Area teams put on full equipment
Brookhaven Academy has labored through a week in full equipment,after starting football practice a week earlier than the publicschools. Now the rest of the area teams will don full equipmentMonday as preparations intensify for the 2005 season openers.
Coach Ray Ishee watched his Cougars work in full equipment thisweek and was encouraged by their progress. They are starting theirthird week of practice tomorrow, preparing for an Aug. 19 homeopener against Copiah Academy.
“We had some good practices but we were a little sluggish onMonday,” said Ishee. “The kids weren’t used to pads but we finishedthe week strong.”
Ishee said he was impressed by the progress of his front line.”They have all worked hard in the weight room. They are bigger andstronger.”
On offense, Chip Wells is back at left guard, Corey Bailey atleft tackle, Chad Caldwell at strong tackle, and Wesley Taylor atstrong guard started last year. Sawyer Smith has moved to centerand shown improvement.
The Cougars are scheduled to participate in a Friday nightjamboree at Adams County Christian School in Natchez.
The defending Class 4A state champion Panthers concluded theirfirst week of preseason practice under head coach Tucker Peavey.They also adjusted to two new assistants coaches, Mike Powell,offensive line; and Dustin Lott, tight ends.
“Basically, we have a lot of spots to fill,” said Peavey. “Theimportant thing is to do things right and do themconsistently.”
Peavey said 74 players participated in the first week ofpractice which was limited to light contact. The freshmen also arepracticing with the varsity this year.
Ole Brook debuts Aug. 26 at Franklin County in Meadville.
Rain has been a factor in Meadville as first-year head coachGrady McCluskey leads the Bulldogs through preseason practice.McCluskey, offensive coordinator last season, replaced Anthony Hartwho took the head job at Lafayette County in Oxford.
“We’ve been rained on a little bit but we’ve been getting somestuff done,” said McCluskey. “The rain has kept it cooler for thekids.
“We are putting in our base stuff and working on special teams.”Our kids are doing great,” said McCluskey. “They’re doing a goodjob.”
The Bulldogs, numbering 60 players, participate in the Petaljamboree on Thursday, Aug. 18, starting at 6 p.m. They play Petal,Greene County and Lawrence County.
“Our kids are having to learn a lot of new things,” said CoachMike Davis. “The attitude they’ve had responding to the weather hasbeen great.
“The conditions Wednesday were difficult because it was so hotand humid,” said Davis. “We had a little water in the ground and itstarted coming back.”
Davis said his players are in good condition, and have been ableto handle the heat. “We have worked on fundamental stuff. We have alot of new kids in different positions.”
The Cougars, numbering 50 strong, participate in the Petaljamboree on Aug. 18. There are two new coaches on staff in JamesGrubbs and Jay Livingston.
The Cobras, coached by Tommy Clopton, had team pictures taken onFriday in Stone Stadium. They host Enterprise in their Aug. 26season debut.
Coach Roe Burns said he is averaging 30 players at practice.Joining the staff as defensive coordinator is Loyd Star productSeth Lofton, a recent West Alabama University graduate.
“We got most of our defense in,” said Burns, 58, who is in hisfirst year as head coach at Enterprise. “We are trying to find aquarterback.”
Working at quarterback are Chris Fuller, Skippy Hopkins, BlakeMcKee and T. Herrington.
Burns is missing two starting quarterbacks from last year. Theyboth elected not to play this fall, skipping the required summerweight training and conditioning program.
“We have been fortunate to practice twice a day,” said Burns.”Our kids are showing a lot of spirit.”
The Jackets won’t participate in a jamboree. Their first game isAug. 26 at Wesson.
“We had a good week and it wasn’t too hot, except the last twodays,” said Bogue Chitto coach Gareth Sartin. “Our kids had a goodattitude and worked hard. We are trying to get in shape.”
Sartin said the Bobcats worked on fundamentals. “We are startingto put in our offense and defense and work on basic plays.”
Sartin said 25 players participated during the first week. Heexpects to get 10 more players when school begins Monday.
Practice runs from 3 p.m. to 5:30 each day this week.
The Bobcats debut Aug. 26, at North Pike.
The Hornets, under the direction of first-year head coach JoshuaThibodeaux,
have made progress this week.
“The enthusiasm has been high,” said Thibodeaux. “We are lookingat a lot of different kids.”
Thibodeaux said a priority is building depth in the offensiveline. “We have some strong seniors but we are thin on depth. We areblessed with a lot of backs.”
Loyd Star hosts West Lincoln on Thursday, Aug. 25.