Collins Tigers win second straight state title


The Collins Tigers traveled to Oxford on Saturday to compete in the 3A Mississippi State Championship against Charleston. In the rematch of last year’s 3A final, Collins led for only 17 seconds, but those 17 seconds proved to be enough as Collins came out on top 34-32 and repeated as State Champions for the second time.

Charleston got on top early and kept the lead through most of all four quarters. With 6:56 left in the first quarter, Charleston took the lead on a 12 yard run. The conversion failed, but Charleston led 6-0. At the 4:22 mark in the first quarter, Charleston added a 2 yard TD run to extend their lead to 12-0. Detric Hawthorn scrambled into the end zone with 32 seconds left in the first quarter to close the gap to 12-6.The second quarter belonged to Charleston. At the 8:56 mark in the second, Charleston scored on a 15 yard run to extend the lead to 18-6, Charleston. With 29 seconds left in the half, Charleston scored again on a 17 yard TD run and took a 26-6 lead into the locker room over the return state champion Collins Tigers.

Both teams returned to play the third quarter with defense on their mind. Each team had a pair of turnovers in the quarter, but no touchdowns were scored. The Third quarter ended as it began, 26-6 Charleston.

The “heart attack kids” went to work early in the fourth quarter. With 11:30 left in the game, Hawthorn hooked up with Calvin Keys for a 19 yard TD pass. Hawthorn added the conversion to close the score to 26-14, Charleston. At the 8:56 mark, Hawthorn scrambled into the end zone for another Tiger score. The conversion failed, but the score was now 26-20, Charleston. Collins tied the game with 3:52 left in the regulation on a one yard score. The conversion failed, but the score was now tied at 26 all.

Charleston took most of the time on the clock to drive the length of the field and score with 28 seconds remaining. The conversion failed and with only 28 seconds, the Tigers were down 32-26. Charleston set up for a “squib” kick to avoid a long return, but Keys had other thoughts as he fielded the low kicked ball at his own 25 yard line and returned it 75 yards for the tying score. The conversion followed and Hawthorne hooked up with his brother Derrick Hawthorn in the front corner of the far end zone to score the winning points with 15 seconds remaining.

This year the Tigers dedicated their season to a fallen team member, Jabari Goudy, who passed away in July. The team wore his number, 66, on their helmets and their sleeves. Each of these thoughts was heart-warming, but none more than the final score of the game. Collins scored 34 and Charleston 32, and that total makes 66, which can be seen on every Tiger uniform representing the memory of Goudy.
The top performers for the Tigers were Hawthorn with 198 passing yards, 48 rushing yards, and 3 touchdowns, and Keys with 96 receiving yards and 2 TDs.

The Tigers had 198 passing yards and 112 rushing yards for 310 offensive yards.

Collins finished the season 15-1 with their only loss being to Hattiesburg High. For the second time in just over 10 years, the Tigers took home the 3A State Championship trophy.

Collins Tigers win 3A South State Championship, head to Oxford for state title

The Collins Tigers repeated as 3A South State Champions on Friday by overpowering the West Marion Trojans, 40-36.
Collins got their first score on a 15 yard run by Detric Hawthorn early in the first quarter. Timothy Durr added the conversion for Collins to go up 8-0. After a West Marion punt, Hawthorn hooked up with Dorrean McLaurin for a 65 yard pass completion for a touchdown. Hawthorn rushed for the conversion and the Tigers led 16-0 through the end of the first quarter.
Rakerian Forrest put the Tigers back on the board early in the second quarter with a 12 yard TD run. Forrest added the conversion and the defending state champions held a 24-0 lead. West Marion finally scored in the second quarter, but the Tigers answered right back with a 10 yard TD run by Durr. Durr added the conversion and the score stood at 32-6, Tigers. The Trojans added one more score before the half to close the score to 32-14 at the half.
On the opening drive of the third quarter, the Trojans completed a long pass for score and the Tiger lead was cut to 32-22. Early in the fourth quarter, the Trojans once again found a way to score and the lead was now 32-28, Tigers. Late in the fourth quarter, the Trojans overtook the lead 36-32, but the Tiger offense revived their spirit and put together one more scoring drive, which culminated in a one yard touchdown by Hawthorn. The conversion was good and the lead was now 40-36. That was as close as the game would get, though, and the Tigers earned the right to return to the 3A State Championship game on Saturday, December 5.
The top performer for the Tigers was Hawthorn with 210 yards passing, 158 yards rushing, and 3 touchdowns.
Collins finished the night with 257 rushing yards and 210 passing yards for 467 yards of offense.
The Tigers (14-1) will play Charleston (13-2) at 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 5, for the 3A title game on the campus of the University of Mississippi.

