Hoff, Choctaws aim for winning season

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, August 29, 2006

CLINTON — Brookhaven product Kern Hoff has been a 3-yearstarter for the Mississippi College Choctaws. Hoff hopes his lastseason at MC will be the best.

“Practice is going real well,” said Hoff. “We had a scrimmageyesterday on the game field and the offense looked real good.”

Hoff is starting at center for MC. “We have a right tackle andleft guard who are returning starters. Our guys who have stepped inare playing real well.”

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Coach Norman Joseph’s Choctaws are looking for better resultsthis season after a 2-8 finish in 2005. In seven of their losses,the Chocs were within seven points in the fourth quarter.

“Coach (Joseph) told us he was real pleased with our progress inthe offensive line,” said Hoff. “We had some games last year thatcame down to the fourth quarter. Hopefully, we will turn thatcorner and be more productive this year.”

Hoff (6-0, 270) said he enjoys working for new offensive linecoach Chris Fancher “He has a positive attitude. He’s big and loudand he encourages a lot.”

Asked about MC’s offensive potential, Hoff said, “Adam Shafferis the quarterback. He had a phenomenal year last yearpassing-wise. He had a great summer and he has a grasp of thesystem.”

As a freshman, Shaffer passed for over 2,000 yards and 20touchdowns. He broke every freshman school passing record and alsoset the record for single-game touchdown passes with six againstBelhaven in a 52-16 triumph.

Senior tailback Kalvin Smith rushed for 914 yards last seasonand the was fourth leading rusher in the American SouthwestConference.

Asked about the defense, Hoff said, “They made their plays. Theyreturn 10 of 11 starters from last year so they should begood.”

Hoff graduated in May, majoring in business administration. Heis starting his MBA class this fall.

“Right now, I’m focusing on my masters,” said Hoff. “I do wantto get in the business world.”

Kevin Robinson, a tailback from McComb, is the closest Choc toLincoln County on the squad.

“I’m a senior and a leader on this team,” said Hoff. “It’s kindof fun having guys look to you for advice. It makes you moreaccountable.”

Since his arrival at MC, Fancher said he has been impressed withHoff. “Kern has been super for us. When I took this job inFebruary, I wanted to meet with him. He was our best returningplayer. He will always be center for me.

“Kern’s a class act on and off the field,” added Fancher. “He’san extension of me. He’s the kind of player you would want your sonto grow up to be like.”

Fancher was coaching at Midwestern State, a Division II schoollocated in Wichita Falls, Texas, before moving to MC. He was bornin Texas, grew up in Oklahoma and graduated from TulsaUniversity.

MC head coach Norman Joseph also had high praise for Hoff. “Kernis well respected here. He’s already a college graduate and nowhe’s working on his MBA.

“He is the ultimate student/athlete,” Joseph continued. “He’s agreat player. He’s the core of our offensive line and a teamleader.”

The Chocs kick off their season Saturday, Sept. 2, againstarchrival Millsaps.