By Curtis Rockwell, Sports Editor
The Picayune Item
Pearl River Central’s appeal to overturn their new region assignment was denied with an 11-1 vote by a Mississippi High School Activities Association appeals committee Tuesday morning.
“The decision is disappointing,” PRC head football coach Eric Collins said. “It speaks volumes about the men making this decision, because they obviously don’t want to do what’s in the best interests of the athletes at Pearl River Central. Voting for our appeal would have meant they would have had to work a little harder to find a solution, and obviously they didn’t want to do that.”
With the decision, PRC will remain in Region 3-5A for football. The ruling also set the football schedules for next season for all three teams in Pearl River County.
Despite Picayune remaining in Region 4-5A, PRC and Picayune will still play in football and the Blue Devils will also face Poplarville again for the first time in several seasons.
PRC will begin the season in the Shrimp Bowl Classic against either Gulfport or Biloxi on Saturday, Aug. 24th. The Blue Devils then travel to Poplarvile on the 30th, and travel to Oak Grove on Sept. 6th before hosting Picayune on the 13th.
After an open week, PRC begins region ply hosting West Jones and then travels to South Jones. A home date follows against Laurel, followed by consecutive road games at Wayne County and Jackson Wingfield. The regular season ends with home games against Natchez and Brookhaven.
For Picayune, the Maroon Tide is open at this point in the first week. Head coach Dodd Lee said he hasn’t closed the door on finding an opponent that week, but is not sure one will surface.
The Maroon Tide opens the season on Saturday, Aug. 31st at Petal, and then hosts D’Iberville on Sept. 6th and travels to Carriere on the 13th.
After an open date, which they share with PRC, Picayune begins region play hosting Gautier on Sept. 27th before consecutive road games at Long Beach and Pascagoula. A home game with George County follows, before back-to-back road games against West Harrison and East Central. The regular season concludes with a home game against Stone County on Nov. 8th.
Poplarville opens the season on the road at Raleigh on Aug. 23rd, and then faces PRC. Consecutive road games against Long Beach and Stone County follow, before the Hornets host Heidelberg on Aug. 20th.
An open week follows, before the Hornets begin Region 8-4A play hosting Moss Point on Oct. 4th. A trip to Pass Christian follows, and then a home date with St. Stanislaus. A trip to Bay High is next, and the regular season wraps up with a home game against Vancleave on Nov. 1st.
All three prep football teams in Pearl River County made ths state football playoffs last year. It was only the second time in history since a state-wide playoff system was implemented that that happened.