Co-Lin to play No. 1 Rangers

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 30, 2000

WESSON — While many area college football teams are playing a push-over to ensure an opening week victory, the Copiah-Lincoln Community College Wolves face a somewhat more difficult opponent Thursday in their home opener.

The Northwest Mississippi Community College Rangers, ranked No. 1 in the nation during the preseason by the National Junior College Athletic Association, will head to Wesson to kick off the 2000 season at 7 p.m.

The Rangers were recently placed on probation for beginning practice before the conference start date. Northwest lost it’s ranking and cannot advance to the play-offs this year.

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Besides their probation, however, Co-Lin head coach Phil Broome said he knows very little about his opponent.

&uot;This being the first game (of the season), we don’t know a lot,&uot; Broome said. &uot;You know a lot more about a team after the third or fourth week.&uot;

Broome does know where his team is strong, though.

&uot;We’ve got a good quarterback,&uot; he said. &uot;We feel like he can do a lot for us as a starter.&uot;

Senior Denard Parks started at quarterback all last season, Broome said, and that experience will be a great asset to the team.

Another important facet of the game will be solid play from the Wolves’ defensive backfield, as the Rangers are traditionally a passing team, Broome said.

&uot;Northwest throws the ball real well, and we’re going to have to respond to that,&uot; he said. &uot;Offensively, we’re just going to have to execute.&uot;

The greatest weaknesses his team faces this season are inexperience and a lack of depth, Broome said.

&uot;We’ve got a young offensive line,&uot; he said. &uot;We need to see how they do. If they can come together and work as a unit, that will be a key to our success on the field.&uot;

Former Natchez High School Bulldog Brad Lyles and former Adams County Christian School Rebel Tim Baker are part of that young line.

&uot;We lost quite a few big players last year, and we’ve got about 18 sophomores on the team right now,&uot; he said. &uot;We just don’t have a lot of depth. We can’t afford to have any injuries.&uot;