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Dozier Named Executive Director; Brand Returns to Games

Dozier Named Executive Director; Brand Returns to Games

Missye Dozier                   Rhonda Brand

MERIDIAN, MS — Missye Dozier has been named the Executive Director of the State Games of Mississippi after long-time Executive Director Carolyn Smith retired in 2021. Dozier served as Sports Director of the Games for 15 years. That position is now being helmed by Rhonda Brand, who returned to the Games after 23-year hiatus.

The State Games of Mississippi is the state’s largest amateur sportsfest organization, annually holding more than 40 competitions across the state. When thousands of athletes pour into the East Mississippi area for competition and the annual Opening Ceremony, the total estimated economic impact is $12.2 million.

“It has been a marvelously smooth transition,” Dozier said, “because Rhonda is so familiar with how to organize and promote the more than 40 sporting events we offer each year.”

Dozier said the State Games is also fortunate that Smith’s expert knowledge of the Games will be available. “Even though she is retired as Executive Director, Carolyn will continue to be a consultant to the Games,” Dozier said.

Dozier came to the State Games 18 years ago. She came to the Games in 2003 from Meridian Orthopedic Clinic to work part time as administrative assistant and worked up to the Sports Director position three years later. A graduate of West Lauderdale High School, she also attended Meridian Community College.

Brand served as the Sports Director of the Games from 1995 to 1998 before leaving to be a stay-at-home mom. She didn’t give up her interest in sports during that time, serving as the Newton County High School Baseball Booster Club President for five years and working with the East Coast Baseball Organization. Before working with the State Games as Sports Director, Brand was with the City of Meridian in the same position. A graduate of Mississippi State University, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Journalism.

About the State Games of Mississippi

The State Games of Mississippi is now looking to its 31st year in 2022 offering top-level competition for Mississippi’s amateur athletes in more than 40 sports. In 2021, more than 5,000 athletes competed.

The State Games of Mississippi keeps its entry fees low primarily through the generous donations of sponsors, including Founding Gold Sponsors: Meridian Coca-Cola Bottling Company and Rush Hospital; and Gold Sponsors: BlueCross BlueShield of Mississippi, Meridian-Lauderdale County Tourism Bureau, Paul & Sherry Broadhead Foundation, Meridian Community College, the City of Meridian, Pearl River Resort, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, WTOK-TV, The Meridian Star and WMDN/WGBC-TV (The Meridian Family of Stations). For more information on the Games, call 601-482-0205 or visit the State Games of Mississippi website at www.stategamesofms.org.

 

 

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State Games Brings $12.2 Million Impact to Area

State Games Brings $12.2 Million Impact to Area

MERIDIAN, MS — When thousands of athletes pour into the East Mississippi area for competition and the annual Opening Ceremony of the State Games of Mississippi, the total estimated economic impact is $12,150,249, according to a study just released.

“We are immensely gratified the newest economic impact study validates what we already knew — the State Games of Mississippi is good for East Mississippi — both in generating spending at area businesses and providing a prime destination” said Missye Dozier, Executive Director of the State Games. Former Sports Director Dozier took over the helm of the State Games after long-time Executive Director Carolyn Smith retired in 2021.

The study, prepared by Dr. Habib Bazyari, shows that more than 60% of the participants and spectators who come to East Mississippi are from other counties across the state. Some 20% originate in Lauderdale County, with the other 20% from out of state.

In looking just at the economic impact of athletes, Dr. Bazyari’s study found the average meal expenditure (based on 8.7 meals) is $164.43 and the average nightly stay of 2.4 days created accommodation expenditures of $372,672. And don’t forget gasoline — athletes spend an average of $180 to fill up while they are participating in events. That translates into more than $500,000 in local gasoline sales.

The figures on economic impact for spectators at the Games are even greater. The average spectator has 8 meals in the area, spending a total of $168 per person. Spectators also shopped while in the area, racking up estimated shopping expenditures of $561,275.

The highest percentage of the total amount of spending was for shopping at 24%, with hotel stays at 23% of the total. Athletes and spectators also found time for entertainment, spending 22% of the grand total for this type of activities.

The 2021 figures from the study were based on 5,200 athletes and 15,700 spectators at the Opening Ceremony and sporting events. The study was limited to the economic impact in East Mississippi, but the State Games also holds events in many other locations across the state.

