Tensas kicks off area’s schedule of jamboree action

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 9, 2003

Let’s not kid around here. For most of the Miss-Lou there is only one Mississippi Private School Association football jamboree that will tickle their fancy this weekend.

The Trinity Episcopal-Adams County Christian School rivalry, which has been tucked in bed since 1998, will be reopened on the AC campus Saturday, to the delight of many.

But other MPSA schools will either hold or travel to jamborees beginning with Tensas playing host to River Oaks at 7 p.m. today.

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&uot;I want to see us compete for one thing; to see us learn how to win a football game,&uot; said Chiefs head coach Chris Jacobs, who begins his 12th year after an uncharacteristic 3-7 season in 2002. &uot;If the intensity and the competitiveness is there, the rest will take care of itself through practice and as time goes on.&uot;

Class AA Centreville heads to McComb and the Parklane Jamboree Friday, and Class A Huntington will face AAA Copiah Academy at 5:30 p.m. and AA East Rankin at 7 p.m. both Saturday.

Hounds second-year head coach Hugh Hathcock hopes playing up will be a measuring stick for Week 1 of the regular season when Huntington hosts those aforementioned AC Rebels.

&uot;If we can do all right against both teams we should be OK for ACCS,&uot; said Hathcock, who lost five seniors from last season’s 7-3 squad. &uot;We’ve been working the kids quite a bit, rotating them in and out to try to get them rested. They’re well conditioned.&uot;

Despite a 17-man roster, the Hounds have experience along the offensive line with five starters returning as juniors in 2003. After competitive scrimmages against the Silliman Institute and Bowling Green, Hathcock, also Huntington’s principal, sees a work in progress.

On of the main issues will be finding a pair of feet to fill the departed shoes of Patrick Clayton, who ran for 1,420 yards a year ago. Juniors Trey Keith and Jordy Jones figure to battle for the starting job at tailback.

&uot;We’re still experimenting, but after this weekend it’ll be more or les set for the opener. They’re still vying for positions,&uot; Hathcock said. &uot;They’ve got to show me they belong out there.&uot;

Sophomore Adam Trevillion is back under center at quarterback with punishing fullback Kyle Johnson carrying the load with Keith and Jones.

Hathcock expects the Hounds defense to be prepared for anything that is thrown at them Saturday, with adjustments being made as the 30-minute games &045; two 15-minute halves &045; roll along.

&uot;I’m not asking them to do something they’re not capable of doing,&uot; he said. &uot;We’re not trying to produce big stars here. I just want them to understand the team concept and be a part of a team. They’ve bought into it.&uot;

Jacobs simply wants the mistakes and turnovers to be fewer in 2003, beginning tonight with a River Oaks’ squad that always matches up evenly with the Chiefs.

Jacobs hopes placing the offensive playbook in the hands of assistant Britt Keahey will breathe new life into a Tensas team that is down to less than 15 players. It will not be easy.

Last year’s performance &uot;did not sit real well with the kids or myself. Besides the number crunch this season we have a solid schedule,&uot; Jacobs said. &uot;Our district teams are always tough, plus we play Trinity, Tallulah and Glenbrook in some non-district games. Those are quality opponents across the board.&uot;

Regardless of the meager numbers, Tensas’ work ethic during late summer practices as given hope to Jacobs and his staff.

The Chiefs expected to field a 20-man roster after they lost two to graduation, but after three varsity players transferred and another trio chose not to return, 14 now remain.

&uot;It’s something that they’ve learned to deal. None of them have the luxury of a lot of rest, so it’s always tough,&uot; Jacobs said. &uot;They’ll play with a lot of pride, but it’d always be nice to have five or six more quality kids to go with the ones I have.&uot;

Instead of having players battle for positions, the Tensas coaching staff are fighting to get individuals merely into shape.

&uot;I’ve told the kids to treat it like a practice they’re trying to win,&uot; Jacobs said. &uot;They’ll finally get to implement things we’ve been showing them once everybody is in full speed. Each week someone has stepped it up for us, but there is plenty room for improvement in several areas.&uot;