That may be the new nickname for SaSa Freeman.
“I told him they are going to call him ‘Crunch’ because he is going to be eating pickles all week,” SaSa’s dad, Shelly Freeman joked. And while a cramp may have kept SaSa out of the endzone after he made the catch of the night and raced down to the 15 yard-line, it didn’t matter. The Blue Devils punched the game-winning touchdown in three plays later.
If you missed the catch, go to YouTube and catch the game on Bobby Murphree’s channel by searching “Water Valley versus Calhoun City.”
When I talked to Coach Embry Monday, I acknowledged that the last two wins may have been nail-biters for the coaches and players, but they sure were fun to watch – the high-scoring game against Northpoint Christian that set several records and last Friday’s game that went down to the wire.
SaSa’s game-winning catch was big, as the accuracy of Jon Surrette has been all season. Calhoun City went for two after each touchdown. They made the first one, but were unable to get in the endzone for the two-point conversion in their second and third touchdowns. When SaSa made that big catch, the Blue Devils were tied at 20 and the pressure was on Surrette.
A bad snap after the Blue Devils’ first touchdown forced Surrette to get on the ball. After the next score, the Blue Devils went for two to get back to 14 points.
But deep in the fourth quarter, Surrette nailed the extra point to secure the one-point win.
The full story is on the back page, and it probably is evident that sports reporting isn’t my strength. It is a lot of fun, but my football background is limited. I played as a South Panola Tiger during the seventh grade. I remember coming off the bench for one play, and I took the ball toward the sideline instead of down the field. Back to bench I went and my feelings weren’t hurt.
During the last 18 years I have worked at the Herald, the number of sports programs have increased as new opportunities opened up for junior high and high school athletes. Additions include archery, golf, powerlifting and probably a few more. It is difficult for a small newspaper staff to cover these important events, and we could use a little help. If you know of a journalism student, an aspiring journalism student or just someone interested in sports, we can put them to work helping me.
The pay isn’t great, but it is a lot of fun and great experience!