Week four of high school football is week of the sleeper

Published 9:50 am Friday, September 9, 2016

In any sport there are winners, there are losers and there are sleeper teams.

For those unaccustomed to this sports jargon, a sleeper is a term used to describe a team or player that succeeds when the majority did not expect it to do so.

Perhaps people arrive at these decisions based on the squad’s performance from the year gone by. Perhaps they assume that because these teams have not exactly been football powerhouses in recent memory, they will simply continue the trend. Perhaps, fans and onlookers have actually compiled some  hair-brained formula that can prove unequivocally and irrefutably that said team will not succeed.

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This writer says phooey to your formulas and what recent memory has shown. So what if a team had a rough year in 2015. The fact of the matter is that it is 2016 and things can and do change.

Before the season started, there were a few teams in the area that caught my eye as sleepers in 2016.

One of those teams was the Wesson Cobras. Now, upon reading this I am aware what most residents of the Lincoln and Copiah area will think.

Wesson? Really? This guy clearly has not been here long enough.

It is true Wesson is in one of the toughest districts in 3A with playoff regulars like Franklin County and Hazlehurst in its ranks. The Cobras have not had a winning season since 2012, but I firmly believe this is the year that changes and tonight against Seminary, they will have opportunity to prove it to everyone else. Jeremy Loy, being the offensive guru that he is, will put points on the board and his defense will be rejuvenated by the return of Primetime 23 defensive lineman Bobby Pritchard from injury. It will be a close game but Loy’s squad will find a way to win. My pick: Wesson 30, Seminary 28

My second sleeper is the Loyd Star Hornets. Like Wesson, they should also be 3-0 on the year but were sidetracked last week with a 39-37 loss to Sacred Heart. The Hornets’ offense had nearly 600 total yards and was led by none other than Primetime 23 selections Parker Flowers and James Beard.

Also like Wesson, the Hornets are in a tough district that features perennial state champion Bassfield. However, Bassfield seems to be having a down year and that could bode well for the Hornets.

It’s been over seven years since their last winning season, but I have a good feeling about Coach Adam Cook’s squad this year. People close to the program feel the team is gelling at the right time and they could put a lot of folks on notice with a win over Franklin County in The Daily Leader’s game of the Week.

The Bulldogs were forced to move their best player, Primetime 23 athlete De’Martre Collins, to quarterback after starter Jacob McDaniel transferred out. The Hornets will have to figure out a way to corral him and get around the Bulldogs’ talented front seven to win, and I am saying that they will. My pick: Loyd Star 28, Franklin Co. 22.

Brookhaven vs. McComb 

Ole Brook’s offensive prowess combined with a Tiger defense that surrenders 42 points per game equals a victory for head coach Tommy Clopton and the Panthers. My pick: Brookhaven 28, McComb 7

Bouge Chitto vs. West Lincoln 

Coach Gareth Sartin and the Bobcats get their first win of the season at home in a low-scoring affair. My pick: Bogue Chitto 20, West Lincoln 12

Enterprise vs. Clarkdale

The Yellow Jackets run-based offense is too much for the Bulldogs to handle in a game that could be over early. My pick: Enterprise 35, Clarkdale 20

BA vs. Cathedral 

Brookhaven Academy loses its fourth game of the season to head coach Ron Rushing’s former team. My pick:   BA 14, Cathedral 42

Lawrence Co. vs. Prentiss

The Cougars rebound after the loss to Ole Brook last week and  get their first win of the season led by Charl’Tez Nunnery. My pick: Lawrence Co. 28, Prentiss 22

Anthony McDougle is the sports editor of The Daily Leader. He can be contacted at anthony.mcdougle@dailyleader.com.