Opposing viewpoint: Provine

Staff Writer

Stability is something that Provine has been trying to find over the last several years as a school with a proud history of athletics.

This is year three with a new coach as they lost former coach Otis Riddley to Copiah-Lincoln Community College as an assistant before last season and Marcellus Speaks is no longer head coach after a 6-5 record a season ago. Former Ram standout Tim Wilson has assumed the position as new head coach and he has some quality assistants on staff with him as former Ole Miss wide receiver Shay Hodge runs the offense and former Mississippi State and National Football League defensive lineman Tommy Kelly carries the load with the men up front on defense.

Provine has still struggled out of the gates against the metro area teams with a 2-2 mark and losses to Velma Jackson and Callaway in lower classifications.

Starkville High School coach Chris Jones said that the Rams are still capable of springing a win on anyone in their way.

“They’re a (Jackson Public School) with some really good looking athletes with some size,” Jones said of the Rams. “This is the coaches first year with those kids and I think they’re getting better. They play hard so we won’t be taking them for granted.”

The ground game will be the specialty on Friday night when Provine comes to Starkville for the first Region 2 game of the season. They’ve only thrown 35 passes in four games and accumulated 229 yards, but they’ve been able to run effectively led by the two-headed combo of sophomore Marktavius Reed and Anthony Davis II, who have over 100 carries between them and 55 yards more than the entire team’s total.

Outside of those two players, Provine has 41 carries for minus-45 yards.

The defense poised two of the better defenders in the state of Mississippi in senior defensive end De’Monte Russell and junior defensive back Javoris Selmon, but the Rams took a hit last week when Selmon broke his ankle and is out for the year.

Russell is the player that Provine will count on most moving forward on that side of the football and he stands 6-5 and 220 pounds with Southeastern Conference offers from Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, LSU, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Ole Miss and a commitment already to MSU. Jones said he’s a player that his Jackets don’t want to have chasing them around on Friday night.

“The thing for us to do is run at him as opposed to running away from him,” Jones said. “Right now he’s a raw talent with great size and some athletic ability. We’re going to try and neutralize his strength because he’s able to run so well.”