Friday's, Thursday's Mississippi Prep Football Scores
Friday's, Thursday's Alabama Prep Football Scores
MACON -- Noxubee County High School senior defensive end Jeffery Simmons has made his name as one of the state's best defensive players. On Friday night, the Columbus High defense was on the receiving end of the 6-foot-4, 270-pound Simmons' offensive punch. Simmons scored two second-half touchdowns to help Noxubee County pull away to a 25-8 victory against Columbus.
Between the weather and the emotion surrounding the squad's season opener, Josh Thacker and the Pickens Academy football team had one of the longest Friday nights of Week 1. In addition to waiting out a lightning delay and a power outage, the Pirates had to deal with the fact they were without assistant coach Ted Copland, who is battling cancer and was forced to miss his first Friday night in 46 years as a coach.
Barrett Donahoe scheduled preseason scrimmages and jamborees to prepare the Heritage Academy football team for the 2015 season. Following games against Pillow Academy, Raymond High School, and Simpson Academy, Donahoe hoped the Patriots were primed and ready to face good competition in the regular season. That move paid off last week against Columbus Christian in a 48-0 victory in the season opener for both teams.
STARKVILLE -- Starkville High School running backs coach Carlos Kemp first saw Avery Brown as a sophomore. Brown was a member of the scout team, but he used that opportunity to show Kemp, the other coaches, and his teammates what was to come. "When he got in, he ran hard and I saw then he was going to be pretty good his senior year," Kemp said. "He's just the type of person that comes to work each day, and he's going to give all he's got every day."
CARBON HILL, Ala. -- Jennifer Byrd could taste victory when she rounded turn four at Magnolia Motor Speedway on July 10. After three laps of battling back and forth with her husband, Jason Byrd, in the Factory Stock feature race, she thought she had enough of a run off the final turn to earn her first head-to-head win against him. But Jason, who'd been racing the high-line of the track, edged her at the line by 0.16 seconds.
FULTON -- The No. 7 Copiah-Lincoln Community College scored 13 points in the fourth quarter Thursday night to rally for a 26-14 victory against Itawamba C.C. in the season opener for both teams.
SCOOBA -- It was a typical summer for Wyatt Roberts replete with another quarterback competition at East Mississippi Community College. Another big-name transfer from a Division I power arrives on campus and is penciled in as the starter by fans and media. Roberts, a sophomore quarterback from Louisville High School, is probably shorter than what he is listed as (6-foot) on the EMCC football team's roster. When John Franklin III, a transfer from Florida State and an All-Atlantic Coastal Conference track performer, arrived in Scooba, Roberts elevated his play. He did so with the intent to play a key role in EMCC's march to history this season. Roberts started that journey on a strong note Thursday, running for a touchdown and throwing for another in No. 1 EMCC's 69-20 victory against Southwest Mississippi C.C. at Sullivan-Windham Field.
SCOOBA -- East Mississippi Community College freshman running back Jacquez Horsley has never doubted his athletic ability. He has doubted whether he could stay healthy enough to realize the depth of that talent. Injuries put a major damper on each of Horsley's final two seasons at Starkville High School. Those setbacks also might have played a role in his lack of major Division I offers, so signing with the state of Mississippi's premier junior college program was in his words "a chance to re-start my career." The opening act of the new career was a smash hit.
SCOOBA -- Having played football his entire life, East Mississippi Community College defensive lineman Ronald Ollie knows the length of a football field. However, Ollie had never really thought about how much of that field he could cover with the other team in pursuit in live action. Ollie returned a fumble 24 yards for the go-ahead touchdown Thursday night at Sullivan-Windham Field. From there, the floodgates opened as No. 1 EMCC beat Southwest Mississippi C.C. 69-20 in the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) season opener for both teams.
MACON -- Tyrone Shorter couldn't help think here we go again. Last season, three interceptions and numerous missed opportunities played a role in the Noxubee County High School's 51-19 loss to Starkville in the season opener for both teams. The point total was the most surrendered by the Tigers since 2006.
If you didn't know any better, the statistics surely would have corresponded to a victory. New Hope High School football Kris Pickle even sounded like he didn't believe what happened as he ticked off the numbers -- 350-360 total yards, more than 200 yards passing, 100 yards rushing, 18 first downs -- from his team's 20-3 loss to Louisville in its season opener last week.
STARKVILLE -- Jamaal Clayborn is finding the move from right guard to center to be more than just putting the ball into the quarterback's hands. The Mississippi State junior has taken on a leadership role at his new position. Before he snaps the ball to quarterback Dak Prescott, he has to make sure everybody is on the same page.
STARKVILLE -- Dez Harris isn't like most football players. The Mississippi State sophomore linebacker didn't hang his head after seeing his redshirt freshman season end last year with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
STARKVILLE -- Ricky Woods knew from an early age where he wanted to be on Friday nights. His love for football came from all of the time he spent at practices and games with his father. Seeing so many games and packed stadiums on Friday nights ignited a passion in Woods that drove him to become a teacher and a coach.
Coaches' preseason All-SEC teams
West Point High School football coach Chris Chambless is aware of his community's expectations for the program. After all, Chambless, his staff, and his former teams are a big reason for the expectations. "It really doesn't matter who we line up against on a Friday night, folks expect us to win," Chambless said. "Players want to be a part of this program because of the past success. There is an expectation. There is an excitement. We understand that. That is why it is a privilege to coach here and play here, to back that tradition."
SCOOBA -- East Mississippi Community College sophomore running back D.J. Law admits he was disappointed when Division I football wasn't in his immediate post-high school future. The hurt lingered for a while. After a couple of months, he decided it was best to make the most of his new football home. EMCC reaped the immediate rewards of that decision.
New Hope High School senior catcher Will Godfrey quickly recalls his favorite memory from the 2015 prep baseball season. "The home run against Oxford was my No. 1 memory," Godfrey said. "It was amazing I was the one that hit it. I was happy. However, I would have been happy had any other player on the team hit it as well. That was just the type of team we had. Everybody was in it together."
1. Pickens Academy playing for assistant coach Copland HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. Clayborn ready to lead MSU's offensive line COLLEGE SPORTS
3. Roberts shines at QB in first start for EMCC COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Columbus, Noxubee County put 1-0 records on line HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. No. 1 EMCC rolls Southwest to extend winning streak COLLEGE SPORTS