READ THE REPORT HERE.

 

 

RUSH Athletes of Year for 2021 Named

State Games Names RUSH Athletes of Year for 2021

State Games of Mississippi 2021 Rush Athletes of the Year, from left,
are Male AOY Hunter Luis Melendez,
Female AOY Tere Turner and Youth Athlete of the Year Cooper Conner. 

 

MERIDIAN, MS — The three winners of the 2021 Rush Athletes of the Year for the State Games of Mississippi show the courage and strength of athletes from across the state. Track and Field participant Hunter Luis Melendez (Laurel), Mountain Biker Tere Turner (Madison) and Soccer player Cooper Conner (Wiggins) all had to overcome adversity and challenges to win the honors.

The State Games of Mississippi was able to come back strong for its 30th year in 2021, with most of its sports and more than 5,000 competitors. “Coming off of 2020 and the restrictions of the pandemic, we were gratified to have such a successful entry into our third decade,” said Carolyn Smith, executive director. “It has been amazing to see the levels of competition and the spirit of our sponsors and volunteers.”

Based on the national program, the State Games of Mississippi established the annual “Athlete of the Year” award to recognize Mississippi’s amateur athletes. Coaches, officials, athletes, volunteers and spectators nominated one male and one female athlete from each of the 2021 sports for the award. The nominated athletes personify the ideals of the State Games movement, such as participation, sportsmanship, special attributes, achievements, efforts and positive attitudes. Three final winners are chosen: Male, Female and Youth Athletes of the Year.

Hunter Luis Melendez • 2021 Male Athlete of the Year

If adversity were a sport, then State Games of Mississippi 2021 Male Athlete of the Year Hunter Luis Melendez would receive a gold medal.

The 22-year-old Track and Field competitor from Laurel, MS, has felt the pull of family needs above his athletic dreams, even turning down offers to run track in college to help his grandmother as she suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. Plus, he broke his foot in 2017 and missed the last month of his senior year in sports.

Despite the challenges and dealing with family crises, Hunter found a good coach and the strength to persevere, winning Gold in the 2021 State Games of Mississippi and hitting his personal best in the 100m and 200m Track and Field events. He also won gold in 2020, 2019 and 2018 in the Games.

Currently a student at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Hunter has won other medals, including second place in the 100m at the State Games of America and a second in the 200m. From 2015 to 2018, he was a Mississippi District Champion in the 100m and the 200m.

 

Tere Turner • 2021 Female Athlete of the Year

When Mountain Biker Tere Turner crashed during the 2021 State Games of Mississippi and broke her arm, she got right back up and completed the race. It is this grit and accomplishment that made her the perfect recipient of the 2021 Female Athlete of the Year honor.

Tere, who hails from Madison, MS, has won many races despite falls, including Gold in the 2018 and 2019 State Games. The 47-year-old has also won a Silver in the Games, plus was the Champion in her category in the Gulf Coast Regional Mountain Bike series in 2018 and 2019.

Sports Commissioner Grayson Edwards said, “Tere does not know the meaning of the word ‘quit.’ Tere took a tumble off her bike and injured her wrist early in the race, but got up and kept walking the course, determined to finish. Race officials alerted the on-site ambulance crew, but Tere wanted to continue. Her determination to finish despite a difficult challenge earned her this nomination.”

 

Cooper Conner • 2021 Youth Athlete of the Year

The 2021 State Games of Mississippi Youth Athlete of the Year faced a devastating time before his first soccer game because his dad suffered a massive heart attack. Twelve-year-old Cooper Conner of Wiggins, MS, came straight from the hospital and stayed with his soccer coach and team while his dad was in surgery. Despite his worry about his father, Cooper said “I know my Dad would want me to play and I can’t let my coach or teammates down.”

Cooper played in the soccer competition Saturday; his dad died that afternoon. After hearing and digesting the awful news, Cooper said he wanted to stay and play the Sunday games in honor of his father.

“His courage was remarkable,” said his coach. “He even made a goal during the Sunday game from a penalty kick.”

Cooper’s resilience was also tested in March of 2020 when he fractured his ankle during a game. He was in a wheelchair, then crutches before he could walk again. He came back faster and stronger, playing with his team in August 2020.

