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Gentlemen, Welcome To Blue Mountain, Mississippi

Posted by Ryne E. Hancock on December 4, 2007

Doc’s Note: This is the latest in a series of columns on sports at Crichton. These columns will appear regularly until the end of the school year.

One of the joys of being a student manager of a small school like Crichton is the fact that you get a chance to take trips to small cities that you never heard of.

Instead of heading to places like Louisville, Bowling Green, in Kentucky, and other mid-major and major cities here in the South, I get a chance to take trips to one-light towns like Mayfield, Kentucky and Waleska, Georgia.

Not to mention Blue Mountain, Mississippi.

“It’s a one-light town,” my friend Beth said to me during class when I told her about my planned trip to the city with the basketball team on Thursday, “there’s nothing for miles.”

And after doing research between papers and presentations, I found out that my friend was right about the city.

Located 66 miles away from Memphis, Blue Mountain, Mississippi is located in the middle of Tippah County, Mississippi.

“You’re doing nothing but going around the corner,” I was told by a friend in the student center.

The city, according to the latest census, has only 670 residents, which is a third of my alma mater (Whitehaven High School), which had 1,903 students when I graduated from there in 2003.

This year is the first year that the local college, Blue Mountain College, formerly a women’s college until 2005, will field a men’s basketball team after joining the NAIA.

“Sounds like a reform school for boys,” I said to Coach Sanders before a practice, “it’s in a place that no one in Memphis can place on a map.”

“It’s not,” Coach Sanders said to me, “and you know that because we talked about it in class.”

According to what I was reading on Wikipedia, the city is very diverse and has a large female population.

No duh, it used to be a women’s college.

On Thursday night, the Toppers faced Southern Miss in an exhibition game at Reed Green Coliseum where they would lose in a convincing fashion by the score of 112 to 75 dropping them to 0-8 in their first season of basketball.

But there were some signs of life as Brandon Cooks, a freshman, slammed home a basket with authority in the opening minutes of the game for the Toppers and. although the Toppers were mismatched on paper, they still didn’t let the presence of the Golden Eagles intimidate them.

Since then, the Toppers have played another Hattiesburg school in William Carey and had a road game against Spring Hill in Mobile, giving them the game situation advantage over Crichton, who has played only one game since returning from Thanksgiving Break.

Come Thursday night, when the Comets face off against the Toppers, a mostly female population will be watching.

Even my possibly future wife.

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