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If the old 'no pain, no gain' adage is true, the Copiah Academy Colonels might have plenty to look forward to when they come to Starkville Academy Friday night for a 7 p.m. battle against the Volunteers.
While Copiah Academy has battled through its first six games of the year with a 3-3 overall record, the Colonels have unfortunately been saddled with injury after injury, leaving head coach Scotty Cline plugging holes.
"We've had a ton of injuries," said Cline. "We lost a quarterback right off the bat, who had a car wreck and broke his femur. We've got a dislocated kneecap, a dislocated shoulder, two dislocated thumbs and another broken femur. But with what all these guys have gone through, they play hard.
"We've had to move a lot of people around to positions they're not used to playing, so everything's kind of sharpened everyone's concentration up a little bit."
The positional shake-ups have still left the Colonels highly competitive. The team has wins over Oak Forest Academy, Central Hinds Academy and Leake Academy.
Copiah's losses this year have come courtesy of Brookhaven Academy and conference foes Jackson Prep and Presbyterian Christian.
As Copiah has fought through its schedule, as well as its laundry list of aches and pains, the Colonels have had to rely heavily on a pair of their seniors.
Through adversity, it's quarterback/middle linebacker Barron Miller and outside linebacker/tailback Peyton Whitehead shouldering much of the load.
"They've both been doing good things for us this year," said Cline of Miller and Whitehead. "They're both seniors so they've got a lot of snaps under them and bring that leadership."
Cline hopes that Miller and Whitehead can help push the Colonels back above .500 this week against the Vols.
Yet the Copiah leader knows it won't be an easy task.
Starkville Academy (5-1) is coming off just its first loss of the season, a 23-0 setback to Jackson Prep.
Even though the Vols saw their perfect record blemished, Cline says, even in defeat, Starkville Academy proved yet again they are a solid squad.
"They're a top-notch football team," said Cline. "They're always in the right place at the right time. Obviously they played Jackson Prep, and I know Jackson Prep beat them but (SA) played a really solid game.
"There's a reason (the Vols) are 5-1."