Select Page

Rebel Walk Writers Steve Barnes and Clint Crockett: From high school to Oxford and back again

Rebel Walk Writers Steve Barnes and Clint Crockett: From high school to Oxford and back again

GONZALEZ, Fla. – In addition to being writers for The Rebel Walk, Clint Crockett and Steve Barnes each went to Tate High School in Florida, and for a brief time, they were in the school at the same time.

The pair recently returned to their old stomping ground as the football field was dedicated to their former coach, Carl Madison. Madison led the Tate Aggies to their only state title in 1980 and after that led two other schools to state championships and even won the mythical national championship in 1988.

Madison’s career is remarkably chronicled in Crockett’s book, “The Chief: Carl Madison’s Life in Football.”

After the ceremony, the two compared notes on their experiences and thoughts about their high school and Ole Miss.

Of all the Ole Miss coaches in history, who does Coach Madison remind you of the most?

Clint: Billy Brewer. Just old school, hard-nosed, tough guy. The ‘x’s and o’s,’ just a classic old school coach.

Steve: Coach Madison is the Johnny Vaught of Tate High School, but I will go with Brewer as well. When I played for coach Madison, I weighed 145 pounds tops and he would always tell me if I put on 100 pounds, he would let me play guard. When I was in Oxford, one Sunday my friends and I played a pickup game in Vaught-Hemingway, and we noticed coach Brewer in the stands watching. I was playing receiver and I put a move on a guy that made him fall, but I am sure the seven beers he had consumed helped with that, then I made a pretty good catch on the sidelines. Coach Brewer called me over and asked where I was from and where I played in high school. I told him and he said, “Oh, you played for Carl Madison, no wonder you know what you are doing out there. If you weighed 190 and had any speed at all, we could have used you here.” To me that sounded like Coach Madison talking to me.

Are there any similarities between Tate and Ole Miss?

Clint: I really don’t think there are a lot of similarities between Tate and Ole Miss. I think the pride in the football programs at both has a little bit of living in the past with their football history, which Ole Miss has turned around. We’re starting to see a little more close to the glory days; Tate’s still not there though.

Steve: Physically the campus size at Ole Miss reminded me of Tate. My senior year of high school, my homeroom was in the agriculture building on one end of campus and my first period class was in the Jennings Building on the other end. It was about the same walking distance from my dorm at Kincannon to Farley Hall. What was most similar was the atmosphere. Technically, I went to James Madison Tate High School and the University of Mississippi. But, in reality I went to Tate and Ole Miss. There is a difference.

Who is your all-time favorite Rebel, favorite player when you were in school and favorite current player?

Note: Both Clint and Steve picked Archie Manning as their favorite player of all-time, but each decided to go with a different player, so they didn’t have the same answer.

Clint: Patrick Willis. He’s certainly the most decorated player I got to watch and has been a great representative of Ole Miss since he came back to school.

When I was in school, I was a big Jamie Holder fan because he was a walk-on receiver and made his way, earned a scholarship and was a strong contributor to the team.

My favorite Rebel now is Quinshon Judkins, I’ve never seen anything like him. Deuce (McAllister) is the closest. Deuce isn’t close to the number of carries Quinshon is getting now or he’d be putting up similar numbers. It’s just hard not to root for a kid like that – somewhat under the radar who has proven to be one of the top freshmen, if not one of the top players, in the country.

Steve: I will go with my friend John Fourcade. We got to know one another when we both worked in arena football, and I love his old war stories. He was also the quarterback bridge at Ole Miss between Archie and Eli.

When I was in school, I loved Holder as well, but I will go with Kelly Powell. In 1983, we started 1-5 and coach Brewer made a quarterback change putting Powell in for Kent Austin. Ole Miss went on a roll beating teams like LSU, Tennessee and of course winning the “immaculate rejection” Egg Bowl.

As for this year’s team, I will go way off the radar. I love Jonathan Cruz. I know, not many would pick a kicker, but the kid has come to the team and has been money in the bank, and dear Lord, please do not let me be jinxing him here. In addition to being great on the field, he is very articulate with the media, so you know I love that.

Of all of these uniform combinations, which is your favorite, and which should go away forever?

Clint: I’ll start with my least favorite and I’ll take the attitude of ‘if the kids like them, the recruits like them, I can live with just about anything.’ But my least favorite was the camo deal that we did a few weeks ago. The white helmets are okay, but I don’t want to see them multiple times a year.  My favorite, my classic, I love the navy-blue jerseys, navy blue helmet with gray pants with stripes on them.

Steve: I am old school. So, my favorites are any combination that is traditional. I have never been a fan of the light blue. When I see that I think of North Carolina basketball. I especially hate any combination of the light blue and navy blue.

Which of the last three regular-season opponents scare you most?

Clint: It’s easy to say Alabama, but seeing what LSU’s quarterback did last week, I’m scared about K.J. Jefferson of Arkansas. It will be tough. It will be a shootout. I think it will be a similar game that we experienced with them last year. I think there will be a lot of points scored.

Steve: I would say Bama, but to be honest, Mississippi State gives me a scary feeling. It will be the marquee game being on television Thanksgiving night, so it might be the only chance for people all over the country to see Ole Miss play. Plus, State should be 7-4 and looking for an upper-echelon bowl game. And Mike Leach has not beaten Ole Miss and it is tough to dominate one coach for long.

Evelyn Van Pelt
Evelyn Van Pelt

Evelyn has covered sports for over two decades, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn’s love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship. Evelyn created the Rebel Walk in 2013 and has served as publisher and managing editor since its inception.

About The Author

Evelyn Van Pelt

Evelyn has covered sports for over two decades, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn's love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship. Evelyn created the Rebel Walk in 2013 and has served as publisher and managing editor since its inception.

Leave a Reply

Recruiting Updates

Visit The Rebel Walk Forum

GRIDIRON GALLERY

Get RW Updates

Rebel Walk on Twitter

%d bloggers like this: