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SEPTEMBER 2019

OXFO R D

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FOOT BAL L issue


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NICHOLS AIR SPREAD

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NICHOLS AIR SPREAD

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I N

T H I S

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136

DEPA RTMENT S

EVENTS

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Letter From the Publisher

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Monday Night Trivia

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Contributors

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Music and Movies

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Calendar

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Oxford City Swim Meet

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Shoutouts

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Oxford Art Crawl

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I Am Oxford: Whitman Smith

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Secret Comedy Show

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InstaLove: Callie Moser Art

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Watermelon Carnival

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Boosters and Blues

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Restaurant News

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Night for Nonprofits

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In Season: Charcuterie

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Art-er Limits Festival

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Out & About

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Iron Bartender Contest

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Recipes: Fall Cocktails

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Meet the Commodores

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Groovin’ at Move In

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ON THE COVER

Artist Judy Seay fell in love with Oxford and Ole Miss while her kids attended college here. Her colorful acrylic paintings capture local scenes and dynamic football imagery. Read her story and see more of her work on page 68. I L L U S T R AT E D B Y J U D Y S E AY


F E AT U R E S

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92

FOOTBALL

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FA M I LY

p a g e 67

96

FA ME

page 91

40 The New Face of Ole Miss Football

68 Art on the Sidelines

This season, the Rebel family adds new coaches, staff and players.

Judy Seay’s Ole Miss- and Oxford-inspired pottery and paintings bring joy to Rebel fans in the Grove and in their homes.

92 Walking the Walk

44 Ole Miss in the NFL

74 Team Cutcliffe

96 Cleared for Takeoff

46 You Gotta Believe

80 The Perfect Retreat

100 Great Reads for Rebel Fans

Dozens of former Rebels are currently playing for NFL teams all over the country.

Mississippi youths take part in a football camp led by a star-studded coaching staff.

52 No. 38

This year, Austrian Robinson takes the field in Chucky Mullins’ retired number.

56 Game On!

Tasty, versatile recipes impress in the Grove.

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Family comes first for the Oxford Chargers head football coach — on and off the field.

A Cincinnati couple falls in love with Oxford when their son becomes a Rebel.

84 Cheers to the Magnolia State

Three Mississippi brothers are making a name for themselves and their wine at Krutz Family Cellars in Sonoma County, California.

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Special ceremonies allow Ole Miss student athletes to graduate with all the recognition they deserve.

Chief pilot Scott Noss flies the friendly skies for the University of Mississippi.

These stories by north Mississippi authors give readers a Southern sense of place.

104 Cheerleader Generation

A Lifetime reality TV show chronicles two cheer coaches — one at a Kentucky high school and the other at Ole Miss — who just happen to be mother and daughter.


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DELTA BELLE BOUTIQUE

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L E T T E R from the P U B L I S H E R

THE OLE MISS ALMA MATER

With united hearts we praise thee, All our loyalty is thine. And we hail thee, Alma Mater, May thy light forever shine; May it brighter grow and brighter, And with deep affection true. Our thoughts shall ever cluster ’round thee, Dear old Red and Blue. May thy fame throughout the nation, Thru thy sons and daughters grow, May thy name forever waken In our hearts a tender glow. May thy counsel and thy spirit Ever keep us one in this, That our own shall be thine honor, Now and ever, dear Ole Miss.

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I think one of the most touching moments at an Ole Miss football game happens after the game is over. It’s a moment few people get to hear, or perhaps even know about. The field and the stands are mostly empty. All that’s left are some staff and a few thousand popcorn boxes and empty cups, when The Pride of the South plays the University of Mississippi alma mater. It’s a beautiful composition penned in 1925 by A.W. Kahle, with music by her husband, W.F. Kahle. I wanted to know more about this music so I tracked down some research compiled by former Provost Gerald Walton. At J.D. Williams Library, I found a cardboard box. Inside was a folder labeled “Alma Mater” that contained more than 100 pieces of information, including the manuscript pictured above. I learned that the university couldn’t get anyone to compose an alma mater until finally they offered a reward for the work. Who the Kahles were or what their connection to Ole Miss was remains a mystery, but they wrote the original verses; the others were added in 1937 by Ruth McNeil. As we prepared this issue, the lyrics rang in my ears over and over. I thought of it as we told the story of defensive end Austrian Robinson who is this year’s recipient of

INVITATION OXFORD | SEPTEMBER 2019

the Chucky Mullins Courage Award. Just as Kahle wrote, there is Ole Miss, “calling, calling, to our hearts’ fond memories.” This football season will be a fond memory Robinson will not soon forget. You’ll also meet Scott Noss, Ole Miss chief pilot, on page 96. Noss takes university leaders above “the trees (that) lift high their branches,” only to return them safely day after day to Ole Miss and its “whisp’ring Southern breeze,” where “stand old Alma Mater’s halls.” There are lots of other hidden morsels here, including some delicious recipes to inspire your tailgates, on pages 36 and 56. Turn to page 136 for some seasonal cocktails to go along with them. We’ve packed in plenty of other gems in these 136 pages, and we hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed putting it all together for you. One last thing: Just one time this season, do yourself a favor — stay a few minutes after the game ends and listen to the music. H O T T Y T O D D Y,

RACHEL M. WEST PUBLISHER


PUBLISHERS Phil and Rachel West

EDITORIAL

EXECUTIVE EDITORS Allison Estes Emily Welly EXECUTIVE MANAGING EDITOR Mary Moreton CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Andi Sherrill Bedsworth Edward Brown Shanna Flaschka Calyn Hoerner Sarah Hooper Ginny McCarley Sarah McCullen Abigail Meisel Michael Newsom Julie Tremaine Lesley Vance Walkington EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Meredith Hull

ART

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Holly Vollor STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Joe Worthem CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Paul Gandy Jessica Richardson Alex Sage Julie Tremaine Megan Wolfe CONTRIBUTING ILLUSTRATORS Abbey Edmonson Frank Estrada Sarah McCullen Judy Seay SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR & ART ASSISTANT Alexis Lee

COPY EDITOR Ashley Arthur INTERN Abbey Edmonson

OFFICE

BUSINESS MANAGER Hollie Hilliard DISTRIBUTION Donald Courtney Brian Hilliard MAIN OFFICE 662-234-4008

ADVERTISING

ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS Alise M. Emerson Leigh Lowery Lynn McElreath Moni Simpson Whitney Worsham Anna Zemek ADVERTISING DESIGNERS Paul Gandy Becca Pepper Hallie Thomas ADVERTISING INFORMATION ads@invitationoxford.com

To subscribe to one year (10 issues) of Invitation Oxford or to buy an announcement, visit invitationoxford.com. To request a photographer at your event, email Mary at mary.invitation@gmail.com. Invitation Oxford respects the many diverse individuals and organizations that make up north Mississippi and strives to be inclusive and representative of all members of our community.

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C O N T R I B U T O R S Julie Tremaine is a travel and food writer who once stayed alone overnight in a haunted hotel room and lived to tell the tale. She has written for Forbes.com, Bloomberg Next, SyFy Wire and Yankee, and was previously executive editor of Providence Monthly. She splits her time between Los Angeles and Providence, Rhode Island. Read her work at Travel-Sip-Repeat.com.

Edward Brown is a senior at Oxford High School, and was born and raised in Oxford. At OHS, he is the captain of the varsity soccer team and editor in chief of the school’s newspaper, The Charger.

page 84

page 40

Abigail Meisel lives in Water Valley. A native of Brooklyn, New York, she has taught writing at the University of Mississippi and has written articles and book reviews for The New York Times. She’s a fan of the Baltimore Orioles. Read her work at abigailmeisel.com.

Andi Sherrill Bedsworth hails from South Louisiana and has lived in Oxford for 15 years, teaching sewing and art to local children and adults. She has two daughters and one granddaughter.

page 68

pages 28 & 92

Frank Estrada is an artist, printmaker and cat whisperer from Oxford. He enjoys creating illustrations and carving out woodblocks and linoblocks in his spare time. You can follow him on Instagram @iRollBrayers.

page 92

Michael Newsom is a freelance writer and former investigative reporter and political editor. He was a member of the Biloxi Sun Herald news team that won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of Hurricane Katrina. He currently works in public relations at Ole Miss and lives in Oxford with his wife, Emery, and their Jack Russell terrier, Huey.

Sarah Hooper is a business development consultant for McCarty Architects. She holds a master’s degree in policy analysis from New York University and has worked on projects in architecture, the arts, health care and public policy. She has lived in Washington, D.C., New York, Colorado, South Africa and England. She lives in Tupelo with her family and her dog, Max.

Lesley Vance Walkington, author of “Infertility Journeys: Finding Your Happy Ending” and “Becoming 2: The Complete New Testament Biblezine,” lives in Oxford with her husband and daughter. She teaches in the department of philosophy and religion at the University of Mississippi. Lesley enjoys playing tennis and is a member of the Oxford Garden Club.

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pages 52 & 104

page 96

Ginny McCarley is a freelance writer from Birmingham, Alabama. She moved to Oxford to pursue a master’s degree in English from the University of Mississippi, but she, her husband and their two young kids loved Oxford so much they never left. Ginny has also done freelance work for The Washington Post and has contributed to other publications throughout the Southeast.

Shanna Flaschka came to Oxford 21 years ago from San Francisco by way of Baltimore and New York. While earning an M.A. in English from Ole Miss, she was a food columnist for the Oxford Eagle and later became an adjunct instructor at the university. She and her husband, Walter, are proud but nervous parents of three teenagers, one of whom is learning to drive.

Calyn Hoerner works for Red Window Communications, an Oxford-based communications agency. Born in New Orleans and raised in Houston, Texas, Calyn moved to Oxford when she enrolled at Ole Miss. Now a graduate and a full-time resident, Calyn loves exploring the city and discovering all it has to offer. page 44

page 100

Sarah McCullen grew up in Oxford, and in 2018, graduated from Ole Miss. Formerly an editorial assistant for Invitation Magazines, she now lives in Jackson and works for Pinelake Church, but she still makes time for her hobbies, which include writing, baking and watercolor painting. pages 74 & 80

pages 56 & 84


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C A L E N DA R SEPTEMBER 2019

FOOTBALL SEPTEMBER 7

Ole Miss vs. Arkansas 6:30 p.m.

Food Film Festival S EP TE MB ER 17

SEPTEMBER 14

Ole Miss vs. Southeastern Louisiana 3 p.m.

Books and Lunch

SEPTEMBER 21

SEPTEMBER 4

Ole Miss vs. California TBA

Mississippi author Susan Cushman discusses her newly released short story collection, “Friends of the Library.” The book will be available to purchase. Call 662-234-5751 to reserve a free lunch. Noon-2 p.m., the Lafayette County and Oxford Public Library.

Oxford Maker’s Market SEPTEMBER 7

This arts-and-crafts market offers a variety of homemade and homegrown goods the first Saturday of every month. Free. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., the Square. oxfordmakersmarket.org

Music and Movies in the Park

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Ole Miss at Alabama TBA

oxfordfilmfest.com

Special Storytime

CREATIVE ARTISTS AGENCY

susancushman.com

The Mississippi Arts Commission invites everyone to bring a lawn chair or blanket and watch this free film festival taking place after the Oxford Community Market. The winner will be selected and announced on-site. Donations to OXCM are welcome. 6:30 p.m., Old Armory Pavilion.

SEP TEMBER 14

Square Books celebrates its 40th anniversary with a special visit from Curious George and the Man in the Yellow Hat, a reading of “Curious George Goes to the Bookstore” and a singalong. Free. 10 a.m., Square Books Jr.

