Noxubee County working to keep tradition going
Starkville High School running back Preston Baker (28) saw action against Noxubee County last season before leaving the game with an injury. Baker figures in the plans of the Yellowjackets on offense this season. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)
Noxubee County football coach Tyrone Shorter has high hopes for this season.
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That confidence was shaken a bit after losing in a two-quarter scrimmage to Columbus 27-12 at Mississippi State last Saturday.
Even though concerned about obvious holes on defense, Shorter likes where his offense stands heading into Friday's season-opener at home against Starkville.
The Tigers are led on offense by the duo of quarterback Dangelo Ballard and receiver Terrence Barron.
"We're expecting our offense to be a whole lot better," Shorter said. "We have a lot of talent and speed on both sides of the ball, but I'm really impressed with our offense right now.
"Our skilled guys are unbelievable. I'm a little concerned about our offensive line because we graduated five guys last year, but the young guys on the offensive line are coming along. If the offensive line holds up, it's going to be hard to stop us because we have skilled guys out of this world."
With the tradition that Noxubee County has built over the years, including a Class 4A state championship under M.C. Miller in 2008, Shorter knows the pressure of keeping the program heading in a positive direction.
Shorter, now entering his second season as head coach of the Tigers and 13th year coaching in general, looks forward to getting the season started.
"We feel good and are excited about this year," Shorter said. "The kids have been working really hard and we're going to take one game at a time and see what happens."
The Tigers have a huge out-of-state matchup against Spain Park (Ala.) on Aug. 27 in Hoover, Ala., but first they must deal with the Yellowjackets, who are coming off a successful offseason. Starkville was able to edge Columbus 17-16 in the spring game.
Shorter knows his squad can't afford to look past the Jackets to its matchup with Spain Park next week.
"(Starkville has) a good team," Shorter said. "It will be a good game and they have a good coaching staff. We switched films with coach (Jamie) Mitchell and went to work. We had a team meeting (Sunday) and start preparing for them for Friday night."