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Natchez High begins football practices for 2020 football season

NATCHEZ — The Natchez High School Bulldogs football team began their official fall practices on Monday in preparation for the upcoming season.

The Mississippi High School Activities Association executive committee voted on July 14 to move the start of football practices to Aug. 17, which was Monday, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Practices give us an opportunity to have the players acclimated to everything that we are doing,” said Randy Craft, Bulldogs head coach. “We’re just ready to get back onto the field and get into a routine.”

The Bulldogs focused on the fundamentals of proper tackling techniques, ball security and the tempo of practices on Monday. Craft said by practicing the fundamentals he expects the Bulldogs to be fundamentally sound on both offense and defense and play to the best of their abilities.

Two of the Natchez High football players to watch for in the 2020 season are Kyreek Murray and Liondell Minor. Murray replaces James Singleton as the starting quarterback.

“It feels good to be part of this fraternity of quarterbacks, from Paul Hargrave, who was the quarterback my freshmen year and James Singleton who was the quarterback last year,” Murray said. “I learned a lot from both Hargrave and Singleton.”

Minor is the free safety for the Bulldogs on defense for the 2020 season. As a free safety, the player prevents throws to the middle and sidelines of the field. Minor totaled 32 solo tackles, two interceptions, 12 assists and two fumble recoveries returned for touchdowns for the Bulldogs on defense in the 2019 season. Minor said practice was fun for him and he enjoyed being back on the field with his teammates.

Natchez High travels to face Jefferson County High School for a scrimmage starting at 7 p.m. on Aug. 28.