Warriors and Wildcats

Photo by Thomas Wells

I spoke with Calhoun City coach Mike Ray and Corinth coach Jimmy Mitchell today about their respective football teams. Both squads harbor high expectations for 2008, and here are three reasons to think both teams can go far.

Calhoun City Wildcats (Division 1-1A)

• The Wildcats return Brandon Lawrence (above), who made the 2007 Daily Journal All-Area first team in the Iron Man category. He had 1,315 total yards of offense, evenly split between rushing and receiving. He also made 49 tackles and four interceptions as a cornerback. He’ll do it all again this year, plus a little quarterback duty.

• QB J.R. Jennings, a sophomore, has a year under his belt and gives Ray no cause for concern. Good arm strength, knows how to avoid pressure.

• Ray has 26 freshmen and sophomores to just nine juniors and seniors. But he calls the ninth-grade class “the best we’ve ever had.” Several freshmen will start, including three on the defensive front. Most of the defense’s experience is in the secondary, which will help with more 1A teams going to the pass.

Corinth Warriors (Division 1-3A)

• RB Hubert Crawford is healthy. After rushing for 460 yards in four games last year, he missed the rest of the season with a back injury. He’s 5-foot-9, 198 pounds, but Mitchell said Crawford is “faster than folks think.”

• Corinth has three wide receivers with starting experience, and plenty of depth there. All three ball-catchers – Shauncey Cager, Diante Curlee and Cadman Williams – have great hands.

• The defense, which yielded 21.7 points per game, isn’t much bigger than last year’s unit, but it’s faster. That’s especially true at the defensive end spots.

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