High School Notebook September 16, 2011

By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal

THS Golden Wave awaits Ashton Shumpert’s return
Ashton Shumpert, who has been sidelined for three weeks with a stress fracture, will learn early next week if he’ll return to the football field for Tupelo.
Shumpert, a junior running back, suffered the injury to his lower leg on his first carry in the Golden Wave’s preseason scrimmage against Pontotoc. He played in the team’s opening loss to Lafayette, but wasn’t effective.
His injury was diagnosed following that game.
“It’s a day-to-day deal,” THS coach David Bradberry said. “We’ll know by Monday or Tuesday of next week where he is.
“Hopefully, we’ll get him back.”
Tupelo, which has an open date this week, returns to action next Friday with its Division 1-6A opener at Columbus.
Shumpert practiced this week without pads, taking handoffs, pitches and catching passes.
Saltillo’s annual XC meet scheduled for Saturday
The second of three Northeast Mississippi-based cross country meets is scheduled for Saturday morning with the running of the annual Saltillo Invitational.
SHS coach Charles Covington has 34 boys and girls teams signed up to run, including two from Alabama – Hatton and Vina.
Pontotoc, which hosted its invitational last weekend, and Tupelo, which has its meet scheduled for Sept. 24 at Ballard Park, are entered in the Tigers’ race.
“We’ve got some good runners coming here,” Covington said.
Corinth, French Camp, Kossuth, Myrtle and Oxford are among others competing.
Saltillo’s varsity girls were the top 5A finisher last week at Pontotoc. Alyssa Kelly was third overall in 16:41 while teammate Claire Nash was tenth in 17:06.
“Our times are ahead of what they were last year,” Covington said, speaking of his girls and boys programs. “Traditionally, we start slower and look to be fresh by the end of the season.”
Covington was also excited about his junior high program.
“We’ve got 131 runners, junior high and varsity,” he said. “We’re excited about the future for all the school. Each school’s program is growing. That’s encouraging.”
Jason Kelly to coach Mantachie boys hoops
Former Amory coach Jason Kelly is Mantachie’s new boys basketball leader this season, The Itawamba County Times reported this week.
Kelly, who is beginning his sixth season, coached at Immanuel Christian and Tupelo Christian Prep before his stint in Amory.
“Mantachie is a great place,” Kelly told the Times. “I really respect how the community supports their athletic programs.”
Mantachie opens its season Nov. 5 at home with its Mustang Classic.