Seniors helped Enterprise football team post 6-4 record

Published 6:00 am Thursday, December 14, 2000

When Enterprise head football coach Ricky Deere, talks about his2000 campaign, he proudly points to a group of senior footballplayers he has been coaching since the seventh grade. ThoseEnterprise elders helped the Yellow Jackets post a 6-4 record, themost wins since the 1988 season.

“These seniors have been a very valuable part of what successwe’ve had this year,” said Deere. He listed the names of linebackerZack Smith, guard/defensive tackle Stuart Britt, two-way tackleKevin Harris, guard/tackle Scott Johnson, running back/defensiveend Brent Boyd, wide receiver/safety Reynald Skipper, defensiveback Justin Busby and manager Chris Byrd.

“Our seniors worked hard in the weight room, even during theChristmas holidays,” said Deere. “It showed that this group haddedication and desire to be successful.

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“I’ve been with them since the seventh grade. I’ve watched themgrow and mature into the young men that they are today. I will misseach and every one of of them.”

Deere said a winning tradition at Enterprise has beenestablished. Now it must continue growing.

“This program had absolutely no confidence in winning and verylittle self-esteem three years ago,” said Deere, when he waselevated to head coach. “I have seen improvement in the number ofplayers in our football program and much improvement in the weightroom.”

The Enterprise Booster Club helped built a new field house forthe football team. The Jackets used it for the first time thisseason. Finishing work has not been completed.

“We are looking for much improvement in team strength for nextseason,” said Deere. “We must hit the weights hard.”

The Jackets enter a new format, featuring a regional scheduleversus such powers as Natchez Cathedral, St. Aloysius, Stringer,Mt. Olive and Mize, the reigning state champion. Other region foesare Dexter, Salem, Bogue Chitto and West Lincoln.

“We must improve our turnover ratio and reduce our number ofpenalties,” said Deere. “Our passing game must make improvements,too.”

The Enterprise rushing attack should be strong with the returnof 1,000-yard rusher Shermaine Vaughn, voted the Most ValuableOffensive Player in Division 7-1A. Bobby Smith, an All-LincolnCounty running back as a sophomore, sustained a knee injury lastspring and didn’t play as a junior. Smith rushed for 1400 yards asa sophomore.

Joining Smith and Vaughn in the backfield will be quarterbackJustin Kyzar and fullback Monti Crotwell. “We should have a verypotent offense,” Deere predicted. “Shermaine really stepped up whenBobby went down with a knee injury.”

Deere will have a talented group of freshmen joining the varsityunit. Enterprise won the district junior high title and finished5-1, beating Dexter 36-34 for the championship. The junior Jacketshave enjoyed 5 consecutive winning seasons.

According to Deere, new assistant coach Scott Leggett has been aplus for the program. “Coach Leggett has been a lot of help. He isa good football coach.”

Enterprise must fill several positions in the offensive anddefensive lines. Deere said guard Matt Runnells would be returningto the team after missing the season due to a shoulder injury. “Weare glad to have Matt returning.”

Skipper was Enterprise’s leading receiver with 15 catches for315 yards and 2 TDs. He also led the team in interceptions with7.

Kyzar completed 50 of 102 passes for 775 yards and 8 TDs.Crotwell rushed for 417 yards.

Boyd rushed for 463 yards and was a leader on defense with 38tackles and 2 safeties. Vaughn recorded 82 tackles and intercepted1 pass.

“We are looking forward to spring practice,” said Deere.