Area football teams kick off preseason practice
Mississippi high school football teams officially begin preseason practice Monday in Lincoln County and the surrounding area. In a year of change, seven new head coaches from this area will lead their teams through the daily workouts.
In Lincoln County, the new head coaches are Tommy Clopton at Brookhaven, Willie Brumfield at West Lincoln and Brooks Burns at Enterprise. Other newcomers are Ronald Greer at Wesson, David Parker at Lawrence County, Mike Powell at McComb Parklane Academy and Michael Andrews at South Pike.
The first three days of preseason practice restrict players to shorts, t-shirts and helmets as they adjust to the heat and humidity of a Mississippi summer. Coaches have conducted workouts during the last two months in an effort to strengthen their players in the weight room and increase their endurance with running and agility drills.
“It’s hard to teach kids in practice when their main concern is trying to survive the heat,” said a veteran coach. “Their participation in summer workouts helps them get ready for practice.”
After the first three days of practice, players can wear shoulder pads. On the sixth day of practice, they may wear full equipment. Many teams will practice on Saturday morning to celebrate the first day of full gear.
Scrimmages and jamborees have been scheduled for Aug. 9-10, at various locations. The first playing date is Aug. 17. The Mississippi High School Activities Association recognizes it as a Classic Game, with a larger portion of gate receipts going to the MHSAA.
Brookhaven: Coach Clopton and his staff will welcome around 80 players to Monday afternoon’s 3:30 practice. The Panthers will practice at 3:45 on Friday and scrimmage Saturday morning.
The Panthers are scheduled to scrimmage at Clinton on Aug. 10. Their first game is Aug. 23, hosting the Lawrence County Cougars.
Brookhaven Academy: Coach Tripp McCarty plans a full day of practice for his Cougars, starting at 7 a.m. They’ll take a break at 9 for liquid and fruit refreshments before starting again at 10:15 and going 45 minutes.
After a break for lunch, the Cougars will practice from 1-2:30 p.m. “I like the format,” said McCarty. “So much can be done when you keep them together.”
The Cougars will practice twice Friday. The junior high begins practice Friday at 5 p.m.
McCarty said he expects 38 players to participate. They will scrimmage at East Rankin Academy on Aug. 6 and play an intrasquad game Aug. 9. Their first game is Aug. 17, at Silliman Institute in Clinton, La.
Bogue Chitto: Coach Gareth Sartin expects to welcome 30 varsity candidates to practice tomorrow at 5 p.m. The Bobcats will participate in an Aug. 10 jamboree at Pelahatchie.
Bogue Chitto’s first game is Aug. 17, at Loyd Star.
Loyd Star: Coach Randall Huffman said his Hornets would practice at 6 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday. Afternoon sessions will continue the rest of the week.
Huffman said he expected around 30 players.
West Lincoln: Coach Brumfield plans to practice Monday and Tuesday at 7 p.m. After a 4 p.m. practice Wednesday, the 30-member varsity squad will resume the 7 p.m. start through Friday.
The Bears kick off their season Aug. 17, at Ethel.
Enterprise: Coach Burns said he plans to conduct practice at 8:30 a.m. each day this week. He expects around 25 players.
The Yellow Jackets play their first game Aug. 17, hosting the Salem Wildcats.
Wesson: Coach Greer said 51 varsity players are expected for 7 a.m. practices on Monday and Tuesday. They’ll practice at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. An 8 a.m. practice is set for Saturday morning.
The Cobras make their debut Aug. 17, at Crystal Springs.
Lawrence County: Coach Parker said his team would practice at 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday. He expects around 50 varsity players.
The Cougars are scheduled to visit Columbia Aug. 10, for a scrimmage. They’ll debut Aug. 17, at Hazlehurst.
Franklin County: Coach Rickey O’Quinn welcomes 55 players for an 8 a.m., Monday practice. The Bulldogs play their first game Aug. 17, hosting the North Pike Jaguars.
Hazlehurst: Coach Randal Montgomery will welcome 56 players tomorrow morning. Practice begins at 7:30 and lasts until 9:30.
Montgomery said his team would scrimmage at Tylertown Aug. 10. They’ll host Lawrence County for their Aug. 17 debut.
Parklane: Coach Powell said his Pioneers would practice at 7:30 a.m., Monday-Wednesday. Team pictures are scheduled Thursday afternoon at 4, followed by Meet The Pioneers at 6 p.m.
The Pioneers will don full gear Saturday. Parklane will host a jamboree Friday, Aug. 10. Centreville Academy will bring its varsity and junior high teams to the affair. The Brookhaven Academy junior high squad also will participate, starting at 5:30.
Parklane’s first game is Aug. 17, hosting Bowling Green. There are 41 players on Parklane’s varsity.
Copiah Academy: Coach Scotty Cline will practice his team at 7 a.m. this week. There are 30 players on the varsity.
The Colonels will host a jamboree on Thursday, Aug. 9. Their first game is Aug. 17, hosting Oak Forest.