Defending champs tangle in West Point tonight

By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal

WEST POINT – The idea of opening the 2011 football season against powerful South Panola sounded pretty good last December to West Point coach Chris Chambless.
It still does, says the Green Wave leader, whose 5A team entertains the 6A Tigers in a 7:30 p.m. kickoff today.
“It was a good opportunity to play a good team,” Chambless said. “It’s what we wanted to do.”
West Point and South Panola enter tonight’s showdown as defending state champions in their respective classifications. The Tigers bring a 27-game winning streak to town.
“They’re big, fast, strong and hardnosed,” Chambless said. “That’s what you expect from a South Panola football team.”
The Tigers’ lineup features at least three preseason all-state performers in safety Antonio Conner, linebacker TeMario Strong and defensive lineman Issac Cross.
The Green Wave will have a new quarterback in DeQuinton Spraggins and a new running back in 6-foot-2, 215-pound Charles Heard.
“These West Point kids are going to play hard,” Chambless said. “That’s the only promise I can make.”
gene.phelps@journalinc.com