The matchup between the Starkville and West Point High School football teams pits friend against friend, neighbor against neighbor, and brother against brother.
That will be the case at 7:30 tonight when Starkville offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Rob Morgan and West Point wide receiver coach Brett Morgan stand on opposite sidelines.
Brett, who has been on the Green Wave staff since January, anticipates a fun night and hopes to enjoy it more than his big brother.
“I”ll pull for him every night but this one,” Brett said. “I hope we get the best of him, and do it handily. Other than that, I hope they win the state championship in (Class) 6A.”
Rob isn”t surprised to hear Brett”s competitive talk because that”s the nature of the Morgan family.
They have another brother, Josh, who coaches with their father, Robert, at Warren Central.
“We are an extremely close and real tight-knit family,” Rob said. “That comes from my mom and dad.”
Rob, Josh, and Brett all played at Mississippi State after playing for their father at Warren Central. Rob was a quarterback from 1996-99, while Josh was a safety from 1999-02 and Brett was used on special teams and on defense from 2002-05.
Brett expects football to be a part of the Morgan family from now on.
“I guess that”s the only thing we know,” Brett said. “You are going to fall back on what you know.”
West Point coach Chris Chambless said the way Brett goes about his responsibilities shows he “was born into the business.”
Chambless tries to teach hard work to his team, and he likes the way Brett has bought in to that idea.
Brett”s ability to put in the hours to instruct the players is valuable to Chambless.
“He”s one of those people who really cares about the kids and their character,” Chambless said. “That”s a great aspect to have as a coach. He”s special in that way. That”s on top of being a great football coach.”
Brett said it has been a blessing to get his coaching career started with the Green Wave.
“I love my job and the people I work with,” Brett said. “It”s a great fit for me, and I don”t have anything but good things to say about West Point.”
Starkville coach Bill Lee said Rob has been just as important to his program.
Lee allows Rob to call the plays and said the offense couldn”t function without him.
“I love the way he communicates with me,” Lee said. “He”s a big-time asset.”
When it comes down to it, Rob wants a victory against Brett, but it”s not for selfish reasons. He admits it will be unique to look across the field to see his brother, but his players are most important to him.
With the Yellow Jackets off to an 0-3 start, Rob wants the players to experience a victory.
“It”s about the kids and not about us,” Rob said. “It”s not about me versus him. I sure want to win for these kids because they work so hard and do everything we ask them to do. We”re fighting like crazy. They deserve to win, and we”re going to go out (tonight) and try to do that.”