The Starkville Yellowjackets anticipate another tough non-division schedule during the 2012 football season.
After opening the season by hosting Noxubee County on Aug. 17, Starkville takes back-to-back trips to Madison Central (Aug. 24) and Tupelo (Aug. 31) before playing West Point on Sept. 7 at Yellowjacket Stadium.
"Our non-division is as good as anybody anywhere and will do a great job of preparing us for division play," SHS football coach Jamie Mitchell said. "Last year we came out of that 2-2 and played for a state championship so that tells you a whole lot about it right there."
The Jackets played for the Class 5A State championship, where they lost to Picayune 38-21, and finished with an overall record of 12-3. They won all seven games in Region 2, District 6.
Starkville travels to Jackson twice in its first two division games at Lanier (Sept. 21) and Provine (Sept. 28). It goes back to the state's capital city on Oct. 26 to take on Callaway.
The Jackets close the regular season with three of their last five games at home, including against Ridgeland on Oct. 5. Starkville defeated the Titans twice on the road last season, once in the regular season 26-23 and in the North Class 5A title game 28-7.
The other two home dates for the Jackets are with Yazoo City (Oct. 19) and Neshoba Central (Nov. 2), while the road trip is to Canton (Oct. 12).
Starkville begins preseason practice on July 30, but that doesn't mean the team is taking the summer off. The Jackets participate in Mississippi State's 7-on-7 camp on Friday and do the same at Alabama the next weekend.
Every Monday night this month, SHS hosts a 7-on-7 league with Columbus, Noxubee County, West Point, West Lowndes and West Oktibbeha.
"One of the things I'm more proud of than anything is the 7-on-7 league we host," Mitchell said. "We've got a full summer no doubt."