With a dedicated sports page returning on Sundays, beginning this week, and the fall sports season apparently a go, guess who’s over-the-top excited about getting things started?
And I know most, if not all of our sports readers, feel the same way. Every year, for as long as I can remember, I have referred to the beginning of football season as an early Christmas. Join me now as I take a look at some of the presents we might find under our early Christmas tree.
Games of the Week returns
With no Saturday paper at the present time, as is usually the case, complete recaps of all weekly high school games – along with action photo’s – will appear in Sunday’s paper.
However, for those with E-edition subscriptions,
a short recap with scores and a photo, will be available on Friday nights, likely within a couple hours of the final game ending.
I will pick a ‘Game Of The Week’ and will be in attendance at that contest weekly. I will be counting heavily on our high school coaches and student statisticians to supply all the information necessary to write full recaps of every other game that week. In addition, we are fortunate to have a few local freelance photographers that have been really good to us in recent years back on board this season.
My plan is to, despite the inconveniences brought on by a virus you might have heard of by now, continue to offer you the best in local high school coverage again this fall. I will continue with my weekly ‘Kent’s Corner’ and ‘What’s Going On Around Here’ columns as well.
So you see … everything’s gonna be okay. As the words of the old Bob Marley song say, “Don’t worry, be happy.”
What I’m looking forward to
Each season provides what are called ‘story lines’, and this year will be no different. Following is just a sample of some of those I look forward to following.
The Corinth Warriors graduated a literal boatload of talent from last years 14-1, Class 4A state championship team, including nine that will be playing collegiately this fall.
But don’t shed a tear for head coach Todd Lowery’s squad as they have advanced past the rebuild stage directly into reload status. Please don’t misunderstand, I am not putting Corinth in the same reload category of the South Panola’s and West Points of the world. However, they are much closer to that level now than they were when Lowery took the reins of the CHS program in 2016.
New leaders at the quarterback, running back, wide receiver and linebacker positions – most notably – will determine just how successful the Warriors will be following the best football season in school history.
Players to keep an eye on include sophomore quarterback Brawner Cregeen, senior athlete, and Naval Academy commit, Cayden Betts, senior running back Nazarius ‘Naz’ Jones, sophomore athlete Devon Jones, sophomore defensive back Chris Rodgers, senior linemen Parker Little, Elgin Harris and Jonathan Shanks and senior linebacker Brandon Phamm.
And that’s just touching the hem of the garment.
Biggersville is another story line to keep an eye on, especially now that senior QB Quinton Knight is out for the season with a knee injury. Good news, though..his surgery went about as well as could be expected, from all reports, and he will definitely be the Lions biggest cheerleader and supporter this season.
So who will be the starting signal-caller for coach Stan Platt’s team this fall? He’s not saying. But whoever it is will be working behind a solid line, including all-stater Bryson Pollard. Additionally, the new QB will have plenty of help at the skill positions, including all-state running back Goldman Butler.
Kossuth will have Brock Seago back under center but will be looking to fill the tremendous production of graduated Kota Wilhite, the 2019 Daily Corinthian Offensive Player Of The Year who compiled over 1,900 yards and 23 touchdowns rushing and receiving last season.
Head coach Brian Kelly enters his 10th year at the helm of the Aggies with a reputation of strong defense and a stout running game behind a bullish line. His first victory this fall will be No. 70 for Kelly and a 10-win season would be his fourth.
Alcorn Central has people from other schools rooting for them to win more games and earn a playoff berth that has eluded them for years now. How do I know that? I have spoken with numerous fans from most area schools who all say, “We wish Central could put a good season together and finally make the playoffs again because they’re way past due.”
But that’s the south for you, we all do our best to be neighborly and support each other.
Golden Bear head coach Matt Meeks saw his team improve from a single win in his first year (2018) to three last season. Meeks says he’s confident his squad can take that next step. How big a step that is remains to be seen.
One thing is for certain in Glen this fall: freshly-laid concrete and brand-spanking new bleachers on both sides will be a welcome addition to the campus. It’s a shame fewer fans will be able to attend games and enjoy them this season with the COVID-19 still affecting us.
A couple more story-lines I look forward to following this fall on the field include versatile athlete T.J. Colom II at Walnut and quarterback John Daniel Deaton at Booneville. Both players are seniors and returning starters that will be extremely important to their respective team’s successes in 2020.
Until next time…