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Pick up your Sunday Oxford Citizen at locations throughout Lafayette County Volume 3 | Issue 53


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Inside 2 News

Harwell East wants to make a difference in Lafayette County Schools

6 News


Some of the actors participating in the Spirits of Oxford tour stand on the steps during a dress rehearsal. From left to right, Toni Coleman as Della Davidson, David Bell as P.E. Matthews, Kay Barksdale as Molly Turner Orr, Mike Bridge as Motee Daniels, Carolyn Lott as Sarah Isom and Henry Clarke as Blind Jim Ivy.

Spirits of Oxford

Merritt used bout with cancer to strengthen her life

12 Sports

Cedar Oaks Guild offers interactive tour of St. Peter's Cemetery BY CHANING GREEN NEWS WRITER

This Friday, members of the Oxford community will have the chance to wander the St. Peter’s Cemetery and receive an interactive tour featuring some of the most notable figures in the history of the town.

The tour is a fundraiser benefiting the Cedar Oaks House that now sits on the Avent Acres. Cedar Oaks was originally constructed in 1859 by William Turner and sat on the northern edge of the Square where The Graduate Hotel now stands. In 1963, the home was set to be demolished. The owners of the property wanted to use the

land to build a hotel, but they wanted to avoid destroying the house, if possible. No one wanted it. The university refused to claim it and no private citizens stepped forward wishing to save it. The house was free to anyone willing to undertake the dauntTURN TO SPIRITS PAGE 11

Mr. Reliable: Perkins counted on to do a lot for OHS Chargers




East wants to make a difference in Lafayette County Schools Kimberly Harwell East is in the running for the District 2 seat on the Lafayette County School Board. East herself is a graduate of the Lafayette County School District and has three children currently in school there, as well as a daughter who graduated. Harwell East has been considering running for the position for some time now, and is excited to finally be able to throw her hat in the ring. She took time out of her schedule Tuesday to speak with Oxford Citizen reporter Chaning Green and discuss her bid for a spot on the School board.

running for the school board because of the quality of education that Lafayette has to offer our children. I want to be involved in that. It’s not that I just want to be on the board and make a vote; I want to get involved mainly to reinforce the quality of education that our children deserve. I want to be able to talk to the teachers and talk to the parents and be able to go to the administration. An opendoor policy, if you will. That’s one thing that I really believe in, being from the South, especially here in Lafayette County. We’re just so different here. It’s the quality of life. That’s one thing that really pushed me to run.

CHANING GREEN:Who are you and why are you running for the school board? KIMBERLY EAST: My name is Kimberly Harwell East. I’m from Oxford and Lafayette County. I’ve lived here for 42 years. I am married to the Oxford Police Chief Joey East, and we have four beautiful children together. I’m interested in

GREEN: I understand that most of your family has attended the Lafayette County School District. EAST: Yes, that’s true. Nearly all of them. My husband is the odd one out because he went to Oxford. My mother, who attended Lafayette many many years ago when they first opened, was always really involved


phone number and when I moved to the back, they’re calling me and asking me when I’m coming back and where I was. I had only been out for two days. It just makes me feel so loved. GREEN: Why are you fighting so hard to be on the board? EAST: I’m very drawn to this. It’s something I find in my heart. Joey has to calm me down a lot. He’s been in politics his whole life. This is my first go around. He asked me what I was going to do if I’m defeated. I told him that wasn’t an option. That’s not an answer. If I don’t believe in myself enough to win this, who else will? I’m a strong woman. I want my voice to be heard. I want parents and teachers CHANING GREEN to be able to come to me. I Kimberly Harwell East holds up one of her election signs that she distributed throughout the don’t care if they’re in my community this week to promote her run for the Lafayette County School Board. East grad- district. I’ll help anyone uated from the district and has three children currently enrolled as well as one that has al- however I can. ready graduated. GREEN: Why do you still in the schools. She was ship fund in her name after the board for a while, and believe in this school diskilled in a car accident. She it happened. It’s called the some do not have children trict? was a realtor and the North Mary Harwell Scholarship in the schools. I look at myEAST: I still believe in the Mississippi Board of Rela- Fund. Every year, one grad- self and have a child that Lafayette County School tors put together a scholar- uate of Lafayette County graduated, and I still have District because, in the eyes High School receives this three kids that are currently of everyone I’ve spoken to, scholarship. That really in the system. No matter they believe in the students, touches my heart and what, I’m still gonna be the teachers and the work means a lot to me. I try to be here. I want to be in the ethic that everybody has. as involved as she was. Hav- schools, and I want to learn Teachers are working with ing a full-time job, that can more about the board meet- principals, principals are be a little difficult, but you ings. I want to be a part from working with administragotta do what you can. I’ve the school on an adminis- tion and they still have that been working at North East trative level where I’ll be flow. You’re gonna have, as Mississippi Power for nine able to make a difference. with any school system, and a half years now and it’s some things that you’re not really great to know that I GREEN: Tell me about you used to dealing with every can drive right down the work with the North East day. But they listen to the road and have all my kids on Power. students. My love for the one campus. EAST: I love my job. One of district goes back a long As a parent, one of the my dad’s phrases is that if time, to when my mother most important roles we you don’t love your job, if first attended the school’s have is ensuring how the you don’t love what you do here. I attended, my brothquality of education that every day, that’s where de- ers and sisters attended and our children receive. We’re pression comes in. If you my kids attended and three tired when we come home don’t love your job, your of them are still currently atfrom work, and sometimes job’s not going to love you. I tending. it’s gonna be chaotic, but work in the engineering deIf you ask anyone who just being able to sit down partment where I deal a lot went to Lafayette and gradwith them after school and with the crews. I handle uated from Lafayette, they’ll spend 30 or 45 minutes, time sheets, work orders, tell you it’s family. Everythat’s very precious. outage systems and the body gets along. That’s one Mississippi 811 calls, all of it. of my main beliefs, that if GREEN: What’s another I deal with the public con- you graduate from or attend Lafayette county reason you really want to be stantly, every single day. My any official job title is Engineer- school, you are going to be a on the school board? EAST: Lafayette County is ing Customer Service Rep- part of a family. I would like to be a part of that family on the fastest growing area in resentative. I used to be up front, but an administrative level the state. Our schools are going to have to reflect and recently I was moved to the where I’ll be able to help accommodate that expan- back to oversee things there. out. That is why I’m running sion. I have a lot of ideas. I I spent nearly all of my nine for the school board for Disunderstand that I’m a lot and a half years here at the trict two. younger than many of the front and I had all my clients board members that are and all my contractors. They there. They have been on all have my personal cell Twitter: chaningthegreen




City Board declares Stand Beside Her Month BY CHANING GREEN NEWS WRITER

During the second Oxford City Board meeting for the month of October, Mayor Pat Patterson declared October 2016 Stand Beside Her Month in support of women and girls. A local troop of Girl Scouts stood before the board and the community with handmade signs and shared facts and figures regarding the self esteem of women and girls. The National Stand Beside Her Movement is an “initiative to mentor, support and develop women and girls; to end comparison and competition and create more collaboration and support for one another.” This year’s National Stand Beside Her Week is set for Oct. 30 through Nov. 5. At the beginning of the meeting, Oxford Park Commission Program Di-

rector Mike Young was recognized by the board and community for recently receiving the title of Mississippi Recreation and Parks Professional of the Year. Young has been with the OPC since September of 2006. The Holly Springs native graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2006 as well. The mayor thanked Young for his service to the city and said that he counts himself lucky to know the program director. Patterson read off a list of the different programs that Young currently oversees and has ran in the past. Once he was nearly through the extremely long list, the mayor jokingly asked, “When do you have time to eat?” Young’s mother was there to see him be formally recognized. Pick up a copy of Sunday’s edition of the Oxford Citizen for more about Young and his

work with the city. During the meeting, the board also approved the Oxford Historic Properties Commission’s request for the use of office space within the L.Q.C. Lamar

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House. The office space will be held by the L.Q.C. Lamar Foundation, which, though they will be working toward the same goal of education the community on the life of Lamar, is

on the life and work of L.Q.C. Lamar through research and historical preservation efforts. In return for the foundation’s use of the space, they would keep the museum open an addition three days a week. The museum would then be operating on Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in addition to their normal hours. This would have the museum open six days a week. The foundation will be taking up about half of the office space in the house for the next 12 months. There is a clause in the agreement stating that either party can terminate the agreement at any time for any reason with a 90day notice. The next regular meeting of the Oxford Board of Aldermen will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 1.

