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Ole Miss fires Matt Luke

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Matt Luke. Photo from his Facebook page.

Ole Miss has parted ways with third-year head coach Matt Luke, according to numerous media reports. This comes after the Rebels lost to rival Mississippi State on Thanksgiving with a 21-20 score.

Luke became interim head coach in the 2017 football season. Before that, Luke was the Rebel’s co-offensive coordinator starting in 2012. Luke was also a player for Ole Miss in the 1990s.

Luke has finished his Ole Miss head coaching career with a 15-21 record.

The University of Mississippi has not confirmed the reports as of this writing.

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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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Sonics win YMCA pre-season basketball tournament

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The Sonics show off their medals.

After three games in less than 24 hours, the Sonics won the YMCA pre-season basketball  tournament over the weekend.

The Sonics defeated the Jazz, Raptors and Gators to win it all and walk out with the gold medals.

The team consists of fifth and sixth grade boys from the Vicksburg-Warren School District, aged 10 and 11, and are led by coach Jabarius McDaniel.

JT Gaines is the team’s lead scorer and played point guard throughout the games.

The Sonics will start their regular season games Dec. 13, when they face the Gators in a race for a championship in February 2020.

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Alcorn defeats Southern for SWAC championship

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The Alcorn State University football team defeated Southern University last night for the second year in a row to retain the SWAC championship title. The championship is the second one for head coach Fred McNair who took over the program in 2016.

The game went back and forth with the teams trading the lead. In the middle of the fourth quarter, the Southern Jaguars (8-5) were leading the game 24-22 before the Alcorn Braves (9-3) made a big comeback. The Braves scored 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.

Alcorn’s defense stepped up forcing Southern quarterback Ladarius Skeleton to throw three interceptions in the game. One was returned for a Braves touchdown by Taurence Wilson.

Alcorn went on to win the game with a score of 39-24. Alcorn Quarterback Felix Harper finished the game with 226 passing yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. His top receiver for the game was LeCharles Pringle who had five catches for 125 yards and one touchdown. Pringle was also named the MVP for the game.

Niko Duffey had the most rushing yards for the Braves, rushing for 63 yards on 15 carries, while De’Shawn Waller had 52 yards on 12 carries with a touchdown. Trey Turner also had a three yard touchdown for the Alcorn victory.

Two former Vicksburg High School football stars are on this championship squad. Elmer Johnson and Alec Bailey are the two local players who will receive their championship rings this year.

Alcorn will be traveling to Atlanta for the Celebration Bowl against North Carolina A&T on Dec. 21.

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