1-2. Meanwhile, Center Hill plays host to Columbus New Hope with both teams bringing 1-2 division records into the game.
West Point leads the division at 3-0 with Lake Cormorant, Oxford Lafayette, and Grenada tied for second at 2-1.
Among DeSoto County 6A teams, Olive Branch, currently tied for the division lead at 3-0 with Oxford, plays at Southaven in its annual “Backyard Brawl” rivalry contest. Oxford, meanwhile, travels to Horn Lake as the Eagles look to improve its 2-1 division mark.
Elsewhere, Hernando plays at DeSoto Central with each team looking to win its first division game of the year, and Lewisburg hosts Tupelo, which is 2-1 in division action. The host Patriots are 1-2 in division play. Southaven is also at 1-2, tied with Lewisburg in fifth place in the division standings.
Northpoint Christian has an open date this week and Magnolia Heights travels to Pillow Academy in other area high school football action.
With a significant rain threat last weekend, five area football games were moved to Oct. 10 from their original Oct. 11 date. Olive Branch defeated Horn Lake 24-14; Oxford handled DeSoto Central 51-6; Tupelo got by Southaven 35-34; Cordova, Tenn. First Assembly Christian outscored Northpoint Christian in a shootout 47-40; and it was Magnolia Heights over Marshall Academy 42-34.
On Oct. 11, Lewisburg edged Hernando 14-6; West Point beat Lake Cormorant 27-14; and it was Oxford Lafayette over Center Hill 24-7.
JUCO FOOTBALL: Northwest Mississippi Community College, ranked second among NJCAA programs, routed Coahoma in Northwest’s homecoming football game 54-18 last Thursday at Senatobia. The Rangers travel to Northeast Mississippi Oct. 17 for its next contest as they look to improve a record of 6-1 overall and 3-1 in MACJC. Northwest running back Jaquerrious Williams was named MACJC Offensive Player of the Week after his performance against Coahoma that included 250 rushing yards and four touchdowns in the Northwest victory.
VOLLEYBALL PLAYOFFS START: DeSoto Central, Lewisburg, Hernando, Lake Cormorant, and Center Hill are playing Thursday in the first round of the MHSAA volleyball playoffs as they start the “Road to Starkville.”
Hernando will play at DeSoto Central and it will be Lewisburg at Oxford in 6A; while Center Hill hosts Saltillo, and Lake Cormorant is at Columbus New Hope in 5A.
Winners play next on Oct. 22 with the state semifinals at Mississippi State on Oct. 24 and the finals are on Oct. 26, also at MSU.
Regular season action the past week included Lewisburg’s 3-0 defeat of Lake Cormorant on Oct. 15. Set scores were 25-17, 25-15, 25-18 for the Lady Patriots.
Lewisburg was led by Ellie Jones’ 10 kills and two aces. Erin Latham, Bella Desio, and Micah Swift also served two aces each for Lewisburg. Londyn Bakeris had 15 digs, and Morgan Lee made 19 assists.
Lake Cormorant countered with nine kills and 15 digs from Alaijiah Rose; and Alexia Davis served three aces and made 12 assists.
CROSS COUNTRY UPDATE: The Center Hill boys took fifth overall in the 4A-6A boys’ portion of the Pontotoc Invitational meet held Oct. 12, which saw Oxford the 6A and overall winner with 49 points. Center Hill scored 131 points in the meet.
The Mustangs’ best individual finish came from Gabe Gipson with a five-kilometer time of 17:01.03, good for eighth place overall and best in Class 5A. He was followed in Class 5A by Jayln Figueroa who was second among 5A finishers with a time of 17:29.
The Mustangs won the Class 5A portion of the meet with their score and received a trophy.
On the girls’ varsity side, Lynia Randolph was Center Hill’s best finish at 25:35, which was eighth in Class 5A and 76th overall.
Oct 19, the Odis McCord DeSoto County cross country meet will be contested in the morning at the George Harrison Soccer Complex on Church Road in Olive Branch.
Northpoint Christian’s Noah Carpenter was first in a time of 17:52 in a cross country meet held at Shelby Farms in Memphis on Oct. 9.
SPORTS ETC.: Center Hill High School basketball coach Newton Mealer has been named one of the coaches for the North boys’ team at the Mississippi Association of Coaches North-South All-Star Games to be played at the end of the season. Mealer led the Mustangs to the state MHSAA 5A championship in March at Mississippi Coliseum over county rival Olive Branch.
DeSoto Central volleyball player Lauryn Fitzgerald was named the Mississippi Volleyball Player of the Week by MaxPreps and the American Volleyball Coaches Association. In six sets played between Oct. 7-13, Fitzgerald had 26 kills, 10 digs, two aces, and two blocks for the Lady Jags.
Northpoint Christian School volleyball players Sophie Bauer and Olivia Goodwin were named TSSAA Division II-A first team all-district on Wednesday.
Bob Bakken is Sports Editor for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.