The final game of the regular season for 14 area high school football teams has been moved up a day due to expected inclement weather for the rest of the week.
A noteworthy Class 1A division matchup between Okolona and Smithville – two teams that are undefeated in division play – was moved to tonight at 6:30 in Smithville.
Hatley will be playing a big home game tonight at 6:30. If the Tigers knock off Division 1-2A foe Walnut and Calhoun City wins at Bruce (7 p.m. tonight), then the Tigers qualify for their first MHSAA postseason appearance.
Baldwyn, which clinched the division – its fifth straight Division 1-2A title – last week against Hatley, will play its final regular-season game at 7 tonight when it hosts Mantachie.
Walnut will not be the only Tippah County school to play tonight, as Ripley will host Alcorn Central and Falkner will do the same with Coldwater. Both games are scheduled for 7 p.m.
Nettleton will have its shot at winning the Division 1-3A title when it plays at Aberdeen tonight. That game was also originally scheduled for Friday, but has been switched to tonight at 6 p.m.
Two Class 4A schools set to play in another prominent division game this week contemplated playing on Thursday. After two days of discussing when to play their final regular-season football game, Shannon High and Itawamba AHS athletic officials decided it was best to play the game on Friday – the originally scheduled date – at Indian Stadium on the campus of IAHS.
The threat of inclement weather caused both schools to consider moving the game – which would decide the winner of Division 1-4A – to Thursday night. But wet weather, including scattered thunderstorms, was also in the forecast for Thursday.
“We were just trying to get the best weather possible,” said IAHS athletic director Lynn Moore. “That was the only thing in question. It’s going to be wet whenever we play.”
Both Moore and IAHS head football Jamie Mitchell said the playing field is in great shape despite all the rainfall these past two months.
“We were very fortunate that this past Friday (against Pontotoc) was only our fourth home game,” Mitchell said. “All the games played during those very rainy weeks were played on the road. The New Albany game was moved to a Thursday.
“We’ve been very lucky with our field.”
Also, New Albany will be playing for the final playoff spot out of Division 1-4A when it travels to Tishomingo County for a 6:30 p.m. kickoff.
Contact John Wilbert at 678-1572 or firstname.lastname@example.org
John Wilbert/NEMS Daily Journal