By David Wheeler
Special to the Journal
Like most two-year college sports programs, Itawamba Community College football basically has its eyes on Feb. 5 – national signing day.
That does not mean that ICC football is inactive following its 6-4 campaign, including a berth in post-season play.
“It is a sprint to signing day right now,” Itawamba head coach Jon Williams said. “And I’m certainly not satisfied how we finished the season.”
Most recently, Williams had a void on his staff with the departure of offensive coordinator Jason McManus for a position in South Carolina after two years with the Indians. Williams expects to fill that opening with Nick Coleman, a Middle Tennessee State graduate who was most recently at Faulkner (Ala.) University, an NAIA school.
“I like the fact that our new offensive coordinator will basically have a blank slate to work with,” said Williams, as ICC counts among its player losses quarterbacks and most of its offensive line. “I think Nick Coleman really understands the mission of ICC.”
In saying goodbye to the departing sophomores, Itawamba saw 15 of those players sign at the mid-term with four-year schools. Williams was also very pleased with sophomores Griff Loftis, a quarterback from Mooreville, and Tobias Lofton, a running back from Forest, earning Academic All-American status.
“I was proud of every one of the signings,” Williams said. “And with Tobias Lofton and Griff Loftis, we’re seeing the fruits of our labor in the classroom.”
Highlights of the season for the Indians included a 5-0 start, and qualifying for the playoffs for the first time since 2007 as part of its 4-2 second place finish in the North Division.
Itawamba finished the season with a win over area rival Northeast 36-33, a loss to eventual national champion East Mississippi 59-13, and a playoff loss to Jones 49-21.
“We’re going to log a lot of miles and a lot of hours now leading up to signing day,” Williams said. “I think we’ve identified some really good talent in the state.”