Loyd Star, Wesson, Bogue Chitto home; Franklin Co. at Hazlehurst Friday night

Published 5:00 am Thursday, August 30, 2007

With new head football coach Ryan Ross, the Loyd Star Hornetsare anxious to kick off their season Friday night when they hostLexington’s J.J. McClain at William E. “Sambo” Smith Field. Allgames begin at 7 p.m.

In area football games, Wesson hosts Prentiss, Franklin Countyvisits Hazlehurst, Petal invades Lawrence, McComb travels to SouthPike and Port Gibson is at Crystal Springs.

In a big local game tonight, the Enterprise Fighting YellowJackets visit the West Lincoln Bears in a battle between LincolnCounty rivals.

Loyd Star faces Class 3A J.J. McClain. TheHornets finished the 2006 campaign with a 2-8 record. The McClainMustangs, under Stanley Spell, were 5-4 last season.

Ross and his Class 2A Hornets are looking forward to the seasonopener.

“J.J. McClain is big and strong,” said Ross about theinformation he could obtain on the team. This is the first meetingbetween the two schools.

Last Friday’s jamboree at North Forest allowed Ross and hiscoaching staff the chance to make some personnel changes for thehome opener.

“We made some changes after the jamboree,” said Ross. “We feelgood about the changes we have made as a coaching staff. We arealso untested at those positions. We’ll learn more Fridaynight.”

Ross encourages the Hornet fans and supporters to come outFriday night.

“We anticipate a good crowd,” stated Ross. “We are glad to be athome first. We urge everyone to come and get behind thesekids.”

Ross announced his starters on offense for Friday. Starting atquarterback is Donald Shorter. The tailback is Marquis Hayes.Andrew Rushing starts at fullback. The flanker is McKinleyHamilton. Working at the slots are Glenn Thomas and John Smith. Attight end is Ron Jones. The split end is Antione Smith. Adam Smithis working at center. On the line, the right guard is NathanSchroder, right tackle is Cody Reeves, left guard is Alan Wheelerand Left tackles Trey Reid.

The Hornet defense features Shorter at free safety. The strongsafety is Preston Hebert. Working at rover is Antoine Smith. Theleft corner left is Chris Wilson and the right corner is JohnSmith. At the ends are Grant Britt and Ron Jones. The nose guard isCraig Harris. At strong linebacker is Andrew Rushing. The middlelinebacker is Nathan Williams At will linebacker is DavidFields.

Wesson begins its season hosting the PrentissBulldogs at Stone Stadium on the Co-Lin campus. Both schools areClass 2A.

“We are ready to see if we have improved on the mistakes we madein the jamboree,” said Wesson head football coach Tommy Clopton.”The guys are excited about playing a real game. We’re at home.Everyone is excited about the first home game. We’re ready tolineup and get after it.”

Clopton expects a tough game from Prentiss. The Bulldogs,coached by Artis Mark, finished last year with a 3-8 record.

“Prentiss is always big and very athletic,” said Clopton. “Theyhave really good skilled players. I’m look forward to us playingour first home game.”

Clopton announced his starting lineup for Friday’s night.

Working on the Cobra offense at quarterback is John Craft. Thefullback is Roy Williams. Starting at tailback is Jeromy Smith.Tight end is Jonathan Grace. Wide receivers are Matthew Cliburn andChris Fink. The offensive line includes tackles Dominique Johnsonand Brady Knight. The guards are Zach Williams and Beau Wilson.Matt Smith is the center.

Defensively, working at cornerback are Kyle Cross and JohnCraft. Safety is Chris Fink. Outside linebackers are MatthewCliburn and Terry Hinson. Beau Wilson and Roy Williams are theinside linebackers. The ends. are Zach Williams and Jonathan Grace.At tackle is Dominique Johnson and noseguard is Trace Roberts.

Franklin County’s Bulldogs, the defending Class3A state football champs, open their season on the road atHazlehurst against the Indians. In 2005, Hazlehurst won the 3Astate title under former head coach Willie Brown.

Franklin County, coached by Grady McCluskey, was 14-1 lastseason.

Hazlehurst, coached by former NFL star Vernon Perry, finishedlast season with a 10-3 worksheet.

Franklin County beat Hazlehurst 21-7 last year in the statesemifinals.

Lawrence County, coached by Mike Davis, hostsClass 5A Petal for its opener in Monticello. The Class 4A Cougarsfinished the 2006 campaign with a 5-5 record.

Petal (8-3) is coached by Steve Buckle.

This is the first meeting between the two schools.

McComb kicks off its season against Pike Countyrival the South Pike Eagles at Magnolia.

The Tigers (8-3) are coached by Randy Martin. The Eagles (6-5)are led by Randall Huffman.

In last year’s game, the Tigers beat the Eagles 7-0

Crystal Springs plays host to Port Gibson inits season opener. The host Class 3A Tigers, coached by DavidVirgil, finished the 2006 season with a 6-5 record.

The visiting Class 4A Blue Wave, coached by Harry Brown, wentwinless in nine games last year.

Last season, Crystal Springs whipped Port Gibson 31-0.