2007 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Mettetal, Browning, Butler, Dearing, Frazier, Jackson (11th), Jackson (32nd)
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION COMMENDING AND CONGRATULATING THE SOUTH PANOLA HIGH SCHOOL "TIGERS" FOOTBALL TEAM AND HEAD COACH RICKY WOODS FOR BREAKING THE MISSISSIPPI RECORD OF 52 CONSECUTIVE VICTORIES AND SETTING A NEW STATE RECORD OF 60.
WHEREAS, in the 2006 football season, the South Panola High School "Tigers" Football Team continued to produce the best high school football teams and players in Mississippi through its tradition of hard work and hard hitting; and
WHEREAS, South Panola High School, often referred to as the University of South Panola, defeated Columbus 42-0 on Friday, October 6, 2006, before an estimated crowd of 4,000 in Batesville's Tiger Stadium, for a Mississippi record of 52 consecutive victories. South Panola surpassed the record set by Hamilton in the years 1979-1983; and
WHEREAS, "What it represents more than anything else is a lot of hard work," South Panola Coach Ricky Woods said. "Our kids pay a price to be successful. I can't imagine that anybody, anywhere, works harder. To win this many straight in Class 5A is pretty amazing"; and
WHEREAS, the previous record holder, Hamilton High School, competed in Class 1A, while South Panola plays in 5A, the state's largest high school classification. South Panola, with an enrollment of about 1200 students, often competes against much larger schools from bigger cities. Nevertheless, the Tigers haven't lost since December 4, 2002, when Wayne County beat them 21-14 for the State Championship. South Panola had won 14 straight before that; and
WHEREAS, Woods, in his fifth year at South Panola, has won a remarkable 66 of 67 games, an achievement he modestly credits to his players, his assistant coaches and to a community that has thrown full-fledged support behind the mighty Tigers; and
WHEREAS, South Panola's victory streak includes the following highlights: No. 1: August 28, 2003, beat Clarksdale 43-0; No. 15: December 5, 2003, beat Oak Grove 33-14 to win the Class 5A State Championship and school's third state title and first since 1998; No. 9: in final USA Today rankings; No. 30: December 3, 2004, beat Ocean Springs 39-21 to win second straight Class 5A State Title and broke the record for the longest winning streak by a 5A school; No. 7: in final USA Today rankings; No. 45: December 9, 2005, beat Meridian 51-14 to become first team to win three-straight Class 5A State Championships; No. 6: in final USA Today rankings; No. 51: September 29, 2006, beat Columbus 41-0 in Batesville to establish a state record; No. 60: December 1, 2006, beat Meridian 28-21 in Class 5A State Championship; and
WHEREAS, Mark Weaver, who coaches South Panola's defensive ends, stated, "Our kids are throwbacks. They're country kids. A lot of them live on dirt roads. They don't have cars, but they absolutely love to play football. They'll do anything in the world you ask them"; and
WHEREAS, this team means everything in terms of community pride and bringing people together. Where South Panola football is concerned, everybody is a Tiger in Batesville, Mississippi; and
WHEREAS, this program's state-record winning streak has now reached 60 games with its fourth straight 15-0 season ("four-closure") by beating Meridian 28-21 in the Class 5A Championship game in Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium before a crowd of 14,000 on Friday, December 1, 2006. The Tigers survived a relentless comeback effort from Meridian in this thriller, which means the team will take their state-record streak into their 2007 opener at the Red Carpet Bowl in Vicksburg. South Panola's six state championships match the State Championship record set by Weir High School; and
WHEREAS, in Coach Woods' five-year stint at South Panola High School, a 21-14 loss to Wayne County in the 2002 State Championship is the only blemish in an otherwise perfect record of 66-1; and
WHEREAS, this latest chapter in the Tiger dynasty is probably the most satisfying of all for the incredibly successful coach and program which is a credit to the community itself, and which has produced young men who have brought honor to their school, their community and to the State of Mississippi:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend and congratulate the South Panola High School "Tigers" Football Team and Head Coach Ricky Woods for breaking the Mississippi statewide record of 52 consecutive victories and setting a new state record of 60 straight wins, and extend to the team the best wishes of the Legislature for their future academic and athletic successes.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to Coach Ricky Woods on behalf of the Tigers and be made available to the Superintendent of South Panola High School and to members of the Capitol Press Corps.