Champs to ride in parade, some for second time

Published 3:57 pm Thursday, December 8, 2011

In 2003 the Picayune Youth Athletic Assoc. city football champions almost predicted to the exact year the senior class that would land Picayune the Class 5A State Championship.

It happened like this.

A group of former PYAA football team champions are scratching their heads after one of their mothers discovered a float they rode on when they were in the 2003 Picayune Christmas Parade that almost predicted the exact year — it missed by only one year — that they’d win the State Championship when they were seniors.

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Page Stockstill was looking for the remnants of an old float that the PYAA champs used in the 2003 Christmas parade to use as a foundation for a float that the 2011 State Champion Maroon Tide football team will ride on in tonight’s Christmas Parade, which starts at 6.

She dug out the remnants of the float in an old barn, and on a big sign on the float was written, “Dreams Really Do Come True, Future Seniors, State Champs 2013. The float won the Presidents Special Award that year.

That group of PYAA players, most of whom are now Maroon Tide juniors, would actually be the class of 2013 seniors. This year’s state champion seniors are the class of 2012.

So, they missed by one year in predicting which senior class would lead the Tide to the State 5A championship. A repeat is possible, right? They’ve still got a chance to be exactly accurate.

In tonight’s parade the 2011 edition of the Tide, the Class 5A champs, will all be on the lead float, and Coach Dodd Lee will be in front of them in a convertible holding the State Championship Trophy for all to see. Upwards of 10,000 people are expected to view the parade.

“We know it’s off a year, but it is eerie to see something like this happen. Who knows, maybe the Tide will have back-to-back state championships. Wouldn’t that be something?” Stockstill said.

The roster of that 2003 seventh grade team that won the PYAA championship includes players on of the State Champion Tide team that beat Starkville 38-21 on Saturday at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson.

Page Stockstill’s son, Grey Stockstill, is on the Tide team and was on that 2003 PYAA team as well as Tide QB Benjamin Hickman.