Special to the Journal
Tonight’s opening kickoff of the 2014 season is fast approaching for the Northeast Community College Tigers, and there is still no quarterback.
That is not exactly true, as the Tigers roster includes three quarterbacks – East Mississippi transfer Brett Thompson, and sophomores Cory Dixon from Georgia and Trace Lee from Columbus.
Still, head coach Ricky Smither has at least that quarterback question to answer as the Tigers prepare to begin their season on the road at No. 9 ranked Gulf Coast today with a 7 p.m. kickoff.
“I’m relieved it’s here,” said Smither of the season beginning. “We’re ready to stop beating on each other and see exactly where we are as a football team.”
Northeast will get to find out where it is against Gulf Coast, a team the Tigers dropped a close 28-14 contest to a season ago.
“We played them well last year, but five turnovers sealed the deal,” Smither said. “It’s hard to make a mistake against a good team, much less five mistakes.
“We didn’t play we’ll at quarterback.”
Smither reports that the choice of starting quarterback will likely be a game-time decision. But whoever gets the nod at QB, he will get good support from from the Northeast offense, including running back Corbin White from Nettleton and wide receiver Von Smith from Maben.
An experienced defense awaits Gulf Coast, beginning with linemen Jason Carr from Tennessee and Nigel Phillips from Georgia. Also ready to make an impact is linebacker Jamel Dennis from Lafayette and safety Johnny Smith from Starkville.
“We want to get on track with this season as fast as we can,” said Smither on how important this first contest is. “I feel like we have a talented team, we just have to get down there and play the game.”
Northeast will open its home season next week hosting Hinds, then host Northwest Sept. 10 in its North Division opener.