A chance to help, honor people this weekend

Published 9:00 pm Wednesday, December 5, 2018

frequent criticism of sports is that it is “just a game” that doesn’t matter much in the grand scheme of things. On the field, that might be true. Off the field, it’s patently false. Sports can be a tremendously unifying endeavor when harnessed in the right way. It can teach individuals teamwork and respect for others, and bring towns and cities together around a common passion.

This Saturday, we’ll get two reminders of that.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Warren Central’s Viking Stadium, members of the school’s football coaching staff will sell barbecue lunch plates to benefit Brady Morgan. Morgan was a great high school basketball player at Porter’s Chapel Academy in her younger days, but is better known today as the wife of WC football head coach Josh Morgan and the mother of their six young children. She was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and is undergoing treatment.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

The event is a fundraiser to help with her medical bills. The lunch plates cost $10 each and tickets can be purchased from WC assistant football coach Cedric Jackson by calling 601-638-3372.

Then, on Saturday afternoon during the Warren Central vs. Vicksburg basketball game at Vicksburg High, there will be a tribute to the late George Smith.

Smith was a longtime basketball, softball and baseball official who died in April at the age of 67. He was one of the best in Mississippi, not just as an official but also as a person. He never forgot a face, always had a warm smile and a friendly word for the coaches and players whose games he officiated, and was one of the most beloved referees around.

He will be recognized between games of the girls’ and boys’ varsity doubleheader that starts at 1 p.m. The junior varsity boys game begins at noon, and there is no JV girls game. Smith’s family will be in attendance, seated behind the home bench, and the game will be dedicated as the George E. Smith Memorial Game.

The fundraiser for Morgan and the celebration of Smith’s life are reminders that people can touch and help others through sports in ways that are hard to otherwise duplicate. Both Morgan and Smith have been well-known figures in the community for years, not just for what they did in the sporting world but for the way they conducted themselves away from it. Both deserve our compassion and respect.

So, on Saturday, get two tickets — one for barbecue and one for a basketball game. Show two families you care.

Ernest Bowker is the sports editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at ernest.bowker@vicksburgpost.com

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.

email author More by Ernest