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Ole Miss School of Ed to hold fall festival BY CHANING GREEN NEWS WRITER

The Ole Miss School of Education will be holding their fall festival this weekend to bring an evening of fun, face paint and candy to the community. In the past, the School of Ed has held a haunted house on the Friday closest to Halloween. Guyton Hall was always decorated in spooky props and with workers and attendees in costume. This year they decided to go with a different approach. Senior elementary education major Taylor Nash is the vice president of the student organization Teacher of Tomorrow (TOT) and took the lead in organizing the festival. She said that the Friday closest to Halloween is a very busy time for families in the community, and though the turnouts for the haunted houses of the past have been good, they wanted to make an event that gave more people the opportunity to come out and celebrate the season. “In the past, we’ve done the Halloween haunted house,” Nash said. “This year, we wanted to make the event accessible to the Oxford community and more known and advertise it as much as we can. The dean wanted the event to be larger than it had been in the past. We did some brainstorming and decided that, with a fall festival, there could still be a bit of Halloween, but also a lot more fun and games. We aren’t tied down to just the scary theme, and we can make it a longer event by having more stuff to do.” Nash has been coordinating with School of Ed Dean David Rock and Communications Specialist for the SOE Andrew Abernathy to create flyers, signs and more. They even sent fliers home with local school children. TOT has partnered with the Student Activities Association, who will be providing food for the event. The

University Museum has also pitched in and will be providing an arts and crafts section for kids who attend the festival. There are several other organizations that have partnered with the TOT to provide volunteers and support on the night of the event.

To get ready for the night of festivities, Nash met with former Vice President of TOT Lucy Steis this summer to get some pointers on organizing the festival. Steis presented Nash with a folder containing info that would help in planning the event, however,

since this is the first year the organization has done a fall festival rather than a haunted house, Nash had to figure out some stuff on her own. “The folder was very helpful, but it was for a haunted house,” she said. “It had a lot of informa-

tion about whom to contact for what, however, since we went in a different direction this year, I was often flying by the seat of my pants to complete everything I needed to do. It was a lot of trial and error versus checking off a to-do list.” In addition to the two bounce houses that will be set up outside the building, there will be a face painting area as well as an arts and crafts station, staffed by University Museum officials. Snacks and more than enough candy to go around will also be at the event and can be won through the various games and activities that will be set up throughout the building. The Ole Miss Center for Math and Science Education will be at the festival providing robots for the children to play with and operate. There will areas set up for chess and other games. A donation area will be set up so that attendees can bring books to be donated as well as supplies for the Boys and Girls Club. There will be a photo booth with props set up where festival-goers can pose and take wacky photos. Nash said that kids and adults are more than welcome to come in costume. Nash said that she has been overwhelmed with the outpouring of support across the campus everyone’s willingness to help out in anyway they can, especially those not connected to the School of Education. “I wish I could fast-forward a week because I’m so ready to just watch the entire festival go off without a hitch,” Nash told the Citizen last week. “I feel so loved to be on a campus where, even though everyone might not be so familiar with what we do here at the School of Ed, they’re willing to send volunteers and moral support.” Twitter: chaningthegreen

Ribbon cutting for Davis Nature Center Nov. 12 The Woodlawn Davis Nature Center, located at the corner of Anderson Road and West Oxford Loop, will be hosting a Ribbon Cutting Event on Nov. 12 to kickoff the completion of the first phase. There will be activities throughout the afternoon including a bird watching tour, wonder walk and a kids fun run. In addition to these activities, there will be food trucks and music. People are encouraged to bring chairs

and blankets to stay for a possible meteor shower after dark. The event will begin with a welcome by Oxford Mayor Pat Patterson at 3 p.m., followed by an introduction of the new advisory board of the Woodlawn Davis Nature Center. Mike Muraco, Director of Strawberry Plains Audubon Center in Holly Springs, will be on hand to discuss their level of involvement in educational programming and partnership with the Woodlawn

Davis Nature Center. The goal of the Woodlawn Davis Nature Center is to create a public park with educational programming which exhibits a series of biologically enriched native habitats; highlighting plant and animal species indigenous to this area focusing on conservation and sustainability. Additionally, these native environments will also provide an opportunity to serve as a venue for cultural and

artistic events to unite and foster a strong sense of community. Proposed park features will include: wildflower and meadowlands, a butterfly garden, native food scape garden (which may contain native fruit trees and other edibles), an Amphitheater and Pavilion. The Park will also include an interconnected pathway system for easy navigation and physical exercise that will overlook Goose Creek.

The Woodlawn Davis Nature Center is actively seeking sponsorships for many of these park features. If interested in becoming a member of the Friends of the Park campaign, visit their Go Me page at Fund odlawnpark or connect with them to get the latest updates on the Park at





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Breast Cancer Awareness OXFORD CITIZEN


Merritt used bout with cancer to strengthen her life BY JOHN DAVIS OXFORD CITIZEN

It's been two years since Robin Shaw Merritt had her last chemotherapy treatment and it's taken almost all of that time since to really get back on her feet. Merritt was successful in her fight with breast cancer thanks to her awareness, and a quick decision to do something about it. Out of nowhere, Merritt found a small lump in her breast. It was months after her complete physical with Dr. Bo Martin, and eight months after her mammogram. “I called Dr. Martin that Monday and he told me to come in that afternoon because he knew I had been through my brother's stem cell transplant at Vandy exactly the year before,” Merritt said. “I think he was humoring me and making sure I wasn't upset. By that Friday, I had my biopsy and the following Monday, he called me and I could hear tears in his voice. I was at school when I got the call. I didn't know how to react.” Merritt was a fifth grade teacher in New Albany when she got the news. All she remembers doing after the call from Martin was typing one word, cancer, to her husband, who ended up making his way


Robin Shaw Merritt, second from right, and several of her friends attended a Sheryl Crow concert in Memphis last month. Merritt is two years removed from her bout with breast cancer. to the school to pull his wife out of class. “I said 'Listen, I have to stay right here. I have to

stay occupied,'” Merritt needed that and get lost in said. “I taught the rest of my teaching that day.” After school concluded the day because you can get lost in your teaching. I that day, Merritt called her

“I couldn't let her score two sons with the news. Her daughter was away in low on anything because it training for Delta so she was spared the news. TURN TO MERRITT PAGE 7

Breast Cancer Awareness OXFORD CITIZEN



w a s intenFROM 6 sive training. We voted not to tell her, about the surgery or anything because I had my surgery within a week of my diagnosis,” Merritt said. “I asked the kids at school to keep it on the down low, no social media, because my daughter can't know. Some people disagreed, but my surgery was one day, her career was the rest of her life.” The cancer inside of Merritt was deemed triple negative and it was very aggressive. A bilateral mastectomy was called for by the doctors involved in the process. Merritt worked all the way up the surgery so that nothing looked out of the ordinary. After the surgery, she buckled in for eight rounds of heavy chemo treatments because of the triple negative results. Halfway through the treatments she was told that she had two weeks to

do what she wanted before starting the final stages, which would be rougher than the first. “I went home, called my neighbor and said 'How do you feel about going to Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina?'” Merritt said. “Those were on my bucket list and she said OK so we went for several days visiting. I thought if I'm going to be out of it for a while, I wanted to have some fun. It was a really fun trip.” Merritt overcame a bout of sickness, and a hospital stay, with her second round of chemo. She also went into anaphylactic shock because of the chemo. She had joint and muscle pain and of course she lost her hair. Because her brother went through cancer, she knew that her scalp would tingle when the hair was set to come out. “It just comes out in chunks like a dog with mange. I tried to see the light side in things. I went to Tupelo to get a cap to



