Teams wrestle with heat, make progress

Published 8:30 pm Sunday, August 11, 2013

Who opened the oven door?

Oppressive heat and humidity slammed area football teams as preseason practice continued. It was the first week of preseason drills for Mississippi High School Activities Association members and coaches took extra precautions to keep their players hydrated.

Players were restricted to shorts, t-shirts and helmets in the first three days of practice. They put on shoulder pads Thursday and were permitted to don full equipment on the sixth practice day.

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Several area schools will participate in jamborees Friday. Also, several Mississippi Association of Independent School members will play in a Thursday night Copiah Jamboree at Gallman.

Most schools kick off their 2013 seasons on Friday, Aug. 23.

Loyd Star: Coach Randall Huffman said his team is making progress, despite the oppressive heat.,

“Practice has been pretty good,” said Huffman. “The kids have been hustling and trying to do what we want them to do. My assistant coaches are doing a good job, too.”

Huffman has three new assistant coaches this season in Dustin Sisco, Seth Britt and Jared Britt. All of them are Loyd Star graduates.

The Hornets open their season Aug. 23, at Bogue Chitto.

There are 34 players on the varsity. The Hornets put on full pads Monday.

Lawrence County: Coach Herbert Davis said he was encouraged by the first week of practice. “Our players are doing better than in the spring. Our attitude and effort is better. We are not where we want to be effort-wise and team-wise. Hopefully, we will reach that.

“We’ve done pretty good with the heat, so far,” Davis continued. “I’ve seen some good things on the practice field.”

Davis has 50 players on the varsity squad. He has 83 in grades 9-12 on the roster.

Picture Day was Saturday morning at 8. The photo session was followed by a scrimmage in full gear.

Wesson: Ronald Greer’s Cobras participated in Picture Day Thursday afternoon.

“Picture Day is one of those necessary things,” said Greer. “I’m happy to get it done. We’ve had a pretty good week.”

Greer’s Cobras participate in the Bogue Chitto Jamboree Friday night on Troy Smith Field, meeting the host Bobcats.

West Lincoln: In an unusual set of circumstances, Coach Willie Brumfield and his staff had to deal with the lack of helmets for the first week of practice. The company that refurbishes the helmets lost track of them in the shipping department.

“We didn’t get helmets until Friday,” said Brumfield. “They had lost them but they finally found them. They got shipped to Grenada. We were limited in practice on what we could do.”

The Bears will wear shoulder pads and helmets Monday. Brumfield said the team would not participate in a jamboree Friday. “We don’t want to feel rushed.”

Brumfield said there are 40 players on the squad, grades 9-12.

“This week went real well, Brumfield added. “We are way ahead of where we were last year. The kids came in all summer,” participating in weight training and running.

The Bears debut Aug. 23 at Salem.

Brookhaven: The Brookhaven Police Department cooked out for the team Saturday after the scrimmage and treated the Panthers to lunch. Coach Tommy Clopton’s team participated in Picture Day Friday afternoon, prior to practice.

“We had a good scrimmage this morning,” said Clopton. “Our timing was a lot better than it has been all week. Defensively, we are starting to fly around to the football.

“We are eager to get on the field with somebody else,” Clopton added. His team meets Clinton in a jamboree Friday night at Clinton, starting with the junior varsity at 6:30.

The Panthers ran 65 plays in the scrimmage. “Our seniors kept us going,” said Clopton. “(Quarterback) Fred Trevillion called the singles on offense and (linebacker) Ty Hill called the defense. The people around them responded real well.”

There are 21 seniors on the BHS squad. Offensive linemen Anthony Wilson and Keefa Nelson are setting the example. On defense, Billy Thomas and LaKendric Smith in the secondary, and Josh Thomas and Marquez Gibson in the defensive line are the leaders.

Meet the Panthers is set for Thursday night on King Field. Freshman and varsity football players, along with the Ole Brook slowpitch softball team and cheerleaders, will be introduced.

Activity begins at 7 and admission is free. Clopton said everyone should wear red.

Bogue Chitto: “We’ve had a pretty good week despite the heat,” said BC coach Gareth Sartin. “We’ve talked to them about being hydrated before practice and then going home and hydrating some more. We want them to eat well and lay off the soft drinks.”

The Bobcats lost five starters off last year’s outstanding 13-1, Class 1A South State runner-up team. “We’ve been working on our passing game a good bit,” said Sartin. “We lost two fine receivers,” in Germie Martin and Brandon Wells.

Wells signed a scholarship with Mississippi State University and Martin signed with Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

Strong-armed senior quarterback Brock Roberts passed for over 1,500 yards and 22 touchdowns last season and is expected to have an outstanding season.

“We are trying to find some people who can catch the ball,” Sartin added. “Dennis Rogers and Damein Terrell are expected to step up for us.”

Sartin said his team still has a long way to go. They will host Wesson Friday night in the Jamboree, starting at 7. Also entered are Dexter and Enterprise.

Franklin County: “It’s been a typical first week,” said first-year head coach James “Jimbo” Nowell. “We are trying to be smart and work through the heat and humidity.

“We have some bumps and bruises,” he continued. “Hopefully we will get better every day.”

Nowell said he was concerned about the injuries, especially to offensive linemen. “If you have two or three starters injured, you get in a bind, especially at a small school.”

His Bulldogs travel to Monticello Friday to scrimmage the Lawrence County Cougars.

Enterprise: “The rain cooled us off a little bit Friday but we were able to stay out there and practice,” said Coach Brooks Burns. “Practice is going well. We have about 30 players.

“We have a lot of young kids who are having to learn a lot in a hurry,” he added. “Hopefully, they can get some of their classmates to come out for football. We could have a pretty good team in a few years.”

The Yellow Jackets will play Dexter in Friday’s jamboree at Bogue Chitto.