• 59°

Football teams begin preseason practice

Riding high after a state championship campaign in 2004, CoachTucker Peavey’s Brookhaven Panthers launch a rebuilding effortMonday with the start of preseason practice. Ole Brook finished14-1 last season, beating Clarksdale for the Class 4A state titlein Jackson’s Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium.

The Mississippi High School Activities Association hasdesignated Monday as the first official day of preseason practice.Players and coaches are expected to shed lots of sweat as theystruggle with the current heat wave. The first three days will seeplayers practicing in shorts and t-shirts. They can don shoulderpads on the fourth day.

In Lincoln County, there are two new head football coaches whowere assistants last year. Josh Thibodeaux has taken control of theLoyd Star program and veteran Roe Burns has assumed the leadershiprole at Enterprise.

Outside the county, new head coach Grady McCluskey is directingthe Franklin County Bulldogs and newcomer Randy Martin is leadingthe McComb Tigers.

Brookhaven

The Panthers practice at 3 p.m. each day, approximately 2 1/2hours each day. They’ll practice twice on Thursday and Friday.

“I’m ready to get started,” said Peavey,entering his fourthcampaign. “We have some new coaches and we are ready to startworking.

“We have a good bunch of players who have some talent andability,” Peavey pointed out. “They must learn to play at the highlevel we expect.”

Peavey said he expects around 75 players to report.

Under a new format, the freshmen will practice with the varsitythis season. “It will be a whole lot better exposure for them thisyear,” said Peavey. “They’ll be around a lot more coaches.”

Brookhaven debuts Aug. 26, at Franklin County in Meadville.

Bogue Chitto

Coach Gareth Sartin begins practice Monday and Tuesday at 4:30p.m. On Wednesday, drills begin at 3:30.

Sartin said he expects around 35 players to report. The Bobcatsdebut Aug. 26 at North Pike.

Hazlehurst

Coach Willie Brown’s Indians are in a major rebuilding campaign.The Indians will practice at 10 a.m. and later in theafternoon.

Aware of the high heat and humidity, Brown said, “We are goingto look at the heat,” and schedule practices accordingly.

Brown said he expects around 30 varsity candidates. Hazlehurst’sseason opener has been delayed since Lafayette County pulled out ofthe Aug. 26 home date.

The Indians’ first game will be Sept. 2, hosting WilkinsonCounty.

Franklin County.

The Bulldogs will practice from 7:30 to 9:30 on Monday andTuesday. Drills on Wednesday and Thursday, from 1-3 p.m.

McCluskey said he expects 50 players to report.

First game action is on Aug. 19, at the Petal Jamboree. Alsoentered are Lawrence County and Greene County.

On Aug. 26, the Bulldogs host Brookhaven for their seasonopener.

Loyd Star

Coach Thibodeaux said he expects around 50 players to report forpreseason drills.

The Hornets will practice Monday and Tuesday at 4 p.m. andconclude at 6:15. On Wednesday, the Hornets start at 3:15 andpractice until 5:30. On Thursday, they will practice after the 3:30team photo session.

Loyd Star debuts on Thursday, Aug. 25, hosting the West LincolnBears.

McComb

The Tigers, under the direction of new head coach Randy Martin,start practice at 4 p.m. Monday. Martin said he expects around 65players to report.

McComb will host a 3-team jamboree Aug. 19, meeting Columbia andCollins. The Tigers kick off their campaign Aug. 26, at SouthPike.

Wesson

The Cobras start practice Monday at 4 p.m. The first day ofschool is Friday.

Coach Tommy Clopton said he expects 45 players to report forpractice. The Cobras play their first game Aug. 26, hostingEnterprise.

Enterprise

Coach Burns said the Yellow Jackets will practice twice daily,at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Burns said he expects 35 players toreport.

The Jackets play their first game Aug. 26, at Wesson.

West Lincoln

Coach Brooks Burns launches his second campaign at West Lincoln,looking for better results. The Bears kick off preseason drillsMonday at 3 p.m. A team meeting will be held at 2 p.m.

Burns said the Bears will practice from 3-5 p.m. on Monday andTuesday. They will work on fundamentals and conditioning. Burnssaid he expects around 35 players to report.

The Bears debut Aug. 25, at Loyd Star.

Lawrence County

Coach Mike Davis expects 50 players to report for Monday’s 5p.m. practice. School starts Tuesday so the practice start willshift to 2:30 p.m.

The Cougars kick off their campaign Aug. 26, at West Jones.

North Pike

Coach Adam Barron’s Jaguars practice from 3-6 p.m. on Monday andTuesday. Starting Thursday, they’ll practice at 2 p.m.

The Jaguars host Bogue Chitto for their Aug. 26, seasondebut.

Brookhaven Academy

The Cougars made the best of a sweat-soaked, opening week forpreseason drills. They encountered plenty of 90-degree temperaturesand high humidity during the twice-daily practice sessions. Headcoach Ray Ishee said he was pleased with the progress of his27-member varsity squad.

“We had a good week,” said Ishee. “The weather didn’t bother us.It was hot, but we didn’t miss any practice time.

“Our kids responded well,” he continued. “We got a lot ofconditioning, sled work and mental work accomplished.”

There are 27 players on the varsity squad.

The Cougars don full equipment Monday. They’ll start practice at4:30 each day.

Copiah Academy

Coach Mitch Mitchell said he was pleased with the progress histeam has shown in the first week of practice. “We have a lot ofguys with experience.”

Mitchell said lineman Cody Wright missed the first week ofpractice due to a Brown Recluse spider bite. Wright washospitalized.

“We hope to have Cody back on Monday,” said Mitchell.

The Colonels have changed their jamboree date to Thursday, Aug.11. Six teams are expected to participate.