2006 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Representative Fillingane, Bentz, Davis, Dedeaux, Holland, Lane, Lott, Peranich, Read, Scott, Simpson, Smith (59th), Walley, Weathersby, Patterson

House Concurrent Resolution 117

(As Adopted by House and Senate)


     WHEREAS, the University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles Football Team finished the 2005 season with a 7-5 overall record, giving USM a winning season for 12 straight years, one of only seven schools to accomplish that feat; and

     WHEREAS, the Golden Eagles are one of only 12 teams in the nation to win seven or more games nine times in the past 10 years, and with their 5-3 record in Conference USA, are the only team in the league to finish with a winning record in the conference every year since its formation in 1996; and

     WHEREAS, USM defeated Arkansas State 31-19 in the 2005 New Orleans Bowl at Lafayette, Louisiana, making its eighth bowl appearance in the past nine years, one of only 10 schools to have done so; and

     WHEREAS, during this season, the Golden Eagles tied for the national lead in fumbles recovered, finished high in the national rankings for turnovers gained (6th), turnover margin (tied for 7th), passes intercepted (tied for 23rd) and net punting yard average (15th), and led Conference USA in scoring defense and sacks; and

     WHEREAS, several of the Golden Eagles accomplished feats that put them among the national leaders, with kicker Darren McCaleb ranking 4th in field goals made per game and 17th in scoring, punter Luke Johnson ranking 7th in average punting yards per game, and linebacker Kevis Coley ranking 8th in total tackles, 7th in solo tackles and tied for 69th in tackles for loss; and

     WHEREAS, within the conference, punter Luke Johnson finished 1st in average punting yards per game, kicker Darren McCaleb finished 1st in field goals made per game and kick scoring, 2nd in overall scoring, 4th in field goal percentage and 5th in extra point percentage, and linebacker Kevis Coley finished 1st in total tackles and fumbles recovered, 5th in tackles for loss and tied for 7th in sacks; and

     WHEREAS, senior quarterback Dustin Almond set single season school records for passes completed, passing attempts, passing yards and yards of total offense and was 2nd in passing touchdowns, and he set the school career record for touchdowns responsible for, finished 2nd in career yards, total offense and interception avoidance, 3rd in passing completions, passing attempts and passing efficiency, and tied for 4th in passing touchdowns; and

     WHEREAS, kickoff returner John Eubanks ranks 1st in conference history in career yards per return, 2nd in career return yards, and tied for 2nd in career kickoff return touchdowns, and also ranks 1st in school history in career kickoff returns and 3rd in career kickoff return average, 5th in single-season kickoff return average, and 4th in kickoff return average in a game; and

     WHEREAS, tight end Shawn Nelson finished the season with 35 catches for 540 yards, an average of 15.4 yards per catch and five touchdowns, all of which are school records for a tight end; and

     WHEREAS, three of the Golden Eagles were honored for their outstanding play by being selected for All-American honors this season, with Kevis Coley, Luke Johnson and Darren McCaleb being named as third team All-American by SI.com and as honorable mention All-American by CollegeFootballNews.com; and

     WHEREAS, several team members received various honors for their superior season performances:  linebacker Kevis Coley was named as conference Defensive Player of the Year; defensive back Brandon Sumrall was named a Sophomore All-American by CollegeFootballNews.com; tight end Shawn Nelson was named a third team Freshman All-American by The Sporting News and CollegeFootballNews.com; Kevis Coley, Trevis Coley, Luke Johnson, George Batiste and John Eubanks were named to the first team All-Conference Team; Travis Cooley, Tom Johnson, Brandon Sumrall and Darren McCaleb were named to the second team All-Conference Team; Shawn Nelson was named to the third team All-Conference Team and to the All-Freshman Team; and kicker Darren McCaleb was named a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award, which honors the best kicker in the nation; and

     WHEREAS, punter Luke Johnson was named a finalist for the Danny Wuerffel Trophy and the ARA Sportsmanship Award and was named the Division I male recipient of the Woody Hayes Award, all of which are awarded to the top players in the nation based on academic, athletic and community service; and

     WHEREAS, the Golden Eagles were honored for the third year in a row by the American Football Coaches Association for producing a graduation rate of 70% or better, one of only 30 teams with such an accomplishment; and

     WHEREAS, the Golden Eagles were superbly coached and inspired during the season by Head Coach Jeff Bower, who won his 100th career victory with the win over UAB on October 21, 2005, making him the 20th active coach in the nation to accomplish that feat; and

     WHEREAS, it is with great pride that we recognize the accomplishments of this group of student athletes who have brought honor to their university, their community and to the State of Mississippi:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE SENATE CONCURRING THEREIN, That we commend and congratulate the University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles Football Team for their excellent 2005 season, and we extend to them the best wishes of the Legislature for success in their future athletic and academic endeavors.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to the University of Southern Mississippi and to members of the Capitol Press Corps.