A publication of Journal Inc.

wear and wasn't going to wear anything pink,” Merritt said. “I was dressing up and going to where I wanted to eat and Ronaldo, the jewelry designer that does all the bracelets, he was in the store. I started to walk away and he told me to come back and he put this bracelet on me and he told me that he made this bracelet for a friend that lost her battle with cancer. “He named the bracelet and how she was going to be his angel in heaven watching over him. I never said a word, he clasped it on me and then I told him that I was going to do my second round of chemo. He said I knew there was a reason I needed to give you this bracelet,” Merritt added. “That night, my head started tingling before the second chemo. I had a beautician friend of mine meet me the next morning, and after she stopped crying, she buzzed my hair. I told her we needed to make it lighter so I had her cut a

breast cancer ribbon in the back of my head. So I had a crew cut with this bald ribbon in the back of my head really big.” Many have praised Merritt's strength. She said she wasn't that strong, and that the key was taking it one day at a time. “It's like eating an elephant, you eat one bite at a time,” she added. “It's overwhelming. If I'm moaning and groaning though, nobody wants to see that. It's sort of like running a marathon, you keep pulling a little bit at a time. The more you get up and get dressed and go, the more you have to. If you just gave up and give in, physically I don't think you would be able to. I think you would be so out of shape.” Merritt never missed a day of school while teaching. She remained strong for them, and her own children. She has since visited the Holy Land with her daughter, another check off her bucket list. Mentally, Merritt is a


lot tougher, adding she has a whole new normal. “Your priorities are totally different. Now, if I have to dust furniture or spend time with the kids, there is not a hesitation,” she said. “I think I try to do too much in a day now. I appreciate every day now and you know what is important. The little things don't count any more, the things we stress over, they're not important. It's like you have a whole new vision.” One thing that Merritt wants women to do is get checked on a regular basis. “The mammogram is good but the ultrasound is better,” Merritt said. “I told the Lord this was my one shot and let me do it right and then let it benefit others. Nothing should be useless and everything we do in life, we should learn from it or have other people learn from it.” Twitter: @oxfordcitizenjd

We want to hear from you Call us at (662) 801-9607, write to us at P.O. Box 1176, Oxford, MS 38655, email us at or visit us online at





Two new bed boxes were assembled at the Scott Center to allow the students to grow herbs Students from the Scott Center pulled weeds out of a bed to help create a new garden in the and lettuce. courtyard.

Donated beds bring joy to Oxford's Scott Center BY JOHN DAVIS OXFORD CITIZEN

Early morning sunshine and large bags of potting soil greeted the students at Oxford's Scott Center Wednes-

day. Thanks to a generous donation made by the Pine Belt Master Gardeners of Purvis, growing food and herbs has never been easier. Michelle Robinson, the recycling coordinator for the

city of Oxford, was on hand to help assemble and distribute the donated bed boxes. The kids will be able to grow lettuce and kale and other fresh herbs in the boxes in the future. All of it is

happening in conjunction with the Good Food for Oxford Schools initiative. “Because we are an affiliate of Keep Mississippi Beautiful, the beds are donated. I thought of the Scott Center because the beds are on legs and are wheelchair accessible,” Robinson said. “This is also a good way for the students to get involved in outside fun.” The salad bed measures three feet in width by six feet in length, while the herb bed was 2x3. Eleanor Green, the program director for Good Food for Oxford Schools, was also on hand to help erect the beds, and oversee the soil being distributed. She and Robinson started talking about the project back in July when the beds were first made available. Good Food for Oxford Schools has been going on since 2011, and Green said the focus on the Scott Center has increased this year. In the future, 40 daffodil and tulip bulbs will be placed for the students to take care of. The entire courtyard area is on the list for improvement in the beautification department, and the students started pulling weeds in one of the beds Wednesday. “I think we're going to call it the Botanical Gardens at Scott Center,” Green said. “In addition to the two beds, the Scott Center received a grant from the Mississippi Farm to School network to add raised beds that are not just regular raised beds. The

grant was written by Mary Elizabeth (Smithson) and two teachers from the school, Minnie Gates Powell and Melissa Cox. We just received all the materials, so we will be working with all the students in all age groups in the garden.” Kathy Howington is the principal at the Scott Center and she couldn't say yes fast enough when approached with the idea. She feels like the students can make the beds their own, and since they are handicap accessible, they are perfect for everyone. “They all have a part in this regardless. From the young, to the older, no matter what the disability. It doesn't hold anyone back,” Howington said. “There is a lot of learning going on with the students. They are literally hands on, which they love and they're tying things into the classroom. This is going to be ongoing for them. They're going to responsible for watering and picking and re-planting when the time comes. Then they will even get to eat some of the food that they produce. This is a great opportunity for them.” The teachers that help instruct have been onboard with the projects, telling Green they were important life skills to learn. “It can give them a business opportunity as they grow older. This is something they can pick and eat and also put it in their

lunches,” Green said. “One of the beds that we build this next June will have sweet potatoes in it. We did sweet potatoes at one school over the summer and they're perfect because they take over the space, they look pretty and in the fall, we can harvest with the kids within a month of school starting. We just harvested 26 pounds of sweet potatoes at Della with students.” There are two greenhouses and another bed located by the basketball courts at the Scott Center, and Green said students in the past have grown plants that have been sold in the spring. There are gardens at every school in the district now, but the one at the high school is undergoing renovations, Green said. There are nutrition lessons provided throughout the district for students and there has been work to help improve the menus for students. “We're hoping to serve the sweet potatoes grown at Della in the Della cafeteria. We are debuting a new menu starting in November that has some fun new things on it like a black bean sweet potato stew, a lentil soup,” Green said. “They are so versatile and they can be sweet or savory. We're really excited to be working with the students.” Twitter: @oxfordcitizenjd




One Night Stand Art Show returns to the Ole Miss Motel BY CHANING GREEN NEWS WRITER

Several rooms of the Ole Miss Motel were turned into tiny art galleries Saturday as a part of the 10th annual One Night Stand Art Show. The very first One Night Stand was held in 2007 and put together by organizer Erin Austen Abbott. Abbott is the owner of Amelia Presents and started the show as way for her artist friends to have an outlet to share their work with the community. “It started out being for people who weren’t quite ready for a gallery show, but were still very talented,” she said. “They also didn’t really have a place to show their work here in town. I was out taking pictures one day, and I’d never actually driven into the parking lot of the motel before, but they had all these little red hearts on the doors and they still used old keys and just that vintage kitchiness of it was just so appealing to

me. I loved the idea of fine art juxtaposed with this travel lodge-style motel.” Abbott walked in to the motel’s office and explained her idea. She said that they were super receptive and that all she had to do was pay the price for each room for the night of the show. The first few years, the artists Abbott invited paid for the rooms themselves. As the show began to grow and more and more people were asking to be a part of the night, she was forced to move to a submission process. She paid for the rooms out of pocket and would take a small commission from artists’ sales to cover the overall expense of the night. Abbott did not like the model of submission and commission and worked to get away from it as soon as she could. It did not fit into her original vision of what the art show was supposed to be and she wanted to get back that. She began collaborating with the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council for an


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Visitors of the One Night Stand Art Show held every year at the Ole Miss Motel peruse the work of local artist Jonathan Kent Adams Saturday during this year’s show. This is the 10th year of the One Night Stand Art Show. alternative source of funding. Using a grant, the YAC now pays for the cost of the rooms every year. The show has become a



