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JMake's 10 Takes Coming In Hot: Week 7



Pictured: Lights and speaker at Carter Field in Vardaman, Mississippi,

the home of the Vardaman Rams. | Photo by John M. Gillespie

I want to emphasize how much I hate rain on Thursday and Friday nights.

Last week saw MORE GAMES POSTPONED DUE TO THE WEATHER, and we may be looking at some sloppy conditions this week, as well.

Current mood:


NEVERTHELESS, we shall play football this week, and Mother Nature may be able to dampen our fields, but they can't dampen our spirits. Let's take a look at TEN HOT TAKES for this weekend's high school football action.

1. Calhoun City beats Philadelphia by at least two scores.

This game had a lot of hype surrounding it coming into the season. Thursday night, two perennial powerhouses, The Boneyard. What's not to like?

Since that time, Philly has gone 4-2 and has lost its head coach in one of the most interesting stories of the season to this point. Calhoun City sits at 3-3 after dropping some close games to schools in higher classifications.

There are a lot of things that make me like Calhoun City in tonight's game. For one thing, it's super difficult to win in The Boneyard. I think the crowd will be rowdy tonight, and it could get in the Tornadoes' heads. I also just think the Wildcats are a more talented team than Philadelphia. Last year's matchup between these two in the playoffs was a close affair, but I expect this one to go differently.

2. No. 10 Louisville demolishes struggling New Hope.

The Louisville Fighting Robby Donohos (or Wildcats. Whichever nickname you prefer) made their way into the SES Top 10 this week, and I've been high on this team since the season started. New Hope is sitting at 0-6, and 2018 just hasn't been kind to the Trojans this year. I'm afraid that insult is added to injury on Friday as Louisville handles New Hope without much trouble. I look for around a three-score deficit.

3. Oxford falls to South Panola at home.

I think this one is close on Friday.

I like how Oxford has risen to challenges they've faced this season, but South Panola has faced a tough schedule as well. Although the Tigers are sitting at 2-4, I think they squeak this one out in the 4th quarter as fatigue sets in.

South Panola 28, Oxford 21.

4. Okolona runs over Smithville.

Smithville's days as the best team in Region 1-1A are in the past.

Since Okolona joined the 1A ranks last season, the Chieftains have clearly been the class of their region and even north half in general. Okolona is extremely talented, as is Smithville, but Okolona is too fast and too physical. I like Smithville to secure the second seed in this region heading into the playoffs, but I don't think anyone in 1-1A will be able to hold a candle to the Chieftains.

Okolona by 14.

5. No. 5 Green Wave wash over Center Hill.

I love puns, and I made one with the title of this Take.

Anyway, back to business. West Point edged out a talented Lafayette team last week and solidified their place as the favorite in 5A North. I believe that Lafayette was the last real threat on West Point's schedule. I think that the Wave make it to the playoffs with their only blemish being a loss to top-ranked Starkville as they aim for another state title.

6. Myrtle improves to 6-1 with (another) win over Hickory Flat.

Myrtle: *starts first season of varsity football in school history*

Myrtle: *beats every team in its path*

The Myrtle Hawks are one of the feel-good stories of the 2018 season. Former Vardaman Head Coach Justin Hollis has the Hawks looking good in their first season of varsity football as his squad sits at 5-1 coming into this week, winning each of their last five games. One of those five came against Hickory Flat two weeks ago to the tune of a 41-14 final. Playing teams more than once in a season is common for programs in the early stages of their history, and I think that Myrtle picks up its second win over the Rebels this season on Friday.

7. Bruce squeaks past East Union on homecoming.

Friday night is homecoming for the Bruce Trojans, and there's always a little extra pressure to play well on this special occasion. With that being said, I think Bruce is due for a marquee win. The Trojans are better than they have been the last few seasons, and I think they use that energy from homecoming, rise to the challenge and knock off the Urchins. East Union played South Pontotoc closer than Bruce did, but this is a new week and a new matchup. Bruce 42, East Union 36 with a wild finish in Trojan Town.

8. No. 7 Oak Grove topples Petal.

When you look at the records of these two squads, you might expect a blowout in favor of the Warriors. Oak Grove sits at 4-1 while Petal has the inverse at 1-4. When I actually look at the numbers, however, I expect this one to be interesting. Petal is a proud program, and they'll be looking to pick up a big win and revive their season on Friday. Even with that, I don't think it's enough, however. I like Oak Grove to pull away in the fourth quarter with a touchdown or two and seal the deal.

9. Taylorsville stays undefeated against Bay Springs.

BAY SPRINGS. TAYLORSVILLE. THURSDAY NIGHT. 2A FOOTBALL.

If you can't tell, I'm excited for this one. Bay Springs appears to be #back and in contention for a playoff push after making it to the state title in 2016. Even though the Bulldogs are playing at a high level, Taylorsville is the best team in 2A, and I'm willing to die upon that hill. Ty Keyes is a special talent, and the Tartars are in good hands with him at signal caller. Taylorsville moves to 7-0 this week.

10. A hot dog is not a sandwich.

Okay, I know that this isn't football-related, but the SES crew has torn itself apart on this debate today. I would like to lay out a definition of a sandwich:

Meat or some food substance between two pieces of bread. A half-sandwich is acceptable if it's on loaf bread, but other than that, nothing else is a sandwich.

A hot dog is not a sandwich because a burrito is not a sandwich. A hot dog bun is made out of bread, but it is sliced in a specific way in which the hot dog fits inside the bread. Not in-between. Therefore, not a sandwich. Please blow my Twitter mentions up because of this.

Guest Take: Walker Bailey

The kid joins us this week on Takes. I'm excited about what Walker can bring to SES, and I believe he has a bright future in this career. Let's see what Walker has to say about Oxford and South Panola this week.

Walker: South Panola beats Oxford by two scores. This Oxford bunch has surprised some people by getting to 4-1, but one issue they’ve had is stopping the run. South Panola has had a rough start, but they get back on track with a huge night from Janari Dean, and the defense keeping Oxford in single digits.

#JMakesHotTakes #JohnMaconGillespie

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