Football practice heats up

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Mississippi Private School Association football teams got a fewdays head start on the public schools but both groups will beginsweating profusely Monday as preseason practice heats up. Itlaunches a long and demanding road to the state playoffs whichbegin in early November.

Private schools, like Brookhaven Academy and Copiah Academy,will put on full equipment Monday. Public schools will work threedays in shorts and T-shirts before putting on shoulder padsThursday.

Most of the players have participated in a grueling summerregimen at their respective schools in preparation for preseasonpractice. The heat factor will be a chief concern for the coacheswho will provide plenty of water and liquid refreshment for theirplayers.

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Brookhaven: Head coach Tucker Peavey expects arecord number of players to report Monday for practice. He said asmany as 106 hopefuls are expected.

The Panthers will practice at 3 p.m. Monday and 3:30 the rest ofthe week as school gets under way. Peavey plans to put the team infull equipment for a Saturday practice, starting at 9 a.m.

Ole Brook will host a jamboree Thursday, Aug. 23, on King Field,featuring McComb, Laurel and defending Class 4A state championWayne County.

Brookhaven Academy: Coach Bo Milton said he waspleased with his team’s progress. “It has gone good. We are gettinga lot of reps in. We are in shorts and helmets.

“We will get a better feel next week when we put on pads,” addedMilton.

He said the players haven’t had any problems with the high heatand humidity. “We are keeping a lot of water available for them. Weare running three huddles so the kids have a chance to get waterafter every series.”

Seniors Daniel Lofton and Seth Cliburn are working atquarterback while senior teammate Corey Dickerson recovers fromshoulder surgery.

Dickerson is undergoing therapy after shoulder surgery June 30,to remove some cartilage damage. He should be ready to gofull-speed Aug. 29.

“Dickerson started throwing footballs today,” said Milton. “Hemay not be available until the third game.”

There are 33 varsity players participating in varsitypractice.

The Cougars participate in a jamboree at Tri-County in Flora onAug. 16. They’ll play Jackson Prep at 6:30 and 7:30 versus LeakeAcademy.

Bogue Chitto: Coach Gareth Sartin’s Bobcatswill start practice at 3 p.m. Monday, after school and practiceapproximately 3 hours.

Sartin said he expects around 30 players. The Bobcats hostVicksburg St. Aloysius Aug. 31 for a Region 4-1A test.

Wesson: Coach Tommy Clopton said his Cobraswill practice at 3:10 p.m. each day. The Cobras, numbering 45strong, will be in shorts and T-shirts through Wednesday and put onshoulder pads Thursday and Friday.

The Cobras will host a jamboree Friday, Aug. 24. Jackson Lanierand Bassfield are expected to participate in Stone Stadium,starting at 7 p.m.

Wesson hosts Prentiss Friday, Aug. 31, at 7 p.m., in its seasonopener.

Franklin County: The defending Class 3A state championBulldogs will practice from 2-4 p.m. Monday, 3:30-5:30 Tuesday,1:30-3:30 Wednesday, 3:30-5:30 Thursday, and 3:30-5:30 Friday.They’ll don full equipment next Monday.

FCHS head coach Grady McCluskey said he expects around50 players to report.

The Bulldogs kick off their season Aug. 31, atHazlehurst.

Loyd Star, under the direction of new head coach RyanRoss, will practice from 3:15 to 5:30 Monday.

The Hornets travel to North Forrest near Hattiesburg for ajamboree Aug. 24. Newton and Clarkdale also are entered in thejamboree. Junior varsity action will start at 4:30, followed byvarsity competition.

Ross said expects around 52 players, grades 9-12, to participatein preseason drills.

Loyd Star plans its Picture Day today, starting at 1 p.m. onWilliam E. “Sambo” Smith Field.

Enterprise: Coach Roe Buns said the YellowJackets will practice at 2 p.m. each day. He said he expects 47players to report as the Jackets play their first year in Class2A.

The Jackets kick off their season Aug. 30, at West Lincoln.

West Lincoln: Coach Brooks Burns said the Bearswould practice at 3:30 and go probably 2 hours. He anticipates 35players to participate.

The Bears host Enteprise Aug. 30.

Lawrence County: The Cougars start schoolMonday morning and then head for the practice field at 2 p.m. CoachMike Davis said he expects around 60 players to report for varsitypractice.

The Cougars will participate in the West Jones jamboree onFriday, Aug. 24. They kick off their season Aug. 31, hosting thePetal Panthers.

Copiah Academy: New head coach Scott Cline ranhis defending Class AA state champion Colonels through practicethis week and they put on shoulder pads Saturday and do some sledwork.

“We are getting there with a new offensive scheme,” said Cline.”We are running more stuff out of the spread offense.”

Twenty-eight players are participating in twice-daily practicesat 7 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The Colonels host a varsity jamboree Thursday Aug. 16. A juniorhigh jamboree is set for Friday, Aug. 17. In the varsity jamboreeare Copiah, Jackson Academy, East Rankin, Natchez Trinity,Huntington (La.) and Newton.

The junior high jamboree features Copiah, JA, Jackson Prep,Trinity, East Rankin, Simpson County and Amite School Center.