SHS releases 2019 football schedule

Chris Jones

Staff Writer

There are still several months to go until the 2019 football season is kicked off for Starkville HIgh School, but the Yellow Jackets are already in preparation for another run at a championship.  

It will be year three for Chris Jones at the helm and the Jackets will have as challenging a schedule as they’ve encountered in recent memory. The 2019 slate was announced recently with a non-conference setup as challenging as anywhere in the state of Mississippi.  

Jones would have it no other way. 

“If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best and that’s what we’re doing again,” Jones said. You can’t play a cupcake schedule and expect to be (competing for a state championship) again. I want us to compete at a high level and you can tell by the schedule. We’re playing some really good teams and we can’t afford to take any weeks off. The end goal is the championship and we’re going to push forward.” 

Noxubee County is moving down to Class 3A next season and Starkville won’t be playing the rival team from Macon in 2019, so Jones and Director of Athletics Cheyenne Trussell went for another Class 6A team to replace the Tigers and they booked South state contender Brandon High School, which will be lead by rising senior quarterback Will Rogers.  

The August 23 game on the road will be one of the more anticipated games in the state to start the year with Rogers and SHS junior quarterback Luke Altmyer going head-to-head.  

“I was looking for somebody to compete against and that was perfect,” Jones said. “It’s the first game of the season and it will be two of the best quarterbacks in the state going up against each other. It will be one of the best games of the week.”  

The Jackets follow that opening game up with the return of the Little Egg Bowl against Oxford as they open their home schedule. They’ll travel up the road to West Point on September 6 to face off with the three-time defending Class 5A State champions and then play another state title team back at Yellow Jacket Stadium.  

That team is Louisville, the defending Class 4A State champs, who the Jackets used to play every season in a rivalry that was among the most exciting in central Mississippi. The two teams will meet for the first time in a regular season game since 2010 this year and the game takes another fun turn as Jones’ former coach at Noxubee County Tyrone Shorter was chosen the head coach at Louisville last week.

“It’s going to be huge because it used to be such a big game," Jones said. "It’s two of the best programs in the state of Mississippi and just a 30-minute drive down Highway 25. That’s a competitive football team that won a state championship and they can compete against anyone in the state of Mississippi.  

“Coach Shorter went over there and he coached me in high school. It’s going to be standing room only and used to be one of the premiere games.” 

The Jackets close out the non-conference portion by hosting Meridian on September 20 and then open up Class 6A, Region 2 play. SHS welcomes in two new district opponents this year as Provine and Northwest Rankin move out. South Panola and Germantown move into Region 2 and SHS will start district play in Batesville on September 27 and host homecoming against the Mavericks on October 4.  

The Jackets have a road game at Greenville on October 11 before hosting Madison Central on October 18. They close out the regular season with road games at Murrah in Jackson on October 25, at Warren Central on November 1 and host Clinton on November 8.  

“It’s going to be competitive as always,” Jones said of the district schedule. “It’s going to get a little harder. South Panola is always really, really good and Ricky Woods will have another good team this year. Germantown is doing some good things as well. We’re going to have to be ready every week.”