Area prep football teams swing into action

Area prep football teams swing into action


High school football will be wide open Friday night with four area teams kicking off their respective 2023 seasons.

Neshoba Central will host Pearl, Philadelphia High School host Forest and Choctaw Central visits Union. Leake Academy opened it season last Friday, dropping a 40-10 decision to Jackson Academy. The Rebels travel to Starkville Academy this week.

Here is a report on the five local area teams:

Neshoba Central

The Rockets will be looking to get the season off on the right foot when they host the Pearl  Pirates.

The Rockets finished 8-4 last season and made it to the second round of the playoffs. Pearl finished 2-9.

Neshoba Central saw it first action last Friday when it dropped a 14-0 decision to Northwest Rankin in a jamboree game. Coach Patrick Schoolar said the Rockets will be working to get better in practice this week.

“It was our first time out,” coach Patrick Schoolar said. “We looked good at times and bad at times. We plan on getting rolling next week.”


The Tornadoes took a 16-0 decision over Newton High School in Jamboree action last Thursday.

Imarion Black scored on a 10-yard run and Dylan Graham scored 20-yard pass from quarterback Dee Burnside.

“We played better then we did in the spring,” coach David Frey said. “We had a lot of mistakes. We had fumbles and broke containment on defense a good bit. We have to fix these mistakes.

Philadelphia did not play Forest last season. The Tornadoes went 7-6 last year and made it to the third round of the playoffs. Forest went 3-7.

Choctaw Central

The Warriors took a 21-6 win over Lanier last Saturday in the Louisville jamboree.

Keyshawn Ben, Cruz Wilson and Jorgan Vaughn all scored touchdowns

“We did well,” coach Ed Routh said. “We saw some positive thing We had some miscues but we can correct them this week.

Union beat Choctaw Central 32-22 last year. The Warriors are coming off a 5-5 season while Union went 8-3. Both teams made the playoffs last year, losing in the first round.


While most Mississippi public schools were playing pre-season jamborees, the Union Yellowjackets were doing their own thing on Friday night.

Coach Jordan Wren said the Yellowjackets went through a 58-play scrimmage on Friday night.

“We scrimmage on Friday night, ones against ones and two against twos,” Wren said. “We went at 7 p.m. so our kids could see what the temperature is like at that time of the day. It was hot and we were just trying to get them to see what it will feel like this week.”

“I think we had six kids with multiple catches,” Wren said. “Both backs ran the ball well and found ways to get dirty yards. Defensively, we did a good job of holding us on third and short. The defense did some good things. “

Leake Academy

Two teams very familiar with each other will meet this week as the Rebels travel to Starkville Academy.

Last year, the two teams met twice as Starkville won the first meeting 39-7. But the  Rebels got the last laugh as they beat Starkville in the Volunteers 41-7 in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs. 

The Volunteers are 2-0 on the season. After opening with a 17-14 overtime win over Lamar on Aug. 11, Starkville beat Escambia Academy 39-20 last week.

“We are very familiar with each other,” Pickens said. “We know what they are going to do and they know what we are going to do. Coach (Chase) Nicholson does a good job and their guys will be prepared. It’s always a tough game with them.”

Leake dropped their season opener 41-10 to Jackson Academy last week.

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