JACKSON — C Spire is the presenting sponsor of a new original documentary series that will air this fall on statewide television capturing the history, rich tradition and passion around Mississippi’s greatest sports stories.
“Between the Pines: Mississippi’s Greatest Sports Stories” is the creation of Bash Brothers Media and will debut on local television stations in Mississippi and Memphis in mid-October and on social media and online platforms managed by both companies.
Participating TV stations who will air the first-of-its-kind series include WLBT Channel 3 in Jackson, WDAM Channel 7 in Hattiesburg, WLOX Channel 13 in Biloxi, WCBI Channel 13 in Columbus, WTOK Channel 11 in Meridian and WMC Channel 5 in Memphis, Tennessee. Broadcast times for the one-hour program will vary based on station affiliate schedules.
The first episode, “The University of South Panola (USP),” is scheduled to air Oct. 13 and 14 and tells the story of South Panola High School’s famous football dynasty in Batesville. The “University of South Panola,” as the school was nicknamed by former Clarion-Ledger sports editor and columnist Rick Cleveland, rose to one of the best programs in America, won the national championship in 2010 and owns the fifth-longest winning streak in U.S. high school football history at 89 consecutive games.
On Nov. 13 and 14, local stations will air the second episode, “The Vet,” which will show how a single stadium — the Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson — shaped society and college football in the South. The Vet has hosted Mississippi’s greatest players, its biggest games and many of its most important sports moments over the last 68 years.
Producers and C Spire are planning several live events, including a kick-off celebration at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, VIP premieres in selected markets and a comprehensive digital media component on both Bash Brothers and C Spire social media and online platforms.
The list of cast members for the first two episodes reads like a who’s who of notable Mississippi sports legends and movers and shakers in the political and professional world, including, among others, Cleveland, former Ole Miss and NFL quarterback Archie Manning, former Gov. William Winter, former Ole Miss chancellor Robert Khayat, former Mississippi Valley State quarterback Willie Totten, former Mississippi State quarterback John Bond and former South Panola and NFL player Deshea Townsend.
“Mississippi’s passion for sports is famously like no other — it defines the culture of our state and brings our people together,” said documentary executive producer Jon Wiener, vice president of Bash Brothers Media. “We’re excited to partner with C Spire to deliver that story on screen across the state at a level that has never been done before.”