Mississippi College and Delta State University have had a rivalry since 1935. The rivalry started as a football rivalry and slowly became a part of many other sports on campus. Each year the teams battle out in a fall football game where students chant “[b]eat the okra!” which is Delta State’s mascot. The same comes from the rivalry in the season of basketball, both mens and women. Not only do the students get into the fun and excitement of the game, but so do many Clinton residents.
On Saturday, Jan. 27, the Choctaws battled it out at 4 in the afternoon against the Fighting Okra. Many students crowded the student section, but those weren’t the only ones in the student section in A.E. Wood Coliseum. Many Clinton residents, parents, and MC graduates crowded the bleachers. Mary Elizabeth Dulaney, Clinton resident and MC undergraduate student studying finance, enjoys supporting her Choctaws at every chance she gets. “Going to a rivalry game being an MC student and a Clinton resident does have a good feeling to it. The atmosphere and the feeling of having many people under one roof supporting the same team feels very inclusive,” said Dulaney while engaged in the game.
Music played as the teams were meeting in a timeout as Dulaney talked about her time supporting Mississippi College sports. “Coming together as a community feels like we are all one family, a family that supports our Choctaws. It’s refreshing to say the least,” she added. The Choctaws played a tough game as many were engaged in the excitement.
One local resident sat wearing a Mississippi College ball cap with his feet propped on the bleacher below him. “Two games for five bucks, can’t beat that,” Jeffrey Nichols said laughing. Nichols is a local resident who spends time coming to the games to support his son’s alma mater. “I’ve really enjoyed the excitement of the game, I’ve come to a couple games so far this season and really enjoyed it,” he added. Nichols comes to the games to have some excitement.
Dulaney and Nicholas are just two of the many local residents who are actively involved in supporting the Choctaws during the season. This is not the only way that Clinton is engaged with MC and MC with Clinton. Many local businesses are also sponsors of MC Athletics and encourage growth in the community. Many businesses like Zaxby’s, Trustmark, Bankplus, and Comfort Inn and Suites support the Choctaws.
Mississippi College and Clinton facilitate growth and community between each other, whether that is through sponsorships, local residents going to games, or MC graduates coming back to support their college and small town. Although MC and Delta State have a rivalry, MC and Clinton will always grow together in the hopes of community. The boys basketball game ended in a score of 64 to 76, with the victory going to Delta State. “Even though we didn’t win this round, I will always support the Choctaws in the student section,” psychology student Amy Freeman said.