Cellular South Football Classic at Franklin Co.
The temperatures are in the 90s and the humidity is climbinghigher each day. Certainly, it’s a sure indication that it’s timefor the annual spring football jamborees to commence.
Things are going well for the Fifth Annual Cellular South SpringFootball Classic. The jamboree will be played Friday at FranklinCounty’s Louie Mullins Stadium in Meadville. Joining FranklinCounty in the jamboree will be teams from Bogue Chitto, AmiteCounty, Tylertown and Dexter.
Under this year’s format, two scrimmages or games will be heldsimultaneously on both sides of the midfield stripe. It willfeature a running clock and 15-minute quarters. Teams will changefrom offense to defense at the end of each quarter.
Bogue Chitto, coached by Carl Cole, will playAmite County in the 3 p.m. opener while Coach MichaelGoff’s Franklin County Bulldogs play Tylertown on theother side of the 50-yard line. The next pairings will send AmiteCounty against Tylertown and the Bogue Chitto B-Team againstDexter. In the final pairings, Franklin County’s B-Team playsDexter and the varsity meets Bogue Chitto.
Goff said he has 59 players on the Franklin County roster. Mostof them are ninth graders; 33 are freshmen. Three seniors graduatedfrom last year’s team so optimism is high regarding the fallcampaign.
Brookhaven, on hand for the first four Classics at Meadville, ismore conspicuous by its absence. The Panthers are in a massiverebuilding effort. BHS head coach Greg Wallpreferred an intrasquad scrimmage which would allow more of hisinexperienced players to see action.
The Panthers are scheduled to scrimmage this evening at 6:30p.m., on King Field.
Wesson’s Cobras, under the direction of coach RonaldGreer, will play Friday in the Richland jamboree. The Cobras willplay Enterprise, Clarkdale and Richland. West Lincoln’s Bears,coached by Preston Gordon, also are entered. The Bears will playthe Richland JV at 4:30.
Enterprise, coached by Ricky Deere, is scheduled to playWesson at 7:30 and Clarkdale at 5.
Loyd Star, coached by Anthony Hart, will play in theFlorence jamboree on Friday, May 19. There are 58 players on LoydStar’s team this spring. Hart replaced Coach Roe Burns at the helmin late December.
The 13th Annual Mississippi/Alabama All-Star Football Classicwill have plenty of local interest next month. Four players, threefrom Lawrence County and one from Brookhaven, are participating.They include fullback Aaron Yarborough ofBrookhaven and fullback Lorenzo Townsend,tailback/wingback Michael Loving and defensive back AaronPitts of Lawrence County.
Another local connection, Franklin County head coach andathletic director Michael Goff, is serving as an assistant coach onthe Mississippi staff.
Two Saturdays ago, the Mississippi team gathered at HindsCommunity College for a minicamp. They worked in groups, hadphysicals and took pictures. After eating lunch, the coaches lookedat punters and kickers and reviewed the kicking game.
Group defense against a dummy offense and group offense againsta dummy defense were one of the priorities. Players must learn anew system on offense and defense.
“We have some very talented players,” said Goff. “I would liketo line up with that bunch every Friday night.”
Goff will coach the linebackers. He said they are talented andthey can run. “They look like they could play defensive backbecause they’re so fast.”
Loving probably will be used as a wideout. “He’s capable ofplaying in a lot of places,” said Goff. “Townsend and Yarboroughwill be the fullbacks.”
Pitts, Loving and Townsend were instrumental in LawrenceCounty’s historical 1999 Class 4A state championship season. Thetrio and Yarborough have signed scholarships with Co-Lin.
Conditioning will be a factor for players and coaches as they gothrough a week of practice prior to the game. Mobile is hot andhumid, especially in the summer months.
“It will be hot down there,” said Goff. “We’ve told them to getready for it.”
The Mississippi squad is under the direction of Forest coachJack French.
Alabama leads the series 7-5, including last year’s 28-24victory. This year’s Classic will be played on Saturday night, June17th, at Ladd-Peeples Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is 7:30.
HELP WANTED: Lawrence County athletic director TonyDavis is in the market for a new baseball coach. Davis, longtimehead baseball coach for the Cougars, has resigned from thatpositron. He plans to continue to serve as anadministrator.
Davis and his brother, built a top-notch program at the school.It will be a great job opportunity for the right person.