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staple of the Oxford arts community, and Abbott said she is proud to continue to be a part of that. She loves not only being able to help talented artists expose their work to a wider audience, but also bringing the community together to bond over the arts. “I love that the community loves it,” Abbott said “I know that it’s one of those things that the community looks forward to every year. I love the community aspect of it and being the person that helps tie people to an artist’s work. I love introducing artists to different people. That alone is reason enough for me to keep doing this, the look on someone’s face when they

walk into a room. You see people walking away with art they bought that night and just knowing that you had a part in something that’s gonna hang on their wall for a very long time is something really, really special.” Each room was transformed into a miniature art gallery. Artists had their work hanging on the walls, strung up through the room on twine, laid out on the beds and more. Artists were present in each room where their work was displayed to speak with showgoers and talk about their work. Those attending the art show walked around to each room, spoke with the artists and admired their work. Saint Leo was there

with their large, Italian brick oven selling an assortment of food and drinks to the crowd. Shelby Kyser and Jake Rogers were in one of the rooms. The space was decorated with their unique artwork created using computer scanners. The work featured leave, grass, pine straw, and a variety of other things against a black background. Some of the prints had white doodles or sketched hands holding bouquets of miscellaneous items. Kyser said that this effect was created by drawing directly on the glass of the scanner and arranging the items around it. This is the duo’s first One Night Stand show. They both only recently began producing the experimental art. Kyser works at Amelia with Abbott. Kyser shared her work on Facebook one day where Abbott saw it. She walked into work the next day and Abbott told her she would be saving her a spot in the show. Rogers and Kyser then spent the next two weeks working to produce enough material for their room at the motel. “It’s been really exciting and fun and kind of a whirlwind,” Kyser said. “Whenever we make these, we just pick things up around the house and scan them. That’s my cat’s actual butt on that scan. Over there are my dog’s paws.” “Sometimes it’s what we see on the side of the road,” Rogers added, “and think, ‘hey, I think that’d be cool.’” Twitter: chaningthegreen




The Growler hosting special event for MS Day of Giving BY KATHRYN WINTER STAFF WRITER

The Growler is hosting a special event competition between the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council and Oxford Film Festival tonight, as part of Mississippi’s Day of Giving. The Day of Giving is a statewide day to connect Mississippians with different charities in their respective communities. From until midnight, different craft brewers from Mississippi will offer a special with proceeds benefitting the charities. Patrons at the event can sample beers from Chandelier, Lazy Magnolia, Lucky Town, Yuengling, Yalobusha, and Southern Prohibition. There will also be door prizes given out throughout the evening- including two tickets to New Orleans on Southwest Airlines, Satterfield Pottery, OxFilm Festival, ford Yoknapatawpha Arts Council swag, Locals gift card and more. Krisi Allen of the Growler said the Day of Giving was

started last year by Governor Phil Bryant. “Last year the Day of Giving fell on a football Saturday, so there were a lot of charitable things going on in the Grove,” Allen said. “This year we decided we wanted to help out two local non-profits who really support and give back to the Oxford Community. This is a competition-like fundraiser, and we will have software set up so that people can monitor the giving levels as the night progresses.” Mississippi ranks second in the nation in charitable giving. According to, by choosing one day we are encouraging individuals to focus on the great work of so many of our non-profit organizations and to make a commitment of support. The goal is to engage donors from across the state and around the country, connecting Mississippians with causes they care about. Any 501 (c) nonprofit organization incorporated in Miss. may participate in the Day of Giving. Donations through the Mississippi Day


Krisi Allen, the owner of the Growler, is holding a special fundraiser tonight that benefits Mississippi's Day of Giving. of Giving to nonprofit organizations are tax deductible. The Yoknapatawpha Arts Council offers diverse opportunities in art and culture. Each year the staff, the board and volunteers work to present over 300 days of art programs ranging from student programs, exhibits by emerging artists, live theatre productions, concerts, classes, and independent

film screenings. According to their website, The Arts Council assists over 20 various groups each year. This is possible only through the support of individuals and businesses. The membership drive is one of the key fundraising tools that enable us to present free art camps for children in the summer, concerts in the Grove, live music at The Powerhouse, a

rotating schedule of free art exhibits, to acquiring all equipment to present live productions by Theatre Oxford, Leda Swan and others at the Powerhouse Community Arts Center. In 2008, the Oxford Film Festival became an independent non-profit organization with 501c3 status committed to celebrating the art of independent cinema.

The festival screens short and feature-length films in showcase and competition settings, hosts panel discussions on issues in contemporary filmmaking and invites the filmmakers to interact with the audience at a number of social events. Film categories include: Animated and Experimental, Documentary and narrative features and shorts, Mississippi narrative and documentary, Music Video and Documentary and Film Forward: a showcase of new media. The Oxford Film Festival entertains and educates its participants, providing residents and visitors with the opportunity to watch independent films, as well as to meet the filmmakers and learn from industry professionals. The variety of films, in addition to the panels, attracts filmgoers of all ages and backgrounds. The festival also supports moviemaking in the area through the production of the community film and support of OxFilm Society, which loans equipment to filmmakers filming in Oxford.


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chase their tickets in advance through the Powerhouse. A check-in area will be set up on the south side of the cemetery. Tour groups will be led through the cemetery and will stop at graves. Actors in period accurate clothing will emerge and deliver a fiveminute monologue about lives of the Oxford historical figure they are dressed as. All of the actors are local talent are volunteering their time to contribute to the cause. All but two of the historical figures the actors will be portraying are actually buried in St. Peter’s Cemetery. The other two, Della Davidson and L.Q.C. Lamar were included for their historical significance to the area. “We want to let people know who went before,” Westbrook said. “Some of the more, I wouldn’t call them ‘obscure figures,’ but some that you don’t hear about as much and some that you need to know a little more about. We wanted some new faces. This has been around since 2007, so we wanted to bring in new spirits. The ones that are repeaters, we’ve gotten a little bit more information about them.” Tickets for the tour costs $15, with all of the proceeds going to benefit the Guild. Tickets can be purchased through the Powerhouse either in person or on the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council’s website.


ing task of moving it. Three women’s organizations, the Cosmopolitan Club, The Centennial Club and the Readers’ Guild, banded together to save the home. The home was cut in half, vertically down the middle, and transported in halves to Avent Acres, where it still sits. The clubs that rescued the house worked to maintain it and ensure the house never fell into disrepair. Overtime, these clubs dissolved and in the summer of 2011, the Cedar Oaks Guild was formed, taking elements and traditions from the three clubs. The city now owns the Cedar Oaks House, though the general upkeep of the house and grounds is still the responsibility of the Guild. The first graveyard tour was held in 2007 as a way to raise money for the upkeep. Susan Westbrook is a member of the Cedar Oaks Guild. She, along with fellow member Marianna Ochs, took the lead on organizing this year’s Spirits of Oxford Tour. “What we’ve done is try to pull out some other people who were important in Oxford through education, the arts and Ole Miss to get more of a rounded array of people from different time periods," Westbrook said. “We do have one person from the Civil War Era, but we also have Della Davidson, who I believe died in the 1960s.” People attending the tour must pur- Twitter: chaningthegreen


Supervisors mulling chance to help fund new activity center BY JOHN DAVIS OXFORD CITIZEN

A chance to participate in the funding of the new-look activity center for Oxford Park Commission is being considered by the Lafayette County Supervisors. Seth Gaines, the OPC's executive director, and Bart Robinson, the head engineer for the city, both appeared before the county board Monday morning to outline the request and answer any questions about the facility. The city has approved $7 million for the enhancement, but during a special session meeting with the OPC's board in late September, additional options were presented for consideration. Mayor Pat Patterson, and aldermen Robyn Tannehill, Rick Addy and Jason Bailey, met with the architects in charge of the project last week. They were presented with those additional options as well. One of the new additions could cost an extra $750,000, but provide a lot of extra meeting space, beyond just the two new basketball courts

and the new reception area that was part of the building upgrade. The city approved the decision to spend up to $7 million on the project six months ago. A chart showing the participation of county residents, and those that live in the city, was distributed to board members Monday. Chad McLarty asked about the addition of an exercise pool because that is the top thing he asked about from residents. President Jeff Busby also said he has received several inquires about the use of pool. Gaines started the process of finding out the exact cost for a pool, but he did tell the board that it could be several million to add that feature to the project. Busby asked Robinson when the project would begin, and the goal is to start something in June or July, but there is no specific date. “We haven't even started the design yet,” Robinson told the board. “The only real design we have are what the schematics are and we're trying to figure out what we really need and what

type of space we can build. You're looking at six to eight months once we're through with the design process.” Almost 500 signed up to play youth basketball through the OPC last year, and there a number of residents that use the facility now for various things such as Leisure Lifestyles, gymnastics or even karate. A walking track will be above the new basketball courts, and that will not be affected by additional funds being added on or not. During the summer months, and even when the public schools are not in session, the activity center is home to various camps for children. Over 200 kids took part this past summer, and Robinson said more could be added to the list, that everything is based on available space. The county will take the next few weeks to consider the proposal and figure out what can be done. Twitter: @oxfordcitizenjd




