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Assistant coach DeAndre King stepped up to lead the Gators in a crunch

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DeAndre King. Photo from Facebook.

Former Vicksburg High basketball star DeAndre King stepped up to lead the Vicksburg eighth grade basketball team against Clinton on Dec. 5 after head coach Jerdon Hardiman was ejected for protesting the score.

Clinton officials realized the mistake and fixed the problem, but by then, Hardiman was already out of the gym.

King graduated from Vicksburg High in 2014 where he played basketball under Dellie Robinson, Kevin Carter and Troy Stewart.

“I wanted to become a coach back in high school, and coach Robinson always showed me how I can do that, while coach Stewart remained my mentor,” King said.

He began playing basketball at the age of 6, and eventually earned a scholarship to Hinds Community College before suffering a knee injury. The next year, in 2015, King became an assistant head coach with the Vicksburg Junior High School eighth grade boys team team under head coach Julius Williams. That year would be a championship year for the Gators and for King as a first year assistant.

In 2016, King got his first college coaching job at Southeastern Baptist College under coach Krishina Moore. King would coach there for three seasons before returning to Vicksburg Junior High to coach under Hardiman.

“We are 9-0 right now, and I love coaching under Hardiman,” King said. “Hardiman and I have a great relationship, and he took me under his wing, and I confide in him.”

King took over the game against Clinton with 2:23 left on the clock, and he had to calm his boys down so they could be focused on winning.

“I pulled everyone to the side and explained that we will win, and let’s do it for Hardiman,” he said.

The Gators were down by seven points with 0:49 left in the game when they made an unbelievable comeback to win 52-50.

Hardiman, King and the Gators will be back in action today as they travel to play Germantown.

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Vicksburg Junior High football asking for support to purchase championship rings

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(photo by Keith Phillips)

The Vicksburg Junior High school football team had a historic 8-0 season last year, and the Gators are reaching out to the community for help to gain every player a championship ring.

During the 2019 football season, the Gators showed their talents to everyone they faced, and they went on to become the Little Six Champions. The Gators were known for their shutdown defense as they rarely let their opponents score.

Click to expand image.

The season marked the first time that the Gators won the Little Six title. Now that the Gators are the champions, they are in search of championship rings to show off their success.

The team is the first undefeated team in 30 years, and the Gators are looking forward to having something to show off for their hard work.

The goal for the team is to raise $9,000 for the purchase of the rings. The community has shown major support for the Gators this season as fans showed up to cheer the team on, and the team is asking their fans to show up again.

To support the Gators in their efforts to purchase their rings, assistant coach Chris Lacey has set up the Vicksburg Junior High Championship Rings Go Fund Me page. Click the link to contribute.

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Player of the Week

John Hossley: VDN fourth grade Player of the Week

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John Hossley (photo by Katie Hossley)

John Hossley led the Fast Breakers to a big victory over the Heat on Monday where he gained the most points in the game.

Hossley scored 24 points as the Fast Breakers went on to win 34-18. Hosley led the entire third and fourth grade YMCA league in points this past week.

This year is Hossley’s second season playing in this league. He has quickly become the star player of his team. Hossley communicated well with teammate Jamari Johnson on the court, which led to Johnson scoring 5 points on the night.

Hossley is a fourth-grader at Bowmar Elementary and is well-known for his athletic ability. In the fall of 2019, Hossley was the star football player for the Bears flag football team, which went 5-2 for the season.

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Former USM head coach Todd Monken hired as Georgia offensive coordinator

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Todd Monken (photo from USM Athletics)

Former Southern Miss head coach Todd Monken has been hired as the University of Georgia’s offensive coordinator.

Monken will join former Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke who has been hired as Georgia’s offensive line coach. Monken was the head coach at USM from 2013 to 2015, and he is credited with turning around the Golden Eagles program during the 2015 season where they went 9-5 after many failed seasons before Monken arrived.

After the 2015 season, Monken left USM to become the offensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Monken stayed with the Buccaneers from 2016 to 2018 before taking a job with the Cleveland Browns. Kevin Stefanski, the new Browns head coach, decided not to keep Monken, so he heads back to college football in Georgia.

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