Season draws near for local prep football
Wednesday, August 14, 2013 1:00 AM
The clock is ticking and it's getting close to game time for local prep football teams.
All teams are out in full pads this week. Leake Academy was involved in a scrimmage with other teams last Saturday. And this is the final weekend of dress rehearsal before the season kicks off on Friday, August 23.
For the members of the Mississippi High School Activities Association, they will be allowed to play jamboree games this weekend which are made up of two-quarter games. On Friday, Choctaw Central travels to Noxapater and Neshoba Central is at Meridian High School. On Saturday, Philadelphia travels to Oxford to play Water Valley in the Ole Miss jamboree. Leake Academy, meanwhile, was to play in the Tri-County Jamboree on Thursday night.
Here is a look at each team in the Democrat's coverage area.
With 16 starters returning from last year's 13-1 team, Philadelphia Head Coach Teddy Dyess said the emphasis on Saturday's game will be to improve the Tornadoes.
"We really aren't getting ready to play a game with Water Valley," Dyess said. "We are looking to fix things with our team.
"We will run a script of plays that won't change much because of a situation. This gives us a chance to work against another team and get ready for the season."
The game with Water Valley is slated to begin at 7 p.m.
Philadelphia was scheduled hold an intra-squad scrimmage early Saturday morning but that was rained out. Dyess said they would probably hold a scrimmage Monday or Tuesday.
The Tornadoes kick off their 2013 campaign at South Delta in Rolling Fork on August 23.
One note concerning former Philadelphia Tornado Josh Boyd: The Mississippi State alumnae is trying to earn a spot on the roster with the Green Bay Packers and seems to be do well. He had five tackles including four solos against the Arizona Cardinals in the first preseason game and is listed No. 2 on the defensive end depth chart.
The Neshoba Central Rockets took team pictures and scrimmaged on Saturday. But Coach Chuck Friend said his young team needs playing time against another team.
"We really need to play someone else so we can see our young guys will respond under pressure," Friend said. "We have worked hard this summer and have done as much as we can do in practice."
The jamboree game kicks off 6 p.m. at Ray Stadium in Meridian. The Rockets kick off their 2013 season at Newton County on August 23.
The Warriors will travel to Noxapater for their jamboree game. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.
"We have had a good summer," Coach Troy Savell said. "We are still putting things together and this will give us a chance to find some of the pieces."
The Warriors are coming off a 4-6 season and kickoff their 2013 campaign August 23 at Leake Central in Carthage.
The Leake Academy Rebels will play in the Tri-County Jamboree this Thursday night. Their schedule was not set at this writing.
Last week, the Rebels showed they could hold their own with Starkville Academy and Lamar School, two teams that defeated the Rebels last year. The scrimmage was held at East Rankin Academy. The teams lined up on the 40-yard line and each ran 10 plays and then the other team ran 10. The score was not kept.
"After the first series, I thought we played even with Starkville," Leake Academy Head Coach Brian Pickens said. "I'm proud of the effort. We took the fight to them."
Against Starkville, quarterback Reed Mayfield connected with 30-yard touchdown pass to Alex Shepard.
The Rebel defense had three interceptions against Lamar. Thomas Nazary snagged two and Joshua Jones had one.
The Rebels open the season at Copiah Academy on August 23.
The Union Yellowjackets will not have a jamboree this weekend. Union opens at Nanih Waiya on August 23.