Female Kickers from Ocean Springs will Blow Your Mind

IMG_2334-300x225 Female Kickers from Ocean Springs will Blow Your MindOthers might think having two female kickers on the football team is strange, but to Ocean Springs coaches and teammates, its just not a big deal. The two soccer-players-turned-football-kickers are Kaylee Foster, a senior, and Sydney Johnson, a freshman.  To the outside world, having female kickers makes a statement that “our ladies take athletics seriously,” Coach Ryan Ross said.

But to the team, “they’re just part of us, and we don’t look at them any differently,” he said.  “We look at them like athletes who contribute to our team.”

Both ladies have been kicking since the seventh grade and say the community has been overwhelmingly supportive of their time on the field. Foster, who plans to play soccer for Mississippi College, said it’s going to be hard to leave her teammates. “I’ve been doing this for so long and to think it’s going to be over in a few months is sad,” she said. “It was a little scary at first, but all of the guys have been welcoming. I don’t have a brother, but now I have 99 brothers.”

When she’s gone, “I just want them to remember that I worked really hard,” Foster said. “I got this spot not because I’m a girl, but because I worked really hard.” Johnson said she enjoys kicking because she gets to make new friends, and she’s thankful for the path Kaylee has helped pave for female kickers. “Now I get the same respect she did,” said Johnson, who has a brother on the team. “There’s a few people who think, ‘Oh my God! It’s a girl kicker!’ but really it’s pretty normal. It’s great.” Johnson appreciates good competition, she said, “and obviously Kaylee is a very good kicker.”IMG_2334-300x225 Female Kickers from Ocean Springs will Blow Your Mind

Coach Ross said having a stellar soccer program helps groom the girls for kicking. “Kicking is in their blood,” he said.  “They go above and beyond. It’s good for them, and it’s good for us.” Even though Johnson and Foster aren’t viewed as a novelty by the team, Ross admits, “it’s a big deal when you sit back and look at it.”

Cheerleader Chloe Kirby said having female kickers helps get the crowd pumped up, but the ladies represent much more than that. “The fact that there are two female kickers is an empowerment to women in general,” Kirby said.  “It sets an idea in other little girls’ heads that maybe I want to be a kicker when I grow up. I think it’s a hard task to find female kickers in general, but if you have them it sets you apart as a school that embraces females in athletics.” The cheerleaders even have a special cheer for Kaylee that uses her name, Kirby said. For any females considering a spot in a male-dominated sport, Johnson has some advice: “Just do you. Do what you want to do, and people will respect that.”



Learn more »
Comments Off on Female Kickers from Ocean Springs will Blow Your Mind

Will You be Cruisin’ through the Decades?

blog-post-181-300x225 Will You be Cruisin’ through the Decades?The City of Gautier will host its second annual Cruisin’ through the Decades, an official Cruisin’ the Coast event, on Sept. 30, 2018. The event, held at 2800 Highway 90, will feature live entertainment, car shows, food, and trophies for crowd favorites. The event runs 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Gautier event helps kick off the weeklong Cruisin’ the Coast event. “Last year was an overwhelming success, with nearly 300 vehicles registering and even more showing up to support us,” City Manager Paula Yancey said. “We’re preparing for an even bigger and better event this year, with some amazing entertainment and vendors to help keep the party going.”

The Cruisin’ through the Decades concept comes from celebrating the classic cars, as well as the more modern customized vehicles. All makes, models and years are welcome at the Gautier event. There will be reserved parking and a cruisin’ lane for all cruisers. There will also be multiple People’s Choice awards for cars and motorcycles. The live music lineup will include Derek Norsworthy, Six String Andrew & Band, The Cat Daddyz, Double Dee, and Wayward Jones.

New this year will be an artistic hook. Jackson County artist Robby Amonett will be on site to memorialize the event in acrylics. Attendees will have the opportunity to have their classic cars painted on canvas right before their eyes.  “We’re excited to bring this unique opportunity to cruisers who might like original artwork featuring their beloved cars,” Yancey said. “Robby is a very talented artist who the crowd will enjoy watching work his magic.”

For more information on Gautier’s event, visit www.gautier-ms.gov.

