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Watching the 2012 Leflore County Junior High Tournament unfold with the High School County Tournament Jan. 16-21, old terms such as, â€śblood is thicker than water,â€ť â€śthe acorn does not fall far from the treeâ€ť and â€śthe cream will always rise to the top" come to mind.
The Junior High Tournament is in its infancy compared to the granddaddy of all county Tournaments in Oklahoma.
There are many three generations of coaches and athletes in the Junior High Tournament as well as the High School County Tournament.
Monroe Coach Casey Hemphill is the third in the line of Hemphills who have coached in the LeFlore County Tournament. He is following in his grandfather, Joe Paul Hemphill, who coached Monroe in the Tournament many times. Rodney Hemphill has coached both in the both tournaments and won at both levels. That brings us to Casey, who played for his dad at Pouteau High School, and graduated from the University of Arkansas. It is only rightful and just that his first job is at Monroe.
There's also a young seventh-grade Arkoma Lady Mustang in this year's tournament, Cianna Titsworth. She played like she was a lady on a mission, and that mission is to follow in her father's footsteps as he was an All-Stater from Poteau High School, John Tistworth Jr. Her grandfather, John Titsworth Sr., also had some pretty special genes. Her grandfather is John Titsworth, who was an All-Star at Heavener High School, who played with the Oklahoma Sooners and was recognized by some All American teams. His final game was the 1968 Orange Bowl, where the Sooners upset highly-favored Tennessee as the Volunteers place-kicker missed a chip shot for the win.
Cienna loves to play basketball alone, and like her grandfather, she dreams of playing at OU.
But these are just two examples. There are likely more out there.
If anyone knows of any more three-generation LeFlore County Junior High or High School Tournament three-generation families and/or athletes, email Sports Editor David Seeley (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Sports Correspondent Jim Marsh (email@example.com) so we can recognize these families' sports heritages.
With the length that the two January Leflore County Tournaments have been in existence, there might even be four-generations families to recognize.