Co-Lin prepares for 2012 football campaign

Published 8:00 pm Sunday, June 10, 2012

WESSON – Co-Lin’s 2012 football season opener is 80 days away but coaches and players already are pointing for that Aug. 30 kickoff at Northeast Community College in Booneville.

     Co-Lin head coach Glenn Davis and his staff sent the returning sophomores through spring practice. Summer school has started and the voluntary offseason workouts are underway. Preseason practice begins Aug. 2.

     “Spring practice went really well,” said Davis. “We  had a lot of receivers that we played with last year and they were back for the spring. Everybody had worked really hard in the weight room in the offseason. They also worked hard on their routes and the depth of them.”

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     Davis said repetition was the key during spring drills. “We got a lot better with our route running. We made a lot of progress. From what we could tell, the coaches were pleased with it, too.”

     Co-Lin has the same staff of coaches, with the exception of Dicenzo Miller who accepted a position at  Eupora High School so he could be closer to his family. Miller was a receivers coach at Co-Lin.

     Co-Lin assistant coaches are Drew O’Daniel, offensive line; Bill Hemmingway, running backs; Calvin Green, secondary; Clarence McDougle, linebackers; and defensive coordinator Larry Williams, who coaches the line.

     Davis said he was encouraged by the potential in Co-Lin’s offensive line. “We look for much more improvement this summer We have a lot more experience up front. We should be much bigger.”

     Demetri Hickingbottom from Franklin County and Milton King of Magee are back.  Preston Shelton of Franklin County is coming off ankle surgery. Dontrell Day from Jefferson County was the only healthy lineman available in the spring.

     Sam Ballard of Brookhaven started at center as a freshman but missed most of the season with an ankle injury. Ballard elected to give up football and transfer to Mississippi State.

     King had a spiral fracture in his hand, sustained when he hit a blocking dummy. Hickingbottom was out with a high ankle sprain. And missed about eight practices.

     “It was good for Demetri to get back the last week,” said Davis. “We want to challenge our linemen and get our running game going.”

     The offensive line should get a boost from Stone Underwood of Brookhaven, a transfer from Southeastern La.

     At running back, the lone returnee is Robert Wells of Jefferson County. Davis said his staff plans to look at incoming freshmen Greg Sims of Brookhaven and Kelton Smith of Copiah Academy at running back. Darius Gey, a transfer from Delta State, should give the Wolves more speed at that position.

     The crop of returning wide receivers appears to be outstanding. De’Vante Scott, a Mississippi State commit from Ferriday, La., tops the list.  Alonzo Lewis of Vecherie, La., Darren Anderson of Bastrop, La. Milton Griffin of Meadville; Trent Powell of Brookhaven, Javon Washington of Natchez and Marquis Hayes of Loyd Star return. Joe Craig, a transfer from Clemson University, has lots of potential.

     Nolan Long, Co-Lin’s kicker and punter; plus long snapper Tevin Tobias of Bogue Chitto,  give Co-Lin two veterans in the kicking game.

     On defense, several positions will be filled by newcomers.

      There are some starters returning. Jerrell Jordan of Alta Vista, Va. and Terrell Hartsfield of Rolesville, N.C, both defensive ends last year. Co-Lin must fill the defensive tackle positions.

     At linebacker, Co-Lin lost Tevin Thomas. Joseph Martin of Mendenhall and Raymond Williams of Natchez return at linebacker.

     In the secondary, Co-Lin lost cornerback Dehendret Collins to Ole Miss. Jeremy Davis of Natchez, Shamonte Brooks of  Brookhaven and Bryan Isaac of Natchez have experience.

     “We are kind of young on defense,” Davis admitted. “The new guys coming in must step up and help us. We led the league in total defense last season.

     “Hopefully, we can fill in enough to be close to where we were last year,” said Davis. He enters his ninth year at the helm.

     After the road trip to Northeast, the Wolves host Northwest the next week, Sept. 6.