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franklin county times

Alignment changes good
for MACJC

By Staff
Austin Bishop
Scanning the sports scene on a sunny Saturday while wondering what ever happened to Billy Brewer …
Covering junior college basketball and baseball should be a lot of fun next year. Especially if the MACJC sticks with its plans of moving to three divisions.
Traditionally there has been a North Division and a South Division, but this year with the return of Meridian Community College to the association, there has been a hard push to go to three five-team divisions.
I like that, for a lot of reasons.
One, I truly think it will help some on travel. Secondly, it provides for more teams being in the race for a division championship. Thirdly, and quite frankly most importantly for us here in The Meridian Star sports department, it will put three of the schools we cover in the same division.
The way things shake out right now MCC, East Mississippi and East Central will be in the newly formed Central Division along with Holmes and most-likely Hinds.
The only thing that would make me happier would be to replace Hinds with Jones. That way all four of the schools The Star tries to follow would be in the same league.
I think the new divisions will help to strengthen some rivalries and perhaps start some new ones. There is no question that the MCC-East Central, EMCC-Meridian and ECCC-East Mississippi matchups will carry a little intensity and a whole lot more than just a smidgen of interest.
The MACJC has been accused over the years by myself as well as people at the schools inside the organization of being far from progressive.
But with the changes in the recruiting rules last year, hints of more recruiting changes in the future, and the forward thinking of moving to three divisions, things are on the upswing.
Good job guys.
Now let's see some more.
Lamar gridders
face tough road
When the word began to filter out that Lamar School would be playing in the MPSA's highest classification (AAA) next year, those in the know knew that meant the Raiders would find the going tougher on the athletic fields and courts in the major team sports.
The Raiders have long been dominate in all classes in golf, and the tennis team is young and competitive with anyone who challenges them. The same goes for the cross-country teams and the boys and girls soccer teams.
But when it comes to football, boys and girls basketball and baseball well that's a different story.
But, much to the school's credit, it has a history of playing tough competition, whether being forced to because of division alignments or not.
That is certainly true in football. Lamar is the only AAA school in East Mississippi, thus meaning that the Raiders must play smaller schools in order to play games close to home.
But when that means playing the likes of powerhouses like Winston, Heidelberg and Wayne closer definitely does not mean easier.
Nothing changes in 2002.
The Lamar football team opens with road games against Wayne (Aug. 23) and Heidelberg (Aug. 30), before hosting large-school power Jackson Prep for the Raiders' first home game on (Sept. 6).
Other home games for Lamar are against Madison-Ridgeland (Homecoming on Sept. 20), Parklane, Heritage and Copiah.
Road foes will be Columbia, Central Private out of Baker, La. (just outside of Baton Rouge), Adams County Christian School in Natchez and Hillcrest Christian School in Jackson.
It should make for another challenging and competitive year for the Raiders and Lady Raiders in all sports.

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