Michael Bolton

squarebooks.com

S EP TE MB ER 17

visitoxfordms.com

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SQUARE BOOKS

SEP TEMBER 13

The Oxford Park Commission and the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council host the last evening of this family-friendly movie series with a screening of “The Blind Side.” Free. 7-10 p.m., Avent Park.

This Grammy Award-winning singersongwriter performs timeless hits such as “When a Man Loves a Woman” and “How am I Supposed To Live Without You,” specially arranged with an orchestra. See website for ticket prices. 7:30 p.m., the Gertrude C. Ford Center. fordcenter.org


The Great Oxonian Exposition S E P T E M B E R 1 9 -2 0

ArtWorks Foundation debuts this two-day indoor show that features and sells the works of more than 20 different artists in all different mediums. 1-6 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, the Powerhouse. greatexposition.com

The Mockingbird Music Series SEP TEMBER 25

This bimonthly series features performances and stories by some of Nashville’s awardwinning songwriters. The evening includes a performance by James House, a catered dinner and a signature drink. Tickets $75. 7-9 p.m., Johnny Morgan’s Shop. eventbrite.com

Free Friday at Rebel Challenge Course SEPTEMBER 27

Ole Miss Campus Recreation opens its course to everyone in the community to climb on high elements and zip line from heights of up to 40 feet. Participants must wear closed-toe shoes and weigh at least 50 pounds. All participants must sign a waiver online. Free. 4-6 p.m., Rebel Challenge Course. events.olemiss.edu SEPTEMBER 2019 | INVITATION OXFORD

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S H O U T O U T S H a l l of Ho no r I nduc t e e : We sle y Wa l l s Pontotoc native and pro football player Wesley Walls already had a noteworthy list of achievements in his lengthy career. He can now add another notch to his belt. In addition to taking his place in the College Football Hall of Fame in 2014 and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 2016, Walls is being inducted into the Carolina Panthers Hall of Honor. “I was totally surprised by the honor,” Walls said. “There was only one player, Sam Mills, in the Hall of Honor and to be included with Sam Mills, and my class of Jake Delhomme, Steve Smith and Jordan Gross is such an honor. It puts an exclamation mark on my career.” Walls was a quarterback and fullback in high school in Pontotoc, earned a scholarship to Ole Miss where he played both offense and defense (once in the same game), then went on to play professionally for the San Francisco 49ers, the New Orleans Saints, the Carolina Panthers and the Green Bay Packers. He is a five-time Pro Bowler, a four-time All Pro, and a 1990 Super Bowl champion. Walls signed with the Carolina Panthers in 1996 to become their starting tight end. It was in Carolina that he broke out as a player, becoming Carolina’s franchise leader for career touchdowns by a tight end. He even became a backup punter during his time with the team. Walls will be honored with a halftime presentation Oct. 6 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, and with a bust that will be placed in the Hall of Honor inside the stadium.

KELI LINDSEY

C h a m p io n C oa c h : Bra d E m b r y

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From early Monday mornings to Friday night lights, Brad Embry is dedicated to helping others improve their game. After leading the Water Valley High School Blue Devils to win the 2018 Class 3A state football championship, and also receiving the MAC Coach of the Year award, Embry credits the team and staff for their perseverance and passion. “I felt it was a huge honor for me, but mostly an honor for the entire program and everyone who played a part in us reaching this pinnacle,” Embry said. “I am proud of the work ethic our players and coaches displayed over a two-year period. As freshmen and sophomores their team struggled, but they became a championship team as juniors and seniors.” Embry, who also coached at Tupelo High School and Madison Central High School, came to Water Valley High School 12 years ago because he saw the potential to build up the football program there. He plans to make Water Valley football the premier 3A program in Mississippi, and he hopes the entire athletic program will follow in those footsteps. “I enjoy trying to motivate young people to be their best in whatever endeavor they are involved in,” Embry said.


SHOUTOUTS

continued

OLE MISS ATHLETICS

S c ho ol a nd S o c c e r S t a r : Mo r g a n O ’C o n no r

Oxford High School graduate Morgan O’Connor is an inspiration both on and off the pitch. The 17-year-old was named the 2018-2019 Gatorade Mississippi Girls Soccer Player of the Year. This award celebrates exemplary achievements in sports and in the classroom. “I felt honored considering the winners of this award before,” O’Connor said. “It was a bit of a surprise because I know so many other talented soccer players around the area.” O’Connor, who started playing soccer at a young age and continued throughout school, is now on scholarship for the Ole Miss Rebels soccer team. She says that she loves the game and would play past the college level if she were given the opportunity. An active member of her church youth group, she believes in helping out in the community and has volunteered at a charity road race and youth soccer camps. “Life is about more than just a game,” O’Connor said. “Don’t take for granted the people and things you have in your life.”

Committed to Excellence Dan Finan, Realtor Ole Miss’15 MBA

CELL: 601.917.5429 wdfinan@hotmail.com www.resideoxford.com OFFICE: 662.234.5621

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WH ITM A N INTERVIEWED BY ABIGAIL MEISEL

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SM ITH

PHOTOGRAPHED BY JOE WORTHEM

W

hitman Smith, dean of admissions at the University of Mississippi for nearly 29 years, retired in May. During his tenure, Smith helped to make the university a magnet for students from around the country and grew the undergraduate population by double digits to the highest enrollment in the school’s history. Smith is an Oxford native and fourth-generation UM employee.

Q: How did you get your start at Ole Miss? A: I graduated from college in 1989 and

thought, “What am I going to do?” and got a job as a waiter at the Downtown Grill. That lasted three days, until I got a job as a recruiter.

Q: What was your pitch for Ole Miss? A: It’s such an easy sell: everything for less. Where else can you major in 100 things, and have SEC athletics in a small town with such incredible culture? We have writers here signing books every week, live music six nights a week, great people and great (weather) — and it’s all a reasonable price.

Q: What was your favorite part of the job? A: I loved recruitment. I never wanted to be

the director of admissions because you have to tell people ‘no’ when you’re in admissions.

Q:

Where would you like to see Ole Miss heading in the future? A: I say, “Headlights on and taillights off.” We have to keep moving forward and there’s no returning to the past. There’s a legacy of exclusion here, and that has got to go. It’s not who we are anymore.

Q: Can you share a top tip for collegebound students? A: Go to a school that you love. Make sure it’s a good fit. Recruiting has changed a lot, 28

and there is more competition to recruit, but I’ve always said to a student considering Ole Miss, “Make the best choice for yourself.”

Q:

What are you going to do post retirement? Do you think you’ll miss being on campus? A: I’m a regular guy doing regular guy stuff. I’ve got some house projects, and I want to spend more time with my daughter.

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Admissions is in good hands with an incredible staff of bright, talented people.

Q: What makes you want to stay in Oxford

after you retire? A: My daughter is still in high school here, and I love Oxford. I love the way it is now, and I also miss the Oxford that existed when I was 10 years old, but you can’t go back and you don’t want to.


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instaL O V E C a l l ie Mo s e r A r t

FOLLOW ON INSTAGR A M @calliemosera rt

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CALLIE MOSER

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xford native Callie Moser was inspired by the way agate was used in fashion and home decor, so she began trying out her own spin on the fad. Her business, Callie Moser Art, launched in March, creates faux agate slices and turns them into beautiful, functional pieces. Her coasters and trays seem almost too magnificent to set a glass on — but that’s what they’re meant for. “I started doing paintings with resin, and it evolved into coasters,” Moser said. “I soon realized that my coasters were lighter and more durable than real agate slices, and (they were) less prone to break.” Moser creates her own molds and pours the individual colors in varying order for different effects. She then adds a layer of resin, sands it down, finishes the edges and applies liquid gold. Her process for a set of four coasters takes around three days. “I get really excited when someone wants a bright and colorful set,” Moser said. “I love bright colors, and I especially love

gold. I think they are a great way to add a splash of color to your home.” Callie Moser Art’s Instagram is full of vibrant colored coasters, trays and accent pieces with intricate detail and unique finishes. Moser credits some of her creativity to her upbringing. “My mother, Debbie Bernet, is an artist,” Moser said. “I grew up around art and very talented, creative people. I am grateful that I was always encouraged to be creative.” To brighten your timeline, watch the progression of the pieces and gaze at original, gemstone-inspired art, follow her at @calliemoserart.


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NEWS

Julep Steakhouse & Flights N E W | 1 1 07 J A C K S O N AV E . E .

Oxford Grillhouse chef and owner Clint Boutwell has opened a sister restaurant on the Square. Along with steaks, Julep serves delicacies like veal and sea bass along with wine and cocktail flights. 662-607-5179

The Sipp on South Lamar NEW | 400 S . L A M AR , SUITE A 2

Opening this month, The Sipp offers a new dining experience with small and large sharing plates, as well as wine pairings, tastings and cocktails. The cellars will feature over 50 wines and 150 spirits by the taste or by the glass. 662-380-5402

SoLa N E W N A M E | 4 0 1 S . L A M A R B LV D .

Formerly The Wine Bar Restaurant, SoLa has added a fresh aesthetic to the interior and a new menu promising “twisted cuisine and lifted spirits.� 662-238-3500

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Julep Steakhouse & Flights

Tarasque Cucina

Heartbreak Coffee

M O V E D | 1 61 1 J A C K S O N AV E . W.

M O V E D | 1 61 1 J A C K S O N AV E . W.

Chef John Stokes from Oxford is trained in classic French and Italian cooking. His Italian eatery specializes in old-world comfort food made with local ingredients. Brown bag for $1 a glass and dine in the newly remodeled space, open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday. 662-380-0381

Previously operating as a food truck that frequented Oxford Community Market and the Square, Heartbreak has a new permanent home next door to Tarasque. The shop serves house-roasted coffees and pour-overs, and sweet treats including gluten-free, vegan donuts, a fan favorite. 562-481-6981

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C H A R C U T E R I E WRITTEN BY MEREDITH HULL

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY JOE WORTHEM

likely to eat from it. Keep it casual, and be sure to include utensils for dips, meats and cheeses. Follow these tips from Blount to create your own. ME ATS

Always use good quality meat, and try to include a few different kinds. Italian prosciutto or Serrano ham are reliable go-to options. Pate or cured sausages such as soppressata and mortadella are excellent alternatives or additions. CHEESES

Offer a mixture of a few different hard and soft cheeses. Tomme and Greenhill cheese from Sweet Grass Dairy are both good soft cheeses with varying flavors. Parmigiano-Reggiano and Parrano are delectable hard cheeses. FRUITS , VEGE TABLES & NUTS

A

dding a charcuterie board, with an array of meats, cheeses, spreads and fruits, is an easy way to include sophisticated snacks in your game-day spread. Charcuterie is best served in cooler temperatures, so save this showstopper for a late-season tailgate tent in the Grove or make it a staple for watch parties at home with friends and family. Emily Blount, owner of Saint Leo restaurant and Saint Leo Lounge, loves creating an elegant and bright charcuterie board that is unstyled and approachable. “Charcuterie is a great centerpiece for

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Complement the savory offerings with something acidic and something pickled, such as olives, grape leaves and pickles with turmeric. Seasonal vegetables and fruits add color and taste to the charcuterie. Another great addition is anything that is best in its simplest form, such as salted and unsalted pecans and almonds. game day,” Blount said. “You can add a good assortment of flavors, and everyone will find something they like.” With some simple steps you can create a beautiful charcuterie spread. Start with a large platter or wooden cutting board and the basic ingredients. “For dishes, I love small, handmade items or older items that may come from family and friends,” Blount said. “Currently I’m also loving enamelware. It’s clean and bright, durable and modern looking.” Overarranging your board can make it look intimidating and people will be less

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DIPS & SPREADS

Local jams and honey along with a grainy mustard add sweet and piquant accompaniments to the board. Savory, creamy dips — homemade or store-bought — offer hearty flavors and another use for crackers or breads. BREADS

Try grilled bread or any kind of cracker that pairs well with the other items on the board. Homemade piadina flatbread or flatbread chips are a crowd favorite.


