Rating the most impressive, athletic football player in Mississippi isn’t always the easiest thing to do.
Some years there are a handful of players with very similar abilities, while other years it’s a split decision between two. While recruiting gurus often times have lengthy discussions on which player to put at the top of the list, it’s rare not to see those players hail from the public school system.
This year things are a little different on the recruiting front. Sure there is another great crop of talent at the skill positions to choose from, but for the first time in recent memory, one of the best athletes/players hails from an academy. (July 15, 2010, Page 6)
The freshmen blew his teammates away in the fall when he not only led his team with a .410 batting average, but the outfielder also had the second-best ERA on the team at 2.77.
Mathis then turned an impressive fall into a productive start to the actual season and it looked as if his introduction to Ole Miss fans was no fluke.
As the season continued, however, Mathis began to lose his confidence.
During the April 4 game against Tennessee the sky figuratively crashed down on Mathis. (July 15, 2010, Page 6)
After admittedly taking a few games to adjust to the feel of maple in his hands as opposed to aluminum, Yarbrough got on a roll for the CPL’s Thomasville Hi-Toms and this past week he was named the CPL’s Hitter of the Week (Yarbrough hit .464 in seven games with two triples and four doubles). (July 14, 2010, Page 8)
It’s been quite a busy summer for Itawamba AHS quarterback Maikhail Miller. A bevy of camps has fully engrossed the Fulton native’s time and while the things he has learned has helped him get ready for his senior season, it has also enabled him to impress college recruiters and figure out which school he would like to attend in the future.
His most recent camp activity was held in Oxford at the O-Zone Classic 7-on-7 tournament at FNC Park. For the 6-foot-3, 235-pound Miller, it was his first opportunity to throw with his Indian teammates as they prepare for the season opener on Aug. 20. (July 14, 2010, Page 9)
SPORTS EDITOR BLOG — In a little over a week, the unofficial start of football in the Southeastern Conference will get underway at the annual SEC Media Days, which is also known as Kickoff 2010. (more…) (July 13, 2010)
Three years ago when Brad Embry and the current coaching staff arrived in Water Valley, Eric Buckley struggled to find a spot in the starting lineup.
Buckley, then a sophomore, had received considerable playing time the year before, but once the coaching change occurred it was hard for him to master the new philosophy.
Since then, however, Buckley worked hard to get back on the field and entering this season, the senior has solidified his spot as Water Valley’s starting strong safety. (July 13, 2010, Page 6A)
Some of the questions Oxford coach Johnny Hill had about certain positions on his team were answered over the summer with extensive work in 7-on-7 drills.
The culmination of a long, hard summer of work was on display Friday and Saturday in the inaugural O-Zone Classic held at FNC Park. While the Chargers were unable to capture the title, Hill saw a group of players show better effort and improvement under less than ideal conditions and demonstrate that his receivers and defensive backs, two areas that lost a number of starters from 2009, have the potential to be good this year. (July 12, 2010, Page 6)
The Blue Devils were taken out of their element this weekend — big time.
Normally, Water Valley’s football team utilizes a run-heavy offense. But this weekend, the team participated in Oxford High’s O-Zone Classic, a pass-only 7-on-7 tournament held at FNC Park, and the Blue Devils threw the ball nearly as many times in two days as they did all last season (89 attempts in 12 games).
It was a good trial by fire for the Blue Devils, who enter their third year under coach Brad Embry looking to become an even more balanced offense.
For the Blue Devils, tournaments like this one — in which Water Valley went 3-4 overall and finished third in the Class 1A-3A grouping — make good stepping stones towards the ultimate goal of being a complete team. (July 12, 2010, Page 7)
Helping to make freshman quarterback E.J. Bounds’ life a lot easier this season will be the likes of Desmond Hervey and Chris Conard at receiver.
Both juniors are expected to step up on offense and assume larger roles this season.
Last season, Hervey caught just two passes for six yards, while Conard hauled in five for 98 yards and three scores.
But if this past weekend is any indication of how the season will play out, both Hervey and Conard could factor greatly into the team’s passing attack. (July 12, 2010, Page 7)
SPORTS EDITOR BLOG — Oxford’s head football coach Johnny Hill was pleased with how the O-Zone Classic at FNC Park turned out for all 12 of the teams involved. He was also very thankful for the support shown by the local community on several fronts. (more…) (July 10, 2010)