° empty

Hopson pleased with Alcorn’s progress

LORMAN — It’s his second season as head coach of the Alcorn State football team, but this is only the first chance Jay Hopson has to coach his players for spring practice.

With Saturday’s Purple and Gold spring game looming, Hopson said he’s looking for a high-energy scrimmage out of his players.

“I want a good, clean, hard-fought scrimmage,” Hopson said. “I want to see guys play sound and physical football. Offensively, we want to see guys hold onto the football, and defensively we want to see guys wrap up.”

Hopson, who was hired last May, didn’t have a chance to work with his team in spring training. The Braves began spring practice March 19, and Hopson said having a spring makes a world of difference in getting ready for the fall.

“You actually get to slow down and teach,” he said. “You can go at more of a learning pace. I think we’ve made some good improvements in certain areas, and our execution has been good. All in all, it’s been a good spring.”

The players are getting the opportunity to have more in-depth work with the coaches, Hopson said, instead of the coaches just going over the basics.

“You’re able to spend a lot of time on teaching the details and not just worry about them getting lined up and in the proper assignment,” Hopson said. “That’s what it’s all about. We slow down and teach them, and hopefully we’ll get a lot out of this and it will carry over into the fall.”

Though a couple of new players have transferred in, Hopson said the roster remains largely intact from last fall, minus the 2012 seniors.

“Our recruiting class doesn’t show up until July,” Hopson said. “The thing I want to see is our guys get fundamentally better, and we’re doing just that. I want our guys to get familiar with what’s going on as far as our plays, formation recognition and our reads on offense.”

Quarterback Zerick Rollins will lead the Purple squad, while the Gold roster will feature quarterback John Gibbs. Both are competing hard, Hopson said, but quarterback isn’t the only position where competition is intense.

“Every position (has stiff competition), and I refuse for there not to be,” Hopson said. “The one thing I want to do is create competition.”

Hopson said it’s hard to compare where his team is compared to the end of last season, but he’s hopeful spring practice has allowed the players to improve in all aspects.

“I think our execution and reads are better on offense, and I think we’re playing with better leverage on offense,” he said. “It’s likewise on defense — we’re better, more fundamentally sound. That all has to carry over into August.”

Kickoff for the Alcorn spring game is at 2 p.m. Saturday at Jack Spinks-Marino Casem Stadium.

News

Photo gallery: Jewish community celebrates Passover with Seder dinner

News

NASD graduation rate up, but still lags behind state average

News

The Dart: Vidalia man studies, takes care of family, too

News

Natchez Early College Academy Fun Day to help raise money for trip to Washington, D.C.

News

Parent University set for Thursday

News

Sunday focus: Voters to determine a quarter million in salaries May 10

News

Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office investigates body found in Monterey

News

County seeking ambulance proposals

News

‘Suzi’s Girls’ remember lasting legacy left by coach

News

Natchez man killed in Ferriday wreck Friday night

News

Photo gallery: The bluff has gone to the DockDogs

News

Tactics in case surrounding alleged attack of parish DA questioned

News

Student charged in verbal assault of teacher

News

City back in court to determine damages in Roundstone case

News

Report: Cuts put school district $1.5M short

News

Faith and Family: R.V.I.C.S. helps Children’s Home

News

Photo gallery: Chalk artist inspired by God creates artwork at First Baptist Church

News

Man previously arrested on rape charges, charged with another sex crime

News

Natchez-Adams School District to pay $127K to former principal

News

Judge dismisses former assistant principal’s lawsuit against school district

News

City receives Urban Youth Corps grant

News

Natchez police make arrest in weekend attack

News

Natchez tourism director’s car left in limbo without commission

News

News photos: Ferriday fire