SMITH COLUMN: Football season was successful for many teams
There were no losers during the high school football season.
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Six of the seven teams in our coverage area made the playoffs and two of them went all of the way to state championship games.
It was banner years for the Starkville High School Yellowjackets and Starkville Academy Volunteers as they both played for state crowns.
Starkville's Jamie Mitchell and Starkville Academy's Jeff Terrill may have been recognized as the Starkville Daily News Coaches of the Year and Gabe Myles, the quarterback of the Yellowjackets, was picked as the SDN Player of the Year, but it was a tough to single out one or two people after the results of this season.
The coach of the year was more than a one-, two- or even three-man race for much of the year.
There's no way to ignore the job that Adam Dillinger did at Ackerman. He turned around a squad that was 1-10 the previous year that finished 10-4 and made the third round of the playoffs. The Indians lost to eventual Class 2A state champion West Bolivar.
West Oktibbeha, East Webster and Eupora also reached the postseason this year.
Ackerman was not the only area team that was eliminated by West Bolivar as the East Webster Wolverines lost to the same opponent in the first round of the Class 2A playoffs.
Coach Doug Wilson did an excellent job in his first season with the Wolverines. East Webster had a young and inexperienced team from the season before, but found a way to finish with five wins and into the playoffs.
The Wolverines should be in a position to have a very good campaign in 2012.
The West Oktibbeha Timberwolves completed the regular season with a record of 7-5 under the leadership of coach Adam Lowrey and made the Class A postseason. Even though West Oktibbeha's season ended sooner than it wanted with a loss to Cathedral in the first round, it was still a good season for the Timberwolves as quarterback Von Smith put up more impressive offensive numbers.
As far as the Eupora Eagles, there were high expectations going into the campaign. It may not have been the type of finish the Eagles expected, but coach Junior Graham and his staff did a quality job dealing with injuries and getting the team into the playoffs. Eupora lost in the opening round to South Delta and concluded with a winning season at 6-5.
The East Oktibbeha Titans were the only squad not to make the playoffs, but had some good wins over Sebastapol, West Lowndes and Ethel in Class A, Region 2, District 4. The Titans struggled down the stretch and their record was 5-6.
East Oktibbeha has a chance to bounce back strong next season and there's reason to believe that Starkville, Starkville Academy, West Oktibbeha, East Webster, Ackerman and Eupora will be good once again.
There's a chance the fun and excitement of last season will be duplicated in 2012.
Danny P. Smith is sports editor and columnist for the Starkville Daily News. The opinions in this column are his and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Daily News or its staff.