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JUDY SEAY

FOOTBALL 40

The New Face of Ole Miss Football

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Ole Miss in the NFL

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You Gotta Believe

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No. 38

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Game On!

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JOE WORTHEM

CALENDAR

t h e New Face of Ole Miss Football T H I S S E A S O N, O L E M I S S F O O T B A L L A D D S N E W C O A C H E S , S TA F F A N D P L AY E R S T O T H E R E B E L FA M I LY. WRITTEN BY EDWARD BROWN

Rich Rodriguez

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Matt Corral

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PHOTOS PROVIDED BY OLE MISS ATHLE TICS

Keith Carter

Mike MacIntyre


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fter some trying seasons, the Ole Miss football program is poised for change. At the end of the 2015-2016 college football season, Ole Miss football was at a high point. The Rebels, led by coach Hugh Freeze and quarterback Chad Kelly, had just come off a 10-3 season in which they beat the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the Allstate Sugar Bowl 48-20. But in the following three years, the program went 16-20 and experienced multiple controversies, including being investigated and sanctioned by the NCAA. This year, the Rebels will have a new face and a new identity. Two new coordinators, a third-year head coach and an assortment of new players will all be on the sidelines. In addition to changes within the football program, the university has a new interim athletic director, Keith Carter. “Being a student athlete here back in the mid- to late-1990s and to now come full circle and be able to Keith Carter lead the department, putting time and resources back into student athletes, is really fulfilling,” Carter said. “I think it has been really fun to see the evolution of Ole Miss in my 22 or 23 years of being associated with the university, and to get the opportunity to lead that charge is pretty special.” Carter, a standout basketball player at Ole Miss from 1996 to 1999, was named interim athletic director in late May of 2019 by interim Chancellor Larry Sparks. While obviously a basketball guy himself, Carter feels as though this is going to be an exciting year for the football team. “I think that this year we’re going to run onto that field, and we’re going to look different, we’re going to feel different, and it’s going to be a lot of fun to watch our guys play,” Carter said. “So, I’m really excited about what Coach Luke and his staff are doing.” One of the biggest changes to the Rebel football team was the hiring of new offensive and defensive coordinators. Rich Rodriguez, a former head coach at West Virginia, Michigan and Arizona, was hired as the offensive coordinator on Matt Luke’s staff in late December of 2018. Rodriguez took over an offense that lost nine out of 11 veteran starters, including stars such as A.J. Brown, Rich Rodriguez D.K. Metcalf and Greg Little who were drafted into the NFL. “We lost some great players, which will give guys that haven’t played much more opportunities,” Rodriguez said. “We’re going to

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be relying on a lot of young guys. (Quarterback) Matt Corral, the redshirt freshman, will have to play beyond his years, and then up front we lost a lot of experience.” Rodriguez will take over the offense from former offensive coordinator Phil Longo, who ran what was considered a variation of the air raid offensive style. Rodriguez will look to incorporate his own system in his first year as coordinator. “We want to make sure to control the tempo and use mostly the spread formation,” Rodriguez said. “For us, we talk about playing with 11. Our Matt Corral quarterback will be involved in just about every play, run or pass.” On the other side of the ball, over the past few seasons the Ole Miss defense has been lackluster, allowing at least 28 points in 22 straight SEC conference games. Mike MacIntyre, former head coach at Colorado, is taking over as defensive coordinator of the Rebels for the 2019-2020 season. “I’ve been at Ole Miss before, and my family and I loved it here when I was under Coach Cutcliffe,” MacIntyre said. “I’m excited to work in the SEC with this opportunity here, and the familiarity with Matt Luke, Oxford and the University of Mississippi made it a good choice.” For each coordinator, this will be the first time in years to serve as an Mike MacIntyre assistant coach for a team. The last time Rodriguez was an assistant coach was in 2000 when he was an offensive coordinator on Tommy Bowden’s staff at Clemson. MacIntyre was the defensive coordinator at Duke University 10 years ago, in 2009. “My past two jobs I was the head coach, and assistant coach is a little bit of a different role,” MacIntyre said. “There are differences in coaching in the coordinator spot, but in the end you’re still working with the players and the defensive staff.” The major changes within the program and loss of star talent to the NFL may be a cause of worry for some Ole Miss fans. But, with the arrival of experienced coaches and a roster of young, talented players ready to fill those empty spots, it’s evident that this new face of Ole Miss football could be special. “I’ve said this before, but if you walk into the Manning Center, you just feel a quiet confidence over there,” Carter said. “You walk in the building, and just the chemistry and teamwork and camaraderie makes everything feel really good over there. I think those guys are building something really special.”


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Ole Miss IN THE S I X O L E M I S S F O O T B A L L P L AY E R S W E R E DRAFTED THIS YEAR, AND DOZENS MORE F O R M E R R E B E L S A R E C U R R E N T LY P L AY I N G FOR NFL TEAMS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY.

WRITTEN BY SARAH HOOPER GRAPHICS PROVIDED BY NFL COMMUNIC ATIONS

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he 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville turned out to be an exciting one for Ole Miss fans. In total, six players signed NFL contracts, more than UM Athletics says the team has had in one season since 1971. For Gregory Little, the second-team All American left tackle out of Allen, Texas, it was a very big day. Little was the first Rebel to hear his name announced in the NFL draft when the Carolina Panthers traded spots to select him fifth in the second round and 37th overall. “Greg is a player that I recruited and coached as both his position coach and head coach, so it was special to see him drafted so high,” Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke said. “His best football is ahead of him.” A.J. Brown and D.K. Metcalf, the highly-touted pair of Rebel wide receivers went slightly later in the same round. A.J. Brown was chosen 19th in the second round by the Tennessee Titans and is the first Ole Miss player to go to the franchise since it moved to Nashville. Oxford native Metcalf was selected 64th overall by the Seattle Seahawks. The pair of wide receivers made a significant impact during their time in Oxford. Brown now boasts the record as the all-time leading receiver in Ole Miss history with 2,984 yards in just three seasons in Oxford. Metcalf, who played only two seasons after a medical redshirt due to a broken foot his freshman year, left before the end of the 2018 season with a neck injury. In a July 29 news conference, Metcalf said he is enjoying his time back on the field and working with the experienced players on the team. “I feel great just learning from all the vets in our room and just getting out here and being able to play football again,” Metcalf said. “It still hasn’t hit me that I’m in the NFL. It’s great just being out here. I feel like the Seahawks organization is a great organization to be a part of.” Dawson Knox, the tight end out of Brentwood, Tennessee, was selected in the third round by the Buffalo Bills. On day two of the draft, Javon Patterson got a call from the Indianapolis Colts to play offensive tackle, and Ken Webster a talented cornerback, signed with 2019 Super Bowl Champions, the New England Patriots. “It’s really exciting to see that many guys drafted in one season, and so many others are getting their chance to play at the next level as free agents,” Luke said. “As a Mississippian, I was very proud to see A.J., D.K. and Javon hear their names called, and I look forward to seeing them represent our university and our state on that stage for years to come.”


NEW ENGL AND PATRIOTS Brandon Bolden | Running Back | #38 Ken Webster | Cornerback | #47 G R E E N B AY PA C K E R S Fadol Brown | Defensive End | #98 TENNESSEE TITANS A.J. Brown | Wide Receiver | #11 CINCINNATI BENGALS Cody Core | Wide Receiver | #16 John Jerry | Guard | #64 PHILADELPHIA EAGLES Trae Elston | Safety | #35 NEW YORK GIANTS Evan Engram | Tight End | #88 Eli Manning | Quarterback | #10 CAROLINA PANTHERS Woodrow Hamilton IV | Defensive Tackle | #78 Marquis Haynes | Defensive End | #98 Greg Little | Offensive Tackle | #74 MINNESOTA VIKINGS Laquon Treadwell | Wide Receiver | #11

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS D.J. Jones | Defensive Tackle | #93 INDIANAPOLIS COLTS Chad Kelly | Quarterback | #6 Javon Patterson | Center | #65 Jordan Wilkins | Running Back | #20 BUFFALO BILLS Dawson Knox | Tight End | #88 TA M PA B AY B U C C A N E E R S DaMarkus Lodge | Wide Receiver | #18 CHICAGO BEARS Bobby Massie | Offensive Tackle | #70 Bradley Sowell | Tight End | #85 SEAT TLE SEAHAWKS D.K. Metcalf | Wide Receiver | #14 DETROIT LIONS C.J. Moore | Safety | #49 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS Breeland Speaks | Defensive End | #57 PITTSBURGH STEELERS Mike Hilton | Cornerback | #28 Donte Moncrief | Wide Receiver | #11

T H E S E F O R M E R O L E M I S S R E B E L S A R E C U R R E N T LY P L AY I N G I N T H E N F L .

HOUSTON TEXANS Floyd Allen | Wide Receiver | #82 Derrick Jones | Cornerback | #35 A.J. Moore | Safety | #33 Jordan Ta’amu | Quarterback | #6

MIAMI DOLPHINS Robert Nkemdiche | Defensive Tackle | #60 Laremy Tunsil | Offensive Tackle | #78

This list was final as of Aug. 22, 2019, and is subject to change throughout the NFL season.

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F O R M E R O L E M I S S P L AY E R S R O B E R T A N D J O H N R AT L I F F LEAD A STAR-STUDDED STAFF AT A FOOTBALL CAMP FOR MISSISSIPPI YOUTHS.

WRITTEN BY MICHAEL NEWSOM

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Above: 2019 YGB coaches including Donte Moncrief, Cody Core, Dawson Knox, Jordan Holder, Diontae Spencer, Mike Espy, Mike Hilton, Trae Elston, Carlos Davis, Derek Jones, Ken Webster, A.J. Moore, C.J. Moore, Sean Rawlings, Channing Ward, Javien Hamilton, Charlie Scott, Jaylen Walton, Chad Kelly, Luke Macias, Jordan Ta’amu, Nick Conley, Donald Gray, Will Martin, Andrew Ritter, Nathan Noble, Will Denny, Ryan Buchanan, Floyd Allen, Ben Craddock and Arya Keyes

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rothers John and Robert Ratliff were budding football players in Fort Worth, Texas, in 2003 when their father and football coach, Bobby Ratliff, died of cancer. Bobby Ratliff was passionate about coaching and working with kids. Throughout his life he had always kept a positive attitude, using the mantra, “You gotta believe.” In 2007, his sons, who were then attending Fort Worth’s Nolan Catholic High School, were determined to do something to help area kids learn the game. They knew their dad would want them to pass on their love of the game to others. When Robert was a senior and John was a freshman, they founded You Gotta Believe Football Camp for third- to 12th-graders, along with their friend Alec Mullarkey. John Ratliff, a wide receiver who lettered at Ole Miss in 2013 and 2014 and co-executive director of YGB, said the camps not only allow kids to experience the joy of football in its purest form but also offer the chance to learn from the pros: including local heroes like former Ole Miss greats Cody Core, Donte Moncrief and others. “They’ve watched these guys every Saturday on TV,” John said. “It becomes real when they realize they are just normal people with some of the same struggles and may be from the same background and have been successful. That’s my favorite part of it. It’s them taking pure joy in the purest form of football.” Robert Ratliff said the kids learn the important fundamentals of the game, and there is also a faith-based component to the learning. He calls the camp “two of the most fun days of the year.” “There is nothing better than seeing a kid who comes to camp unable to catch the football, but then at the end of camp, after working hard, that same camper is able to run a crisp route and catch

Top Right: Trae Elston, safety for the Philadelphia Eagles, participates as a coach. Middle Right: Campers with Chad Kelly, quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts. Right: Campers gather around YGB cofounder Robert Ratliff. The camp focuses on football fundamentals and has a faith-based component, too.

