Ripley’s overall record is not a true indicator of how good the Tigers actually are, and if you need somebody to attest to that, ask Booneville coach Jim Drewry.
Ripley is 2-4 on the year and 0-1 in Division 1-3A after losing 42-41 to Corinth on Friday. But besides the Corinth loss, Drewry pointed out that two of the Tigers’ losses have come to undefeated Class 4A teams, Pontotoc and Itawamba AHS.
“They’re the most talented team we will have played all year,” Drewry said on Sunday afternoon as his team started preparations for this week’s game versus division rival Ripley. “The Corinth game they could have just as easily won as they had lost it by one point.”
The Tigers, who dropped their opener to Class 4A New Albany, beat Lewisburg and Baldwyn for their two wins.
The reason for the Tigers’ struggles could very well have to do with the injuries several Ripley starters suffered in the early going. Two weeks ago versus Itawamba, Ripley was without four starters.
But as division play begins its second week, the Tigers should have the necessary pieces to make a run in their division.
“I understand all of them will be back for them,” Drewry said. “They’ll be at full strength and everything, and they’ve got a fine football team.”
Baldwyn was another team that struggled out of the gate this season, mainly because of who they played. The Bearcats beat Calhoun City 35-7 for their first win of 2009 after losing their first five games.
Baldwyn lost to Booneville, Saltillo, New Albany, Nettleton and Ripley before beating Calhoun City in its Division 1-2A opener. However, the task this week gets no easier as the Bearcats will travel to the Daily Journal’s top-ranked small school, Walnut.
Complete schedule in today’s NEMS Daily Journal.
John Wilbert/NEMS Daily Journal