Arrival of Post’s preview issue means it’s Football Eve

Published 5:50 am Thursday, August 17, 2017

As you read this, we’re about 24 hours away from kickoff of the 2017 high school football season — or, at least, the official kickoff.

We’ve had two weeks of scrimmages and jamborees already, plus two months of uninterrupted summer and spring workouts before that. High school football is practically a year-round sport at this point.

But Friday marks the start of the important stuff, the stuff we’ll actually remember and record for years to come. The Red Carpet Bowl kicks things off at 5:30 p.m., when Vicksburg takes on Oxford at Warren Central’s Viking Stadium. Warren Central and Clarksdale play the second game at 8, and St. Aloysius is also home for the opener at 7 against Leake Academy.

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If Friday is Football Christmas, that makes this Football Eve, the day when anticipation and hope are highest. Our gift to you is our annual “Playmakers” preview issue, which is included in today’s editions. It’s 52 pages of gridiron goodness, with features on local players and previews of their teams’ seasons.

What, or who, will go on the cover of Playmakers is a topic of discussion each year in the newsroom and the community. Looking back through 41 years of Vicksburg Post preview editions, it’s clear that some themes emerge.

There was the graphics era of the early 1980s, when generic clip art images of football players graced the cover. There have been single and group pictures with players, cheerleader pictures, even a referee or two. There have been concepts with coaches and players playing board games or heading to the movies.

The 2017 edition, however, marks the first time we’ve had mascots on the cover.

The idea for this year’s cover was a mascot battle royale between St. Aloysius’ Flash (played by Parker Brown), Porter’s Chapel Academy’s Eagle (Carter White), Vicksburg’s Gator (Tyler Kimble) and Warren Central’s Viking (Rogers Wesley).

The idea was to mimic the cover from a video game like “Street Fighter” with some Vicksburg-appropriate touches. Thanks to the work of photographer Courtland Wells and graphic designer Mary Manard, the idea sprang to life. Our four local mascots are brawling in a fun way that we hope will get fans energized.

So, a special thanks to all of the folks who took time out of their day to play the mascot roles, as well as those behind the scenes who made it happen. It’s a little bit of local history, and a whole lot of fun.

Ernest Bowker is a sports writer for The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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