August 8, 2017 9:48:17 PM
Editor's Note: The Dispatch continues its annual look at some of the area's top players. These features will run daily through the start of the prep football regular season Aug. 17 and 18.
If New Hope High School senior Kyree Fields could sum up his mind-set in two words, it might be "no regrets."
"I see a lot of seniors leave school and they have regrets about something," Fields said. "I don't want to feel that way. That is why I go out everyday and lay it all on the line. Whether it is sports or in the classroom, or whatever it is, I want this to be my best year. I don't want to have any regrets, when it is over."
The 6-foot Fields is a two-way player for the Trojans. Offensively, he returns to quarterback this season. Defensively, he is one of the premier safeties in the state.
"He is an integral part of everything we do on both sides of the ball," New Hope coach Kris Pickle said. "It's going to be a good move back to quarterback. He has a strong arm and can also beat you with his feet. On defense, he has excellent reaction skills. He is great at just making plays."
New Hope moves down to Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 4A play.
Last season, New Hope finished 6-5 and barely missed the Class 5A playoffs.
"The seniors weren't really focused (last season) and prepared for the season," Fields said. "They just thought we could show up and be good. This year, the seniors are trying to change all of that.
"It starts with me at quarterback. I try to show by example. I don't talk much on the field. I try to show the young guys what needs to be done."
The move to Class 4A should give the Trojans a lift. However, Noxubee County resides in the region.
"We will be pretty good in 4A," Fields said. "We have a chance to make it to state with the talent we have. Hopefully, the offense can be even more productive this year. We were good last year, but I give this team a bigger running threat.
"Opposing defenses have a few more things to worry about. We have already been talking to some of the players from Noxubee County. That game is going to be great."
Memphis commitment Jeremy Tate leads a talented - yet young - group of receivers.
"I am excited about Kyree being back at quarterback," Tate said. "He was the quarterback for me in pee wee and middle school, so it's like old times. We already have a great chemistry on the field. We have some young guys playing receiver so it will take a little time to get things going. That is why Kyree and I have to be great right away."
Fields already knows the talent level around him.
"The receivers are going to be very good," Fields said. "They are already good for their age, just need a little maturity. That is what this team needs across the board, just some maturity and some playing time together. They could be as good as any group in the state, especially with Jeremy leading them."
Fields spent the summer re-learning the quarterback position after a brief absence. On defense, it has been work on technique. Most college scouts project his future on the defensive side of the ball.
"Safety is where they say my future is at," Fields said. "I really like playing both sides of the ball, but defense will be the future, so I spent a lot of time this summer working on that side of the ball. Offensively, I have just been running routes with receivers and making sure my throws have been on point."
The camp season included trips to South Alabama, Samford, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and Mississippi State.
"Kyree has a tremendous upside," Pickle said. "People are beginning to realize how many different things he can do. He also has good size."
While a chance to play college ball may loom on the horizon, thoughts are currently on the senior season at New Hope. When football ends, Fields will be a major contributor for Drew McBrayer's basketball team.
"Being in Class 4A is a good thing for us," Fields said. "We have a chance to have a great year in both football and basketball. I want to go out with two great teams."
Follow Dispatch sports writer Scott Walters on Twitter @dispatchscott
Scott is sports copy editor and reporter
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