Other nominees for the 2021 Rush Athlete of the Year included:

Lamar Smith, Bowling -Meridian

Louisa Leclerc, Bowling -Brandon

Joel Gordy, Trail Run -Meridian

Summer Riley, Trail Run -Meridian

Les Goff, Master Swimming -Hattiesburg

Stephanie Cayula, Master Swimming -Waveland

Jackson Lee, All Star Baseball –Calhoun City

Stephen Hudson, Archery -Purvis

Christy Sibley, Archery -Meridian

Abigail Mowery, Softball -Meridian

Dan Murphy, Cornhole -Chunky

Tori Duncan, Cornhole -Collinsville

Makenzie Taylor, Youth Soccer -Pearl

Cooper Conner, Youth Soccer -Wiggins

Cole Tadlock, 5K Road Race -Decatur

Kahrna Stimley-Washington, 5K Walk -Meridian

William Wicht, Axe Throwing -Hattiesburg

Rebecca Gibson, Axe Throwing -Purvis

Avery Anders, 7v7 HS Soccer -Meridian

Sarah Pierce Swift, 7v7 HS Soccer -Meridian

Lalo Carrillo, Cycling -Meridian

Vicki Alexander, Cycling -Meridian

Alex Rowe, Youth Swimming -Vicksburg

Celeste Adams, Youth Swimming -Pelahatchie

Heath Shoemake, Stickball -Philadelphia

Grayson Edwards, Mountain Bike -Flowood

Tere Turner, Mountain Bike -Madison

Thaison Berry, Canoe/Kayak/SUP -Gulfport

Mavis McElroy, Canoe/Kayak/SUP -Toomsuba

Wesley Pippins, Junior Golf -Madison

Harper Hinckley, Junior Golf -McComb

Caroline Fruge, Indoor Volleyball -Meridian

Herb Bennett, Table Tennis -Hattiesburg

Dot Fortenberry, Table Tennis -Meridian

Elliot Tulip, 15 and up Basketball -Meridian

Ryan Robertson, Junior Golf –Crestview, FL

Annabelle Simmons, Junior Golf -Lauderdale

Tanner Beaugez, HS Team Baseball –Ocean Springs

Lucas Sinopoli, Jr High Team Baseball –Ocean Springs

Ashton Fairley, HS Fast Pitch Softball -Lucedale

George Sisson, Barrel Racing -Quitman

Molly Jean Goodwin, Barrel Racing -Lauderdale

Phil Ray, Pistol Competition -Chunky

Carol Rigby, Pistol Competition -Gallman

Joseph Forrester, Youth Archery -Starkville

Jaylyn Bridgman, Youth Archery -Tylertown

Neil Witherow, Pickleball -Jackson

Leigh Ann Ross, Pickleball -Jackson

Judd Smith, Beach Volleyball -Bailey

Parker Bracken, Beach Volleyball -Ridgeland

Matilyn Blackwell, Beach Volleyball -Bailey

Jeremy Hopkins, 3 Gun Competition -Chunky

Nate Phillips, Fencing -Collierville

Ashley Katze, Fencing -Bellebille

Gracie Dinh, 22 Rifle Competition -Starkville

Stephen McDaniel, 22 Rifle Competition -Meridian

Joe Burns, RX Fitness Challenge -Meridian

Emily Arnold, RX Fitness Challenge -Meridian

Hunter Melendez, Track & Field -Laurel

Hailey Truman, Track & Field -Meridian

Eric Johnson II, Sporting Clays -Meridian

Suzanne Todd, Sporting Clays -Meridian

Drew Larsen, Disc Golf -Biloxi

Tommie Dickson, Disc Golf -Gulfport

State Games 30th Year Great Success

State Games 30th Year Great Success

MERIDIAN, MS — The State Games of Mississippi ended its 30th year on a high note, with more than 5,000 athletes competing in events and 450-plus volunteers helping make every competition happen.

“Coming off of 2020 and the restrictions of the pandemic, we were gratified to have such a successful entry into our third decade,” said Carolyn Smith, executive director. “It has been amazing to see the levels of competition and the spirit of our sponsors and volunteers.”

The Coca-Cola Opening Ceremony returned in 2021, complete with the parade of athletes, the running of the State Games torch and the lighting of the flame in the State Games cauldron. The event was attended by more than 7,000 people.