Learn more »
Comments Off on Will You be Cruisin’ through the Decades?

It’s Time: Jackson County High School Football is Here – Football Preview 2018

America has always been a football-crazy country, and within that dynamic, the South takes that passion to another level. There’s no better example of that feel than right here in Jackson County, Mississippi.

So it is that Friday, August 17, is a big day in these parts, as the 2018 high school football season kicks off for all eight of our local teams. Therefore, Jackson County Home feels like a brief preview of each squad is in order. Let’s take a look and see what’s in store for our pigskin warriors (how’d you like that throwback term), starting with 6-A and moving through the classifications (last season’s record noted in parentheses).



C7LV7Zm-300x261 It's Time: Jackson County High School Football is Here - Football Preview 2018Pascagoula (3-8)—The Panthers had their first losing season since 2010 last year, and hope to jump quickly back to their established winning ways. Coach Lewis Sims has a team that is still young, but appears to be very coachable. Slade Mink is scheduled to start at quarterback, and linebacker Brantley Torjusen will be a leader on defense.

“We look forward to the chance to improve upon last year’s campaign, and see the maturation of our players as they take on new roles and responsibilities,” said Coach Sims. “We need more depth, but you will see a team that will prepare well and give maximum effort for four quarters.”


C7LV7Zm-300x261 It's Time: Jackson County High School Football is Here - Football Preview 2018


Ocean Springs (4-7)—Like Pascagoula, the Greyhounds look to rebound from a rare losing season. Coach Ryan Ross has a budding star in quarterback Blake Noblin, with linebacker Mitchell Bowie featured on the other side of the ball.

“We’re excited about the Friday night atmosphere with a new team and new season,” said Coach Ross. “We should have a fast tempo offense, but need to play good team football in all three phases.”


C7LV7Zm-300x261 It's Time: Jackson County High School Football is Here - Football Preview 2018St. Martin (6-6)—The Yellow Jackets of Coach Eddie Wayne Whitehead have had powerful offenses recently, and this season should be no exception. Talented running back Ham McGee and QB Mileon Graham will lead the way.

“We have a big senior class and a lot of returning starters,” said Coach Whitehead. “We should have a great running attack and a solid defense, but must play as a team with no egos.”





C7LV7Zm-300x261 It's Time: Jackson County High School Football is Here - Football Preview 2018Gautier (3-8)—The Gators have a new coach, Marc High. Kameron Kincaid has proven to be a stalwart running back, and the defense will feature Franklin Young at linebacker.

“This will be a new beginning for Gautier High on the field,” said Coach High. “We hope to bring pride and excitement for Gator football.”







C7LV7Zm-300x261 It's Time: Jackson County High School Football is Here - Football Preview 2018Moss Point (3-9)—Coach Eugene Harmon is in his second year as he tries to restore the Tiger program to its once lofty heights. Several candidates have emerged at quarterback, and defensive end Keandre Booker, already committed to Southeast Missouri, will lead the defense.

“We are working toward a rejuvenation of Moss Point football,” said Coach Harmon. “We have a tough non-region schedule, but our summer workouts have been about character-building, so we’ll be ready.”



C7LV7Zm-300x261 It's Time: Jackson County High School Football is Here - Football Preview 2018East Central (13-1)—The Hornets of Coach Seth Smith are coming off the best season in school history, when they made it all the way to the state championship game. The always potent East Central ground attack will be led by running back Cameron Gray, and linebacker Avery White has all-star qualities.

“We’re extremely excited about watching our 2018 team try to work hard and perform at a high level,” said Coach Smith. “We have to replace key offensive linemen from last year, but we hope fans can expect to watch our team play extremely hard every Friday night.”



C7LV7Zm-300x261 It's Time: Jackson County High School Football is Here - Football Preview 2018Vancleave (3-7)—Coach Lavon Capers looks to get the Bulldogs back to playoff contention. C.J. Johnson at running back and Cody Bean at linebacker should help lead the way.

“I’m impressed with the size and speed of our offensive and defensive lines,” said Coach Capers. “Folks can expect a hard working team and coaching staff, and we believe we have the pieces in place to be successful.”