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the ball,” Robert said. “Most importantly, these coaches do a phenomenal job teaching these young men the importance of never giving up, always believing and chasing all your dreams.” A few years after they founded YGB, the brothers were spending their Saturdays in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium as walk-ons on the Ole Miss Rebels football team. Robert was a backup quarterback, and John, a backup wide receiver. The two were known for their work ethic on the Rebel squads, but NCAA rules prevented them from holding their football camps while competing in college athletics. The brothers fell in love with the state of Mississippi during their time in Oxford, and in 2015, after their playing days had ended, they started holding YGB camps at Jackson Academy. The Ratliffs have deep connections to their former teammates and a broad network of professionals, and they have built an impressive roster of coaches for YGB each year. This year’s camp ran July 8-9 and attracted nearly


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300 young athletes from around Mississippi to learn from several former Ole Miss and current NFL football players. “Our main focus is that we’re not a camp that has these players just make an appearance and sign some autographs,” John said. “These players are the ones who coach these positions. Getting trained from a former NFL or college player is a unique experience.” Former Ole Miss star and current Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Mike Hilton was one of the coaches this year. Hilton is known for his leadership and tenacity on the field. “I do it to help the kids reach their full potential and become better players,” Hilton said. “I also can’t forget to give back because we were put in this position to do so. YGB is different because of how faith-related the camp is. You have to understand that God put you in these situations because you’re blessed, and you have to be thankful for the blessings.” Former Ole Miss wide receiver Cody Core, who made some big plays for the Rebels, and is now a Cincinnati Bengal, said he’s enjoyed working with the kids because they progress year-to-year. “I enjoy YGB year-to-year because I get to see the growth that kids learn from day one to day two,” Core said. “I do it because I love meet and teach the kids and build relationships for the next year. With all of the different athletes on staff, having the passion to succeed makes YGB a great learning experience that will last forever.” Former Ole Miss tight end Dawson Knox played quarterback in high school. He walked on at Ole Miss, but got bigger and stronger and became a tight end who showed a penchant for stretching the field. Big plays in college and a strong work ethic led to Knox being selected by the Buffalo Bills in the third round of the 2019 NFL draft. Ahead of the camp, Knox said he was excited about coaching at YGB because he remembers how much he benefited from camps. “I remember certain coaches who encouraged me as a young player and how much fun I had running around and learning how to play the game,” Knox said. “I’m excited to give a little something back to the Mississippi community, and I can’t wait to get out there and work with these kids.” For more information, visit ygbfootball.org. Nearly 300 young athletes participated in this year's YGB camp in Jackson. Right: Camp coaches and organizers included Jordan Holder, Charlie Scott, Will Martin, Mike Hilton, Robert Ratliff and Donte Moncrief.

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THIS YEAR, DEFENSIVE END AUSTRIAN ROBINSON TAKES THE FIELD WEARING MULLINS’ NUMBER AS RECIPIENT OF THE CHUCKY MULLINS COURAGE AWARD. WRITTEN BY GINNY MCCARLEY

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PHOTOS PROVIDED BY OLE MISS ATHLE TICS

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Chucky Mullins

ore than a quarter century has passed since Chucky Mullins’ tragic injury and untimely death, but his legacy of courage and tenacity lives on in the annual Chucky Mullins Courage Award. This year, senior defensive end Austrian Robinson was named the 2019 winner during the university’s annual spring football awards, making him the 29th recipient in the 30-year history of the award. At a press conference following the announcement, Robinson told a crowd how surprised and delighted he was to be chosen and how inspired he was by Mullins’ life. “It means everything to me, knowing (what) Chucky had going on, to be able to wear the number,” Robinson said. “I’m not from Mississippi, and I didn’t think I was going to get the award. But it’s an honor. It’s a real honor.” A member of the 2015 signing class and a native of New York City, Robinson was redshirted his first year and played five games as a freshman in the 2016 season. In his career with Ole Miss, Robinson has played in 26 games, has 52 career tackles, and has 5.5 tackles for loss. The Chucky Mullins Courage Award is presented each spring to a defensive player, chosen by Rebel coaching staff, who “embodies the spirit of Mullins: courage, leadership, perseverance and determination,” according to a press release from the university. Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke said Robinson’s hard work and dedication to the team made him an easy top pick for the award. “When we sat down to make that decision, he was the one guy that everybody on the team respects,” Luke said. “He has that lunch-pail mentality and blue-collar work ethic. He is just a solid guy, and everybody respects the heck out of him. He embodies everything that fits into the Chucky Mullins Courage Award.” Each award recipient receives a framed Mullins jersey and wears Mullins’ number, SEPTEMBER 2019 | INVITATION OXFORD

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Jackson and former President George H.W. Bush. 38, for the following season. It’s one of only two retired numbers for Mullins continued to persevere, returning to Oxford in August the Rebels, along with Archie Manning’s number, 18. No. 38 is only of 1990, determined to complete his degree. worn by the Chucky Mullins Courage Award winner. However, just a few months after beginning classes in Roy Lee “Chucky” Mullins was born July 8, 1969, in January of 1991, he suddenly stopped breathing as he prepared Russellville, Alabama. Mullins’ mother died when he was just in for class. He died just seventh grade, but Mullins five days later of compwent on to achieve great lications resulting from a success as a star football blood clot. player at Russellville Though his life was High School, earning short, Mullins had an All-Conference, All-Area immeasurable impact that and All-State honors as can still be seen and felt a junior and senior. He throughout the Oxford was named team captain community today. and most valuable player, In 2014, university earning letters in football, officials made the decision basketball and baseball. to change the name of Coaches at Ole Miss Coliseum Drive to Chucky noticed his athletic and Mullins Drive in his leadership abilities, and memory. He was inducted Mullins was awarded a posthumously into the four-year scholarship to M-Club Hall of Fame, Ole Miss in 1988. He was Austrian Robinson, left, is this year's Chucky Mullins Courage Award winner. Mullins, right, died in 1991. and his legacy continues redshirted his freshman to be acknowledged in a number of ways, including through the year, but emerged as a star defensive player during the next season. Chucky Mullins Courage Award. Tragically, on Oct. 28, 1989, Mullins shattered four vertebrae For Robinson, who wants to go on to coach football after in his spine and was paralyzed from the neck down during the graduation, being selected by coaches to win the Chucky Mullins homecoming game while making a tackle from behind on Vanderbilt Courage Award is an honor that shows that his dedication to the player Brad Gaines. team is appreciated. Despite enduring months of hospitalization and requiring “It’s amazing (receiving the award), just knowing that my hard grueling rehabilitation, Mullins’ grace, determination and positivity work has paid off,” Robinson said. “I’ve learned a lot about being in the face of such a devastating loss resonated around the world. a leader, and knowing that there are a lot of people watching really More than a million dollars was raised for the Chucky Mullins Trust inspires me to play well.” fund, and he was visited by celebrities including Walter Payton, Janet

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MORE

rebel award RECIPIENTS

These awards were also presented to members of the 2019-2020 team. THE ELI MANNING AWARD Tylan Knight Presented to the most improved offensive football player based on spring practice performance in the area of spirit, leadership, hustle, determination and dependability. THE JEFF HAMM MEMORIAL AWARD Charles Wiley The most improved defensive football player earns this award based on spring practice performance in the areas of spirit, leadership, hustle, determination and dependability. THE J. RICHARD PRICE COURAGE AND COMPASSION AWARD Alex Givens This award is presented annually to the upperclassman lineman who, in the opinion of his coaches, has demonstrated extraordinary courage and unusual compassion in his dedication to his team and to Ole Miss. PARK STEVENS MEMORIAL SCHOL ARSHIP Luke Logan The top walk-on of the spring receives this annual award. T H E J O H N H O WA R D VA U G H T AWARD OF EXCELLENCE Javon Patterson A graduating senior athlete receives this award. Qualifications are dedication, scholastic ability, morale and performance. BIRMINGHAM ALUMNI CLUB'S ANNUAL LEADERSHIP AWARD Ze d r i c k Wo o d s This award is a portrait given in recognition of a graduating senior football player for his leadership qualities both on and off the field. C L O W E R-WA LT E R S S C H O L A R S H I P Sean Rawlings Established in 1974 by Jerry Clower to honor Carl Walters, a veteran Mississippi sportswriter. A plaque is awarded to an outstanding graduating senior Ole Miss football player as selected by the coaching staff, and a scholarship is awarded in the name of the player selected. SEPTEMBER 2019 | INVITATION OXFORD

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RECIPES

WHETHER YOU’RE TAILGATING IN THE GROVE OR HOSTING A WATCH PART Y, THESE DIPS AND SPREADS TURN INTO TA N TA L I Z I N G G A M E-D AY FA R E .

RECIPES BY CYNTHIA GERL ACH

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WRITTEN BY SARAH McCULLEN

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY JOE WORTHEM


Turn your tailgate into a relaxing picnic. Spread out a quilt, turn the game on the radio or outdoor television and snack and chat as you cheer on the Rebs.

“We may not win every game … but we ain’t never lost a party.” Week after week in the fall, the Grove turns into a buzzing hive of rowdy fans, scrumptious snacks and extravagant set-ups, all to celebrate the Rebels. Even if Ole Miss is away playing at Death Valley or Bryant-Denny Stadium, the spirit of the season is sustained with watch parties complete with the same amenities. Successful parties, however, take some strategizing — especially when they happen several Saturdays in a row. Ensure a winning party every weekend with a repertoire of versatile recipes that will impress your guests and make entertaining easy. Delectable dips and spreads, like these provided by Bottletree Bakery’s Cynthia Gerlach, store well in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to three weeks. Avoid flavor fatigue with their endless uses and unique pairings. Breads for all recipes are available at Bottletree Bakery. Consider venturing away from the classic red and blue. For a clean look, opt for white and creamy hues, but create interest by featuring metal, wood and other textiles in your serving pieces and floral arrangements.


Go buffet-style. Place platters of food on a large table and let guests graze as they please. Provide plates for those who like a more traditional-style meal.

feta SPREAD Whip up this feta spread and serve with crudites and assorted crackers, or slather it on white bread with sliced cucumbers. Cut the sandwiches into squares, or use a cookie cutter for clever shapes. Garnish the sandwiches with a piece of red pepper attached with a toothpick. 8 ounces feta 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese ž cup olive oil 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 teaspoon black pepper Stir together all ingredients with a fork until creamy.

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black olive TAPENADE Spread on a thinly sliced baguette, sprinkle with shredded Parmesan cheese and toast 5 minutes at 350°F to make a crostini. Or, add to a roll with ham, salami and provolone for a scrumptious slider. 8.5-ounce jar of Kalamata olives 3 garlic cloves ½ teaspoon lemon zest 2 teaspoons lemon juice ¼ teaspoon coarse black pepper 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

To create height, stack cake plates of varying sizes. The different materials also create eclectic drama.

Drain the olives, gently pressing with a fork to ensure all pits are removed. Place olives in a food processor, then add garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice and black pepper. Gently pulse until coarsely pureed. Slowly drizzle olive oil into the mixture while pulsing to form a paste.


bacon-wrapped ROSEMARY-garlic SOURDOUGH These savory morsels are flavorful enough to enjoy on their own, or they can accompany any of the sauces included here. Serve them as a side at a brunch-time tailgate or as an evening appetizer. Cream cheese, softened Rosemary-garlic bread, sliced Black pepper Bacon, cut in half crosswise Spread softened cream cheese on rosemary garlic bread and sprinkle with cracked black pepper. Top with another slice of bread, and cut into bite-sized pieces. Wrap each bite using a half piece of bacon, securing it in place with a toothpick. Bake at 350°F for 13-15 minutes, or until bacon is slightly crispy.