Executive Director Smith received a special surprise at the Opening Ceremony — her two daughters came into town to honor her for her years of service and be with her when she announced her retirement. “It was a total surprise,” Smith said, “and made the event emotional and memorable. Even though I am retiring, I will always have room in my heart for the State Games of Mississippi.” Smith has served the Games in various capacities from the beginning in the 1990s; and has led the organization as Executive Director since 2009.

Sponsors made the games a great success in 2021. “We are extremely grateful to our sponsors for sticking with us last year and excited to be back for our 30th year with 41 sports,” said Director of Marketing and Development Bobbie Harmon.

New to the games in 2021 was Axe Throwing, which was held at Alley Cats Axe Company in Hattiesburg. As with many of the State Games events, different venues are used throughout the state.

“Plus we are able to keep our entry fees low, thanks to our sponsors,” said Harmon.

The ever-popular youth soccer competition, sponsored by Rush, brought top teams from across the state to Meridian. And All Star Baseball brought scouts from across the region to see the best players.

But it wasn’t all about big team sports. The Games brought Pickleball enthusiasts to the net, Cornhole experts armed with bean bags and Fencers doing their best to score points. With 41 sports, there was something for every amateur athlete to enter.

About the State Games of Mississippi

The State Games of Mississippi is now looking to its 31st year in 2022 offering top-level competition for Mississippi’s amateur athletes in more than 41 sports. In 2021, more than 5,000 athletes competed.

The State Games of Mississippi keeps its entry fees low primarily through the generous donations of sponsors, including Founding Gold Sponsors: Meridian Coca-Cola Bottling Company and Rush Hospital; and Gold Sponsors: BlueCross BlueShield of Mississippi, Meridian-Lauderdale County Tourism Bureau/Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors, Paul & Sherry Broadhead Foundation, Meridian Community College, the City of Meridian, Pearl River Resort, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, WTOK-TV, The Meridian Star and WMDN/WGBC-TV (The Meridian Family of Stations). For more information on the Games, call 601-482-0205 or visit the State Games of Mississippi website at www.stategamesofms.org.

 

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Registration Open for 2021 Games

State Games 2021 – 41 Sports, Registration Open

MERIDIAN, MS — The State Games of Mississippi has rebounded into 2021 with 41 sports — including an innovative new one — and registration is now open for Mississippi’s amateur athletes to compete for the gold.

“We are extremely grateful to our sponsors for sticking with us last year and excited to be back for our 30th year with 41 sports,” said Carolyn Smith, Executive Director. “And even more exciting, our Opening Ceremony in downtown Meridian will return June 4.”

New to the games this year is Axe Throwing, which will be held at Alley Cats Axe Company in Hattiesburg. As with many of the State Games events, different venues are used throughout the state. “Plus we are able to keep our entry fees low, thanks to our sponsors,” said Bobbie Harmon, Director of Marketing and Development. If you are interested in Axe Throwing, the event is set for June 12.

The ever-popular youth soccer competition, sponsored by Rush, will bring top teams from across the state to Meridian June 5 and 6. Teams from U9 to U18/19 will vie for the gold medal.

The State Games of Mississippi is particularly noted for its All Star Baseball competition, which begins with tryouts in all eight districts in the state. When the teams converge on Meridian June 10-14 for the finals, scouts from major schools are on hand, looking carefully for the next generation of top players.

But it’s not all about big team sports. The Games this year will bring Pickleball enthusiasts to the net, Cornhole experts armed with bean bags and Fencers doing their best to score points. With 41 sports, there is something for every amateur athlete to enter.

It’s easy to enter. Review all of the sports at our website, stategamesofms.org and get ready to go for the gold.

 

About the State Games of Mississippi

The State Games of Mississippi is now in its 30th year offering top-level competition for Mississippi’s amateur athletes in more than 41 sports. In 2019, more than 5,000 athletes competed.

The Games kick of with an exciting Opening Ceremony in downtown Meridian on June 4, complete with the parade of athletes, lighting of the State Games flame and fireworks.