C7LV7Zm-300x261 It's Time: Jackson County High School Football is Here - Football Preview 2018Resurrection Catholic School (7-7)—In just a few short years, Coach Scott Sisson has built the Eagles into a 1-A power. QB Jake Galle should lead the attack on offense, while defensive end Terrence Spivey is a force, recording 15 sacks last year.

“We graduated 15 seniors that went 47-13 during their time here, and they’ll be hard to replace,” said Coach Sisson. “We’ve got a good group coming back, though, and I expect a similar result as last year—a slow start during a tough non-region schedule, then playing well down the stretch.”





With all the Jackson County teams kicking off on the weekend of August 17, there will be plenty of anticipation for each game. No contest, however, holds the impact of the 80th meeting between old rivals Pascagoula and Moss Point. The Panthers lead the storied series 40-36-3, with this year’s Battle of the Cats set for War Memorial Stadium in Pascagoula.

I have gone on record before bemoaning the fact that PHS-MPHS is no longer the traditional regular season-ending game as it once was forever. Several years ago, Mississippi High School Athletic Association rules dictated that only region games be played at the end of each team’s schedule. Since Moss Point had dropped to a lower classification, the Panthers-Tigers game had to be moved. I will say that it was a wise decision by the two schools’ administrations to make it the first game of the year, as being the season opener does keep a bit of the cachet alive. Still, I long for those chilly November Friday nights at  War Memorial or Dantzler Stadium when our crosstown lads went at it before packed houses.


So, here we go: football time in Jackson County, and a great thing it is. Please head out on Fridays and support the team of your choice—they’ll appreciate it and you’ll enjoy it. See you at the stadium.

(Richard Lucas may be contacted at rblucas17@gmail.com.)


Learn more »
Comments Off on It’s Time: Jackson County High School Football is Here – Football Preview 2018

Most Popular Classic Car Show in America Looking for Volunteers

More than 5,100 classic car enthusiasts from 44 states and Canada are pre-registered for the 22nd annual Cruisin’ the Coast, and Jackson County is revving up for a greater showing this year.

“Those are good numbers for us,” Cruisin’ the Coast Executive Director Woody Bailey said. “We’re on track with last year.” Moss Point, Pascagoula, Gautier and Ocean Springs are all bringing back their Cruisin’ events, with a few changes. “Pascagoula is going to be moving to Beach Park for their event, and we think that’s going to be a terrific venue for Cruisin’ the Coast,” Bailey said. “It’s so neat to see the other cities and the county come aboard,” he said. “Moss Point’s event is called Cruisin’ the River City, and it’s become very popular.” Gautier’s event is on Sept. 30, the first Sunday of Cruisin’ the Coast. That event, in its second year, is called Cruisin’ Through the Decades.

“We had a great turnout there last year, and we’re expecting a good turnout this year,” Bailey said of the Gautier event, which takes place on U.S. 90 adjacent to Belk. Pascagoula not only gets a new venue this year, but it also gets an expanded event.“Pascagoula is now going to a three-day stamping venue,” Bailey said. “That’s going to be even more impact for Jackson County.”

The Cruisin’ organization completes an economic impact study every five years. In 2016, it was estimated that the event generated a $26.5 million economic impact in Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties. “A lot of people over here in Jackson County are spending money,” Bailey said.

While the overall Cruisin’ schedule will look very similar to last year’s event, “we’re working to improve it any way we can, and hoping for a good turnout, hopefully good weather,” Bailey said. “It should be a super event for this year,’ he said.

One of the event’s biggest needs is volunteers, Bailey said. Historically, Cruisin’ has relied on car clubs from state line to state line, he said, but the need for volunteers grows each year. “We’re launching a volunteer group called the Cruisin’ Krewe to help direct traffic, help with registration, and do computer work,” he said, noting volunteer information and applications are available online at www.cruisinthecoast.com.

“We’ll try to work with you and place you in a good spot,” he said. “The people of the Gulf Coast are tremendous ambassadors for this event. We want people to come out and support the event and enjoy the event. Bring your kids out, and help us with the event however you think you can.”

Learn more »
Comments Off on Most Popular Classic Car Show in America Looking for Volunteers

Did You Know About This Free Health Clinic in Ocean Springs?