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John Davis Sports Editor

This year's OM-LSU matchup may one of the best


t didn't take Ed Orgeron long to remind Ole Miss fans why there is no love lost between the two. His comments right after the Tigers' 45-10 win over Southern Miss about not having any fond memories of his time at Ole Miss soured many. In Orgeron's defense, his coaching failures surely made him bitter about the three years he spent on campus. It's also easy to focus on the present, instead of the past, and it's clear that Orgeron is going to do everything in his powers to keep this LSU head coaching gig. He was at least complimentary of his former assistant, current Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze, and the job he has done in his five years leading the Rebels. “It was a very good hire. When (USC) went down to play Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl, I was walking on the field and he introduced himself,” Orgeron said Monday about how the two first met. “I thought it was courageous of him to go to Miami and meet me on the football field and ask me for a job. I really liked that about him. I always thought that Hugh was a tremendous coach. I almost hired him as my offensive coordinator, probably should have. He helped me out in all the facets of running the program. He was a tremendous TURN TO OM PAGE 24

Mr. Reliable Perkins counted on to do a lot for OHS Chargers BY JOHN DAVIS SPORTS EDITOR

If there is a task that Oxford football coach Chris Cutcliffe needs to get accomplished, he knows that Preston Perkins is somebody he can rely on to help get it done. Perkins is a multi purpose player on the gridiron. His athletic ability allows him to do a lot of different things for the Chargers. When Cutcliffe needed someone to step in and punt the ball, he turned to Perkins, the versatile wide receiver who always seems to make a big catch or play when he is in on offense. “Preston is always reliable. He comes to work. It's his first year as a starter, but he's played a lot, even as a 10th and 11th grader. Preston does a lot of things really well for us,” Cutcliffe said. “He is very consistent at receiver. He catches the ball well. Throughout his career, he's done a good job in punt returns. Punting is somewhere we struggled with a bit, and he came in and did that for us. And that's an impressive thing for him to be able to do. He didn't punt at all in the spring and we only messed around with it some in the summer.” Perkins doesn't just do well in football, or on the baseball field where he starts in the outfield for the two-time Class 5A state champion Chargers. He is also a standout in the classroom with a 3.6 grade point average. There are times where it gets tough for Perkins to balance sports and school, but he said the only option is to keep working as hard as possible. Being a natural student helps Perkins, who is the strongest in all the different sciences. “My favorite is chemistry. Mr. Reidy teaches AP chemistry and he is funny


Oxford senior Preston Perkins is Mr. Reliable for the football team and the starter in center field for the Chargers in baseball. and has a lot of stories. I want to major in chemistry or pre-med biology,” Perkins said adding that even though he speaks English, it's his weakest subject in school. “That's kind of my downfall. I'm taking college English this year because it counts towards my English I this year.” TURN TO PERKINS PAGE 20

This is the seventh in an eightpart series featuring multi-sport athletes at both Lafayette and Oxford who also perform at a high level in the classroom.

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Friday Night Previews: Week 10 Lafayette-Senatobia battle for top spot in 2-4A Friday BY JOHN DAVIS SPORTS EDITOR

First place in Division 2-4A will be on the line Friday night when the Lafayette Commodores host the Senatobia Warriors. LHS is the only team in 2-4A without a loss, and win over the Warriors secures the top spot heading into the 4A playoffs in two weeks. For Lafayette's Michael Fair, the coach at Senatobia last season, the game is being treated just like any other week but with the fact that a win for LHS means the top spot. “It's a big district game, playing for a district championship. That's the way I'm looking at it, that's the way our team is going to approach it this week,” Fair said. “We're not going to prepare for them any different or out of the ordinary. We're going to prepare for them like any other opponent.” Senatobia defeated Lafayette last season, and the Warriors, led by Brooks Oakley, have changed some compared to when Fair was the head coach. “They do similar things on defense when I was there last year, but offensively they have changed a lot,” Fair said. “I don't know if it's much of an advantage to know them because those guys know what I want to do and my philosophy as well. Both sides will be using that a little bit. I really think it's going to come down to the players and the play on the field more than just any scheme stuff.” Senatobia (6-2 overall, 2-1 in 2-4A) has three or four players with the ability to score on any play, Fair said. “They are down to a backup quarterback due to some injuries. This will be his fourth game. He's a 10th grader that is a good athlete that can really go,” Fair said. “That's changed them a little bit as far as how they started the season out. They do a really good job and if they're in space, they can really make you miss.” Lafayette has won six straight games heading into Friday's contest to have already made the playoffs. The Commodores have gotten stronger and stronger by the week, Fair said. “I love how our team prepares each week. I love how they practice and get ready to play. I think


Tay Tay Owens and the Lafayette Commodores will be going for the Division 2-4A championship Friday night against Senatobia. it's a mature football team,” Fair said. “We were really young, early, and not so much in age but maybe playing experience. These guys have played a lot this year and I like the mentality of our team right now. I think they see the big picture and I also think they realize that it's one game at a time.” Fair was hoping that the returning players who suffered a loss to Senatobia last season would use that as a motivating factor. “I would hope they kind of take it personal because they knocked them out last year and won the division. I think all of that plays into it,” Fair said. “There are a lot of factors going into this as far as the three


Senatobia vs. Lafayette Kickoff: 7 p.m. Radio: FM 105.5 coaches that are here that used to be there and the way the game ended last year. It's going to be an emotional game on both sides.”

Even if the Commodores fall to the Warriors, they could end up being first place as long as the total points are less than nine. Senatobia lost to Ripley earlier this season, while the Commodores beat Ripley and by more points needed to use in the case of a tiebreaker scenario. “We just have play and play like we have been playing. I feel good about the progression that we have made on both sides of the ball,” Fair said. “Our guys have really understood what their coaches are asking of them. Defensively, it seems like we get a little stronger each week. We gave up one or two plays last week that we wish we could go back and change, some

poor tackling at times, but our guys have really been running to the football well. Coach (Ben) Ashley has them in the right position to make plays and be successful. Offensively, there have been times I thought we could have done a better job at the line of scrimmage, but we're really coming off the ball and our receivers are really coming off the ball and making some plays.” Quarterback Will Ard was also praised by Fair for the decisions he has made over the last three or four games. “He's played really well. I like where we are right now,” Fair said. Twitter: @oxfordcitizenjd




Friday Night Previews: Week 10 Chargers face tough test on road at Clarksdale BY JOHN DAVIS SPORTS EDITOR

A team that is balanced on offense doesn't just mean 50 percent of the yards gained through the air or on the ground. When Oxford coach Chris Cutcliffe talks about his team being balanced, he means the Chargers being able to run the ball when they want to, and pass the ball when they feel like it. Over the last three weeks, all wins for the Chargers, they have been able to dictate the pace and style of play to opposing defenses. Last week in a win over New Hope, the Chargers had two tailbacks — Hiram Wadlington and Lance Stewart — that both eclipsed 100 yards. Oxford had over 300 yards on the ground, and quarterback John Reece McClure was efficient when he threw the ball. “I think we are showing that we are a balanced offense and to me you don't have to be 50-50 in yardage. I think being balanced is doing it when you want to do it and being a legitimate threat to run and throw the football and I think we've shown the last few weeks that we can do that,” Cutcliffe said before talking about Stewart. “I think Lance runs the ball extremely hard every time he touches it. They both complement each other very well because they are similar in a lot of ways. Lance is more of a downhill style of runner. Hiram is more of shifty type back if you compared to the two. Lance likes contact and I think he runs with great pad level. I think he hits the hole extremely fast. And that's a great complement to Hiram, who has outstanding vision and is always able to make the right cut and find the right crease in the defense. Lance is going to go downhill and hope he finds the crease on the way.” Cutcliffe was pleased with the way his entire team fared against New Hope, who he feels is a good football team and better than a 1-3 mark in 1-5A play. “I think in a lot of other districts in the state they would be having a lot of success because they are a good team and they have a lot of weapons on offense,” Cutcliffe said. “The quarterback for them has played


Running back Lance Stewart rushed for over 100 yards in the Oxford Chargers' win over New Hope last week. really well, so I was really pleased to have a quality win against a quality opponent.” The first word out of Cutcliffe's mouth to describe Clarksdale was “outstanding” and based on a 7-2 mark, the Wildcats are definitely no pushover. “They're very well coached and they have experience on both sides of the ball. They're only giving up eight points per game defensively. They're very, very fast on defense,” Cutcliffe said. “I think they are extremely athletic and they're physical. I think they do a lot of things really well. They're really good on both sides of the ball.” CHS quarterback Terrence Humphrey is a true dual threat.

