Early rivalry games take center stage

It’s only Week 2 of the high school football season, and area rivals are already getting set to play each other.
On Thursday night, Tippah County bragging rights are on the line when Falkner travels to Walnut.
“They’re a pretty solid football team,” said Walnut head coach Timmy Moore. “They’ve gotten better over the past two or three years.
“They’re really a hard-nosed team, and they usually play us pretty good.”
Vardaman, the Daily Journal’s third-ranked small school, opens its season at home on Thursday night against county rival Bruce, which has no returning starters on both sides of the ball.
The Journal’s fourth-ranked small schools’ team, the Smithville Seminoles, will travel to Hamilton to take on a Lions’ squad that is coming off a tough season-opening 35-0 loss to Weir.
Speaking of tough losses, Tishomingo County suffered one at home to Center Hill, 26-13, on Friday. Next up for the Braves is Alcorn Central at home; a team the Braves usually open their season against and have outscored 120-7 in their last three meetings.
“They just got beat by Center Hill, so they are going to be nice and upset, and we gotta go to their place,” said Alcorn Central head coach Brian White, whose team doesn’t get to relish too long in their season-opening 33-25 victory over Falkner on Friday night.
“We’re used to playing them early, so maybe we can get them this time. It’s going to be a little bigger challenge this week.”
South Pontotoc returns home this week after an impressive 21-20 win at East Webster. Unfortunately for the Cougars, they face a much improved Pontotoc team, which will be playing its first game of the 2009 season.
Also opening up its season this week, and opening up a new stadium as well, is Itawamba AHS. The Indians host Amory in the first game at their new stadium located on the high school’s campus. IAHS had been playing its home games at Itawamba Community College.
Contact John Wilbert at 678-1572 or john.wilbert@djournal.com.

LARGE SCHOOLS
(Class 4A/5A/6A Rankings)
School Record Pvs
1. Shannon 1-0 2
2. West Point 0-1 1
3. Lafayette Co. 1-0 3
4. Itawamba AHS 0-0 4
5. Starkville 0-1 5

(Class 3A)
1. Aberdeen 0-0 1
2. Ripley 0-0 2 3. Booneville 1-0 3
4. Nettleton 1-0 4
5. Corinth 0-0 5

SMALL SCHOOLS
(Class 1A/2A Rankings)
1. Walnut 1-0 1
2. Calhoun City 0-1 2
3. Vardaman 0-0 3
4. Smithville 0-0 4
5. Okolona 1-0 5

John Wilbert/NEMS Daily Journal