The State Games of Mississippi keeps its entry fees low primarily through the generous donations of sponsors, including Founding Gold Sponsors: Meridian Coca-Cola Bottling Company and Rush Hospital; and Gold Sponsors: BlueCross BlueShield of Mississippi, Meridian-Lauderdale County Tourism Bureau/Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors, Paul & Sherry Broadhead Foundation, Meridian Community College, WTOK-TV, The Meridian Star and WMDN/WGBC-TV (The Meridian Family of Stations). For more information on the Games, call 601-482-0205 or visit the State Games of Mississippi website at www.stategamesofms.org.

2020 RUSH Athletes of Year Named

State Games Names 2020 Athletes of the Year

MERIDIAN, MS — The three winners of the 2020 Rush Athletes of the Year for the State Games of Mississippi show the diversity of athletes from across the state. 5K runner Chet Nicklas (Enterprise), swimmer Sarah Misiak (Columbus) and All-Star Baseball player Leighton Jenkns (Meridian) not only compete in sports well, but show other winning talents.

The State Games of Mississippi has been fortunate to hold more than half of its yearly sporting events, despite the restrictions and concerns raised by the global COVID-19 pandemic. “We have been so fortunate to have athletes, volunteers and families enthusiastically endorse our efforts to hold sporting events. Plus, the unwavering support of our Board of Directors, sponsors and staff has allowed our statewide amateur sporting events to endure,” said Executive Director Carolyn Smith.

Based on the national program, the State Games of Mississippi established the annual “Athlete of the Year” award to recognize Mississippi’s amateur athletes. Coaches, officials, athletes, volunteers and spectators nominated one male and one female athlete from each of the 2020 sports for the award. The nominated athletes personify the ideals of the State Games movement, such as participation, sportsmanship, special attributes, achievements, efforts and positive attitudes. Three final winners are chosen: Male, Female and Youth Athletes of the Year.

Chet Nicklas — 2020 Male Athlete of the Year

Enterprise native Chet Nicklas, a 5K runner, won the 5K and Trail Run this year at the State Games. A chemistry teacher, football coach and bus driver at Clarkdale High School, this versatile athlete is also the youth leader at Linwood Baptist Church in Union. It’s a family affair for the Nicklas family — his two sons (5th and 3rd grades) have competed and placed in the State Games.

Chet is pursuing a doctorate in Rural Education from the University of West Alabama on top of all of his other responsibilities. What makes his running — he has won more than 20 medals during his career — more remarkable is that Chet suffers from asthma.

Sarah Misiak — 2020 Female Athlete of the Year

Sarah Misiak hails from Columbus and has been a competitive swimmer since her high school and college days, but took many years off to focus on her family — husband and four boys (the youngest 13, the oldest 20). About 10 years ago, Sarah started swimming competitively again, entering the National Senior Olympic Games twice. She won three Gold medals in the 2017 Birmingham games and two Golds and a Bronze in the Albuquerque games.

She has competed in the State Games for six year and said this about State Games Swimming Commissioner Wade Heggie: “Wade and his team put on such an uplifting, well-organized, fun event every year and held an especially ‘safe’ event this year. It meant a lot to me physically, mentally and spiritually to be able to compete and have wonderful fellowship during such trying times.”

Leighton Jenkins — 2020 Youth Athlete of the Year

Youth Athlete of the Year Leighton Jenkins of Meridian started playing in the State Games when he was seven (in soccer) but baseball has always been his favorite sport. This All-Star shortstop player is a senior at West Lauderdale High School and trains under Coach Jason Smith. He won Defensive Player of the Year in his junior year and has committed to playing baseball at East Central Community College when he starts college in 2021.

During the 2020 State Games All Star tournament, Leighton went 8 for 16, with 1 homerun, 1 triple. 2 doubles, 4 singles and 8 RBI’s.

He is not only athletic, but smart. Leighton is a member of the National Honor Society and the National Society of High School Scholars.

