Nicole Bexten

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Local Schools Get Gridiron Classic Checks

STARKVILLE, MISS. – The physical education programs at Starkville High and Eupora High a check for $1,000 on Thursday, as the Class 5A and Class 2A winner of the “Text to Win” Contest held during the 2012 Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Gridiron Classic football championship game at Memorial Stadium in Jackson on December 1.

With the “Text to Win” Contest, fans and supporters for each team were encouraged to get in on the rivalry by texting in during the big game. The team with the most text entries would receive $1,000 to be earmarked for its physical education program. Starkville also beat Pascagoula on the field during the 5A division game with a score of 28-11.

“We feel like we have a lot of overachievers at Starkville High School — and that goes from our students to our faculty and staff,” said Keith Fennell, Principal at Starkville High School. “They are going to give it their best in everything they do, like this contest. And with budgets being what they are today, this obviously will make a big difference for our physical education department. We appreciate Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi and everyone who partners with and helps our school.”

“We knew we would probably struggle to beat Bassfield on the field, so we tried to beat them in texting,” Eupora football coach and athletic director Junior Graham said. “It really was an enjoyable week. We announced the contest every day before school. The whole community got involved. This is a really big deal, especially with all the budget cuts we’ve had here. That (the physical education department) normally is where the first things get cut. This is going to benefit us in a number of ways.”

“We know that student athletes and active kids will experience the benefits of regular workouts and training that extend far beyond the playing field, “ said John Sewell, Director, Corporate Communications at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi. “This is why we are supporting Mississippi schools and students in establishing healthy habits today, as a key part of ensuring healthy future generations.”

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi was the title sponsor for the 2012 MHSAA Football Championship and continues its support of Mississippi’s student athletes with further sponsorship of MHSAA championship events including cheer & dance, basketball, soccer, track & field, baseball, softball, tennis, and power lifting.