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NHS readies for homecoming activities

NATCHEZ — Several events will line up homecoming week for Natchez High School leading up to Friday’s game against South Jones High School.

At 8 p.m. tonight, the school will host a bonfire and pep rally at Tom F. Williams Memorial Stadium that is open to both the students and the community, NHS principal Fred Butcher said.

On Thursday night, a coronation ball will be hosted inside the school’s gymnasium, where 20 ladies will represent their respective school clubs. At 4 p.m. Friday, a homecoming parade will take place downtown leading up to the game at 7 p.m.

“I think homecoming is a special time,” Butcher said. “Classmates who were with each other for 12 to 13 years, once they graduate, they’re never back together again. But homecoming gives them some semblance of being together again.”

With the school’s recent academic struggles, Butcher also said he’s hopeful former NHS students can come back and share with current students their experiences in post-high school life.

“People can give their experiences of what the real world is like,” Butcher said. “They can talk about how important it is to have a good education and self discipline.”

Lionel Stepter, the Natchez Walmart’s site manager, will be this year’s grand marshal at the homecoming parade. The parade will feature 10 antique cars from local owners — including Butcher’s 1972 Cutlass — at the beginning, as well as floats from all of the Natchez-Adams School District schools. The NHS and Morgantown Middle School bands will also participate.

Civic organizations and local businesses are welcome to enter floats as well. Floats must have designs on the top of the float and covering for the floor, sides and signs. Entry forms for floats are available at NHS. Entry fees for civic organizations and local businesses are $25.

“We want to thank everyone in advance for participation, and we look forward to seeing everyone,” Butcher said.

NHS vs. South Jones

Still searching for its first divisional win, NHS (2-5, 0-2) has been focusing on discipline this week leading up to its homecoming matchup against South Jones.

“Believe it or not, we’ve had two pretty good days of practice,” NHS head coach Lance Reed said Tuesday. “The sentiment around here is, we have to become more disciplined. The lack of discipline is translating into us not doing well on Fridays.”

Though he didn’t get into specifics, Reed said it was little things off the field for which his players had to be held accountable. And since South Jones (1-5, 0-2) is also winless in regional play, Reed said he’s expecting to see the best the Braves have to offer.

“They’re a team that’s hungry for a victory,” Reed said. “We expect them to come in and fight.”

The Bulldogs will be without star athlete Sidney Davis, who suffered a concussion last week against West Jones High School. Davis is expected to return next week when the Bulldogs travel to Laurel High School.

“We have some guys who will have the opportunity to step up and make up for his absence,” Reed said. “Someone will have to fill his shoes, and we feel like we have guys who can do that.”

Homecoming is always an exciting time for the school, but Reed said his team is more concerned with how it plays in the game.

“We’re looking forward to a few activities, but our focus is the game,” Reed said.

Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Friday at NHS.

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