Other nominees for the RUSH Athlete of the Year included:

Zoe Clymer, 5K —Collinsville

Brian Stokes, Archery — Toomsuba

Kristen Miles, Archery — Philadelphia

Troy Harper, Bowling — Meridian

Amanda Joyner, Bowling — Union

Andy McDonald, Corn Hole —Bailey

Emily Arias, Corn Hole —Bailey

Jerry Saxton, Disc Golf — Hattiesburg

Ben Kazden, Disc Golf —Choctaw

Jimmy McKay, Master Swimming —Madison

Harleigh Culpepper, Softball — Collinsville

Roxanne Gay, Sporting Clays — Vicksburg

Bobby Brister, Sporting Clays —Madison

Mickey May, Trail Run — Collinsville

Sadie Reed, Trail Run —Meridian

Connor Daughtery, Volleyball — Ridgeland

Kim Smith, Volleyball — Bailey

Bailey Farley, Youth Soccer — Meridian

Wilson Varnado, Youth Soccer —Bogalusa

 

Sports Proceed Safely Despite Pandemic

State Games Sports Proceed Safely Despite Pandemic

August 24, 2020

MERIDIAN, MS — The State Games of Mississippi has been fortunate to hold more than half of its yearly sporting events, despite the restrictions and concerns raised by the global COVID-19 pandemic. And some events are still in the offing.

“What a year it has been so far,” said Carolyn Smith, Executive Director. “Whereas we usually hold most of our sports in May and June, this year we’ve spread them out throughout the year, taking into account the safety of everyone who attends. We could not have done it without the help of our RUSH Medical Advisory Team and our sponsors, who saw that — while things are different — the Games have continued.”

The safety of all participants, spectators, volunteers and staff has been at the forefront of each decision to hold an event in 2020. Those sports have included the very popular soccer competitions and All-Star Baseball. Coming up the on the last weekend of August is the Youth Grand Slam Baseball Tournament; as well as Mountain Bike and Martial Arts events that will be held in October and November, respectively.

“We have been so fortunate to have athletes, volunteers and families enthusiastically endorse our efforts to hold sporting events. Plus, the unwavering support of our Board of Directors, sponsors and staff has allowed our statewide amateur sporting events to endure,” Smith said.

Also on the event horizon for the State Game of Mississippi is the annual Pumpkin Run, a 5K event that will be held at Bonita Lakes here on October 17.

“Has the year been unusual? Yes!” Smith said, “But we have shown the resilience and hard work that have characterized the State Games of Mississippi for 29 years. We look forward to the return of a full slate of events and the Opening Ceremony for our 30th year in 2021.”

 

About the State Games of Mississippi

The State Games of Mississippi is now in its 29th year offering top-level competition for Mississippi’s amateur athletes in more than 37 sports. In 2019, more than 5,000 athletes competed.

The State Games of Mississippi keeps its entry fees low primarily through the generous donations of sponsors, including Founding Gold Sponsors: Meridian Coca-Cola Bottling Company and Rush Hospital; and Gold Sponsors: BlueCross BlueShield of Mississippi, Meridian-Lauderdale County Tourism Bureau/Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors, Paul & Sherry Broadhead Foundation, Meridian Community College, WTOK-TV, The Meridian Star and WMDN/WGBC-TV (The Meridian Family of Stations). For more information on the Games, call 800-482-0205 or visit the State Games of Mississippi website at www.stategamesofms.org.

 

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Nominate Your Favorite Athlete & Volunteer

Nominations for Athlete of Year & Volunteer of Year Open

We have been so pleased to offer sports in the unusual year of 2020 — and excited about the participation and the help of our volunteers.

The State Games of Mississippi chooses three athletes each year  — Male, Female and Youth — from nominations in EVERY sport. These three RUSH Athletes of the Year become the torch runners for the 2021 Opening Ceremony.

Coaches, officials, athletes, volunteers and spectators may nominate an athlete for these awards. One female, one male and one youth athlete will be chosen from each sporting event to represent that sport for the 2020 State Games of Mississippi, and three will be named RUSH Athletes of the Year.

Please nominate the athlete of your choice who personifies the ideals of the State Games movement, such as participation, sportsmanship, effort and positive attitude. 

We also recognize the Volunteer of the Year based on your nominations.

Download these forms today to nominate your favorites!

2020 Athlete of the Year Nomination Form

2020 Volunteer of the Year Nomination Form

10 Sports Set for June 2020

Ten Sports Gear Up at State Games — Is Yours One of Them?

PLEASE NOTE: All of these dates are subject to change, due to the pandemic. We will always keep you updated.

 

June 6, 2020

5K Road Race

Volleyball – Youth

June 13, 2020

Softball – Slow Pitch

Volleyball – Two Person

June 13-14, 2020

Archery – 3D & Field

June 19-20, 2020

Softball – Fast Pitch

June 20, 2020

Volleyball – Four Person

June 20-21, 2020

Sporting Clays

June 27, 2020

Trail Run

June 27-28, 2020

Soccer – Youth

 

MERIDIAN, MS — The State Games of Mississippi is pleased to announce that ten sports are ON for June.