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. – Bethesda Free Health Clinic, from its Ocean Springs home, is offering community members free healthcare, basic dentistry and health education, regardless of residency, insurance or income.

The clinic, at 6912 N. Washington Ave., has proudly served more than 14,000 patients from Jackson County and beyond, Executive Director Mary Buffington said, even from as far away as Japan.

The clinic receives no state or federal funds. “We depend entirely on the community,” Buffington said.

The clinic’s medical unit operates much like an urgent care facility.

“We are never going to be your personal physician,” Buffington said. “We just hold you up until you can either get in to see your physician, or, for the working folks … meet your deductible or copay.”

Since dentistry is such an expensive segment, the clinic is currently only able to offer basic extractions. One local dentist comes in once a week, and another comes in every other week to perform those services.

Another important service is health education.

“Mississippi is number one with diabetes, hypertension and obesity,” Buffington said. “We teach people how their lifestyle affects those diseases. We teach a lifestyle that makes it easier for you to feel better.”

Bethesda received a $20,000 grant from the CVS Health Foundation, in partnership with the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics. That grant supports the work of a nurse educator, who provides patients with information on diabetes, high blood pressure and general health education, including nutrition, exercise and stress management.

The clinic’s mission, Buffington said, is “to keep our community as healthy as possible.”

Bethesda is open Monday-Thursday, with one physician on site every day.

“If you walk in our doors, our goal is for you to be able to see a physician and us help you as much as possible,” Buffington said.

All of the physicians volunteer their time, and the medical director is Dr. Francis Selman, a well-known retired surgeon.  

“We have some very highly qualified physicians,” Buffington said.

She said the clinic is “extremely important” to Jackson County.

The clinic opened in d’Iberville in March 2011 but moved to Jackson County in 2012.

“Ocean Springs has been wonderful to us,” Buffington said. “A lot of our volunteers come from Ocean Springs, and most of our doctors come from Ocean Springs, so it’s been very welcoming, and we can use all support.”

Locals have been helpful to the clinic, but the clinic is returning the favor through its services.

“I think that we are extremely important to the working folks of Jackson County,” Buffington said.  

Monetary donations are always needed at the clinic, as well as volunteers.

Buffington said she can use anyone in the medical field, clerical and administrative help, and just about anyone else.

“Almost any profession, if you’ve got an hour or two, I can use you,” she said.

Learn more »
Comments Off on Did You Know About This Free Health Clinic in Ocean Springs?

You’ll Never Guess What This App Does and SRHS Has It!

Singing River Health System is the first on the Mississippi Coast to adopt new mobile technology that dramatically speeds up communication with first responders and subsequent hospital treatment for emergencies.

The health system has partnered with Pulsara, a communication platform that provides real-time, seamless communication among all providers from first responders to hospital ER staff, physicians and surgeons. During an emergency, clinicians can dynamically create a dedicated patient channel, build and alert their clinical teams, and communicate via messaging, audio clips, images, as well as phone or video calls through their mobile devices, all before the patient even arrives at the hospital.
Pulsara helps reduce time to treatment by sending patient information that normally can’t be relayed over the telephone or radio from the field to the hospital ahead of the patient’s arrival. David Higdon, Emergency Department Manager for Singing River Health System, is already impressed. “Pulsara puts all of us on the same page. For stroke or heart attack patients in the field, first responders can activate the app and give us critical information to get the ball rolling much faster than before. They can transfer EKG images to us in an encrypted format so we can see that info and begin directing treatment” he said.

Pulsara Stop STEMI Case Demonstration from Pulsara on Vimeo.

Higdon notes that the system has already made a tremendous difference: “Just recently one of our patients suffered a heart attack at home and called 911. Before the patient even arrived at Ocean Springs Hospital we had him registered and our Cath Lab team was activated and waiting for him. EMS bypassed the Emergency Room altogether and our Heart Team was able to begin a lifesaving intervention within just 8 minutes.” Patrick Phillips with Acadian Ambulance says that he and his team are excited to use the new technology. “We’re partnering well with Singing River in launching Pulsara. We can begin transmitting information and images from inside a patient’s home, and the more information we can give the hospital team, the sooner we can do that, the better it is for the patient.” Both Acadian and American Medical Response are using Pulsara technology in partnership with Singing River Health System.

