Thursday, July 2, 2009
Patriots look toward new season
By BARRY BURLESON
Turnout for summer weight-lifting sessions has been a bit sporadic, but come July 6 coach Keith Wicker said that will change.
“I know they will be there (next Monday) or they’d better let me know where they are,” said Wicker, who is entering his third season as head football coach at Marshall Academy. “We will be lifting, running and pulling sleds. It’s time to get them in halfway decent shape.”
Practice for the new season officially kicks off July 27. Wicker said he expects about 26 players “if everybody comes back.”
That will be the highest number in his three years at the helm.
“I hope to play a good many people and establish some depth, but that’s yet to be seen,” he said. “We don’t have conference games right off the bat this year (like the past two seasons), so we might have a chance to do that. We need to see who can perform.”
Wicker started working on installation of a new offense in the spring – a no-huddle, hurry-up style.
“We looked pretty good,” he said. “We may not do it totally. We have to get the ball in the hands of our skill people to offset our lack of size (in the line). We can’t power over anybody.”
The Patriots will host Oak Hill Academy and Tunica Academy in a scrimmage Friday, Aug. 7, likely starting at 6 p.m.
MA will also host a jamboree Thursday, Aug. 13, featuring fellow District 1-AA schools Kirk Academy, Indianola Academy and North Delta School. District member West Memphis Christian School will not participate but Rossville (Tenn.) Christian Academy will fill that spot.
Wicker said he expects the district race to be tough. But he said he expects his Patriots to be up to the challenge and advance to the state playoffs for the third straight year.
MA was state runner-up in 2007 and finished 12-2. Last year the Pats went 6-5, losing in the first round of the playoffs.
Marshall kicks off the regular season Friday night, Aug. 21, at Rossville.
Byhalia and Holly Springs football teams are also hard at work during the summer. The first official fall practice for the public schools will arrive on Monday, August 3.
At H.W. Byers and Potts Camp, football programs are in the start-up stages with junior high and junior varsity competition on tap.
Aug. 21, Rossville, Tenn., away; Aug. 28, Magnolia Heights, home; Sept. 4, Falkner, away; Sept. 11, open; Sept. 18, Lee (Clarksdale), home; Sept. 25, North Delta, home; Oct. 2, Tunica, away; Oct. 9, Kirk, away; Oct. 16, Indianola, away; Oct. 23, Oak Hill, home; Oct. 30, West Memphis, home.
Holly High schedule
Aug. 28, Lake Cormorant, home; Sept. 4, Byhalia, home; Sept. 11, Tunica Rosa Fort, away; Sept. 18, Coahoma County, away; Sept. 25, Broad Street, away; Oct. 2, Independence, home; Oct. 9, Ruleville, away; Oct. 16, Eastside, away; Oct. 23, Charleston, home; Oct. 30, Marks Palmer, home.
Aug. 28, Obion County, Tenn., home; Sept. 4, Holly Springs, away; Sept. 11, Westwood (Memphis), home; Sept. 18, Senatobia, away; Sept. 25, Lafayette, home; Oct. 2, Tunica Rosa Fort, away; Oct. 9, Lewisburg, home; Oct. 16, Center Hill, away; Oct. 23, Montgomery County, home; Oct. 30, North Panola, home.
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