A simple green salad with something crisp, something creamy and something tangy, is a healthy complement to the savories at your tailgate.


hell yeah SAUCE Spread on a sandwich with lettuce and your choice of meat, cheese and bread, or serve as a dip with chips. This sauce is also great for dipping chicken fingers or pigs-in-a-blanket. ½ medium yellow onion 5-6 garlic cloves 3 tablespoons turmeric 3 tablespoons paprika 2 tablespoons black pepper ½ cup yellow mustard ½ cup dill relish ½ cup sugar 1 tablespoon white vinegar Pulse the onion and garlic in food processor until finely minced. Add the rest of the ingredients, and pulse until smooth.

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Give beverages their own spotlight by separating them from the food. Set up an ice bucket, fill pitchers with your favorite libations and always have water on hand. Early games get hot.


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JUDY SEAY

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Art on the Sidelines

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The Perfect Retreat

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Cheers to the Magnolia State

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A R T OONN TTHHEE S I D E L I N E S J U DY S E AY H A S B U I LT A S I D E C A R E E R O F M A K I N G O L E M I S S - A N D OX F O R D -I N S P I R E D POT TERY AND PAINTINGS THAT FANS CAN ENJOY BOTH IN THE GROVE AND IN THEIR HOMES. WRITTEN BY ANDI SHERRILL BEDSWORTH

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ow does a Texas art teacher end up creating artwork inspired by Ole Miss Rebels football and the Grove? It all started when Texas natives Judy and David Seay and their two young children spent five years living in Brentwood, Tennessee. Their neighbor, David Gregory, was an Ole Miss alum and an avid sports fan. The Gregorys started taking the Seays’ kids, Jessica and Andrew, to Ole Miss games in Oxford when they were in kindergarten. They would also watch the away games at the Gregorys’ home. “So, basically David Gregory brainwashed my children,” Seay said. “He taught them ‘Hotty Toddy’ without the bad words.” Seay, who grew up with sisters and played softball and tennis, had never even heard of Ole Miss before they met Gregory. She assured him she would never send her kids all the way to Oxford for college. But the early exposure to the Rebels had taken hold. Though the family was back in Texas by that time, in 2006 Seay’s son entered the University of Mississippi. In 2008, her daughter followed in his footsteps. At first, Seay wasn’t happy about them being in school so far from home. But she was won over by the people of Oxford and Ole Miss, whom she found were so welcoming and gracious. And on game weekend visits, Seay also found an unexpected inspiration for her art. “I was amazed at my first trip to the Grove,” Seay said. “The

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decor of the tents was breathtaking. I looked around and thought ‘game on!’ So, I started making my own tailgate pottery. I also bought a couple of chandeliers for my tent. People would stop by and asked where they could buy pottery like mine. I proudly told them that they were my own designs.” Back in Texas, Seay missed her kids, but visits to Oxford inspired her to paint their favorite places on the Square. Jessica would hang the artwork in her apartment, where friends and sorority sisters noticed the charmingly accurate depictions of favorite locales. A few of the pieces were actually purchased right off her walls, but Jessica refused to part with “Old Venice,” “City Grocery” and “The Courthouse.” Andrew, however, requested that she create something a little more masculine — so Seay took up her brushes, this time with something very different in mind. “My son decided I needed to create the football paintings,” Seay said. “He felt I needed to create some ‘man’ art.” The acrylic paintings are dynamic and full of movement and conjure the excitement of the game as you look at them. They are also uniquely colorful; Seay’s use of reflected hues and shadows lends stunning dimension to her interpretations of the action on the field. “I majored in art, so I am crazy about color theory,” Seay said. “I like using ‘nonlocal’ color (a shading technique using varying colors) to create realistic images. I avoid black because black flattens out the images. Most of my shading is created in purples.”

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Seay uses about 20 source images for each painting in order to get the look she is after. After consulting her images, she makes sketches. Part of the process involves laying on multiple layers of paint to build up complex color combinations. She finds painting the helmets to be the most challenging — it’s hard to get the angles just right. Seay, a full-time art teacher in Celina, Texas, also spends her free time making art. In addition to pottery and the football paintings, she also paints in watercolor, uses her kiln to create fused glass compositions and makes her own jewelry and paper. Despite the appeal and popularity among family and friends, it took a little convincing to get Seay to actually commit to displaying her work for sale in public. “In 2008, both my children went to Double Decker and came back home going on and on about the art,” Seay said. “They were really after me to put in my application. I was lollygagging about it, so they submitted an application for me. When I got in, I was an anxious mess. Selling your artwork is kind of like standing on the sidewalk naked, you feel pretty exposed.” Seay needn’t have worried — she sold out that day in 2009 and has continued to sell at the Double Decker Arts Festival every year since. Even though Jessica and Andrew have graduated and moved on, Seay continues to love Oxford, and as season ticket holders, the entire family continues to make going to the games a family affair. To learn more about Seay and to see more of her work, visit artbyjudyseay.weebly.com.

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TEAM CUTCLIFFE FA M I LY C O M E S F I R S T F O R T H E OX F O R D C H A R G E R S H E A D F O OT B A L L C OAC H — O N A N D O F F T H E F I E L D. WRIT TEN BY LESLE Y VANCE WALKINGTON

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riday night football is a family affair in the Cutcliffe household. While Oxford High School’s head football coach Chris Cutcliffe is on the field, his wife Molly is in the stands with their home team — six boys all under the age of 9. The boys love watching their daddy run up and down the sidelines, coaching the Chargers. When they’re not on the field, Chris spends time in his own backyard playing ball with his boys. “I grew up watching my dad coach football at the University of Tennessee and later at Ole Miss,” Chris said. “I’ve wanted to coach my whole life, because of my dad and because of my mom who is a first-grade teacher. Seeing the impact that my parents had on young people is why I wanted to be a coach.” Chris and Molly both have deep roots in Oxford. They met in the sixth grade, were sweethearts in high school and knew they wanted to marry each other one day. After Molly graduated from the University of Mississippi and Chris from UT, they tied the knot and moved to North Carolina, where Chris attended graduate school at Duke, and Molly birthed their first son. They jumped at the chance to move back to Oxford in 2011, when Chris was offered a coaching position at OHS.

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Fast-forward to today: With six young boys and two working parents, carving out enough family time can be challenging. But the Cutcliffes find ways to work it in. “Sometimes it’s like a three-ring circus in our house,” Molly said. “During the school year, I juggle working part-time with dropping off and picking up the children from school and daycare.” Chris works late coaching the team after school, so Molly often loads the children into their 12-passenger van (perhaps more accurately described as a bus) to go see him and visit the players at practice. “Chris tries to get home by bedtime and then reads to the kids,” Molly said. “We all love reading and that is our nightly ritual.” The couple believe in investing in other people’s lives, both on and off the field. When their children are in school, Molly provides care for patients at Oxford Treatment Center as a part-time nurse practitioner. Their family motto is the Golden Rule: Treat others as you wish to be treated. “We teach our kids that every person is valuable and worth helping and believing in,” Molly said. “We try to model kindness and let our children know that we support them.” Continued on page 76


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ON THE FIELD In his fourth season as head coach at OHS, Chris teaches his players to have integrity, fairness and discipline. Just as diligently as he coaches them to win on Friday nights, he also tries to prepare them for life after football. “The coaches and I model character, integrity and responsibility to our players,” Chris said. “We make the time to have intentional conversations. We talk about honesty, having courage and offering help to a fellow teammate when it’s needed.” One former OHS football player has raised the bar for all of those who follow. Oxford native D.K. Metcalf had 224 receptions for 3,302 yards and 49 touchdowns during his career at OHS. After graduation he played for Ole Miss — and this year he became the first former OHS Charger to be drafted to the NFL. Of course, every Charger player dreams of following in Metcalf’s footsteps. “While it’s a noble aspiration, we remind our players how rare it is to be drafted to the NFL,” Chris said. “High school athletics plays a huge part in the overall development of our students and we are intentional about

teaching the soft skills students need for success in the workplace.” The OHS Chargers have the advantage of being next door to Ole Miss and having close connections to SEC football. “Coach Matt Luke played football in my dad’s first game at Ole Miss, when he was the head coach from 1998 to 2004,” Chris said. “And when I was at Duke for grad school, I interned with Coach Luke when he was the offensive line coach under my dad (Duke’s head coach since 2008).” This season, the Chargers have eight veteran starters on both sides of the ball, two All-State players, Byron Pearson and J.J. Pegues, and seven All-District players. Last year was the team’s first playoff berth in the more challenging 6A Division. Chris hopes to continue building on what they learned. “The best thing about sports is that it brings people together from all different kinds of backgrounds,” Chris said. “We all become one big family and not only work hard on the field but also gather around the table to share a meal with our extended families. The relationships we are forming will last a lifetime.”

“My d a d ’s a d v i ce h a s a lway s b e e n , ‘ D o n’t e ve r co m p ro m i s e wh o yo u a re a s a p e r s o n a n d wh at yo u st a n d f o r : th e v a l u e s yo u h ave .’ D o n’t co m p ro m i s e th e v a l u e s yo u h ave i n o rd e r to wi n . Yo u’re go i n g to wi n b e c a u s e of wh at yo u st a n d f o r a n d h ow yo u d o th i n g s … d o i n g th i n g s th e r i ght way. D o n’t e ve r co m p ro m i s e th at .” — Ch r i s Cutcl if f e

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A CINCINNATI COUPLE FALLS IN LOVE WITH OXFORD WHEN THEIR SON BECOMES A REBEL. WRIT TEN BY LESLE Y VANCE WALKINGTON PHOTOGRAPHED BY JOE WORTHEM

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hen Andy and Debbie Prefontaine’s son enrolled at the University of Mississippi in 1994, they had no idea how much Oxford would impact their Ohio-based family. “We all fell in love with Oxford from the start and bought a condo to be here for Ole Miss ball games,” Debbie said. “Since we’re nearing retirement we decided to make Oxford our permanent residence, and we just finished building our new home. My daughter is also building a house right next to ours.” When searching for property, the Prefontaines chose Oxford Commons because of its proximity to restaurants, shopping on the Square and Vaught stadium. They selected a larger lot in the development, enabling them to design a custom-built home with additional square footage and certain design elements to fit their active lifestyles. They enjoy the lake, rolling hills and walking trails that surround the community. “I wanted to build a French-country home, and my ideas blended in with the overall look of Oxford Commons,” Debbie said. “Our builder, Kevin Bourne, helped us create an open floor plan that flows from room to room, to entertain our frequent houseguests. My goal was to lighten and brighten and create a joyous environment in which to live.” Longtime friend and designer Mickey Marzucco helped Debbie select everything from kitchen cabinets and hardware to lighting fixtures and custom fabrics for draperies and upholstery. “I focus my attention on the details like decorative vent grills, unique wall coverings and elegant wood embellishments from Enkeboll,” Marzucco said.


