August 16, 2010 Rotogram


Gene Smith, U.S. Air Force veteran and former manager of the Golden Triangle Regional Airport, will tell of his Vietnam War experiences.


The Mississippi Armed Forces Museum will be the topic for Chad Daniels, director of the museum located at Camp Shelby south of Hattiesburg.


Invocation and Pledge: Charlotte Coker

Attendance 55.7%

Present — 109 (38 exempt, 2 honorary)

Absent — 78 (13 exempt, 10 honorary)

Guests and visitors: Visiting Rotarians were Bill Overstreet of West Point and Brent Melton of the Downtown Jackson Club. Member guests were Bill Harned of Horace Harned, Patricia Faver and Richard Hilton of Tommy Tomlinson, Bob Marshall of Frank Chiles, Gordon and Jan Eastman of Prentiss Gordon, Jim Tompkins of Carey Hardin, Martin Harpole of Sandra Harpole, Mike Highfield of Lynne Richardson, Russell Kelly of Jim Ormon, and Stan Miller of Larry Box. Guests of the Club were Straton Karatassos, and Kim Murrell and Danny Smith of the Starkville Daily News.

Resignations: Jeremy Brock, Mike McGreevey, Clyde Herring, Gary B. Jackson


The Classification Committee has recommended and the Board approved four prospective members.

Patricia Faver is the chief legal officer for the Oktibbeha County Hospital. Proposed by Sonny Kelly, her classification is “legal.”

Richard Hilton is the associate administrator and chief financial officer of OCH. Proposed by Sonny Kelly, his classification is “medical/health care.”

Marc McGee is the director of the Mississippi State University Research and Technology Corporation and of the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park. Proposed by Ken Ramsey, his classification is “education-administration.”

Stan Miller is athletic director for the Starkville School District. Formerly a Rotarian in Pearl, Miss., and Arkadelphia, Ark., he is proposed by Larry Box with the classification “education.”


Jan Eastman, director of development with the CREATE Foundation of Northeast Mississippi, brought thanks and a special request to the Club.

SOAR and eight other civic organizations are staffing a booth at the Sturgis South Motorcycle Rally this week. All proceeds go to the Oktibbeha County tuition guarantee fund at East Mississippi Community College.

“Between Rotary and SOAR, we now have about $19,000 in the fund,” said Eastman.

“If we sell everything, we could net between $25,000 to $27,000,” she said of the project selling stadium cups, visors, collapsible coolers, can huggies, cinch backpacks, and ice.

Five or more Rotary volunteers are needed to set up, sell, manage parking slots or manage ice machines. Shifts last four hours.

To volunteer, you can contact Eastman at .


Jack Forbus, past district governor, was recognized with a District Service Award at the Aug. 2 meeting, but was not able to address the Club due to time constraints of the annual DG’s visit.

President Tommy called on him for comments.

“I just want to thank this club,” said Forbus. “It is the reason the district has been able to do the things it has done in the literacy program.”

There now are 24 of 44 District 6820 clubs committed to the Between the Lions reading program.

Forbus will promote broader participation when he reports to the 3,000 attendees at the Rotary zone meeting in Nashville in a couple of weeks.

“If more clubs adopt the project, our club will be known as the foundation and prototype,” said Forbus.


For Straton Karatassos and Rockey Felker, going to work every day is a reunion. The college roommates have made their marks on Mississippi State football for the better part of five decades.

Karatassos, the associate athletic director for development, introduced Felker who is the Bulldogs’ director of player personnel and high school relations.

When state’s season kicks off on Sept. 4 against the University of Memphis, Felker says expect to see a tougher, more talented team.

The former Bulldog quarterback and later head coach attributes the improved talent level to the fact that more than 50 of the 80 scholarship players are from Mississippi.

“There’s no doubt we’re going to be a tough team,” said Felker. “They’ve got the right attitude. Whether they are bigger, better or stronger than their opponents, they think they are.”

“Last year we might not have been the most talented team, but we showed up and played all four quarters,” he said. “We will be a physical team”

Assessing the team, Felker noted the three quarterback situation. Chris Relf is playing with a lot more confidence, especially in light of his Egg Bowl performance last November.

Tyler Russell is young with four playing years left. The 215 pound, six feet, five inches back can see well from the pocket. The new man in the mix, Dylan Favre, “has that confidence to match the last name.”

The whole offensive line except one player is back from last year.

Anthony Dixon’s replacement will be a “running back by committee” with a number of players moving in and out throughout a game.

Felker says the new defensive coordinators, Manny Diaz and Chris Wilson bring a lot of energy and excitement. He guarantees fans will see an aggressive defense.

The most significant game change that Felker sees is the 40-second clock. In his day as a player, play action was governed by an official standing over the ball until it was time to move. Now, as soon as the one play ends, the next play commences. That should appreciably speed up the game.

Other things that have not changed, but have been refined are the wishbone and triple option offenses. He noted that the Bulldogs ran the triple option when he was quarterback in the 1970s.

Felker’s 1974 team led the Southeastern Conference in total offense on the way to a 9-3 record and a Sun Bowl win over North Carolina.

His 6-5 record in 1986 was the first winning record in a first season for a Bulldog head coach since Darrell Royal 1954.

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