By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
Chris Chambless will be happy if West Point wins its two-quarter scrimmage against Itawamba AHS at Mississippi State’s Davis-Wade Stadium.
However, winning is not foremost in the Green Wave coach’s mind. At least not today.
“I’m looking at technique,” he said. “I want to see our execution, are we doing the little things right that win games. We’re big on being fundamentally sound.
“We plan to play a lot of guys. We don’t care about the score.”
The West Point-IAHS 5 p.m. matchup is one of five scrimmages scheduled today at the MSU high school jamboree. The Jamie Mitchell-coached Starkville Yellowjackets play Jackson Callaway at 1. Mitchell coached the last four years at IAHS.
In Oxford, four two-quarter scrimmages are scheduled at Ole Miss’ Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. The two expected to draw the most interest are at noon when Shannon plays Southaven, and at 2, when Tupelo, under first-year coach David Bradberry, battles New Albany.
West Point, which is coming off a 14-1 season and a 5A state championship, kicks off its regular season at home Friday when it hosts Shannon. The next week, the Green Wave travels to Daytona Beach, Fla., to play Daytona Mainland.
“Once we get past today’s scrimmage, our main focus is going to be on Shannon,” Chambless said. “We’ve played them four or five years in a row and it’s always a back-and-forth game.
“Shannon’s real physical, like our kids.”
The Florida trip was an opportunity Chambless said the program couldn’t pass up. Officials from the Gridiron Challenge Foundation invites top teams from around the nation to come play Florida’s best.
Olive Branch, a 6A contender, will play Cocoa, Fla., in a Saturday game in Daytona.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our players and coaches,” Chambless said. “The team we’re playing is ranked 48th in the country.”
West Point returns 10 starters from its state championship team, including quarterback Justin Cox, who accounted for 21 touchdowns, and defensive end Vontarrious Dora, who recorded 47 tackles and eight sacks last season.
“You never know how good you’re going to be until you play games,” Chambless said. “We hope we can perform and step up to the challenge.”
Here’s the Ole Miss lineup:
8 a.m. – Oxford vs. Ripley
10 a.m. – Senatobia vs. Charleston
Noon – Shannon vs. Southaven
2 p.m. –Tupelo vs. New Albany
Here’s the MSU lineup:
11 a.m. – West Lauderdale vs. Noxubee County
1 p.m. – Callaway vs. Starkville
3 p.m. – Brandon vs. Columbus
5 p.m. – IAHS vs. West Point
7 p.m. – Philadelphia vs. New Hope