Thursday, August 9, 2007
take to practice field
By BARRY BURLESON
Public school football teams could start practice Monday, and Holly Springs High School wasted no time.
Head coach Clifford Brown had his Hawks on the field at 12:01 a.m. for their third annual midnight practice.
About 40 players, in 10th through 12th grades, went through the early morning drills and approximately 60 parents were in attendance to watch.
“The kids did a great job,” Brown said.
Practices the first week will be more detail-oriented, largely because the players know Brown’s system well, entering his third year at the helm.
“The kids are more adapted to what we’re trying to do,” he said. “We feel like we’re ahead of the curve. We really need to work on correcting some miscues.”
He said he was pleased with the Hawks’ weight room work in the summer and hopes to “transfer it to the field.”
Brown and his assistants will try to get a depth chart in place.
The annual Black and Gold Scrimmage will be played this Friday night, Aug. 10, at 7 p.m. at the stadium in Sam Coopwood Park. The public is urged to attend and support the Hawks.
Holly High will go to New Albany for a jamboree on either August 23 or 25, Coach Brown said.
The season opens Friday, Aug. 31, at home versus Lafayette.
“Lafayette has a strong program,” Brown said. “We have to narrow the gap and somehow get over the hump.
“We will play a tough schedule early to get ready for division play. Our goal is to win the division. Everybody is gunning for Senatobia.”
The Hawks have lost in the first round of the postseason the past two years. Last year Holly High finished 5-6 overall.
“We want to get to the playoffs and get by the first round – avoid the first round blues,” Brown said.
The Marshall Academy Patriots opened practice Wednesday. The first day in pads was Saturday.
Keith Wicker, entering his first season as head coach, said offense has received the early attention.
“The kids are learning a lot offensively,” Wicker said. “We’re making some mistakes and we will have to cut those down.”
Defense will get more attention this week.
“Defense wins the tough games,” he said.
Temperatures are the highest of the summer. MA practiced Saturday from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.
“The kids are handling it OK,” Wicker said about the heat. “They’re definitely tired when the leave here, and the coaches are tired, too.”
MA had a 5-6 record last year and just missed the state playoffs.
The Patriots will play in a jamboree Thursday, Aug. 16, at Carroll Academy. They will face Indianola at 7 p.m. and Washington School at 8 p.m.
“Meet the Patriots” is set for the following night, Friday, Aug. 17, at 6:30 at the MA stadium.
At Byhalia, head coach Devin Rutherford’s Indians started practice Monday.
Rutherford has been pleased with his team’s dedication in the summer months, and he’s looking forward to his second season at the helm. The Indians finished 2-8 last season.
Byhalia kicks of f the new season Friday night, Aug. 31, at Horn Lake. Two more non-district opponents, DeSoto Central and Bolivar Central, follow before the Indians get into district play September 21 at Lewisburg.
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