“As we said recently, we have been working closely with the governing bodies of the various sports, following the recommendations of Gov. Tate Reeves and local officials, and consulting its Rush Medical Advisory team for guidance on when and how to hold State Games sporting events,” said Carolyn Smith, Executive Director of the State Games.

The safety of all participants, spectators, volunteers and staff at the forefront of each decision to hold an event in 2020, and these ten sports will be no different. “Details on recommendations for social distancing, masks and other aspects that may be different at these events is now available on our website in the various registration forms,” said Smith.

Registration for all ten events is now open. Participants may find forms or register online at StateGamesofMS.org. Athletes and their families will be consistently informed via State Games social media platforms, including the State Games website, Facebook and Constant Contact.

About the State Games of Mississippi

The State Games of Mississippi is now in its 29th year offering top-level competition for Mississippi’s amateur athletes in more than 37 sports. In 2019, more than 5,500 athletes competed.

The State Games of Mississippi keeps its entry fees low primarily through the generous donations of sponsors, including Founding Gold Sponsors: Meridian Coca-Cola Bottling Company and Rush Hospital; and Gold Sponsors: BlueCross BlueShield of Mississippi, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians/Pearl River Resort, Meridian-Lauderdale County Tourism Bureau/Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors, Paul & Sherry Broadhead Foundation, Meridian Community College, WTOK-TV, The Meridian Star and WMDN/WGBC-TV (The Meridian Family of Stations). For more information on the Games, call 800-482-0205 or visit the State Games of Mississippi website at www.stategamesofms.org.

 

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State Games Plans Return to Events in 2020

May 4, 2020

As we continue to navigate the ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic, the State Games of Mississippi is pleased to share it is planning to hold various events as the year progresses.

“While we love to do everything in one month, that is not possible this year. We will offer opportunities later this year for our athletes to come together for the excitement and joy of competition. And, most important, we will keep safety of all participants, spectators, volunteers and staff at the forefront of our decisions,” said Carolyn Smith, Executive Director of the State Games.

The State Games will be working closely with the governing bodies of the various sports, following the recommendations of Gov. Tate Reeves and local officials, and consulting its Rush Medical Advisory team for guidance.

“As we enter Phases 2 and 3 of reopening our communities, we will be announcing dates and locations for various events — with social distancing carefully considered,” Smith said.

Athletes and their families will be consistently informed of planned events via State Games social media platforms, including the State Games website, Facebook and Constant Contact.

“We encourage everyone to keep these sites on their radar, and we pledge to give you timely updates that allow for planning to register, participate and attend events,” said Marketing and Development Director Bobbie Harmon.

While we are confident many of our premier sports will be held this year, our traditional Opening Ceremony will not go on as scheduled.

“We sincerely appreciate our Opening Ceremony sponsor Coca-Cola Bottling of Meridian — a founding sponsor who has been with us for 29 years — and look forward to a spectacular Opening Ceremony in 2021 to celebrate our 30th year,” Smith said.

“As many factors are still unknown, the holding of events later in 2020 is a challenge, but our 29 years of experience have taught us to meet challenges with innovation and determination,” she continued. “As with other challenges, our sponsors, Board of Directors, staff and volunteers have stepped up to find solutions. We will do it together in 2020.”

About the State Games of Mississippi

The State Games of Mississippi is now in its 29th year offering top-level competition for Mississippi’s amateur athletes in more than 37 sports. In 2019, more than 5,500 athletes competed.

The State Games of Mississippi keeps its entry fees low primarily through the generous donations of sponsors, including Founding Gold Sponsors: Meridian Coca-Cola Bottling Company and Rush Hospital; and Gold Sponsors: BlueCross BlueShield of Mississippi, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians/Pearl River Resort, Meridian-Lauderdale County Tourism Bureau/Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors, Paul & Sherry Broadhead Foundation, Meridian Community College, WTOK-TV, The Meridian Star and WMDN/WGBC-TV (The Meridian Family of Stations). For more information on the Games, call 800-482-0205 or visit the State Games of Mississippi website at www.stategamesofms.org.