Hawks and Jackets

I only got one football coach on the phone today: Holly Springs’ Clifford Brown. He’s entering his fourth year at the helm.

The Hawks have been on the brink of a breakthrough season, and this could be it. They were 4-6 last year and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2002. Their first six games were played on the road while a new stadium was being completed, and Brown was breaking in a new quarterback, Demetri Oliver.

Holly Springs has seven starters back on offense, including Oliver, a junior. Eight are back on defense.

“We hope it’s our time to compete a little better,” Brown said.

The Hawks play in Division 3-3A with the likes of Byhalia, Independence, North Panola and Senatobia. They’d never made the playoffs until 2003 and have one playoff win.

Gene Phelps spoke with Starkville’s Bill Lee today. Coach Lee is not one to give away too much, but this year will be another challenging one for the Yellowjackets. Only two starters return on offense, five on defense. Lee’s looking at four guys to fill the quarterback spot.

Starkville’s offensive line is “real light,” Lee said – not a good thing in 5A ball.

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