By David Wheeler/NEMS Daily Journal
BOONEVILLE – Northeast Tigers head coach Ricky Smither is approaching Game 3 on the 2011 schedule pretty with pretty much the same structure and preparation as the first two.
Smither just wants his Tigers to “dominate” each individual matchup and each opponent.
The fact that today’s contest at Mississippi Delta, in the first North Division contest of the season for Northeast, does not factor into the preparation.
“When we started the year, the plan was to dominate each opponent, and we’ve got nine games on the schedule to do that,” Smither said. “The guys have taken everything in stride, and each game is just a stepping stone.
“We’re just trying to get better.”
Northeast (2-0) has enjoyed two successful efforts thus far in the season, with comfortable wins over East Central and Southwest. Smither has been pleased with the Tigers defense performing at expected levels, while the offense has shown signs of improvement.
“The defense has played well, while the offense has started out slow,” Smither said. “But I knew that it was going to be slow.
“But in the second game, Parks Frazier stepped up at quarterback. He is an intelligent guy, and the offense was successful with what we were trying to do. And Bryan Steele came in when it was his turn and did a tremendous job as well.”
A freshman from Corinth, Frazier completed 15 passes for 175 yards and three touchdowns in a 32-9 victory over Southwest. Smither also points out the improvements of running backs Michael Poole from Ripley and Garrett Smith from Starkville with the Tigers’ offensive improvement.
But for all Tigers’ early success, they have yet to play a road game, until today at Delta (0-2) at 6:30 p.m.
“Delta has played two of the strongest teams in the state, so you can’t just look at their record,” Smither said. “Delta is big, strong, and athletic, and is going to be the best team we’ve seen yet.
“Our place is a fun place to play, but I’ve already been preaching that it doesn’t matter where you play. Some of these kids have only seen our place, but I’m telling them they only need to worry about dominating the guy in front of you.”