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Vicksburg Junior High Gators ranked No. 1 after defeating Clinton

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Gator Malik Montgomery (in gray) gets ready for a free throw.

The Vicksburg Junior High eighth grade boys defeated the Clinton Arrows last night in a heated battle that got the Gators head coach ejected from the game.

Both teams were undefeated before the game, and the Clinton crowd was hostile, rooting for coach Jerdon Hardiman to get tossed out.

The Gators came out shining in the first quarter preventing the Arrows from scoring at all until the end of the quarter, when Vicksburg led 13-4.

By the middle of the second quarter, Clinton began to put some more numbers on the scoreboard, getting into the game. Vicksburg did not stop their offensive drive, and put up 14 points in the second quarter to lead 27-21 at halftime.

As the second half began, the crowd got even noisier as the score got closer.

Kealon Bass knocked down a big three pointer for the Gators, but the whistle would continue to blow with foul calls on both teams, which frustrated Vicksburg coach Hardiman. By this point, the Gators had held the lead from the beginning and finished the third quarter with a 35-33 lead.

The fourth quarter is when the game would be at its wildest.

The Arrows took a 43-41 lead, but the Gators scored again once they got possession of the ball. Clinton refused to put the correct score on the board which heated Hardiman. After protesting the score, Hardiman was ejected from the game after two technical fouls. As he was escorted out, the correct score went up when Clinton realized they made a mistake.

Assistant coach DeAndre King said that Hardiman did “what he thought was right by standing up.”

King took over, and the Gators seemed to lose confidence letting Clinton take a six point lead, but the Gators didn’t let that stand too long.

“The boys responded well and fought great.” King said. “Player Davian Williams told me that they had my back, and it felt good to step up and be a leader.“

In the final two minutes—just as some fans thought the game was over and began to leave, thinking Clinton would win—the Gators got their confidence back and began to score back-to-back points.

Gators center Tyler Carter scored two lay ups in the final 30 seconds to secure a 52-50 Gator win.

The Gators (9-0) are now ranked No. 1 after the victory.

“I always taught them to play like champions,” Hardiman said, “and they stuck it out and did just that.”

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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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