By John Wilbert/NEMS Daily Journal
POTTS CAMP – His invite to this year’s Ole Miss high school football jamboree is through his former boss.
Shane Stone used to be a part of Johnny Hill’s staffs at Tupelo and Oxford high schools.
Now, as the Potts Camp head coach, he gets to use his connection to Hill to play in this weekend’s jamboree at Ole Miss’ Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
“Oxford High School is the one putting it on,” Stone said about the two-quarter exhibitions on the campus of Ole Miss, “and Coach Hill and I are tight, so that was my in on that.”
Since leaving Oxford High, Stone has been at the helm of a resurrected Potts Camp program; prior to Stone’s arrival at Potts Camp in 2009, the Cardinals had not fielded a team since the 1930s.
Before the Cardinals officially kick off the 2011 season, their first full varsity season, they will get a dress rehearsal against Houlka at 1 p.m. Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
“They’re really excited about going over and getting to play in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium,” Stone said of his club. “I thought it would be an opportunity that they would enjoy.”
Houlka, meanwhile, is entering its fourth year of playing football, its first as an official member of a MHSAA division. The Wildcats will play in Division 1-1A this fall.
1A vs. 6A
Fellow Chickasaw County school, Okolona, will also take part in this year’s Ole Miss jamboree. A talented Chieftains squad will face Class 6A’s Grenada, which will be led by former Itawamba AHS head coach Ashley Kuhn.
And if we’re going to play six degrees of separation, IAHS’ Division 1-4A rival, Shannon, will play host Oxford tonight at 8, which will of course be proceeded by Oxford’s Division 1-5A foe, Saltillo, taking on North Pontotoc at 6. North Pontotoc spent the last two seasons competing in Division 1-4A.
Nonetheless, the school that Stone served as an assistant at for eight seasons – six years as the head girls basketball coach – is welcoming his hometown school that he now serves as the assistant principal of to its annual jamboree.
“We’ve talked on a weekly basis, for sure,” the 39-year-old Stone said of his relationship with Coach Hill, who also happens to be a Marshall County native. “I can call him and get some advice when I need it.”
At Ole Miss
Grenada vs. Okolona, 4 p.m.
North Pontotoc vs. Saltillo, 6 p.m.
Oxford vs. Shannon, 8 p.m.
At Mississippi State
Louisville vs. West Point, 11 a.m.
Morton vs. Aberdeen, 1 p.m.
McComb vs. Starkville, 3 p.m.
Columbus vs. Noxubee County, 5 p.m.
Philadelphia vs. New Hope, 7 p.m.
At Ole Miss
North Panola vs. Cleveland, 9 a.m.
Senatobia vs. Charleston, 11 a.m.
Potts Camp vs. Houlka, 1 p.m.