To date, Pulsara is in use in 20 states and Australia and is rapidly growing. Since adoption of Pulsara, hospitals are seeing between a 20%-46% decrease in patient treatment times. For more information on Singing River Health System’s Emergency Services Team, see their website at
https://www.singingriverhealthsystem.com/services/emergency-care/. For information on Pulsara, see

Learn more »
Comments Off on You’ll Never Guess What This App Does and SRHS Has It!

First annual River Basin Photography Exhibit showcases local photographers at Pascagoula River Audubon Center

Moss Point, MS (August 16, 2018) – The opening reception of the Pascagoula River Audubon Center’s first annual River Basin Photography Exhibit will be held on Thursday August 16th, from 5-7pm. This free reception is open to the public and offers a first look at the exhibit, an opportunity to meet the photographers, and chance to chat with the volunteer curator and judges. The exhibit will be on display from August 16th through September 8th.

“The River Basin Exhibit gives local hobby and experienced photographers the opportunity to showcase the natural beauty of such an important river, and enter their work in a fine art gallery setting,” said volunteer curator Bill Nelson. “For some of these photographers, this exhibit is the first time their images have been exhibited, let alone offered for sale.”

Unique guidelines steered photographers to focus on natural views and visual gems along the 82 mile long Pascagoula River and its encompassing river basin. Photographers needed to choose their photos wisely, as only five images could be submitted by any photographer and had to be taken within a seven week window during April and May, 2018. A panel of three judges met after the entry deadline to select the top 30 photographs for the exhibit, from a total of 45 submitted photographs between nine photographers.

The opening reception launches the first annual exhibit and hosts photos from photographers that may not have exhibited their works before, giving the opportunity to elevate their artistic reach. Looking ahead to the second annual exhibit in 2019, anyone who takes photos along the Pascagoula River Basin and follows the entry guidelines can submit their photos for review in the exhibit!


Learn more »
Comments Off on First annual River Basin Photography Exhibit showcases local photographers at Pascagoula River Audubon Center

East Central baseball team heads to Cal Ripken World Series

HURLEY, Miss. – Thanks to the community’s support and the athletes’ hard work, the East Central 12-U baseball team is headed to the Cal Ripken World Series in Branson, Missouri this week. 

“When we really come together as a team, it’s gonna be hard to beat us,” Coach Todd Trochessett said of his talented team. 

“We’ve won sub-district, district and state and regionals,” he said. “Here we are going to the World Series, undefeated.”

Coach Stacey Smith said the kids have put in the time and deserve this honor. 

“They worked hard from day one this year,” he said. “Early on, it was 2-3 practices a week and 2-3 hours a night.”

The team will leave for Missouri on Aug. 2, and if they do well, they could be there until Aug. 12, the coaches said. 

Even though the game of baseball “has ups and downs,” Trochessett said, his team is always eager to get out on the field. 

“It’s all fun, and they love it,” he said. “Every ballgame they’re excited and having a good time. Why not, it’s a sport. It’s a game.”

Terry Crow, who has been a Mississippi district commissioner for five years and in the Vancleave community for 20 years, said he’s gotten to know this group of athletes really well. 

“I couldn’t be prouder of what I’ve seen,” he said. “These kids are all about hometown pride. It’s, ‘Go EC!’ and ‘Yes, sir!’ all the time.” 

The team is full of “awesome, fantastic people” who display “great sportsmanship,” Crow said. 

It’s not just the team that shows East Central pride, the coaches say. The feeling is mutual, and the community shows support right back to the kids. 

“The community is unbelievable,” Smith said. “They’ve been overwhelming with their support.” 

Facebook support has “blown up,” Trochessett said, and the community has been generous in donating funds to help pay for hotel rooms and transportation. 

The coaches, who both work at the Chevron refinery in Pascagoula, said their coworkers and the community at large ask about the team everywhere they go. 

“This community is a great place to be because they love these kids,” Trochessett said. 

Crow said it’s easy for a community to rally around a great group of kids. 

