Thursday, August 6, 2009
Indians, Hawks working toward season openers
By BARRY BURLESON
Byhalia and Holly Springs football teams took to the practice field Monday with a few weeks to work before season openers.
The Indians go to Booker T. Washington in Memphis Friday, Aug. 21, for a “Classic Game.” The Hawks host Lake Cormorant Friday, Aug. 28.
At Byhalia, head coach Markeith Washington has added some assistants and he is excited about the 2009 campaign.
“Our players are young and still need experience, but there’s excitement in the air,” he said. “The off-season has gone well. The guys have been working non-stop.”
New assistant coaches include Lonnie Johnson Jr., John Danley III, Skyler Huff, John Echols, Chris Podewils and Mike Jenne.
“I can’t say enough about the new coaches,” he said. “It’s really good having them on board.”
The Indians participated in a recent seven-on-seven camp at Olive Branch against some strong opponents.
“We almost made it to the finals,” he said. “We lost to Lake Cormorant by one point in overtime.
“We got a chance to play some very good teams. We eliminated SBEC. It was a good experience for us.”
Coach Washington said he knows the areas where the Indians need to improve – mainly offensive and defensive lines.
“We’re doing a complete overhaul in the line,” he said. “We have to run the ball, and with the addition of these coaches, that should definitely be an improved part of our game.”
“Meet the Indians” will be held Friday, Aug. 7, at 6 p.m.
Byhalia will play in a jamboree at Independence Friday, Aug. 14. The Indians will face Hernando for two quarters starting at 7 p.m.
“This will give us lots of practice before our first game,” Washington said.
Byhalia steps up to Class 4A under the new Mississippi High School Activities Association alignment.
It’s also been a successful off-season in the Holly High football camp – the latest being a third place finish in the passing league at Millsaps College.
“We’ve had a good run; things have been all positive,” said head coach Clifford Brown.
He said conditioning will be very important when the Hawks start practice this week.
“Conditioning is crucial as far as us being able to compete,” he said.
He urged his Hawks to arrive this week as rested as they can be.
“There will be some grueling days ahead – a lot of conditioning, a lot of drills,” Brown said.
The Hawks remain in Class 3A but shift to a district stretching toward the Delta.
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