The entire family loves spending time in the pool house, which they affectionately refer to as “the locker room.” They envisioned the space as a fun game room with generous seating, high-tech embellishments and a vintage Ole Miss feel. Debbie and Andy both love salvaging and repurposing old architectural elements. With that in mind, they went on the hunt for the perfect pieces to place in the room. With help from Green Door owner Will Hopkins, they found a basketball floor from a high school in Rosedale that had closed in the 1970s. They installed the vintage floorboards on the ceiling in the locker room and along the kitchen backsplash. Debbie found antique locker-room benches (complete with chewing gum stuck underneath), and used the benches to create bookshelves. And Marzucco created a one-of-a-kind wallpaper mural using old photographs sourced from a friend of the Prefontaines who has a large collection of Ole Miss memorabilia. The mural features images from the past 100 years showcasing Ole Miss sports history. “The locker room is definitely a ‘man cave’ in our home,” Debbie said. “I wanted to make it extra special for Andy because he is a history buff.” Creating family fun spaces is what Andy and Debbie have done for 50 years as the owners of Family Leisure. Their son, Kevin, an Ole Miss graduate, is now the CEO, managing 10 store locations around the country, allowing the couple to spend more time in Oxford. It was only natural for the couple to outfit their new backyard SEPTEMBER 2019 | INVITATION OXFORD

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Clockwise from top, left: The outdoor pool offers a place to cool down; Televisions throughout the home are disguised as paintings; A bedroom with twin beds is decorated in Rebel colors; The keeping room just off the kitchen is one of the most comfortable spots in the house. Below: Special pieces of artwork hanging throughout the house reflect personality and add whimsy to the decor.

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with an in-ground pool that they plan to surround with comfy patio furniture from their Memphis storefront. “During Mississippi’s hot summers, we really appreciate our pool and only trust Rebel Pools to maintain it for us,” Debbie said. “My grandchildren spend so much time with us splashing around, and it’s fun to host parties where guests can relax poolside or watch the game in the locker room.” On lazy mornings, Andy and Debbie like to read in the keeping room, surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows filled with beautiful views. Situated next to the kitchen, the cozy space invites guests to keep the cook company during meal preparations. The decor there pays homage to Ole Miss with a mix of toile and floral designer fabrics by Schumacher in red and blue. Special pieces of art hang throughout the home. Debbie’s love of Mississippi cotton inspired her to commission artist Trip Park to paint her family’s barn, which sits on their 500-acre Indiana farm, surrounded by cotton fields. The painting brings both worlds together on canvas. Another art feature: each television in the home is professionally framed and mounted on the wall to look just like a painting — until you turn it on with the remote control. “While running our family business in Ohio for the past 25 years, we have been living part-time in Oxford, and we just can’t wait to make it permanent,” Debbie said. “Two of my grandchildren have grown up here and plan to attend Ole Miss when they graduate from high school. So, we’re here for the long haul.”


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AT K R U T Z FA M I LY C E L L A R S , T H R E E M I S S I S S I P P I B R O T H E R S A R E M A K I N G A N A M E F O R T H E M S E LV E S A N D T H E I R W I N E . WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY JULIE TREMAINE

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ou can take the boys out of Mississippi — and you can drop them at a winery in Sonoma County, California — but you can never take the Mississippi out of the boys. “The back of our bottle says ‘Laid Back, Honest and True,’” said Patrick Krutz, founder of Krutz Family Cellars. “That’s who we are, being from the South, being from Mississippi. We like to have fun with wine. We make serious wines that garner serious scores, but we’re also very relaxed and down-to-earth about it.” The three Krutz brothers had followed in their father’s footsteps and attended the University of Mississippi. “We were brainwashed from an early age,” youngest brother Cole said. It was older brother Patrick who led the way from Ole Miss to the family wine business. The winery is located in Santa Rosa, right in the middle of California’s best wine producing region, and started by a happy accident when Patrick took a summer job at a gourmet shop in Carmel, California, after college. There, Patrick met some home winemakers who worked at the store and had a hobby that produced some pretty delicious results. He was intrigued and decided to stay for the harvest season. The next year, 2003, he tried his hand at making his own homemade wine: one barrel of Chardonnay and one of Pinot Noir. “I made about 50 cases of wine,” Patrick said. “That was the seed of Krutz Family Cellars. Two barrels grew to five, and to 12. Before I knew it, in 2006 or 2007, I had more wine than my family could consume.” He officially had a business. He also had more work than he could handle. Enter Cole, who graduated from college and moved to

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Ole Miss alums Cole and Patrick Krutz (pictured left to right) along with younger brother Bryan Krutz (not pictured) run Krutz Family Vineyards in California.


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California in 2007 to help with the winemaking. “I needed a cellar rat,” Patrick said. What he got was a mentee who became a fellow winemaker. They launched a second, more affordable label: Magnolia, in homage to their home state’s official flower. The sales grew — middle brother Bryan joined the business to help with that — as did the recognition from the wine community. “We’ve found our voice in winemaking,” Cole said. “When we tried to please other people, we weren’t getting the scores. When we decided to do what we like, then we started getting the scores.” The scores that Cole is referring to are from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate and from wine critic Jeb Dunnuck, who have both given many Krutz wines exceptionally high scores, especially their Cabernet Sauvignons, which score anywhere from 92-96 points. If you don’t speak wine snob, those are very good scores that would be a big deal even if you excluded the fact that Patrick and Cole are making some of the top wines in the country without any formal wine training. One of those Cabernets even made it to the cover of Wine Enthusiast as one of the year’s best 100 wines from around the entire globe. Now the brothers are sourcing the grapes for their Krutz Family Cellars Cabernets from some of Napa Valley’s most prestigious and sought-after vineyards. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes for their Krutz Family Cellars wines come from Santa Lucia Highlands. Magnolia grapes are sourced from different places each year, depending on which vineyards have quality fruit to offer. The 2018 Magnolia Cabernet is made of grapes from Alexander Valley, an area of Sonoma County that produces world-class reds. “When you get the owner of the vineyard wanting to buy wine from you,” Patrick said, “you know you’re doing something right.” For the Krutz brothers, it’s an extra bonus to be achieving success alongside family. “Being in business with family is not for everyone, but we have the mentality to not only make it work but also make it something we really enjoy,” Bryan said. “When it comes to decision making, we treat it like a professional business decision and look past the fact that we are brothers.” Bryan lives and works in Florida, which helps Krutz Family Cellars with their East Coast reach. It also ensures that plenty of the wine gets back home to Mississippi. The Krutz Family Cellars story is not a rags-to-riches story by any means. The brothers are still working on purchasing land to grow their own grapes. But it is a lesson in seeing possibilities. Wine can turn one summer job into a lifelong career. It can create a family business where there wasn’t one before. And maybe, just maybe, it can settle some time-honored rivalries. “We just hosted a crowd from Mississippi State here, and we were in our Ole Miss gear,” Patrick said. “We had a blast.” If you’re planning a trip to California and would like to schedule a tasting, or for more about the Krutz story, products and awards, visit krutzfamilycellars.com.

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Walking T H E Walk SPECIAL CEREMONIES ALLOW OLE MISS STUDENT ATHLETES TO GRADUATE WITH ALL THE RECOGNITION THEY DESERVE. WRITTEN BY ABIGAIL MEISEL

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ven if you’re a star athlete, it’s hard to be in two places at once. Every year, a handful of Ole Miss athletes face the disappointing news that a major competition falls on graduation day, which means they’ll be traveling during commencement. Although they don’t get to walk with their peers, the university does make sure they get the same pomp and circumstance — at special graduation ceremonies held just for athletes. “Part of their scholarship is that they have to compete in all their events,” said Jon Nance, assistant director of athletic academic operations. “We want them to have the experience of an Ole Miss graduation, so we hold a special ceremony just for athletes.” Nance and Jennifer Saxon, associate director for Student Athletic Enhancement, organized two special graduations for athletes May 13 and May 17 in the auditorium of the FedEx Academic Success Center. Speakers at both events included Ross Bjork, former vice chancellor of intercollegiate athletics; Bob Baker, senior

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associate athletic director of student-athlete development; Larry Sparks, interim chancellor and former vice chancellor for administration and finance; and Noel Wilkin, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs. Beau Briggs and Josh Seiple of the Ole Miss men’s golf team were playing in the Southwestern Regional Golf Championships at Stanford the second weekend in May. They attended the May 17 ceremony along with football player Floyd Allen, who was at an NFL tryout during the May 11 commencement. “There were just three of us students, but Ross Bjork gave a really good speech, and I was glad that Jon Nance was there,” Briggs said. “He’s been my friend and mentor throughout my time at Ole Miss.” According to Saxon, the student-athlete graduations are very intimate because of the small number of attendees. “These students have worked so hard to represent the University of Mississippi at such high level,” Saxon said. “We want to say thank you to the students and their families.”

SCHOOL OF GENERAL STUDIES Josh Seiple of Castle Rock, Colorado, played on the golf team and earned his bachelor’s degree in the School of General Studies in August. He posted five top-10 finishes during his golf career at Ole Miss, including a career-best fourth place this year at the Marquette Intercollegiate. Floyd Allen of Houston, Texas, was a wide receiver on the football team and was named Student-Athlete of the Month in December 2018. He graduated from the School of General Studies in August where he was a triple major in African American studies, psychology and education.

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SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

Anthony Aresco of Stoneham, Massachusetts, was a graduate manager for the women’s softball team and graduated with a master’s degree in business administration in August.

Annika Larsson of Uppsala, Sweden, was a thrower on the women’s track and field team. She graduated with a degree in general business and minor in journalism, and she was named Student-Athlete of the Month in August 2017. In Ole Miss women’s track and field history, she ranks fourth for the hammer throw and sixth for the weight throw.

Alex Enright of Wheaton, Illinois, was a javelin thrower on the women’s track and field team and is the current Ole Miss record holder in javelin. She majored in managerial finance and was named one of the University of Mississippi’s Who’s Who for 2019.

Trace Walters of Hattiesburg was a student manager for the track and field team. He graduated from the School of Business with a bachelor’s degree in managerial finance and entered the MBA program at UM this summer. Continued on page 94

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SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING Anna Braswell of Mobile, Alabama, was a distance runner in track and field and a member of the women’s cross-country team. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in geological engineering. In 2018, she won the Taylor Medal, the university’s highest academic honor. Braswell was a member of the first two Ole Miss women’s cross-country teams to qualify for NCAAs. Mark Robertson from Pensacola, Florida, was on the men’s cross-country team and is a track and field distance runner. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. He made the athletic director’s honor roll, the SEC honor roll, and he was Student-Athlete of the Month in February 2018. Robertson is the current Ole Miss record holder in the 10K.

SCHOOL OF LIBERAL ARTS

Beau Briggs of Covington, Louisiana, majored in economics. He led the golf team during the 2018-2019 academic year, and he was on the Arnold Palmer Cup Watchlist of NCAA golfers this spring. Briggs began working on his master’s degree in finance at Vanderbilt University this summer.

Anna Elkin of Carrollton, Texas, was a distance runner in track and field and a member of the women’s cross-country team. She graduated with a psychology degree and minor in business in only three years. She made the SEC honor roll twice and was named to the university’s Who’s Who for 2019. She holds the current Ole Miss record for the outdoor 3K.

SCHOOL OF APPLIED SCIENCES Kylan Becker of Miami, Florida, was an outfielder on the women’s softball team and earned her exercise science degree in August. She was chosen to play on the USA Softball Women’s National Team, and she competed in the All-Star series in Tokyo in June 2018. Becker is an all-time leader in career triples at Ole Miss, first-ever team USA player, first-ever first-team All-SEC honoree and top 10 in nearly every offensive category.

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C H I E F P I LOT S C OT T N O S S F L I E S T H E F R I E N D LY S K I E S F O R T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F M I S S I S S I P P I. WRITTEN BY SHANNA FL ASCHKA

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ince 2001, Scott Noss has been taking Ole Miss to new heights. As the chief pilot for the University of Mississippi, he has achieved the dream of turning a passion into a successful and fascinating career. As far back as he can remember, Noss wanted to be a pilot. He started flying at the age of 16, turned professional at 21 and has been working now for 35 years. Although his love for flying is deeply instilled in him now, his family played more than a small part in guiding him to his vocation. “My mother’s father was a car mechanic at Rebel Chevrolet in Oxford,” Noss said. “He bought a WWI surplus airplane, assembled it, and taught himself to fly it on his farm, which later became the Oxford Municipal Airport south of town. He became one of the first pilots in the area. And my father was a flight instructor in the Navy. So I think it was in my blood from both of my parents.” That’s not to say getting into the business was easy. Noss worked his way up just like a dishwasher works his way up to head chef.

