New Albany prepares for division play

This week, the new season begins for the Bulldogs, as they will open division play at Senatobia on Friday.

At 3-2, the Warriors are coming off a bye week, which allowed time for starting quarterback Quintavius Burdette to heal from a sprained ankle sustained in their 27-7 loss against Itawamba on Sept. 16. Working in Burdette’s place has been sophomore Tevin Wink, and the duo have combined for 702 of the Warriors’ 1,248 rushing yards so far this season.
“Going to Senatobia, they have a great football tradition, and Coach (Phil) Oakley has been around for 10 years, so he has his program in place,” NAHS coach Ron Price said.
“This will be the first time our kids are going to Senatobia, so it’s a new experience for us, and hopefully we’ll be focused and clean up our mistakes from last week and take care of business on Friday.”
Price’s primary concern coming off of the Bulldogs’ 31-13 loss to Cleveland last week is his team’s work in practice. Seeing a better effort from the ‘Dawgs this week, Price hopes to pick up the all-important first division win.
“Hopefully this week we can get off to a great start,” he said. “This past week didn’t go the way we wanted it to, but the kids have come out this week with a  lot more focus, and hopefully everything is in perspective now being in division play.”
“If you want to be in the playoffs, you have to start taking care of business this Friday night. There’s not room for mistakes now.”
Also hoping for another playoff appearance is senior running back/defensive back Josh Creekmore, who currently leads the team in all-purpose yards with 812.
“The players came out yesterday and we had a real physical practice,” he said. “We had a lot of hitting drills and we were bouncing around more. The team as a whole seems a lot more focused. We put in  a new offense, and the defense has been hitting harder, as well as the offense, and we’re just playing tougher this week.”
Creekmore expects another fast offensive opponent this week, but emphasized that anyone can win at this point, and the team is not intimidated by its new division.
“They’re fast, really fast. They have a lot of really good athletes, and they like to get to the corner. When they get the ball in their hands, they’re going to run north and south, so they’re going to be pretty good,” he said.
“This division has a lot of really good teams, a lot of athletic teams. We have the number one team in the state in our division, but I think we have a good shot of winning just like everyone else. Anyone in this division has a shot of winning, and anyone can win on Friday nights.”
Friday’s contest at Senatobia is set for a 7 p.m. kickoff.