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Former VHS assistant coach creates a legacy of building successful programs

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Thomas Billups (Photo courtesy Tougaloo College)

Since arriving at Tougaloo College in 2015, head basketball coach Thomas Billups has made his team a dominant force on the basketball court.

Starting the early 1970s, Billups was an assistant coach for the Vicksburg High Gators where he helped lead them to a state championship in 1980. In 1983, he took over the Junior High basketball program, leading them to four Little Six championships. He won two Little Six championships with the ninth-grade team as well.

In 1991, Lanier High School in Jackson hired Billups as head coach, and he remained there for the next 22 years. At Lanier, Billups built a program that couldn’t be stopped. He led the school to 13 state championship appearances and eight state championship titles. Billups had a 617-119 record as Lanier’s head coach in 22 seasons.

After contract disputes with Lanier, Billups took a job as Oak Grove High School head coach in 2013. The next season Tougaloo College hired him as head coach in 2014, where he would turn around another struggling program. The Bulldogs had a 12-18 record before he arrived.

Billups has now had six successful seasons as Tougaloo College head basketball coach. This year, the Bulldogs finished this season with a 24-8 record under a coach who prepares his team for a championship every year.

 

 

Sports

Johnson scored 21 points in VHS 42-32 win over Pearl

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(photo by Marg Sims)

Vicksburg High School ninth grade player Cynia Johnson had a great game Monday night in the Gators 42-32 win over the Pearl Pirates.

Johnson scored 21 points for the Gators in the huge victory as the Pirates were unable to stop her awesome performance.

Johnson has become a key player for the team this season and has led the Gators to a 5-1 record. Each week she proves that she is one of the best freshman players in the City of Vicksburg. Johnson and her team are working hard toward being able to play in the Little Six Championship at the end of the season.

The Gators next game is at home Thursday against Northwest Rankin. Tip off is 5 p.m.

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Sports

Burns scored 50 points in PCA victory over Mt. Salus Monday

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(photo by Carrie Martin)

Porter’s Chapel Academy girls basketball player Yakia Burns outscored the entire opposing team in the Eagles 60-20 victory over Mt. Salus.

Burns scored a career high 50 points in the game and led her team to victory once again. She also had five steals and 10 rebounds in the big win.

Burns also played great defense Monday night as she held her opponents to a low scoring game.

Burns is now the highest scoring girl basketball player in the city, averaging more than 30 points per game.

Tbe Lady Eagles will face North Sunflower at PCA Thursday at 6:00 p.m.

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Outdoors

Vicksburg hunter Patrick Southerland got his first deer this weekend

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Patrick Southerland (photo courtesy Brooke Southerland)

Vicksburg hunter Patrick Southerland killed his first deer this weekend in Warren County.

Southerland is 10 years old and a fourth grader at St. Francis Elementary School where he is known as a great student.

Southerland is also a football player for the St. Francis Flashes peewee football team and is well liked by his teammates and coaches.

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Vicksburg
66°
Sunny
6:35am5:01pm CST
Feels like: 66°F
Wind: 10mph NNE
Humidity: 29%
Pressure: 30.47"Hg
UV index: 4
WedThuFri
70/45°F
73/48°F
75/52°F

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