Panthers in jamboree action at Hattiesburg

Published 5:00 am Thursday, May 17, 2001

Anxious to see his new team in game-like conditions, CoachAndrew Hickman carries his Brookhaven Panthers to Hattiesburg BlairHigh School Friday for a spring football jamboree. They will playMcClain of Lexington and Hattiesburg, starting at 4 p.m., withjunior varsity action.

The BHS varsity will play the McClain Mustangs at 6:15 and theHattiesburg Tigers at 8.

Hattiesburg at 8. McClain and Hattiesburg will play at 7.

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There will be no punting in the scrimmage. Field goals and extrapoints will be allowed.

“The kids are responding well,” said Hickman. “We have an upbeatattitude and the kids are having a good time.”

Hickman said 15 days weren’t enough to completely install a newoffense. “The kids have done well adapting to coaching changes, aswell as new offensive and defensive terminology.”

He was hired last month to replace Greg Wall who resigned afterfive years at BHS. Wall has returned to South Pike where he coached25 years and began his coaching career.

Wall coached the Panthers to four winning seasons and two stateplayoff appearances. They were 7-3 last season, losing to Gautierin the opening round of the Class 4A state playoffs.

Only one starter returns on defense and just four on offense soHickman faces a major rebuilding task. He was head coach andathletic director at George County for three years before moving toBrookhaven.

“We’ve definitely mode some improvements in practice,” saidHickman. “Our coaching staff has worked hard and the players havegiven a good effort.”

Hickman said Billy Williams, used mainly at tight end as ajunior last season, “has done a good job at quarterback.” Backinghim is Jimmy Johns.

Two returning veterans in the backfield are fullback JoshAnderson and tailback Cornelius Allen. Expected to start for thevarsity at split end tomorrow night are Kendell Nickelson and NickDowns. The tight end is Phillip Tobias.

Brookhaven’s offensive line is anchored by strong guard KernHoff and quick tackle Rayshone Autman. Jessie Bowman is at quickguard and Kenyon Edwards at strong tackle. Kenneth Fairman is thestarting center.

Working as kickers are Josh Brister and Daniel Gates.

Helping coach the offense are Laurin Collins, Randy Spring,Auerilio Quinn and Rob McCreary.

On defense, Perry Pylant is working with the defensiveline and linebackers. Patrick Hardy is coaching thesecondary.

Pylant said Tobias and Marvin Durr would work as anchorends on defense tomorrow night. The tackles are Julius Brown andJulius Lloyd. Tramell McArther is at nose guard.

At linebacker are Brian Mitchell and Lakendrick Maxwell.Cornerbacks are Marcus Foxworth and Belma Cager. In the secondaryare Johns at safety and Zach Jones. Another potential starter inthe secondary, Emmanuel Perkins, has been sidelined by a brokenbone in his right arm.

Hickman said 59 players have completed spring practice.”We will start our summer lifting program soon because we need toget a lot stronger.”