Hoots pleased with scrimmage against Wave

By SCOTTY NICHOLS
Sports Editor

TUPELO – Many people view preseason jamborees and scrimmages as important

PHOTO BY SCOTTY NICHOLS I BUY AT PHOTOS.ITAWAMBATIMES.COM IAHS linebacker Jamal Shumpert has been highly-praised by the coaching staff. The junior recorded more than 10 tackles per game last season and he will be just as, if not more, busy this season.

PHOTO BY SCOTTY NICHOLS I BUY AT PHOTOS.ITAWAMBATIMES.COM
IAHS linebacker Jamal Shumpert has been highly-praised by the coaching staff. The junior recorded more than 10 tackles per game last season and he will be just as, if not more, busy this season.

head-to-head contests, and put a ton of stock in “winning” the game.

While the games are extremely important, winning isn’t nearly the most important thing on the list.

“Of course we want to compete with the other team and score more points,” said Itawamba AHS head football coach Clint Hoots. “But the main thing is that our guys get experience against someone other than ourselves. We want to see what we need to work on and have them learn from their mistakes.”

During last Friday night’s scrimmage, the scoreboard indicated that the Tupelo Golden Wave won 12-6, but it wasn’t as simple as that.

“It’s hard on the guys to play six straight minutes of offense or six straight minutes of defense,” said Hoots. “It was a very controlled scrimmage because (Tupelo) coach Hammond and I both wanted to put our guys in certain situations to see how they’d react, and we were able to do that.”

All in all, Hoots was pleased with his team’s effort.

“I thought the defense played well,” Hoots said. “We had a busted assignment and gave up a 70-yard touchdown run (the only touchdown of the scrimmage), but that’s something that we can clean up before next week.”

Hoots said his defense, led by junior linebacker Jamal Shumpert, flocked to the ball extremely well and managed to get there quickly.

Offensively, Hoots said his Indians looked good, but could’ve looked better.

“We ran our base offense,” Hoots said. “Coach Price kept it very vanilla because we don’t want to give too much of what we do away right now. Austin (King) just missed a couple of throws that could’ve been big plays. He played pretty well, and our run game was solely on the running backs because quarterbacks were strictly off-limits. Austin’s legs will be a big weapon for us, as well.”

Senior David Lacy and sophomore Lamarcus Rhodes were both praised for their play behind an offensive line that mixed and matched most of the night.

“David and Lamarcus did a solid job carrying the football,” said Hoots. “We’re gonna depend on both of them this season, and they reinforced our belief in them.”

“As far as the offensive line goes,” Hoots continued, “we got seven or eight guys reps Friday night. That’s a good thing, because it showed we have some depth there.”

Special teams were completely dead, as far as contact, but Hoots said he was especially pleased with kicker Skylar Grissom’s performance.

“Skylar hit from about 37 yards out, then knocked one in from about 42,” Hoots said.

“It’s nice to have a solid weapon when we decide to opt for mid-range field goals.”

The Indians will host the Ripley Tigers, a team they defeated in a 42-35 nailbiter on the road a year ago, during week one of the regular season this Friday night.

scotty.nichols@journalinc.com
Twitter: @ScotNic24

About Scotty Nichols

Graduate of THE University of Mississippi. #HottyToddy. I like sports. And BBQ.

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