Thursday, August 28, 2008
Holly High, Byhalia open season this Friday
By BARRY BURLESON
Holly Springs and Byhalia, both Class 3A schools, open the season Friday night against the big boys.
The Hawks invade Cordova, a 5A school in neighboring Tennessee. The Indians host 5A Horn Lake from adjoining DeSoto County. The games begin at 7 p.m.
Holly High’s scheduled jamboree outing last Friday at Horn Lake was cancelled due to a wet field. So instead, the coaching staff got to scout the Cordova Wolfpack, which opened the season with a 21-12 loss to Evangelical Christian School.
“Playing the big schools early is nothing new for us,” coach Clifford Brown said. “Eventually we will get one of them.
“I told our kids that we just can’t shoot ourselves in the foot early. We need to get the jitters out and weather the storm.”
He said Cordova dresses about 70 players, but they can only play 11 at one time.
“It’s their home opener, and they will have a huge crowd, plus they’re confident with a small school like Holly Springs coming in,” Brown said.
But he has confidence in his veteran club, anchored by 15 seniors and 15 juniors. And he’s hoping to rebound strong from last year’s disappointing 4-6 finish.
“This is the year we need to get out of the slump,” he said. “We’ve had solid practices. The kids are fired up – very spirited and physical practices.”
Across the county, new head coach Markeith Washington is having a hard time coming with jerseys for his 80 players in the ninth-12 grades.
“I guess that’s a good problem to have,” he said.
“Practice is going very good,” he said. “We have a lot of young guys who are eager to play football.”
Only two Indians with lots of playing time return from last year’s state playoff team which finished 8-4.
“We’ve had to go back to the basics, but it’s a start,” Coach Washington said. “We’re starting from ground level.”
The team will wind up preparations for Horn Lake this week, and he knows the Eagles will pose a tremendous challenge.
“We’re looking forward to it,” Washington said.
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