By Gene Phelps
Mississippi’s all-time winningest public school football coach, Jim Drewry, will be honored today in Booneville with events leading up to the Blue Devils’ home game against Mooreville.
Drewry, who retired after the 2009 season, coached 50 years with stops in Booneville, Brandon, Kossuth and Tishomingo. He has a career record of 346-157-5 with three state titles.
All former Booneville and Kossuth football players, assistant coaches, managers, cheerleaders and band members from the Drewry era are encouraged to attend.
“It’s going to be a pretty nice deal,” Booneville football coach Mike Mattox said. “I played for (Drewry) at Kossuth and he had a large influence on me taking this job.
“He has meant a lot to all of us.”
Mattox, who replaced Drewry as Booneville coach in 2010, said he had some huge shoes to fill.
“It was an honor, but at the same time you’re nervous because of who you are following,” Mattox said. “I’ll tell you how much he cares. After North Pontotoc beat us last week, nobody came around to see me except daddy and Coach Drewry.”
The schedule for honoring Drewry begins at 4:30 p.m. with a meet and greet at the Booneville High commons. One of the featured speakers will be Major General Leon Collins of the Mississippi Army and Air National Guard, a former Booneville player.
Coach Drewry and his family will be honored in a pregame ceremony. There will also be a postgame gathering at Booneville’s Community Center.
THS enters postseason as defending champion
Two-time defending state champion Tupelo – girls and boys – will compete Saturday at the MHSAA’s Class II North Mississippi Swim Championships in Jackson.
The top eight swimmers in each event will advance to next Saturday’s state championships at Delta State University in Cleveland. The South Mississippi meet is being held Saturday in Laurel.
The Golden Wave boys have won six consecutive state titles while the girls have won five of the last eight. Oxford’s girls have won the other three, the last one coming in 2010.
Belmont, Lafayette get volleyball playoff byes
Six area teams – Aberdeen, Belmont, H.W. Byers, Lafayette, Ripley and Tishomingo County – have qualified for the MHSAA Class I state volleyball playoffs, which begin Saturday.
Belmont and Lafayette won their division championships and received a first-round bye.
Saturday’s play-in round has Byers at Aberdeen, Williams-Sullivan at Ripley and Velma Jackson at Tishomingo County.
Belmont will play the winner of Saturday’s play-in match between Senatobia and Choctaw County in Tuesday’s second round. Lafayette plays the Tishomingo County-Velma Jackson winner.