Vols adjust slightly, wait on title game

Staff Writer

There are a couple of things that the Starkville Academy Volunteers will be doing for the first time this week when they take on Indianola Academy at the AAA State championship.

The Vols will play on a artificial turf field for the first time at Jackson Academy and SA has to wait until Saturday for their title shot.

It has a little bit of a different routine for the Vols as Tuesday was really a Monday, Wednesday turned out to be a Tuesday, Thursday was like a Wednesday and today was treated like Thursday in terms of preparation.
Starkville Academy coach Chase Nicholson said Monday was the light day.

“On Monday, we took them out and just let them throw and catch, let them move around and start the introduction and teaching process,” Nicholson said. “It was almost like we were in a meeting, just a little more active, then we ran them because you get the weekend out of them and get Friday night out of them.”

As part of their walkthrough this week, Mississippi State allowed the Vols to get used to the artificial turf inside the Palmeiro Center. The players were able to feel what the surface is like before having to play on it Saturday.

The Bulldogs will be on their way to Fayetteville, Arkansas, later Friday for a game against the Razorbacks on Saturday.

Nicholson was thankful to MSU for the opportunity.

“Most of these guys have never played on turf and maybe all of these guys except for Ben (Owens),” Nicholson said. “That’s a great thing that Mississippi State is letting us do to go out there and move around on that.”

There is also a chance of rain in the forecast for Saturday, which could make the Jackson Academy turf very slippery.

When Starkville Academy played at Indianola Academy back in September, it lost a 35-21 decision to the Colonels in wet conditions.

Indianola Academy coach Tommy Nester said his team was able to handle the situation better on their home field in the rain, but knows the tables could be turned when the two squads meet in the rematch. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m.

“You never know who gets the advantage on a wet field,” Nester said. “We’ve got our hands full and are looking forward to it.”