Little did the Starkville Yellowjackets know that when they played Jackson Callaway in a preseason football jamboree last fall, the two teams would become division opponents in 2011.
With reclassification and division reallignment, the Jackets and Chargers are to be members of Class 5A, Region 2, District 6 in the next school year. They play each other in the next to last game of the regular season in Starkville on Oct. 28.
That's just one of the noticable changes on the football schedule for the Jackets next season.
In his second season as the head coach at SHS, Jamie Mitchell recognizes the schedule presents a new challenge for the program.
"A lot of it is the unknown," Mitchell said. "I've played a lot of folks, but even being a 20-plus year coach, it's going to be the first time to play a lot of these teams."
The Jackets open as they have the past two seasons with Noxubee County in Macon on August 19, then host Madison Central on August 26 and former division rival Tupelo on Sept. 2.
After traveling to West Point, Starkville has an open date before starting division play at home against Lanier on Sept. 23. The Jackets host Provine on Sept. 30, travel to Ridgeland on Oct. 7, welcome Canton on Oct. 14, journey to Yazoo City on Oct. 21, host Callaway and make the trip to Neshoba Central on Nov. 4.
"Of course, we're used to Noxubee, we've played Madison and Tupelo we're used to, but once you get into the division, it's going to be quite a change," Mitchell said. "We just don't know much about many of those or any of those. Provine, in any given year, can be as good as anybody. Of course, Ridgeland last year was an outstanding football team and we played Callaway in the fall (jamboree). Neshoba with Coach (Chuck) Friend will be an interesting matchup."
Starkville continues preparations for the 2011 season when spring practice starts on April 25.