Christmas in Collins to be held December 11

Participating merchants along Main Street in Collins will host Christmas in Collins on Friday, December 11 beginning at 5 p.m. Retailers will have extended hours for holiday shopping and dining.  There will be plenty of activities for the children including visits with Santa Claus, live music, games and more.
Those attending are encouraged to pick up a punch card at any of the retailers and have it punched by each of the participating retailers.  Once all locations on the card have been punched, drop it off in the bucket at Christmas in the Park at Bettie C. Robertson Park in Collins to be entered to win a sleigh full of prizes valued at $500.  The drawing for the sleigh will take place on Monday, December 14 at City Hall and the winner will be notified.

Light Up! Covington contest registration going on now

It’s time to “Light Up! Covington County” with the Covington County Chamber of Commerce’s annual Christmas decorating contest. Registration for the light display contest is going on now.  Form can be picked up at City Halls in Collins, Seminary and Mount Olive.
Participants are invited to choose a decorating theme of their own choice, and will be entered for a chance to win $100 cash.  A winner will be chosen from each town.
The deadline to register for the contest is Monday, December 7, and judging will take place on Thursday, December 10. Previous winners are invited to decorate for the holidays, but will not be judged.
For more information, please call the Covington County Chamber of Commerce at 601-765-6012.

City holds Grand Opening for Senior Citizens Center

The City of Collins will host a Grand Opening for the Senior Citizens Center on Friday, November 20 from 10-11:30 a.m.

The facility, located behind the Collins Community Center will be open to senior adults and will serve meals daily.  Activities that will be going on at the center for seniors include quilting, exercise, dominoes and others.

“This is a great place for our residents to be able to get together and visit,” said Mayor V.O. Smith.  “They will enjoy lots of activities each week.”

The public is invited to the Grand Opening.  Special acknowledgements will be made at 10:30 a.m. and light refreshments will be served.

Residents unite in support of Christmas in the Park

Main Street in Collins was packed with residents and neighbors from nearby communities who came to show their overwhelming support for Mayor V.O. Smith and the Collins Board of Aldermen.

The group gathered outside City Hall at the board’s regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, November 3 to support the “Christmas in the Park” light display after the city received a letter from the Madison, Wisconsin, based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) regarding the display.  The complaint, made by an unnamed local resident, sparked the FFRF to demand that the city immediately remove all religious displays from the Bettie C. Robertson Memorial Park because they are an endorsement of Christianity by the City of Collins.

The Mayor, Aldermen and City Attorney are investigating the facts and the law concerning said demand to determine the course of action to be taken by the City in response.

“Christmas in the Park” will continue this holiday season.

Chamber to host Political Forum on October 20

The Covington County Chamber of Commerce and the Covington County Extension Executive Advisory Council will host a political forum on Tuesday, October 20.
This forum is designed to help voters be better informed about the candidates and their platforms before the General Election held on Tuesday, November 3.
The political forum will be held at the Covington County Courthouse at 6 p.m. upstairs in the courtroom.
The forum will be moderated by Mitch Stennett, past president of the Economic Development Authority of Jones County.
All are invited to attend.

CPD adds first female, African American officer

Chief Joey Ponder announced that the City of Collins has hired the first female, African American police officer in the department’s history.  Officer Angelique Duncan was hired by the department in September and is currently enrolled in the 11-week course at the Southern Regional Public Safety Institute at Camp Shelby to become a certified police officer with the Collins Police Department.

“We are thrilled to have Angelique joining our department,” said Ponder.  “She will do a great job for the City of Collins.”