2021 Regular Session
By: Representative Owen
A RESOLUTION COMMENDING AND CONGRATULATING THE LUMBERTON HIGH SCHOOL PANTHERS FOOTBALL TEAM AND HEAD COACH ZACH JONES UPON WINNING THE MISSISSIPPI HIGH SCHOOL ACTIVITIES ASSOCIATION CLASS 1A STATE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP.
WHEREAS, the Lumberton High School Panthers Football Team have been crowned victorious after they defeated the Biggersville High School Lions 20-14 at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium on December 4, 2020, to win the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 1A State Football Championship; and
WHEREAS, the Panthers, who had a superior season that was driven by more than just the yearning to succeed, intensely amplified all of their hard work and motivation, which were so apparent all through the season, for the game that ultimately separated the men from the boys to edge out the competition and collect the MHSAA Class 1A State Football Championship; and
WHEREAS, striving all season long to be the best 1A football program in the state, Lumberton High School put aside the excitement, fanfare and attention to focus on the championship game and prepare as they had throughout the season, and that strategy, along with the monumental support from the entire community, helped solidify the Panthers' championship status; and
WHEREAS, bursting with wit and athleticism, the Lumberton High School Football Team's mental stamina and determination never waivered from the moment they ran onto the field until the last down was played, and this championship victory marks their fifth state title in school history and the first win in three trips to the Class 1A finale under Coach Zach Jones; and
WHEREAS, during the championship game that kept fans on the edge of their seats for the entire 60 minutes of play, the Lions tied the game with less than five minutes of regular play remaining, but the Panthers recovered an on-side kick attempt by the Lions, and junior Rodney Parker spiked the ball to stop the clock; and
WHEREAS, after an 11-yard run by senior running back Robert Henry, who was the game's Most Valuable Player after rushing for 113 yards and two touchdowns, overtime still loomed on the horizon, so with only 24 seconds left on the clock, senior wide receiver, Knylan Willis, who had been injured for most of the season, stepped up in a big way and hauled in a 42-yard touchdown pass from Rodney Parker, transforming an extremely tense situation for the Panthers into a jubilant celebration; and
WHEREAS, throughout their season of play, the Panthers faced off with some of the state's best contenders on the gridiron, but persevered to make their presence and talent known as gladiators of football under the Friday night lights; and
WHEREAS, the Panthers, who played with nothing but heart and soul all season, have a very talented and distinguished roster, and each player made a substantial contribution that led to one of the most historic seasons in the history of the Lumberton High School Football Program; and
WHEREAS, the team's statistics were impressive this season, and there were outstanding performances by individual players, but the key to the team's remarkable success has been the constant team atmosphere and year-round hard work by the following talented student athletes: Knylan Willis, Nate Edwards, Tyler Bush, Trevon Jessie, Robert Henry, Debyron Connerly, Makari Holder, Shavante Toney, Rodney Parker, Hayden Campbell, Qumari Rogers, Khaled Bush, Kelby Bush, Abasi Bolden, JaKeith Sandifer, Kierstyn Joseph, Jeff Townsend, Kalyjah Willis, JT Robinson, Jonathan Edwards, Amir Hill, Antonio Tillman, Ledavian Fairley, Blake Walters, DJ Young, Amarion Chaney, Kamani Bolden, Wesley Ladner, Steven Lonadier, Tysean Toney, Keyshawn Drummond, CJ Nemmers, Bubba Walters, Mannix McGill, Karoderick Edwards, Broxton Knight, Jayce Lumpkin, Kyle Deno, Trevonta Evans, Markees Johnson and Kamari McLemore; and
WHEREAS, Head Coach Zach Jones has superbly coached and tremendously inspired the Panthers Football Team and broadened their knowledge of the game while refining their skills in execution, and he continues to build upon the legacy of superior play and true sportsmanship forged by the tenacious and undaunted spirit of each team member, as evidenced in his ability to produce high caliber players and plays and by the team's successful season; and
WHEREAS, the championship would not have been possible without the help of the following people, who helped the players reach their fullest potential on and off the field: assistant coaches, Jonathan Ladner, Anthony Harry, Jason Jones, John Rutland, Kirk Ladner, Charlie Brown and Adrian Bowens; managers, Landon Bowens, Kyrion Chaney, Kaydon Graham, Caleb Ladner, Caleb Pritchard and Jhayce Smith; and helpers, Kyre Bush, Keelan Jones and Bobby Rowan; and
WHEREAS, it is the policy of the House of Representatives to recognize and commend outstanding Mississippi student athletes, especially those such as the Lumberton High School Panthers Football Team, whose hard work and perseverance brings honor to their school, their community and to the State of Mississippi:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby commend and congratulate the Lumberton High School Panthers Football Team and Head Coach Zach Jones upon winning the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 1A State Football Championship, and extend to them best wishes for continued success in all of their future endeavors.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to Head Coach Zach Jones and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.