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Football players battle through heat

Area football players battled through intense heat and humiditythis week, making the best of a difficult situation. Most coacheswere pleased with the condition of their players. It was the firstweek of preseason practice for Mississippi High School ActivitiesAssociation members.

After the first three days in shorts and t-shirts, players puton shoulder pads Thursday. The sixth practice permits players todon full equipment.

Brookhaven: The Panthers put on shoulder padsThursday. They had a contact scrimmage Saturday morning in fullpads. It was their sixth day of practice

“We are in pretty good shape,” said Brookhaven head coach TuckerPeavey. “It’s been kind of warm but we have gotten through it. It’sa totally different environment when you put those pads on.”

There are 53 varsity players on the squad. The Panthers debutAug. 29, at Hazlehurst.

“We have been working on timing this week, on offense anddefense,” said Peavey. “It’s new to some of the players.”

Brookhaven Academy: The Cougars concluded theirsecond week of preseason practice under Mississippi Private SchoolAssociation guidelines. Coach Ray Ishee said he has been encouragedby his team’s enthusiasm.

“The kids are responding really well,” said Ishee. “They areworking hard. Several of them are going to have to play both waysso we are working on conditioning.”

The Cougars put on full equipment last Monday.

“We have some younger kids who are learning and we are makingprogress,” said Ishee. “We feel good about that.”

The Cougars play in the McComb Parklane Jamboree on Fridaynight, Aug. 15.

West Lincoln: Ron DuPree, approved two weeksago as head coach, has been busy learning his new players. Hereplaced Willie Brumfield who accepted a coaching position at OakGrove Middle School.

DuPree, moving to West Lincoln from Dallas, said it has been alearning experience for him and his players. “I think I need to doa better job presenting the material. At times they’ve reallylooked good.

“They have to adjust to me and I have to adjust to them,” saidDuPree. “It’s kind of fun. I really like it.”

The Bears debut Aug. 29, at Loyd Star.

DuPree said 35 players are participating in practice. “We havebeen working on offense and defense and the weights.”

“It’s a joy to coach them,” DuPree pointed out. “Their parentshave done a good job raising them.”

Bogue Chitto: “Practice is going good,” saidBogue Chitto head coach Gareth Sartin. “We’ve had right around 30each day. The kids have been working hard.”

Sartin said the Bobcats were working on fundamentals andconditioning this week. “We are trying to get them in shape beforewe put the pads on.”

The Bobcats debut Aug. 29, at McAdams.

Enterprise: New head coach Scott Leggett ranhis team through light workouts the first three days of practicebefore donning shoulder pads. He was elevated to the head job lastweek after Ricky Deere retired.

Leggett said around 40 players are participating inpractice.

“We have been doing a lot of conditioning,” said Leggett. “Wehave done the ropes (agility drills) and gone over specialteams.

“We are trying to get them in shape and used to this heat.”

The Jackets debut Aug. 29, at Wesson.

Lawrence County: Coach Trent Hammond said hehas been encouraged by the performance of his players in the firstweek of preseason preparation. “We had some really goodpractices.

“Our first day in shoulder pads was pretty good. Our kids actedlike they are excited to be here. That made it fun to be outthere.”

The Cougars reviewed offense and defense this week. They alsoworked on conditioning.

“Most of them have worked hard all summer so they are in prettygood shape,” said Hammond. “We do a lot of work in the summer.”

The Cougars host Franklin County in a Thursday night, seasonopener. They put on full equipment Monday.

Franklin County: The Bulldogs conditioning andfundamentals in practice this week. They put on shoulder padsThursday.

“I feel like we had a very good first week,” said head coachAnthony Hart. His Bulldogs are preparing for their season openeragainst Lawrence County, set for Thursday night, Aug. 28, atMonticello.

Loyd Star: The Hornets participated in PictureDay Friday afternoon on W.E. “Sambo” Smith Field. Coach SidneyWheatley said the Hornets have been working hard in practice.

“We’ve had a few kids quit but it’s better for them to leave nowinstead of after the season starts,” said Wheatley. “We still havea good group with a lot of senior leadership.”

Loyd Star is changing helmets this season. Instead of the redhelmet with a star decal, the Hornets will wear a white helmet withLS printed on each side.