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“When I graduated high school, I couldn’t afford to go to flight school, so I went to aircraft mechanics school,” Noss said. “I had a huge break at my first aircraft mechanic job: I was allowed to fly as well, and build my flight time.” Even as a chief pilot, Noss still puts those early skills to work, since part of his responsibilities are doing scheduling and light maintenance on the airplane, as well as actually flying. In addition, he oversees two other UM pilots: Nick Belvedresi and Preston Powers. One of the big parts of the job, however, is transporting the football team’s coaches and other support staff for away games. It’s not all work, though: If the schedule permits, the pilots get to watch the game. Those flights are ones Noss especially relishes. “This is a very rewarding job in that we fly a great group of people working together for the greater good,” Noss said. “There have been many memorable flights, looking back. Flying to away games is always exciting, especially when we bring home a win — the mood is electric.”


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On home game days, Noss and the rest of the crew at the University-Oxford Airport have to contend with an especially amped-up weekend. “The volume of aircraft on a game weekend will go from the usual five to 10 airplanes a day to hundreds of airplanes a day,” Noss said. “It is not unusual to have 200 to 300 aircraft fly in and out on a home game weekend. Air traffic controllers come in and operate a control tower on home game weekends, and the airport staff does an excellent job managing the high volume of aircraft and people flying in and out of the airport.” In addition to his work for the team, Noss transports other folks at the university who need his services. He also flies in visitors like commencement speakers who are coming from far away, such as news anchor Tom Brokaw, who gave a memorable, lighthearted

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roast of Alabama in his speech to the 2016 graduating class. What’s especially notable is that in all his years as a pilot, Noss can’t recall any dangerous situations that might have caused him to second-guess his life path. “I’m very lucky,” Noss said. “My 35 years in aviation have been fairly uneventful as far as emergencies. I have flown mostly jet aircraft, though, which are very safe and have multiple backups. We keep the university airplane well maintained, as safety is our No. 1 goal.” It’s a lot of work, but a job that still gives him a thrill. What Noss loves best about it is what brought him to his career in the first place: “Definitely the flying!” Noss said. “There are definite challenges to the job, keeping up with schedules, and weather can throw us a curveball sometimes. But it is rarely boring. Every day is different.”


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SPANNING A RANGE OF GENRES, THESE STORIES ROOTED IN THE HILLS OF NORTH MISSISSIPPI GIVE READERS A SOUTHERN SENSE OF PLACE. WR IT TE N BY C A LY N H O ER N ER

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BOOKS PROVIDED BY SQUARE BOOKS

Infused with rich literary history and a fierce love of all things Ole Miss, Oxford is a beautiful blend of small-town life and academic prowess. Several writers with local ties have found inspiration in the area’s charm and blended it with a healthy dose of Hotty Toddy. The following are fresh reads from four distinct genres, all reflecting the beauty of Oxford and an affection for the Rebels.

the COST of THESE DREAMS Wright Thompson | Penguin Books Throughout his career as a sports writer, Wright Thompson has found echoes of his own upbringing in Clarksdale within the stories of many young athletes. “In each story there was a quest to tear down a myth and make sense of a place,” Thompson said. “I always saw these themes reflected in the Mississippi Delta.” Thompson’s new book, “The Cost of These Dreams,” is a compilation of previously published articles he wrote during his time at ESPN Magazine. The stories illustrate the true price of greatness. Among the reports of sports legends, Thompson recalls an Oxford of the past in his account of the trials faced by the 1962 Ole Miss football team. “The story about the 1962 team really shows an Oxford that was, and an Oxford that is,” Thompson said. Opening at No. 4 on The New York Times Best Sellers list, “The Cost of These Dreams” is a must-read for any sports fan. A compilation of the work Thompson produced for ESPN can be found on espnfrontrow.com. Continued on page 102

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5 S TA R Michael Henry | Independently Published Michael Henry, a Louisiana native, drew inspiration for his series of crime novels from both his long career as a lawyer and the time he spent living in Oxford. The series follows district attorney Willie Mitchell Banks as he solves cases all across the South. In “5 Star,” the latest in the series, Banks investigates the mysterious death of a prized football recruit who had been on an unauthorized visit to the university. “In ‘5 Star,’ the football team is investigated by the NCAA because of the murder,” Henry said. “I used what was really happening with the NCAA and Ole Miss to develop this story.” To find out more about Henry’s books, visit michaelhenryauthor.com, or email him at mhenryauthor@gmail.com.

the SOU T H ER N H E A RTS SER I ES Janet W. Ferguson | Southern Sun Press LLC Janet Ferguson, an Ole Miss graduate, had an idea for a book in mind for years. It was the experience of personal tragedy that finally pushed her to pursue it. “I lost my mother, father and mother-in-law all in the span of 60 days,” Ferguson said. “That made me realize how short life is. I just forced myself to sit down and write after that.” Ferguson is today the author of seven books; three are set in Oxford. “Leaving Oxford” follows a young advertising professional as she returns to the small Mississippi town to heal from a tragic car accident. “Going Up South” details the complicated romance between a charming actor and a heartbroken attorney, who just so happens to be the mediator in his custody battle. In “Tackling the Fields,” the Rebels’ quarterback attempts to hide a serious injury in order to still be able to play the game he loves. With trips to Sardis Lake and Taylor Grocery, and even a Saturday spent in the Grove, the spirit of Oxford and Ole Miss flow through the pages of these Southern romances. A complete list of Ferguson’s novels can be found at janetfergusonauthor.com.

W I L L YO U B E a R E B E L , BA BY? Brianna Foster | Mascot Books An Ole Miss graduate and Oxford resident, Brianna Foster is committed to helping the children she works with reach their full potential. After a long career as an educator in north Mississippi, Foster still felt like she wasn’t doing enough. “I was driving home one afternoon wondering how I could make a difference,” Foster said. “The idea for the book just came to me. I pulled over and wrote the whole thing in 10 minutes.” “Will you be a Rebel, Baby?” highlights everything special about being a Rebel. The story walks readers through campus, leading them everywhere from Vaught-Hemingway Stadium to the Ford Center, and encourages young Rebels to work toward their dreams by showing what it really means to be a part of the Ole Miss family. Keep up with Foster on her Facebook page, “Will You Be a Rebel, Baby?,” or email her at WillYouBeARebelBaby@gmail.com.

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CHEERLEADER GENERATION A LIFETIME REALIT Y T V SHOW CHRONICLES TWO CHEER COACHES — ONE AT A KENTUCKY HIGH SCHOOL AND THE OTHER AT OLE MISS — WHO JUST HAPPEN TO BE MOTHER AND DAUGHTER. WRITTEN BY GINNY MCCARLEY

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PHOTOGRAPHS CONTRIBUTED BY A+E NET WORKS LLC

Ryan O’Connor is about to begin her third year as head coach of the Ole Miss cheer squad, and she has big dreams for her team. Last year, that drive was caught on camera by a film crew for Lifetime’s new show, “Cheerleader Generation.” The show follows O’Connor and her mother, Donna Martin, a cheer coach for Dunbar High School in Lexington, Kentucky, as they each pursue national championships for their respective teams. This is not the mother-daughter duo’s first time on television. They appeared on an episode of “True Life: I am a Cheerleader,” as well as the 2006 Lifetime series “Cheerleader Nation.” The new show is a follow-up of sorts to the last series, which chronicled O’Connor’s experience as a cheerleader coached by her mom, a driven leader whose teams have earned 16 state titles and eight national championships. As befits the daughter of an incredibly successful high school

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cheer coach, O’Connor’s life has revolved around cheerleading. After high school, O’Connor cheered at the University of Alabama where she majored in journalism before becoming editor of American Cheerleader magazine. She quickly realized that she missed the relationships and interaction of being on a team and became head coach of cheer at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Though she loved UAB, O’Connor dreamed of coaching a team in the SEC. “I knew that I wanted to work at a school where people grow up fans from birth,” O’Connor said. “(Coaching at Ole Miss) has been everything I dreamed of and more.” The show centers on O’Connor’s relationship with her mother as well as her own journey to motherhood. During filming, O’Connor was pregnant with her first child, Michael Thomas O’Connor, now seven months old. The show highlights O’Connor and Martin’s similarities but points out things that set them apart as well.


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“When my mom was my age, I would say we weren’t really different. But I think with age, my mom is softer than I am,” O’Connor said. “I’m still just right out of college, and I can still physically do some of the skills and hop in there. I did cheer at the collegiate level and my mom didn’t, so just knowing how to do these skills, I guess we’re different in that.” The show focuses on O’Connor and Martin, but it also chronicles some of the quintessential struggles of a college experience: romantic relationships, grades and insecurities. O’Connor enjoyed being able to watch her own evolution in high school on “Cheerleader Nation.” Giving her students the chance to have a record of such a special time of life was one of the biggest perks of filming the show. “I’m excited for my athletes to see themselves and have the opportunity to share their platform and their stories,” O’Connor said. “They will have these memories to look back on forever. I’m excited that my athletes will have that experience, and I’m excited for the exposure that Ole Miss cheerleading is getting.” Casey Giles, a freshman from Columbus, Georgia, is one student featured prominently on the show. In a suspenseful first episode centered on tryouts for the team, Giles gets hurt tumbling and must push through a mental block to finish strong and achieve her dream of being an SEC cheerleader. “This has been my dream since I was a little girl,” Giles said. “This is what I’ve always wanted, but now it’s actually happening.” Giles said O’Connor is the best cheer coach she’s ever had. She pushes her hard, not only on the mat but also in life. “Coach Ryan wants the best for her kids,” Giles said. “She

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wants to see us succeed; she wants to see us be the best cheerleaders, students and people we can be. She pushes us inside of practice and outside of practice. I’ve never had a coach that actually really cared about me, wanting me to get these skills. I think she is the kind of coach every college athlete wants to have: She wants you to be better overall and to be a good person.” Both Giles and O’Connor hope that the show, which features grueling practices and gravity-defying stunt work, will help everyone see how much is behind that squad’s game-day performance. “We don’t just show up,” Giles said. “It takes a lot of time, effort and practice to get where people expect us to be being Ole Miss cheerleaders and where we want to be.” The most frustrating thing about being head coach of a successful SEC cheer squad, for O’Connor, is being told that the sport is “just” cheerleading. “It’s not ‘just’ cheerleading to my kids,” O’Connor said. “You’ll see (on “Cheerleader Generation”) how passionate they are about their sport. They come from all over to cheer for Ole Miss. Our No. 1 job is to support our school at the events, but we’re athletes.” With nationals behind her, O’Connor is ready to show the world just what Ole Miss cheerleaders can do next season. “I want to start more traditions that encourage fans to really get involved in the games,” O’Connor said. “We’re very talented this year, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m already excited about competitions.” “Cheerleader Generation” aired this summer on the Lifetime channel; view past episodes at lifetime.com.