Oxford at Clarksdale Kickoff: 7 p.m. Radio: FM 95.5 He has thrown for just over 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns this year, while also rushing for 331 yards and six touchdowns. Dayeveon Hill is the top rusher

for the Wildcats with 715 and 13 scores. “They are balanced running the football in that they can run it with their tailbacks or their quarterback. They make you defend a lot of things offensively,” Cutcliffe said. “We're playing over there in a difficult environment and they have always played very well in Clarksdale when we've played them, even back to when I was in high school playing against them. We have to go into a tough environment and play. We have to be able to go and play our game and find a way to put up some points against a really great defense.” This week's game is one in which the Oxford defense, that

has been consistent all season, really needs to be on point. “We've got make plays defensively and we have done a good job of forcing turnovers lately. DQ Thomas has really stepped up in forcing turnovers. I think he has four in the last three games and two touchdowns,” Cutcliffe said. “Those guys are really attacking the football and we've got to make sure we continue to do that against Clarksdale. Turnovers are always huge in big game but especially when you're playing against a great defense. If we can set ourselves up with a short field, that can be a huge turning point in the game.” Twitter: @oxfordcitizenjd




Rebels looking to stop run, bleeding at No. 25 LSU BY JOHN DAVIS SPORTS EDITOR

Some of the best players in the nation have played in the annual matchup between Ole Miss and LSU. It was clear that Ole Miss defensive end Marquis Haynes wanted LSU's standout running back, Leonard Fournette, to return to the lineup in time for Saturday night's matchup in Death Valley. Haynes, who leads the Rebels with four sacks, said he was excited to be playing LSU again after last season, and that he expected the Tigers to come out fighting. “We stopped the run game last year, but this year, I think they're going to come at us better because they always plays us good when they're at home,” said Haynes, who made a huge play against Fournette during last season's 38-17 win over LSU. “It gives me a lot of confidence. I'm always looking for that play, chasing down a play, get a sack or cause a fumble. I just want to be destructive.” There was no doubt in Haynes' mind that Fournette, who has missed the past two games for LSU, will be in the game against the Rebels. “I want him to play really,” Haynes added. Even without Fournette, a preseason Heisman Trophy candidate, in the lineup, the Tigers have been potent on offense the past two games. A big reason why is the play of tailback Derrius Guice, who leads the team with 564 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. “I don't think Leonard Fournette is going to be the best back. I think Guice is going to be their eye test. I think he is faster than Leonard Fournette,” Haynes said not long after talking about why the Rebels have struggled to stop the run. “We are over efforting our gaps. We know what gap we're supposed to fit, we're just overemphasizing our gaps and playing too fast. We need to slow the game down and fit our gaps like we're supposed to.” Linebackers not fitting behind the defensive line has been the biggest point of discussion as to why the Rebels can't stop the run. Haynes took the dialogue a step further adding that the four linemen in front of the backers haven't always fit like they were supposed to. “It's a group effort. It's d-linemen and linebackers. When we have stunts, whatever coach calls, we have to execute. When we do our own thing, it causes


Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze will lead the No. 23 Rebels into LSU's Tiger Stadium Saturday night looking to bounce back from a road loss at Arkansas. us to mess up,” Haynes said. Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said that graduate assistant, Christian Robinson, would be in charge of the Mike linebackers, while coordinator Dave Wommack would be in charge of the Stingers. That is a change in philosophy that he was hoping would help heading into the second half of the season. Freeze said there were times when the Rebels fit well against Arkansas in the run game, and then other times where that wasn't the case. “We had three critical third downs, one on the 5-yard line on the option and two others on drives they scored on. We have a good call and an unblocked guy and he misses the tackle so we’ve got to improve that also,” Freeze said. “Then there were other times where we wish we had a different call, then other there’s times where we didn’t fit the gaps exactly right, it is a combination of all those things.

at Kickoff: 8 p.m. TV: ESPN Radio: WQLJ-FM 93.7 There were times the fits were good, but there still too many that it’s not. We are going to put another set of eyes on one position and try to help them improve this week, because again, this week it will be vitally important.” The Rebels have allowed 1,292 yards to opponents in just six games, and almost 5 yards per carry. Fournette and Guice both average well over 5 yards per attempt, while Darrel Williams,

“To be honest, LSU is the craLSU's third tailback, is averaging ziest night game that I've ever 5.3 per carry. played in my life because once you start off and you're up and DIFFERENT FEEL There is something different then after halftime, it's a whole about playing on the road at different LSU team, one that night, and even something dif- you've never seen before,” ferent about playing at Tiger Sta- Haynes said about the 2014 meeting. “They're more physical dium at night, Freeze said. “I think night games or away and with wide eyes and everygames in general on the road in thing else. It's going to be a great the SEC are all difficult. Theirs is game.” certainly no exception, it is a larger crowd than you face at a EXTRA POINTS lot of places,” Freeze said. “I don’t Ole Miss has won two of the know what the stadium holds last three matchups with the there now, but they are passion- Tigers, but both have been in Oxate fans. They are into it because ford. The home team in the sethey pull for their team and ries has won the last four when it is hard to communicate meetings overall … LSU leads and hard to hear, they give extra the overall series with the Rebels energy to the home team that al- 59-41-4. In Baton Rouge, LSU ways makes it difficult on the leads the overall series 39-24-1. road in this conference. This is The last time Ole Miss won in certainly not different, but you Tiger Stadium was in 2008, a 31prepare the same.” 13 victory. Haynes said he knew that the atmosphere was going to be “real crazy” in Baton Rouge. Twitter: @oxfordcitizenjd




Oxford Citizen Pick ’Em BEN GARRETT





Ole Miss Spirit Record: 44-24

Oxford Citizen Sports Editor Record: 46-22

Daily Journal OM Beat Reporter Record: 45-23

Rebel Nation Magazine Publisher Record: 41-27

Oxford Citizen Sports Writer Record: 38-30

GAME 1 Ole Miss at LSU

GAME 2 Mississippi State at Kentucky

GAME 3 Arkansas at Auburn

GAME 4 A&M at Alabama

GAME 5 Oregon at California

GAME 6 BYU at Boise State

GAME 7 Memphis at Navy

GAME 8 TCU at West Virginia

GAME 9 Oregon State at Washington

GAME 10 Eastern Michigan at Western Michigan

Perkins FROM 12

High school has passed by very quickly for Perkins, who had trouble even putting into words what the speed of the last four years felt like. “It's sad, but it's the way of life,” he added. “I'm just trying to move on to the next step.” Baseball and football are both equal to Perkins, who did add that his favorite depends on the season of the year.

“When you're at football, you're with all your guys and it's so much fun and then baseball is the same way. It's two completely different worlds,” said Perkins, who drove in 14 runs last season and played in all 36 games for the Chargers, who finished with a 28-8 record. “I felt pretty good about last year. I started off hot and then I kind of leveled off in the middle and came back strong in the end. I felt like I did as much as I could.” Defense is the thing that Perkins likes doing the most on a

baseball field. And he loves being in center for the Chargers. “I want to be in the top of the lineup and be more of a leadoff hitter or second for us this year,” Perkins said. When Perkins is on the football field, he gets some interesting looks from defensive backs who don't expect the 5-foot-10 white kid to have much speed. The game that Perkins felt was his best, midway through this season, was the matchup with Madison Central in 2015. He also liked the way he played in the

2016 season opener against Southaven. “Not that the Southaven game wasn't fun, but the Madison Central game was just a bigger game and it was at home and I had however many catches,” said Perkins, who had five for the record. This year, Perkins is tied for second on the team with 18 catches, and that's with missing some action due to a knee injury. The Chargers have played better, winning three straight now, since the start of Division 1-5A play.

