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Posts made in February 2017

Senate Honors 2016 AT&T Athletes of Year


AT SENATE — The Mississippi Senate issued proclamations for the 2016 State Games of Mississippi AT&T Athletes of the Year at the Capitol. From left are: C.D.Smith, AT&T; Megan Heggie, Meridian; Terry C. Burton, Senate President Pro Tempore; Evelyn Watkins, Meridian; and Krilecia Gianakos, Marketing Director for the State Games of Mississippi.

Senate Honors AT&T Athletes

Mississippi’s premier athletes were honored recently in Jackson with a presentation of State Senate resolutions commending their prowess and excellence in sports.

Honored were Megan Heggie, 12, of Meridian, the 2016 State Games of Mississippi AT&T Youth Athlete of the Year, who has participated in the State Games of Mississippi since 2012 and has won 17 gold medals in individual events and five in relay events. During the 2016 State Games, Heggie competed in the largest age group at the meet and placed in the top eight in all of her events. She also broke eight team records during the Games.

Runner and trainer Evelyn Watkins, 36, of Meridian, overcame surgeries on her feet to run marathons, triathlons and more and was named the 2016  Female Athlete of the Year. Watkins was first in her age group at the 2016 Games in the 5K Run, second overall in the female division and seventh overall in the event.

Brian Fleming, of Shubuta, 2016 State Games of Mississippi AT&T Male Athlete of the Year, hit 93 of 100 targets in his most recent outing at the 2016 State Games and won the gold medal. Sporting clays is a form of clay pigeon shooting, often described as “golf with a shotgun” because a typical course includes from 10-15 different shooting stations laid out over natural terrain. Fleming has been the Mississippi sporting clays champion four times and a Zone 6 champion, which encompasses Mississippi, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana. He won silver medals in the 2014 and 2015 State Games.

The 2016 Athletes of the Year visited the Capitol in Jackson. They will also have the honor of lighting the torch at the 2017 State Games of Mississippi opening ceremonies in Meridian June 16.



Be a Volunteer!

Be a Volunteer!

With more than 40 sports and 5,000 athletes, the State Games of Mississippi needs a lot of volunteers to keep things running smoothly.

Volunteers receive a FREE Volunteer T-Shirt, make fast friends and are honored at a banquet each year.

Do you have what it takes to be a State Game of Mississippi volunteer? If so, email us. We look forward to working with YOU!

New Sport – Pickleball – Makes 2017 Debut

State Games of Mississippi Adds Pickelball to Sport Lineup

BILOXI, MS — In a first for the State Games of Mississippi, pickleball — a sport that combines elemnts of badminton, tennis and table tennis — will make its debut May 5-6 in Biloxi at the A.J. Holloway Sports Complex.

Now in its 26th year, the State Games of Mississippi is a statewide sports fest featuring 40 sports for amateur athletes throughout the months of May and June. Pickleball, for two, three or four players, uses solid paddles to hit a ball similar to a whiffle ball over a net, with rules similar to those in tennis.

“We are excited to offer this sport to the State Games of Mississippi,” said Carolyn Smith, Executive Director. “We have a very enthusiastic pickelball comissioner, Ron Eaton, who persuaded us to add this very popular sport.”

Pickleball was invented in 1965 by Joel Pritchard, a congressman from Washington State, and his friend Bill Bell. When faced one night with families who had “nothing to do,” the pair went to play badminton, but could not find rackets. With great improvising, they used ping-pong paddles, lowered the badminton net and used a whiffle ball. By 1967, the first pickleball court was built and by 1976, the sport was recognized in Tennis magazine as “America’s newest racquet sport.”

In the May competition this year, pickleball will feature divisions for all ages, including juniors, and will award gold, silver and bronze medals in each division. Singles, doubles and mixed doubles events will be offered. Registration is open now at and the entry fee of $30 includes a t-shirt and lunch.

The State Games of Mississippi celebrates each year with an Olympic-style Opening Ceremonies in Meridian. The Opening Ceremonies will be held Friday, June 16, complete with a parade of athletes, the lighting of the State Games torch and fireworks.

The State Games keeps its entry fees low primarily through the generous donations of sponsors, including Founding Gold Sponsor: Meridian Coca-Cola Bottling Company and Rush Hospital; and Gold Sponsors: AT&T, the City of Meridian, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Pearl River Resort, Visit Meridian/Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors, Structural Steel Services Inc., The Meridian Star, WTOK-TV and WMDN/WGBC-TV. For more information on the Games, call 800-482-0205 or visit the State Games of Mississippi website at