20 years and Tide not Dandy yet

Published 12:31 am Sunday, August 10, 2008

For twenty years, The Clarion-Ledger newspaper of Jackson has selected a prestigious Dandy Dozen list that identifies what are supposed to be the best 12 players in the state of Mississippi before that particular season kicks off.

And for 20 years now, Picayune still has never had a player picked in that selection process.

The newspaper celebrated its two decade anniversary recently, and once again the Maroon Tide wasn’t represented.

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Picayune is without a doubt one of the most successful football teams in the state over that period to never have had a player picked.

“It does seem a little strange doesn’t it,” Clarion-Ledger prep guru Todd Kelly said. “I mean as good as they have been, you would just assume that someone over the years would have been selected.”

Kelly has been involved in some form or fashion in the selection process of just about every Dandy Dozen. He said that several Picayune players have been very close to being named to the team.

“I know that Mit (Cole) was right there on the verge, and there was talk the past two years about Albert (Richard) and (Jonathan) Billups. And I remember back a few years that Nick Woodson was heavily considered.”

The list is compiled by the Ledger’s staff writers after careful consultation with college coaches and scouts.

“It’s a different situation every year,” Kelly added. “But it is kind of surprising when you look at it over the years and they’ve never had one as good as Picayune has been.”

Veteran Picayune head coach Dodd Lee said it’s not something his team is really concerned with. “That’s not something we can control so we really don’t worry about it,” Lee, whose team has over 100 wins in the past dozen years alone, said. “I mean it is a well respected thing and it would be nice for one of our kids to get that type of recognition, but we aren’t losing any sleep over it.”

Over the years, Pearl River Central’s Bobby Thaxton is still the only player from Pearl River County selected, as the Blue Devil quarterback and son of longtime PRC head coach Curtis Thaxton was named to the 1991 team.

Hancock’s Terrence Goff, is the only player in the 20 year history ever selected twice to the Dandy Dozen, as the running back was picked in 1990 and 1991.