Outside of sports and school, Perkins likes to hunt “duck, dove and deer.” Going after dove is a favorite of Perkins, who also likes duck season. He takes center Colton Skidmore with him on hunting trips, while Giles Lamar has also come from time to time. “I try to take as many people as I can when I can,” said Perkins, who harvested a 10point deer in the state that scored a 135 before. Twitter: @oxfordcitizenjd




Foley provides great technique, spirit to Lady 'Dores BY JOHN DAVIS



An outgoing personality that exudes school spirit is what Canton Foley has been providing the Lafayette Lady Commodores the past six years. The senior cheerleader started wearing red and gold when she was in middle school. She has cheered even longer, getting her start at Oxford Cheer and Tumble when she was in elementary school. “I started in gymnastics but I couldn't really do it. I was scared. I stunt now and everything I can to help the team,” said Foley, who explained that someone who stunts means picking the flyers up. “I like the ground. I hold up Lizzy Caine. She and I have been best friends since kindergarten.” The season has gone well for Foley, adding that she likes how things have turned out for the Commodores, winners of six straight games in football. The win over the Oxford Chargers is the most favorite outcome for Foley, just like many of the other cheerleaders. Another top win, or moment, from this season was the win over Ripley to start Division 2-4A play. “It just stands out to me,” she said. “I like watching football. I don't get to watch it a lot when I'm on the sidelines, but I watch Ole Miss play.” Foley's favorite Rebel is quarterback Chad Kelly, for those interested. This week, the Commodores host Senatobia, which won last season's meeting 20-19. Foley

Cheerleader Canton Foley was a little nervous about that matchup at the start of the week. “I hope we come out with the win. Everybody needs to come. We're going to have a big student section, I hope,” Foley said. “I'm excited about that.” Over the past six years, Foley has improved as a cheerleader. She's learned how to correct things when it comes to performing her technique. “I'm really familiar with all the cheers, so it helps me practicing and practicing and getting better each year,” she said. “I like our AllAmerican cheer this year. I like the motions to it. It's different than last year.” Offensive lineman Matt Toles, also known as Sausage, is the player that Foley helps buy snacks for before the games. She made Toles homemade Oreo balls one week because Foley wants him to eat well. “I got him a bag of assorted candy and just filled it up one week,” Foley said. “I've known him for a while. He's great.” In order to participate in cheer, Foley drives half an

hour from her home in Harmontown each day. That's not including her drive to school in the morning. “It's a lot of gas,” said Foley, who is also a member of the competition cheer team. “It's going well. I'm a base, also. I'm excited about it. We're getting far. I did it last year and then this year and then when I was in fifth grade, I did Oxford Cheer and Tumble, their All-Star team. I did that one year and then I went into Lafayette cheer.” Lafayette coach Jennifer Sharp said Foley was an absolute joy to have on the team. “She has certainly matured over the past four years. She has become a team member I can count on to get tasks done,” Sharp said. “She most always has a smile on her face which in turn brings positivity to the team.” When it comes to school, Foley's favorite subject is physics. And English is a subject she doesn't particularly like very much. Twitter: @oxfordcitizenjd


Senior Canton Foley is having a fun season cheering on the Lafayette Commodores in football.


P r o ud l y Se r vi ng O xf o r d & La f a y et te C o. S i n ce 1 9 3 8




OM baseball gives 13-year-old special surprise BY JOHN DAVIS SPORTS EDITOR

Courtney Dearing had never been inside the Ole Miss baseball locker room before Saturday morning. Her first trip to Oxford to watch the Rebels practice will never be forgotten thanks to the surprise birthday the team held for her. The 13-year-old is a patient at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Shreveport, Louisiana. Since her birth, she has battled Spina Bifida and received special care at the hospital. This upcoming season, the Rebels will be playing in the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas along with LSU and Texas A&M from the SEC. Baylor, TCU and Texas Tech, members of the Big 12, will also compete in the tournament March 3-5, and each of the schools will host a child from one of the Shriners hospitals. Dearing, who was joined by her mother and father, lives in Meridian and she loves the Rebels. Outside of a cake and the meeting with the team, Ole Miss made sure she had more than enough apparel to wear to future games. Barry Dearing couldn't get over how much Ole Miss did for his daughter, who entered the clubhouse in her wheelchair expecting to see another part of the


Courtney Dearing was honored by the Ole Miss baseball team with a surprise birthday party Saturday at Oxford-University Stadium. Dearing, who turned 13, is a patient at Shriners Hospital for Children. stadium during her tour. The surprise was kept off her radar, and her expression showed genuine emotion. Courtney has been traveling back and forth to the hospital since 2004 when she was about a year old,

her father said. All of the travel, and care, is provided by the Shriners, and a host of them were in attendance for the party. “We were going every six months and now we're going once a year,” Barry Dearing said. “They do so

many things. She has one kidney and an oversized bladder, a club knee and club ankle and she doesn't have any hip joints. The Shriners have had her walking and out of her wheelchair for about a year. She fell in the house and it

scared her so she just wanted to fall back to her wheelchair so that's where we're at now. They have done so much for us.” The sport that Courtney really enjoys is dirt track racing. Just outside of Meridian is the fastest dirt

track in the South, her father said. “She likes any sport. And she has watched several baseball games with me and she is just now getting the age where she can grasp what they do and how they do it,” Barry Dearing said. “She likes college football. We will be back here for sure. I love it. I know you can get lost here it's so huge. I didn't realize that the football stadium here was so big. Oxford has really grown since I was here last.” Dustin Johnson, who is in charge of sports marketing for Shriners Hospital for Children, said the sponsorship started with the Houston Astros in 2015. “What we wanted to do from the Shriners Hospital side was partner with the baseball programs to create experiences for our patients that transcended baseball,” Johnson said. “We wanted to introduce the players to the mission of our organization while creating a onein-a-lifetime opportunity. She just celebrated her 13th birthday, so we're having a little party in her honor. We will do this at each university this year and we're at LSU the next week and TCU last week. Ole Miss has gone above and beyond to create a wonderful opportunity for her. It's been fantastic.” Twitter: @oxfordcitizenjd

Oxford swim fares well in north state meet BY JOHN DAVIS SPORTS EDITOR

Robert Gonzalez wanted to see his young Oxford High swim team grow up in last weekend's north state meet in Flowood. His wish was granted thanks to a strong overall performance by the Chargers and Lady Chargers. Oxford finished fifth overall out of 32 teams, and first out of all the schools that are classified in 5A. That fifthplace finish also includes individual finishes for the Chargers and Lady Chargers, beyond just an overall mark. A total of 10 individuals

did well enough to advance to next week's state meet in Tupelo. All six of the relays advanced as well. “We had some swimmers who broke some milestones this week and that was really exciting,” Gonzalez said. “Anna Dennis, one of our seniors, she qualified by finishing in the top five. She broke 26 seconds in the 50 freestyle for the first time in her career. So that was exciting. We had some really good swims across the board on the girls' side.We have representation pretty much across the board.” The Lady Chargers that

will join Dennis in the state meet include: Kate Byars in the 200 and 500 free, Lucy Chiniche in the 100 free and 200 individual medley, Catherine Field in the 50 and 100 free, Mary Marshall Waller in the 100 free and 100 breast and Ellinor Maxwell in the 100 breast. Mary Victoria Sullivan will also be in Tupelo to help in the relay events. The Chargers that are moving on include: Jeffrey Wang in the 200 and 500 free, Will Carrington in the 200 IM, Graham Norris in the 100 breast and 100 fly and Thomas Hoskins in the 100

