By Gene Phelps and Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
The Lafayette Commodores haven’t lost a game in two years. Some of their players may lose a little sleep this week.
When Mississippi High School Activities Association football practice gets its official start Monday morning, the two-time defending Class 4A state champions will have three days of two-a-days under new coach Eric Robertson.
“We were able to answer a lot of personnel questions in the spring. Now we have certain plays to get in during week one and week two,” Robertson said.
Lafayette will practice at 8 a.m. for two-and-a-half hours, then again from 3 p.m. until 5:30.
One of those questions came after losing quarterback Jeremy Liggins, who initially signed with LSU but will be at Mississippi Gulf Coast this fall. Senior Brandon Mack has been named the Commodores’ starter.
Only two weeks of practice lead to preseason jamborees. Lafayette hosts Tupelo to open the season on Aug. 17 after a jamboree at Southaven.
Tupelo third-year head coach David Bradberry enters his first season without preseason all-state running back Ashton Shumpert, who transferred to Itawamba AHS last spring.
Shumpert would have played quarterback, tailback and receiver for the Golden Wave.
Thomas Harris, a senior, and sophomore Alex Norwood will handle the quarterback duties. Harris saw considerable play last season when starter Luke Hobson was injured.
Bradberry says the running back position will be “by committee” in the early going.
Tupelo plays a scrimmage at Pontotoc Aug. 10, then opens its season Aug. 17 with a game at two-time 4A state champion Lafayette County.
TCPS WITH NEW COACH, TOO
Tupelo Christian will also open practice with a new head coach. New man Shaune Holiday doesn’t think it will take long to see what he’s got. He’s counting on an Aug. 10 home jamboree against Baldwyn to shed some light.
“We’ll see right off the jump what we’re made of, how far we’ve got to go,” Holiday said. “We want to get those plays down where they can run them in their sleep.”
Lee McBunch will start at quarterback after junior starter Andrew Soper transferred to Saltillo.