Chip Chitwood, Sports Editor – The Fighting Possums’ hopes for a historic basketball season were dashed when their star center, Rowdy Wilson, was declared ineligible for competition. Cross-county rival, Barnwood High, sparked an investigation by the State Secondary School Athletic Association earlier in the season. At issue is the interpretation of the age limit rule, which says that any student who is 21 is ineligible for competition. Larry Tannehill, Puddlegulch AD, argued that the age limit should be understood to be the student’s age at the time of the beginning of the season. Landry Leftwich, Barnwood AD, argued that the rule pertains to the student’s age at any time during the season. Wilson turned 21 on January 1. In a stunning reversal of precedent, the SSSAA sided with Barnwood. Tannehill is considering legal action, citing the familial relationship between SSSAA executive director Rance Leftwich and the Barnwood coach. They are brothers.
Led by Wilson and his 11 points and 2 rebounds per game average, the 3-11 Fighting Possums were on track to set a record for most wins in a season. As it stands, the junior center is the career scoring leader for the locals. He is widely regarded as a man among boys on the court. Coach Chitwood will call on Danny Morris to step into the starting lineup. Morris, though untested, shows promise. At 6’ 7”, the 150-pound youngster has exceptional ball-handling skills. He credits lots of practice and a sixth finger on his right hand for his prowess with the ball. Morris and his teammates will face their first test when they tip off next Tuesday against the Pleasant Valley Pioneers.