fly. Sam Hartnett, Cole Moore, Vance Byars, Bryce Goszkowisz and Harrison Tann made it on for the relay events. The plan for this week was to train hard and then gain some rest next week, Gonzalez said. “We want to ease off a little bit next week, give them a little bit of a taper because I really think with two more good weeks of training and resting them up and then throwing them in Tupelo, the fastest pool in the entire South, I think they will go faster,” Gonzalez said. “I have no doubt in my mind

they have more time to shed from what they just did this past weekend.” Moore, a junior sprinter, was a Charger that caught the eye of Gonzalez. Moore has been hovering around 26 seconds in the 50 free and then went 24 this past weekend. “To knock off two seconds in a race that short, that's a lot of time,” he said. “I think that will catapult him into making our senior boys relay. I was really excited about Will Carrington's 200 IM. To qualify individually in that event and be seeded to score, that's very uncom-

mon to be able to do as a freshman.” There are more individual qualifiers this season compared to last for Oxford. And there are more young members than there were in 2015. “Last year we qualified 16 overall and this year we have 16 overall, but we have more swims out of the ones that we're bringing,” Gonzalez said. “This year we had several qualify in multiple events. Six of them are going to be doing two races plus their relays.” Twitter: @oxfordcitizenjd




Lady Chargers' depth keys latest win over Lafayette BY JOHN DAVIS SPORTS EDITOR

Tara Ross felt the butterflies start to soar in her stomach Tuesday morning, hours before her Oxford Lady Chargers were set to play Lafayette in the Class II volleyball playoffs. Even with two wins over Lafayette under their belt, and the match at home, Ross knew it was going to be tough for her team to beat the Lady Commodores a third time this season. Ross even told LHS coach Clint Jordan last week that she was nervous meeting up again because it is so hard to win a third time in a season, and because the Lady Commodores would be that much better than the previous two meetings. “Clint had them better prepared than they were a week and a half ago. He's always going to have them ready,” said Ross, who was also without her best hitter, senior Maggee Hobson. “It's not like we haven't mixed up our rotations every single game, but not having Maggee, who is our most consistent hitter, gave me butterflies.”

Oxford is moving on to face Corinth in the next round of the playoffs because of its depth. Jordan Freeze stepped in for Hobson on the outside, and played well, Ross felt. “I don't think that it's her comfort zone. I think she is good to be once or twice in a rotation kind of thing. I think she is more comfortable on the right side,” Ross said. “She played great defense. I was proud of her there. You got to have defense.” Ragan Freeze, Oxford's libero, knew how tough it would be to top the Lady Commodores one more time. Similar to Ross, Ragan Freeze felt more anxious than anything else about the meeting. “We just built up a lot of momentum. We were ready to go out and play. It was also a little nerves because one of our coaches told it is hard to beat someone three times in a row,” she said. “We definitely knew Lafayette was going to be ready to play us.” Ragan Freeze added that it was a challenge to not have Hobson available in the match. During practice on Monday, things were geared


Oxford's McLain Hill serves the ball during Tuesday's Class II playoff match with Lafayette. The Lady Chargers advanced with a 3-1 win. to not having Hobson in the rotation, just to make sure they had a dry run for LHS. “We depend on her a lot, so winning without her shows us what we can do,” she said. “We all want a ring

really bad and we're ready to go.” Jordan has said all season that Oxford was the best team in the north, but that didn't deter him from pumping up his team for the

encounter. “The biggest thing I played up for them was that we weren't competitive the first time and we didn't want to go out like that again,” Jordan said. “Our girls took it as a challenge and I couldn't have been more proud of how we played. We won a set and we had an opportunity in set two. We were tied at 16 and they made some plays that kept us from winning that set. We were in the right spots and our game plan, I think, was spot on and our girls executed it well. Oxford had just a little too much. They really did.” The 3-1 win over Lafayette improved the Lady Chargers to 28-7 overall. Since the end of August, Oxford has only lost three times. Oxford lost to Corinth last season in the playoffs, so Saturday's meeting should be a good one. Jordan felt like the thing that Oxford does well is the ability to take away a kill. “What I mean by that is you get up, you take a swing and you think you have one but no, you don't. They serve it well, they hit it well but to me their strength is their back row play. They keep

balls up,” Jordan said. “They keep every point tough and that wears us down and I know it does a lot teams. That inability to get that point because one of those girls is on the floor, picking it up. That's tough.” Moving forward (subhead) With the season now complete, Jordan felt like his program continued to take steps. “From day one, to day 100, whatever we're on, I couldn't imagine improving to this point. We just gave one of the top two or three teams in the state a run for their money. We made them earn it,” Jordan said. “The first time we played, they didn't have to earn it. We kind of gave it away. So I couldn't be more proud of where we've come from. I couldn't be more proud of what these seniors did to set us moving forward. I hope our seniors next year remember how kind and positive these seniors were.” The Lady Chargers will host Corinth in the next round Saturday at 4 p.m. Twitter: @oxfordcitizenjd

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be in an off-the-field position, and to learn from him in recruiting and the FROM 12 things that I watched him recruiter who knew every- do and how persistent he body there. When I left was, and how he did his there, I told him to conthings with great passion. I tinue to work and that he learned a lot from him and would probably be the I am very indebted for the next head coach there. I'm opportunity and the time I glad that he is the head had and the opportunities coach there. He and I have he gave me. I really don’t a good relationship and I know my career does what wish him the best.” it does without the opporFreeze was nothing but tunity that he gave me. classy in his depiction of The opportunities that he Orgeron and what he's has had at USC and then been able to do at LSU, or here, I think he has apeven when he was the inproached it differently. terim coach at Southern When I talked to him now Cal a few seasons back. In- he seems a bit different debted was the word about his approach and I Freeze used more than think it is working for him. once when he talked about It was no surprise that the Orgeron during his press kids are playing well under conference at the start of him right now.” the week. Orgeron is persistent “We spoke last week ac- and a very passionate tually about some things about his job. His goal is to be named to the full-time that were going on and successor to Les Miles, and everyone comes up with to sign a long-term contheir own opinions, but I tract. In order for that to am so indebted to coach happen for Orgeron, he's Orgeron. I have great regoing to have to defeat the spect for him and everything that he has meant to Rebels. Wins over Missouri and Southern Miss are my career,” Freeze said. nice, but Tiger fans want “He gave me an opportunity just to come here and wins over the big boys in



It doesn't appear that Alabama will lose this year, but an LSU team on a roll means a whole lot more to perk up for. The Rebels can cut the feel good story of an Orgeron return to glory in two with a win Saturday night. Even with both coaches showing respect to one another, there is no love lost between the programs. There never has been and this year's side story only spices things up. It will be a battle of wills, and a battle of styles, Saturday night. The Rebels are going to have to play the best they have all season. They need to be clean in order LSU ATHLETICS to come out of this one Former Ole Miss head football coach Ed Orgeron is 2-0 as the interim coach of LSU. He will with a win. LSU has a lot of talent, and they seem to be face his old team Saturday night. playing together well as a team. Even if Missouri and LSU. Both teams may be at something that is often the SEC West. Ole Miss Southern Miss aren't hard to stop, a losing qualifies as Orgeron's first the bottom of the rankranked foes, the offensive streak. LSU, like Ole Miss, ings, but this meeting in big game. Florida would isn't in a position to play in output for the Tigers has have been the first big test Death Valley is critical, for been impressive. the college football playboth programs. until Hurricane Matthew, In a series with so many offs, but Orgeron can go a The 3-3 Rebels are reeland the SEC, decided to long way to making an im- great games between the ing after Arkansas. There take over. two, the 105th meeting pression with a win over The nation may be con- are some already bracing may go down as one of the his former employer. for the sting of a 7-5 seacentrating on No. 6 Texas most memorable. Three wins in a row, with son. A loss Saturday night A&M at No. 1 Alabama on for the Rebels not only gets an off week before AlSaturday, but there really abama, makes that closer to that mark, it will isn't another game any matchup more intriguing. be the continuation of bigger than Ole Miss at Twitter: @oxfordcitizenjd





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