Connect with us

Sports

Rockets named YMCA football champions

Published

on

The Rockets are the YMCA tackle football champions for the 2019 season.

The Rockets were named the champions after the Outsiders and the Vikings ended their seasons in a tie ball game which forced them to both into second place.

The Rockets, which consists of fifth and sixth graders from the Vicksburg-Warren School District, had a successful season from the time they started off by blowing out most of their opponents. The players were led by running back JT Gaines who finished the season with 840 rushing yards, helping his team to a 7-0 record.

The Rockets also had the No.1 defense in the league, which made it difficult for their opponents to score. Most players from the team will be entering junior high school next year, but the rising sixth graders could play again next fall.

Head Coach Marcus Barnett and assistant coach Kayla Shelton led the team to having the best record in the league.

Rockets team members:

  1. Jermaine Gaines
  2. Patrick Moore
  3. Simon Lenzinger
  4. Markus Hendren
  5. Holt Pownall
  6. Colton Thornell
  7. Noah Bliss
  8. David Boyd
  9. Ja’Mari Gaines
  10. Ryder Dalton
  11. Braxton Scallions
  12. Chad Fusion
  13. Dajarei Brown
  14. Nikolas Carson

History

Former Rosa A. Temple coach McClelland is the last coach with an undefeated basketball season in Vicksburg

Published

on

Lavern McClelland (photo courtesy Alonzo Stevens)

Former Rosa A. Temple High School basketball coach Levern McClelland remains one of the best high school basketball coaches to ever come through the City of Vicksburg.

Born on March 21, 1932, in Philadelphia, Mississippi, McClelland attended Hopewell Vocational High School and graduated from Alcorn A&M after being drafted in the military.

McClelland came to Vicksburg in 1964 where he became the head coach of the all Black, segregated Rosa A. Temple High School.

By 1967, McClelland had established a great team with the Buccaneers, and he was coaching some standout players such as Carl Jackson and Marshall Sanders.

”We started as an undeveloped team, and then coach installed integrity in us, and he knew exactly how to motivate us,” Jackson said.

The Buccaneers went 36-6 in the 1967 season and won the Big 8 championship that year among Black schools.

Teams all around Mississippi knew about the Buccaneers basketball program and knew the team was only getting better with McClelland’s leadership.

“He was definitely a smart man and way ahead of his time,” Sanders said. “He knew basketball, and he prepared us with tough conditioning so that he was able to teach us the game without us getting tired.”

Because Temple was an all Black school in the Jim Crow era, the Buccaneers never received the exposure many other programs did, but McClelland never let that stop him from coaching his team to win.

Just one year after winning the 1967 championship, McClelland and the Buccaneers went 29-0 in 1968 and won their second consecutive championship.

Student worker Walter Wright was in charge of keeping up with statistics and reporting them to newspapers all around Mississippi and even to Dallas, Texas. He had the chance to witness McClelland’s leadership first hand and how he inspired success in his team.

“Everything he touched, he won,” Wright said. “He is definitely one of the best coaches of all time, and I put him on a higher level than John Wooden.”

McClelland kept Wright busy and made sure he kept a job writing and reporting on athletics which helped teach Wright about organization.

He was able to do something most coaches only dream of when it comes to basketball — having an undefeated season.

Jackson went on to play for St. Bonaventure and was inducted in the school’s hall of fame in 2001, while Sanders went on to become the captain of the Harvard University basketball team.

Although Temple was known for its great athletic program, McClelland always encouraged his players to graduate and go on to college.

“He taught PE, and he always told us to get our education because that was the type of guy he was,” Wright said. “I wouldn’t be Dr. Wright today if it wasn’t for him.”

In the early 1970s, Temple High School finally integrated and McClelland became the head coach of South Vicksburg High where he continued his successful coaching career. He eventually won three Coach of the Year Awards as the Buccaneers head coach.

Although McClelland is credited for much of his team’s success, he also had a great assistant coach by the name of a Belton Dent who put in as much time as McClelland did to make their team successful.

McClelland passed away in 2013 just one day before his 81st birthday but his legacy lives on through the many lives he touched as a coach. He remains the last boys basketball coach in Vicksburg to have a undefeated season on the varsity level.

Continue Reading

People

Josh Morgan wins the VDN Head Coach of the Year award

Published

on

VDN Head Coach of the Year Josh Morgan (photo by Ced Tillman)

Warren Central High School football coach Josh Morgan is the Vicksburg Daily News Head Coach of the Year.

Morgan played football at Warren Central in the late 1990s under his father Robert Morgan. He eventually committed to play football at Mississippi State University where he was a star safety and named to the All SEC team in 2001.

Morgan began coaching at the University of Memphis in 2004 as a graduate assistant before returning to Warren Central in 2006 to be the Vikings’ defensive coordinator.

In 2010, Morgan was named as the Vikings’ head coach after the retirement of Curtis Brewer.

Morgan struggled in his first two years as head coach. The team went 2-9 in 2010 and 1-10 in 2011. He broke through in 2012, when the Vikings their first playoff appearance under his leadership.

Morgan and the Vikings have made it to the playoffs each year since 2012, and this year marked his ninth consecutive season making it to the postseason.

The Vikings had a 9-3 record this season, and made it to the second round of the playoffs. They finished with the best record out of the four high schools in Vicksburg.

Morgan is the second coach to win the VDN Coach of the Year award after Vicksburg Junior High Coach Larry Carter Jr. won it last year.

Continue Reading

Sports

Thomas scored 18 points Friday in St. Aloysius win

Published

on

(photo by YAS Photography LLC)

St. Aloysius High School basketball player Isaiah Thomas led the Flashes in points in Friday’s victory over Cathedral High.

Thomas scored 18 points in the 50-49 win for St. Aloysius as he continued to drive the ball to the goal.

He received plenty of assistance from teammates Carter Magee and Padre Gray Jr. Magee scored 12 points while Gray put up 11 points to help seal the victory for the Flashes.

Thomas is a senior at St. Aloysius and is expected to have a good game Dec. 3 when the Flashes play Discovery Christian.

Continue Reading

Vicksburg
68°
Sunny
6:43am4:58pm CST
Feels like: 68°F
Wind: 4mph ENE
Humidity: 47%
Pressure: 30.04"Hg
UV index: 0
FriSatSun
70/52°F
59/50°F
54/37°F

Categories

Categories

Trending

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!