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Tensas Academy set for rematch Friday night

ST. JOSEPH, La. — With another season set to begin Friday, Tensas Academy is looking to get back to the MAIS eight-man football championship.

And this season, it will have the help out a couple of former Huntington players.

Offensive lineman Dalton Corbett, as well as defensive linemen Britt Gandy and Kevin Craft, transferred to Tensas Academy after Huntington closed in May. Tensas Academy head coach Joe Coats said Corbett was the most game-ready player of the three at this point.

“Our center graduated, and that’s the position (Corbett) played at Huntington, so he’ll move right in,” Coats said.

“The other two are just getting started with us. Corbett was here all summer, and went through preseason, and the other two didn’t come out until school started, so it’s hard to say when they’ll contribute.”

Coats said it would also be nice to have Corbett, a junior, at Tensas Academy one more season after this one.

“He’s fit right in. The other two probably will as well, but they just got out here. Gandy’s a sophomore and Craft’s a ninth grader,” Coats said.

Tensas Academy will face a familiar foe Friday as it hosts Calvary Christian Academy from Meridian.

“They beat us the championship game the last two years, so this is kind of a rematch to start the season for us,” Coats said.

“This will give us an idea of where we are. We’ve been playing them in the regular season the last two years, and we won one and they won one.”

One thing both teams will have in common is youth, Coats said.

“I know we don’t have any seniors, and they’ll be young, because they had a lot of seniors last year,” he said.

But Coats doesn’t expect the lack of seniority to mean a lack of experience.

“We have some sophomores that played last year, but most are in new positions. They’re doing all right. They’re making a lot of mistakes, but that’s to be expected early,” Coats said.

“We had a good offseason program, and preseason practices have gone along well. It’s been awfully hot, but they’ve worked hard.”

Because of several factors, Coats said he expects the season opener to be full of emotion.

“It’s the first game of the year, and the home opener, so that makes it a big game regardless of who you play. It’s also a rematch of the championship game, so that’s a little added incentive,” he said.

“We’re looking forward to getting the season started. Hopefully, there will be cooler weather coming soon.”

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