By DANNY P. SMITH
The Starkville Yellowjackets open a highly-anticipated boys basketball season on Saturday afternoon.
Following last year's appearance in the Class 6A State Tournament and winning a state championship two seasons ago, the Jackets are expected to make another run to Jackson and possibly win another title.
Starkville participates in the West Point Tournament Saturday and takes on the host team. The Lady Jackets play the Lady Green Wave at 3 p.m., then the boys game is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m.
The SHS teams went to Brandon for jamboree action last Saturday and boys basketball coach Greg Carter was pleased with what he saw.
"We actually played a little better than I thought we would," Carter said. "Normally in the past, we haven't played very well in the jamboree and we started out playing well in games. Jamborees are where you get all of your opening jitters out."
The Jackets return several players from last season's squad, including center Gavin Ware, a Mississippi State commitment.
Carter believes having that experience has increased the comfort level going into the season.
"We have some veteran lineup guys that have done it in the past," Carter said. "All of these guys did it last year and went to Brandon for the jamboree. They kind of know what to expect."
It was much of the same type of feeling for the Lady Jackets.
Even though the girls lost to Callaway and Brandon in the jamboree, SHS coach Kristie Williams said it was a good way to see where her squad stands.
"It was a good measuring stick as far as things we need to do to prepare for to get ready for West Point," Williams said. "It was a good time to get some of the jitters out.
"This is the exciting time of the year and we've been working really hard. It's time to put all of the fundamentals we've been working so hard together and come out with a victory on Saturday afternoon."