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Greene County has playoff tradition

LEAKESVILLE — Greene County’s Wildcats are playoff veterans.This is the seventh straight year for Greene Co. to make theplayoffs. The Wildcats tee it up Friday night at Hazlehurst in thequarterfinals of the Class 3A state playoffs. Kickoff is 7 p.m.

Greene County head coach Johnny Ainsworth has been at the helmfor nine years. His Wildcats have compiled an overall 83-27record.

Four schools, Leakesville, McLain, State Line and Sand Hill,consolidated to form the school several years ago. It is located 60miles east of Hattiesburg. The Wildcats are best recognized fortheir prowess on the football field, winning a state title in2003.

Ainsworth’s Wildcats carry at 9-2 record into tonight’s game.They’ve whipped 48-7 and Jackson Bailey 56-0 in the first tworounds of the playoffs.

Losses this season were administered by West Lauderdale, 45-44;and Wayne County, 21-0.

According to Ainsworth, he has 11 seniors on his 71-membervarsity roster.

Quarterback Markeus Bivens (5-8, 165, sr.) leads the Wildcats’option attack. He had 1,047 yards during the regular season, plus23 touchdowns.

Cole Williams (6-0, 200, sr.) works at fullback. The twoslotbacks are Justin Matthews (6-2, 190, sr.) and Brandon Bolton(5-11, 175, jr.).

Matthews has scored 15 touchdowns.

“One thing that makes us go is our offensive line,” Ainsworthpointed out. “We think we are pretty good there.”

Three seniors and two juniors compose his offensive line. Theyare R.J. Brown (6-2, 280, sr.) and Brandon Smith (6-2, 280, sr.) attackle; Leo Garrett (5-10, 270, sr.) and George King (5-11, 275,jr.) at guard, and Gaines West (6-1, 255, jr.) at center.

Working at receiver are Melvin Walker (6-2, 165, soph.) and BillFranks (5-10, 165, soph.).

“When we throw, Walker and Franks are primary targets.,”explained Ainsworth.

Sandry Vera is the placekicker. Bivens punts.

Ainsworth said Matthews is being looked at by Ole miss. Smithand Brown and tackle getting a look from several colleges.

On defense, Justin Pipkins (6-0, 240, sr.) leads the Wildcats.Travis Talbert (6-1, 260, jr.) at defensive end, Jacob Warren(5-11, 185, sr.) at linebacker are leaders.

Asked about tonight’s opponent, Ainsworth said, “Hazlehurst isvery athletic. They are good on both sides of the ball and specialteams.”

Ainsworth said every playoff game is difficult, especially afterthe first round. “When you get to this point, there won’t be anybad teams. Their coach (Willie Brown) does a good job withthem.”