Local Athletics

Published on July 22nd, 2014 | by Carver Rayburn


Grading the Rebels

CheerleaderShelbyPhotoWith just over 50 days until SEC Football is here, the long summer leg sans collegiate athletics begins. Looking back at Ole Miss Athletics in the 2013-14 gives us a chance to grade the Rebels on the field, diamond, court, and track for their athletic performance in the toughest conference.

Football: B
Ole Miss finished Chapter Two of the Hugh Freeze era with an exciting 25-17 win over Georgia Tech. The Rebels exceeded expectations with an upset win over then No. 6 LSU at home on a last second field goal that sent The Vaught into a frenzy. A disappointing Egg Bowl loss to Mississippi State kept the Rebels from finishing the season with a 9-4 record and a .500 record in the SEC, something that hasn’t happened in a while.

MarshallMadBasketball: C
Coming off an amazing season that reignited a lackluster fan base, the Rebels missed the post-season and a sub 20 win season for just the second time in Andy Kennedy’s tenure at Ole Miss. The departure of Marshall Henderson echoed the loss of interest in the program towards the end of the season.

SamSmithBaseball: A
Still riding high on a remarkable run by the Diamond Rebels that gained national exposure like no other. The Rebels, tied the 2005 squad for wins in a season, 48, and advanced to Omaha for the College World Series for the first time in 42 years. The Rebels, not to be satisfied with a trip to the Mecca of College Baseball, went on to advance to the CWS semi-finals before falling to eventual National Runner-Up Virginia. Ole Miss was picked 12th out of 14 teams prior to the start of the 2014 season. They finished ranked No. 3 Nationally.

SamKendricksTrack and Field: B
Sam Kendricks led the headlines with an NCAA Title in the Pole Volting competition and added a US Title to his resume this past weekend. The Rebels’ squad placed in a tie for 24th in the final team standings, giving them four straight top-25 NCAA team finishes (indoor and outdoor) under head coach Brian O’Neal. It’s the first time in school history that the Rebels have finished top 25 at four straight NCAA Track & Field Meets.

RafaelleSouzaWomen’s Soccer: A
The Rebels finished 16-6-2 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament before falling to No. 3 Florida State to end their season. The loss to top seeded FSU ended a record setting season for the Rebels, who set a new mark for wins in a season and marked the second time in history the Rebels advanced past the first round of the NCAA tournament.

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About the Author

Carver Rayburn was born and raised an Ole Miss Rebel in Oxford, Mississippi. He has worked for many newspapers and magazines in both editorial and advertising, including OffBeat Magazine, The Hattiesburg American, The Meridian Star, The Neshoba Democrat, The Madison County Journal, The Clarke County Tribune, The New Albany Gazette, Southeastern Football Saturdays, and Rebel Yell. He currently lives in New Orleans and has a four-year-old son, Hart. You can contact Carver at carverrayburn@hotmail.com.

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