Former Natchez High stars help Troy University reach bowl game
Published 11:09 pm Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Troy University standouts Sidney Davis and Kris Weatherspoon have never played in a bowl game.
The former Natchez High School stars will soon get their chance.
Troy is set to take on Ohio University Dec. 23 in the Dollar General Bowl to be played in Mobile, Ala.
“It’s exciting,” Davis said “It’s another opportunity to go out there and play the game that I love. It’s another opportunity for us to go out and prove what type of team we have. It’s an award for what you’ve done the whole season.”
The Trojans enter the bowl season 9-3 while the Bobcats are 8-5.
“It’s going to be an unbelievable atmosphere,” Weatherspoon said. “It’s going to be my first time playing on ESPN, so it’s going to be a good time.”
This season served as the first for each Weatherspoon and Davis, both having transferred from a community college during the offseason.
Weatherspoon, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound safety, transferred from Hinds Community College and has played a pivotal role in the Trojans’ secondary, ranking second on the team in tackles with 49.
“I made the calls and the checks depending on the formation of the offense,” Weatherspoon said. “I feel like I did a good job this year, but I can always improve on some things for next year. I’m learning more about the game, more technical things about the game. I learned a lot this season.”
Meanwhile, Davis arrived at Troy in the fall semester this year after having spent just one year at Southwest Mississippi College. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound wide receiver had 10 catches for 157 yards and a touchdown this year. Perhaps the sophomore’s biggest contribution came against Appalachian State on Nov. 12.
Trailing 24-21 and facing a fourth-and-6 in the final minutes, Davis hauled in a 43-yard pass to set up the eventual game-winning touchdown on the following play.
The win gave the Trojans an 8-1 mark and a 5-0 record in conference play with three games remaining.
“I really wasn’t expecting to get the ball; I was just trying to open it up for the other receivers,” Davis said. “The quarterback saw me and laid it out there, and I made the play.”
However, the Trojans would falter down the stretch, losing two games and finishing one game back of Appalachian and Arkansas State for the conference crown.
Yet Davis said his squad’s shortcoming will serve as motivation moving forward.
“We’ve got to finish,” Davis said. “A lot of games we finished, and there are some games that we didn’t. We got caught slipping. We’re not going to let that happen again. Anytime we’re doing something in the spring — practice or workouts — we’re going to be thinking about that loss.”
The tandem said they are grateful everything they managed to accomplish on the field, but perhaps what they’re most excited about is setting the standard for the next batch of athletes hailing from the Natchez area.
“We have a lot of pride coming from our area,” Weatherspoon said. “We work hard together, and we grind together. We’re representing our area the best way that we can. We want the guys that are coming up now to do the exact same thing. We want them to grind, do well in school and do positive things. We have a lot of pride for our hometown.”