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MONDAY NIGHT TRIVIA PHOTOGRAPHED BY MEGAN WOLFE

The Blind Pig hosted its weekly Monday Night Trivia on Aug 5. The event features six regular rounds of five questions each, a lightning round of 15 questions, and a final question with 10 responses. Winners of the top three teams split the entry money. 1

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1. Austin Genova, Bradley Scott, Hayes Mullins, Michael Taylor and Garrett Hollowell 2. Cooper Ruwe, Joe Smith, Achintya Prasad and Clay Chance 3. Brooke Tutor and Jeremy Grubbs 4. Sara Wellman, David Atteberry and Jonah Jurss 5. Lucas Singh and Bill Houston 6. Mitchell Wilder and Andy Douglas 7. Trey, Katie and Bud Cooper 8. Kate Harcum with Grant Slagle 9. Alex Moody and Nick Seal

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MUSIC AND MOVIES PHOTOGRAPHED BY MEGAN WOLFE

Oxford Park Commission held Music and Movies in the Park July 27 at Avent Park. The family-friendly event featured a screening of the movie “Finding Nemo” and live music by Joe Austin and the Tallahatchies. 1

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1. Jocelyn Tipton, Matthew Hamilton and Philip Tracey 2. Jessie, Emma, and Lillian Li 3. Lillian Grace Walker and Lisa Logan 4. Ayama and Adella Vazquez 5. Kyle and Krizhan Santiago with Fawaz Salau and Arjun Vijayasankar 6. Summer and Tia White 7. Maggie and Amanda Hudgens 8. Anthony and Elizabeth Degani

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OXFORD CITY SWIM MEET PHOTOGRAPHED BY ALEXIS LEE

Oxford Park Commission held a citywide swim meet July 27 at Oxford City Pool. The event featured races, games and other family-friendly water activities.

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1. Jennifer Whitaker and Caitlin Baire 2. Grace, Jessica, Pippa and Betty Gene Levy 3. Stephanie and Sheryl Hartmann 4. Ada Grace Everette with Sarah, Cathy and Larry Kegley 5. Derek, Harper, Chloe and Tess Johnson with Alex Sanchez 6. Katherine, Jim, Courtney and Jamie Everette

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OXFORD ART CRAWL PHOTOGRAPHED BY MEGAN WOLFE

The Yoknapatawpha Arts Council held its monthly Art Crawl on July 23. The event features exhibits from the traditional to one-night-only pop-up shows at multiple local art spaces with free shuttle rides on the double-decker bus. 1

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1. Wayne Andrews and Dave Johnston 2. Andrew George and Christopher Schager 3. Debbie and Augusta Weaver with Charles Turner 4. Katherine Stewart and Rene Pulliam 5. Marcella Santos with Caio Gonzalez 6. Nicolas and Renan Bosque 7. Bryan Spillman, Brad Hayden and Andy Priddy 8. Kevin, Virginia and Colin Beach with Sarah Ligon and Robin and Archer Beach 9. Maryellen Mixon and Kay Croom 10. Jean, Adam, Abel and Matthew Davis

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SECRET COMEDY SHOW PHOTOGRAPHED BY MEGAN WOLFE

Oxford Comedy hosted a Secret Comedy show July 30 at Saint Leo Lounge. The event featured stand-up comedy sets by Denver Bridwell, Jessica Cogar, Jowa Horn and Richard Douglas Jones. 1

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1. Jac Bensing with Denver and Mary Bridwell 2. Nick Jenkins, John McDonald, Zandrya Gabris and Matthew Gray 3. Joe Stinchcomb with Torie Foutch 4. Robert Reyes and Victoria Torres with Christian and Hannah Courson 5. Steve and Tonya Kern 6. Ann Fairly Barnett with Zach Pandelides 7. Brant Akins and Kelly Adkins 8. Connor King and Christina Huff 9. Angie and Burton Doss

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WATERMELON CARNIVAL PHOTOGRAPHED BY MEGAN WOLFE

The 50th annual Water Valley Watermelon Carnival took place Aug. 3-4 in downtown Water Valley. The event featured arts and crafts vendors, food, live entertainment and a watermelon eating contest. 1

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1. Haley and Kaylynn Ferguson with Macie Gordon 2. Cam Whitmore with Nicholas and Leesa Gunter 3. Bridgette, Tyler and Olivia Melton 4. Marsha and Chip May 5. Demond Mayers and Candice Louis 6. Emily Lane, Mindy Beckham and Mary Wilkenson 7. Andrew and Danielle Robinson 8. Elisa, Daniel and Joe Scott 9. Tony, Ridge, Madden and Kristine Deal 10. Trey and Ellen Maddox with Taylor and Nathan Shelby

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BOOSTERS AND BLUES PHOTOGRAPHED BY MEGAN WOLFE

The Oxford Charger Booster Club hosted its fifth annual Boosters and Blues fundraiser Aug. 9 at The Library Sports Bar. Proceeds from the event benefit more than 900 Oxford middle and high school students in athletics, chorus and debate. 1

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1. Millie Wright, Amy Bennett, Mary Beth Mobley, Monica Johnson and Corey Martin 2. Jeff Dennis, Pratt Wilkinson and Jason Solinger 3. Tiffany Gililland with Noell and Gary Wilson and Todd Gililland 4. Sandra Robinson, Robert Gonzalez and Allie Roberson 5. Melanie and Eric Randle 6. Paul and Catie Hester 7. Michelle and David Jones 8. Justin Pollard and Freddie Marion 9. Chris and Cassandra Latimer

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NIGHT FOR NONPROFITS PHOTOGRAPHED BY MEGAN WOLFE

Night for Nonprofits, sponsored by the Lafayette Oxford Foundation for Tomorrow, took place Aug. 15 at the Powerhouse. At the event, 2019 grant award finalists were honored, and more than $50,000 was awarded to local nonprofit organizations. 1

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1. Bobby McCain, Dave LaBanc, Raleigh Sprouse, Patrick Mastro, Travis Frese and Keveon Taylor 2. Jackie Certion, Kesha Howell Atkinson, Frances Howell and Sally Starks 3. Dave Bell, Ken McGraw and Don Cole 4. Jenny Sichterman with Brad and Connie Ashmore 5. Robert and Sarah Rose Lomenick 6. Ani and Katrenia Meeks 7. Lucia Randle and Anne Clark Downing 8. Allie Drewrey and Claire Anne Pugh

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ART-ER LIMITS FESTIVAL PHOTOGRAPHED BY MEGAN WOLFE

The sixth annual ART-er Limits Fringe Festival took place Aug. 7-11 at the Powerhouse. The event, hosted by the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council, included interactive art exhibits, dance performances, comedy routines and family art activities. 1

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1. Dwight Ivy, Genesis Carter, Amber Macklin, Courtney Massey and Kinard Hardaway 2. Kelsea Beckum with Josie and Kylie Wilkerson and Chris Beckum 3. Vince Stroup and Boyd Mason 4. Ruby Dotson, Twana Harris and Tim Dotson 5. Alli and Andy Leatherman 6. Antonio Nelson and Devin Hill 7. Toi and Kordarius Parker 8. Robert Finch, Marcus Rivers and Isiah Walker 9. Lavada and Becky Edwards 10. Shelly, Hannah and Lisa Oswalt

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IRON BARTENDER CONTEST PHOTOGRAPHED BY ABBEY EDMONSON

The 2019 Iron Bartender competition took place Aug. 8 at the Powerhouse. Teams from area restaurants competed, and Joseph Stinchcomb of Saint Leo won for his take on a Kentucky mule cocktail made with Jefferson’s small batch bourbon. 1

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1. Brad, Betty and Justin Rogers with Jillian McClure 2. Zach Sellke, Everett Spence, Bruno Pagani, Nick Spiller and Madison Duncan 3. Lisa Ros, Eddy Suared and Caleb Chancellor 4. Sheena and Josh Edwards 5. Tracy Protti, Katelyn Sharpe and Megan Perry 6. Eric and Karyn Williams 7. Taariq David and Mary Madeleine Koury 8. Pat and Rebecca Edwards

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MEET THE COMMODORES PHOTOGRAPHED BY ABBEY EDMONSON

Lafayette football fans gathered Aug. 15 at the Lafayette High School football field for Meet the Commodores. The meet-and-greet event included players and coaches from the middle school and high school teams. 1

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1. Jalen Southern, Caden Crowson, Bralen Williams and Khy Pegues 2. Dylan Christman, Christian King, Chase Mooney, Levi Lott and Austin Wilson 3. McCala Kilpatrick, Reese Carwile, Sean Boney, Jay Irby and Towns Hogue 4. Gabbie Hunter, Abey Burns and Kylie Beard 5. Zynnique Alford with Azariah and J’miere Jones and Ariel Polk 6. Harper Faust and Avery Neal 7. Melissa, Brylee, Dru and Blaze White 8. Madison Buford and Janiya Vaughn 9. Samantha and Chris Shempert

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GROOVIN’ AT MOVE IN PHOTOGRAPHED BY ABBEY EDMONSON

Ole Miss Student Housing welcomed students to campus Aug. 17 by helping out on residential move-in day. Volunteers assisted in unloading vehicles and carrying belongings to rooms. 1

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1. John, Mary Alice and Mary Beth Cantrell 2. Whitney and Ben Ueltschey with Pamela Womack 3. Rosemary White and McClain Jung 4. Pal Patel and Meredith Glasgow 5. Denise and Will Stewart 6. Caroline Keever and Miya Yuratich 7. Alex Longnecker and Nick Huggins

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OUT & ABOUT VIEW MORE PHOTOS AT INVITATIONOXFORD.COM

O x fo rd O p e n M ic N i g ht

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L i sa Howo r t h B o ok S i g n i n g

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1. Silas Reed and Lauren Sink 2. Carlos, Tyler and Theresa Huertas 3. Keith Moore and Wendy Garrison 4. Jared Brown, Lauren Townsend, Ashley Jones and Sarah Carson 5. Robert Smith and Rosie Vassallo with Brooke and Jeff Edgeworth 6. Mary Ann Connell with Mary Ann and Roy Percy 7. Lyn Roberts, Lisa Howorth and Katelyn O’Brien

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MISSISSIPPI'S BEST

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fall C O C K T A I L S GINGER BEER ADDS A PLEASANT, SPICY KICK WHEN USED AS A MIXER IN MOCKTAILS OR COCKTAILS. B R E N D A N G A L B R A I T H A N D T Y L E R M O O R E , B O T H M I XO L O G I S T S AT G R I T I N TAY L O R , C R E AT E D T H E S E T WO R E C I P E S E S P E C I A L LY F O R I N V I TAT I O N OX F O R D. PHOTOGRAPHED BY JOE WORTHEM

the

GOLDEN REBEL

cocktail

RECIPE BY BRENDAN GALBRAITH

1½ ounces hard cider 1½ ounces bourbon ¾ ounce St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram or ginger liqueur Ginger beer Lemon wedge for garnish Cinnamon stick for garnish Fill a Mason jar with ice. Combine hard cider, bourbon and St. Elizabeth in jar. Top with ginger beer, and stir. Garnish with a lemon wedge and cinnamon stick.

DEUCE'S FUEL

mocktail

RECIPE BY T YLER MOORE

1 ounce ginger beer 1 ounce ginger-berry kombucha 1 ounce lemonade 1 ounce unsweet tea 1 ounce pomegranate juice 1 ounce simple syrup Lemon wheel for garnish Combine all ingredients over ice in a Collins glass or Grove-friendly cup, and stir. Garnish with a lemon wheel. To make it a cocktail, add 1½ ounces of your favorite vodka or white rum when mixing the ingredients. Brendan Galbraith moved to Oxford from his hometown in northern Virginia in 2015 and has been bartending at Grit for nearly three years. He is a student at Northwest Community College and plans to teach in the Oxford School District upon graduation.

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Tyler Moore, born into the Rebel family in Atlanta, is one year into his tenure as chief mixologist at Grit. He is currently pursuing a degree in biochemistry at the University of Mississippi, with aspirations to work in the field of sports medicine.


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