CATEGORY: FOL High School Football
HED:Mitchell hopes to change Corinth fortunes
Editor’s note: The Corinth High School football preseason story was inadvertently left out of the Daily Journal’s annual football section.
By Gene Phelps
Jimmy Mitchell loves to tell the fictitious story of how he builds a football team by taking them out for a run through the woods.
“The ones that dodge the trees are your backs. The ones that run into the trees you make linemen, and the ones who beat up on the trees you play on defense,” Corinth’s first-year head coach said, then laughed.
If only finding the right players for the right positions was that easy, Mitchell says.
“We should be settled in on some positions, but we’re not,” he said. “When you’re new, sometimes you can’t lock in as quick. They’re all working hard. We’ve got several close runs at some positions.”
Mitchell hopes to have the right players in position before Friday’s season opener against Walnut. The kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Corinth.
“We want to get as much talent on the field as we can,” he said. “We want to find the combination that fits best.”
Corinth will start a freshman, Brian Brown, at quarterback in the opener.
“I’ve never started a freshman quarterback; I’ve had a sophomore,” Mitchell said. “He’ll be all right.”
In the backfield, senior Patrick Crump could be the leader. He’ll be backed up by Phil Hoyle, Marciano Floyd, Tim Morrison and Domonick Thompson.
The tight ends John Shivers and John Rogers return. Joining them on the offensive line are center Chris Elliot and tackle Reggie Anderson.
Three defensive players Mitchell is counting on are linebacker Josh Stephenson, lineman Earl Campbell and safety Brandon Campbell.
Mitchell, who came to Corinth after leading Itawamba AHS to a winning season (6-4) in 1997, says a lot of the Warriors’ success will depend on the players. Corinth is coming off a 1-9 season in ’96 and a 2-9 finish last year.
“It really depends on how hungry these kids are for change,” he said. “If they’re willing to work hard we’ve got a chance to improve. These kids have been willing and anxious to change the situation they’re in.
“They have really worked extremely hard.”
Mitchell also wants to salute his seniors for their early contributions.
“We’ve got a quality group of seniors,” he said. “They’re giving a quality effort in leadership. It makes all the hard work you do worth it when someone is pulling in when you’re pushing. These seniors we have are doing that.”
Staff: Head coach Jimmy Mitchll; Assistants Chris Coleman, Ryan Summers, Bobby Purvis, Stan Pearce.
Record: 2-9 overall, 0-6 div.
Players to Watch: QB Brain Brown, RB Patrick Crump, LB Josh Stephenson.
Aug. 28 Walnut
Sept. 4 at Booneville
Sept. 11 at Biggersville
Sept. 18 Tishomingo County
Sept. 25 *at Saltillo
Oct. 2 *Kossuth
Oct. 9 *New Albany
Oct. 16 *at Pontotoc
Oct. 23 *Alcorn Central
Oct. 30 at Briarcrest (Tenn.)
Nov. 6 *at Ripley