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Football teams kick off preseason drills

Area football players are expected totackle high heat and humidity Monday when the first day ofpreseason practice arrives. Forecasters predict high temperaturesin the 90s and a high percentage of humidity, too. Many coachesadvised their players to begin tanking up with water and otherfluids yesterday.

    According to Mississippi High School Activities Association rules,players will wear shorts, T-shirts and helmets for the first threedays of practice before donning shoulder pads on the fourth day.Full equipment may be worn on the sixth practice day.

    Three new area head football coaches welcome their teams topractice tomorrow. They are Brookhaven’s Wade Henderson,Enterprise’s Casey Eubanks and Hazlehurst’s Randall Montgomery.Newcomer Tripp McCarty of Brookhaven Academy got a week’s headstart on the other coaches.

    Brookhaven Academy:  McCarty said he was pleasedwith his team’s progress in the first week of preseason drills. TheCougars labored through three practice sessions, starting at 7 a.m.and concluding by 3 p.m.

    The players were fed and watered between sessions.

    “I’m real pleased with the effort,” said McCarty. “They are givingus tons of effort. We are headed in the right direction but westill have a long way to go.”

    McCarty said some of his players had actually gained weight becauseof the food and water routine. “We haven’t had any problems withthe heat.”

    He said no starting position was secure. “We don’t have anystarters determined. Every spot is open on our team.

    “I want to brag on our coaches,” McCarty noted. “Coach (Johnny)Ball and Coach (Hunter) Ogden have really put in some long hoursand they’ve done a good job.”

    McCarty gave the team Saturday and Sunday off. Three-a-days in fullgear resume Monday at 7:15.

    The Cougars scrimmage East Rankin at Pelahatchie Friday andparticipate in the Parklane Jamboree Aug. 12. They host SillimanInstitute Aug. 19.

    Brookhaven:  Coach Wade Henderson said he expectsfrom 75-90 players in grades 9-12 to report for a Monday morningmeeting that begins at 8. The Panthers will practice at 3 p.m.

    Henderson said his team would visit the Terry Bulldogs for an Aug.12 scrimmage game.

     Bogue Chitto: Coach Gareth Sartin’s Bobcats beginpractice Monday at 3:30 p.m. and follow a similar routine throughWednesday. School starts Thursday.

    Sartin said he expects to have 27 varsity candidates. The Bobcatsmay participate in a jamboree Aug. 12. They host Loyd Star Aug. 19for the annual Possum Bowl.

     Enterprise: CoachCasey Eubanks plans three days of twice-daily practices, from 10a.m.-noon and from 2-5 in the afternoon. On Aug. 4, the YellowJackets will practice once a day, after school.

    Eubanks expects 45 players to report for practice. The YellowJackets kick off their season Aug 19, at Salem.    

    Wesson:  Coach Tommy Clopton said he plans towelcome around 55 players tomorrow at 4 p.m. The Cobras willpractice until 6:30 and take a break before returning to thepractice field.

    “Gas is too high and it’s too hard to get the  kids back to school so we can’tpractice twice a day,” said Clopton. “We give them a break and thengo back out when it’s cooler.”

    Clopton’s Cobras kick off their season on Thursday, Aug. 18,hosting the Crystal Springs Tigers. Kickoff is 7:30.

    Lawrence County:  Coach Mike Davis said theCougars would practice Monday and Tuesday afternoon at 4:30, due toteacher’s meetings. School begins Wednesday and practice will startat 2 p.m.

    Davis said he expects 55 players to report for varsity practice.The freshman team will number around 35 players.

    The Cougars will host a jamboree Aug. 12. Among the entries areWest Jones, Mendenhall, Magee, Tylertown and Ridgeland. JV actionstarts at 4 p.m., with Lawrence County meeting Ridgeland, followedby the varsity at 5.

      WestLincoln:  Coach Chris Calcote said the Bears wouldpractice at 3 p.m. Players will lift weights before going on thefield.

    Calcote said he expects around 30 players to report. The Bears willparticipate in the Natchez Cathedral Jamboree, Aug. 12. Their firstgame is Aug. 19, hosting the Ethel Tigers.

      FranklinCounty:  The Bulldogs will practice Monday afternoon at3:30, following teacher’s meetings. Coach Rickey O’Quinn said heanticipates 65 players to report, including the ninth grade.

    The Bulldogs will play a Classic game Aug. 19, at North Pike.

     Loyd Star:  The Hornets practice at 4 p.m.Monday, 5 p.m. Tuesday and 4 p.m. Wednesday. School starts Thursdayand practice begins at 2:30.

    Coach Randall Huffman said he expects  around 30 players to report forpractice. The Hornets kick off their season Aug. 19, at BogueChitto.

 

     Hazlehurst:  Coach Randall Montgomery, a Wessonnative, replaced Todd McDaniel at the Hazlehurst job when McDanielaccepted an assistant coaching position at Alcorn State University.Montgomery said he anticipates having 45 players report for a 7a.m. meeting tomorrow.

    The team will practice at 7:45 a.m., once a day.

    Hazlehurst will scrimmage at Natchez Aug. 12, meeting the Bulldogs.The Indians kick off their season Aug. 19, at Amite County inLiberty.