Sports column: Warren County football players are having a banner year for records

Published 11:00 am Sunday, October 1, 2023

In the fall of 2005, to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the start of high school football in Mississippi, The Vicksburg Post’s sports staff had the idea to put together an all-time all-county team.

It was a great success, but the project was a little rushed. It quickly became apparent that some stats and accolades were slightly inaccurate, and others were missing. So, that December, we decided to fill in the gaps and compile a comprehensive Warren County football record book.

It was intended to be a quick make-work project during the slow week between Christmas and New Year’s. Eight months, hundreds of microfilm reels, and two or three breaks in sanity later, it was finally complete.

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Compiling the county’s individual football records was an arduous task, but it might have been one of the most worthwhile projects The Post’s sports staff ever undertook. It has become a popular feature in our annual “Playmakers” preview magazine and a go-to reference guide for noteworthy performances.

It’s been fun to track and update the benchmarks and see how they’ve shifted over the years. Some categories have nearly doubled in size over the past 18 years, while others have remained stubbornly stagnant.

This season has, pardon the pun, shifted the goalposts quite a bit in a lot of ways. Nearly a half-dozen players are rocketing up the lists at their respective positions and, if they don’t wind up atop them, will certainly come close.

Vicksburg High quarterback Ronnie Alexander surpassed both 3,000 yards and 30 touchdowns passing for his career in a 35-0 victory over Yazoo City on Sept. 22. His top target, wide receiver Tyler Henderson, has moved up 15 places on the career receiving yardage list this season. Henderson has 1,524 yards and 20 touchdowns over the past three-plus seasons and now ranks fifth all-time in Warren County in yardage and fourth in touchdowns. He’s only about 300 yards out of second place.

The Gators aren’t the only ones approaching records. Porter’s Chapel Academy quarterback John Wyatt Massey, receiver Thomas Azlin, and running back Jase Jung are all threatening to shatter school records.

Massey has 24 touchdown passes this season and 36 in his career after throwing four in last week’s 58-6 victory against Tensas Academy and three more Friday vs. Hillcrest. He is the seventh QB to throw for more than 20 TDs in a season, while he and Alexander joined 13 other quarterbacks in the 30-touchdown club for their careers.

Azlin caught one of the touchdown passes against Hillcrest and now has 12 this season and 18 for his career. Both rank among the top 10 in Warren County’s record book.

Jung reached 30 career rushing touchdowns by scoring three in Friday’s game against Hillcrest Christian, and Vicksburg’s Malik Montgomery got there with a 3-yard TD against Yazoo City.

PCA, of course, currently plays eight-man football while their predecessors and the other Warren County schools play the traditional 11-man style. Whether to tag PCA’s players with an asterisk or not because of that is a debate to be had, but the difference does not diminish the accomplishment. PCA played eight-man football for several years before this and didn’t put up these kinds of numbers.

That’s been one of the benefits of having the record book as a reference point. You can not only remember some past greats, but also appreciate the rarity of their accomplishments. Doing something no one else has done in 100 years is quite the bragging right. Even coming close to it is something to be proud of.

The Post’s sports staff never gained a yard or scored a touchdown, but it’s rewarding to know we’ve been able to leave our own enduring legacy on the sport in Warren County. Seventeen years later, we’re proud to say that our record as the recordkeepers stands tall.

Ernest Bowker is the sports editor of 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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