“If you’ve never came to a youth baseball game, come to East Central,” he said. “You’ll be hooked for life. These kids deserve all of our recognition.”

Crow says the team’s success is due in part to a group of coaches who “eat, live and breathe baseball” and teach the youth excellent fundamentals.

“All the coaching is pretty much done at practice,” Trochessett said.

Then it’s all on the team.  

“When it comes down to the game, their athleticism takes over,” he said. “They’ve all got their talents.”

The World Series games will be streamed online, Crow said, and they can be accessed through the Missouri branch of Cal Ripken baseball.

Learn more »
Comments Off on East Central baseball team heads to Cal Ripken World Series

Red Cross to Hold Sound the Alarm Event in Pascagoula To Help Reduce Home Fire Deaths, Injuries

american-red-cross-logo Red Cross to Hold Sound the Alarm Event in Pascagoula To Help Reduce Home Fire Deaths, Injuries

The American Red Cross will be holding a Sound the Alarm event in Pascagoula, part of the nationwide Red Cross effort to help reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by home fires.

WHAT: The American Red Cross of Southeast Mississippi, is holding a Sound the Alarm home fire safety and smoke alarm installation event. Red Cross, Chevron volunteers and the firefighters with the Pascagoula Fire Department will be canvassing the neighborhood, installing free smoke alarms, replacing batteries in existing alarms and helping families create escape plans.

WHERE: Bayou Casotte Fire Station located at 3616 Scovel Ave. Pascagoula, MS

WHEN: July 27, 2018 from 8:00 am – 11:00 am

WHO: Volunteers from Chevron/ARC/Pascagoula fire department and the Public are welcome  

Red Cross representatives will be joined by Sound the Alarm participants to provide details about the home fire safety and smoke alarm installation event in the Bayou Casotte community.. Details will also be provided on the progress of the nationwide Red Cross Home Fire Campaign.

Following this event, free smoke alarm installations will take place until all identified needs have been met by the American Red Cross volunteer teams installing 10-year lithium battery powered smoke alarms.         

MEDIA CONTACT: Amy Brandenstein, Chevron bamy@chevron.com, or John McFarland American Red Cross john.mcfarland@redcross.org.

The Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters a year, the majority of which are home fires. Working smoke alarms in a home cut the risk of death by half, and having an escape plan further improves the odds of survival. The Red Cross wants to end these tragedies and save lives, that’s why we launched the Home Fire Campaign in 2014.

Across the country, the Campaign is making a difference. As of July 2018, the Red Cross and our partners across the country have saved at least 444; reached 1,146,176 through youth preparedness programs, and installed 1,367,300 free smoke alarms.

About the American Red Cross:       

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

Learn more »
Comments Off on Red Cross to Hold Sound the Alarm Event in Pascagoula To Help Reduce Home Fire Deaths, Injuries

Peter Anderson Arts & Crafts Festival is accepting online applications

IMG_8228 Peter Anderson Arts & Crafts Festival is accepting online applications

(Ocean Springs, MS) – The 40th Peter Anderson Arts & Crafts Festival presented by Blue Moon, known as the largest fine arts festival in Mississippi, is currently accepting online applications for consideration to the fall festival. Applications and all required information must be uploaded via ZAPP by August 1, 2018 or late fees will apply. The show application process closes August 15.

The annual festival showcasing more than 400 national artists, crafters, food vendors and musicians has made a transition from paper applications to online applications through ZAPP. ZAPP is an online site seen by more than 70,000 artists nation-wide. The program allows artists to directly upload images, bios and more.

To be more competitive with other national award winning festivals and to allow artists ample time to set their schedules for the festival, the application deadline is August 1. Artists will be notified following that deadline of their application status.

The 40th Annual Peter Anderson Arts & Crafts Festival will be held in downtown Ocean Springs, Mississippi on November 3 and 4 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information or application assistance, please give festival coordinators a call at the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce-Main Street-Tourism Bureau at 228-875-4424. Applications can be found at www.peterandersonfestival.com by clicking on the link under the “Vendor Info” tab.

Learn more »
Comments Off on Peter Anderson Arts & Crafts Festival is accepting online applications