Clarksdale High School will once again be hosting a preseason football jamboree at Coahoma Community College on Friday night.
The jamboree will consist of public schools from the Mississippi Delta, including Clarksdale, Coahoma County and Coahoma Early College high schools.
The Wildcats will play the final game at Madison Palmer at 8 p.m. They have hosted this jamboree for most of the seasons since Henry Johnson took over as head coach in 2013.
“I’m always trying to raise the level of competition in the Delta,” Johnson, who had been a head coach at both West Bolivar and Clarksdale high schools, said.
There will be two 20-minute running clocks and the clock will stop at the last two minutes of the quarter.
No kicking game will take place during the jamboree unless a team scores as there will be extra points.
“If you punt, you just mark it off 35 yards,” Johnson said.
There will not be a set number of plays on any possession.
Johnson said he would like to see “how competitive, how physical, how disciplined we are, how well we execute on offense and defense, game management with coaching and getting plays in and personnel in on and off the field and those type of things.”
The Wildcats will have running backs by committee and Johnson hopes he will have a better idea of who will see significant action there after the jamboree. Running backs include Queston Skipper, Antwan Wheeler, Sammy Ray, Javeon Dear and Tre Latham.
“It’s just to gage us before we get into the real competition,” Johnson said.
CEC vs. Shaw
The Tigers open things up at 5:30 p.m. against Shaw.
“The only question (going into this game) is nothing related to the other team, but I want to know where do we stand,” CEC coach Jeremiah Brassell said. “How physical do we become and how do we act when we actually put the pads on. Right now, we’re pretty good conditioning with the large number we’ve been having come, but now it’s just depending on contact.”
Willie Eagins was in and out at quarterback last season.
He is coming back as the full-time starter in 2018.
“We want to see how he’s going to maintain the offense,” Brassell said. “The other position we might be shaky at is linebacker because, overall, we’ve got a couple bigger DBs we’re going to put at linebacker.”
All-district returning players are cornerback Demarco Williams, who did not give up a touchdown in 2017, defensive lineman Corey Suggs, middle linebacker Jeremiah Brassell Jr. and utility player Chris Russell.
“Chris Russell can play all over the field,” Brassell said. “He’s one of the most dynamic players I’ve been around. We just want to see where he is as of leadership.”
CCHS vs. Shaw
The Red Panthers will face Shaw in the jamboree.
“Right now, I want to focus on us rallying to the ball, running to the ball,” first-year coach Mario Lane said. “Trench play, that’s my focus. I try not to get anybody injured.”
Lane said he looks forward to seeing his team play against an opponent.
“I’ve got a great idea of what they could do, but it’s a little different when the lights come on at night,” he said. “This is an older group of guys, so I’m pretty confident in where I’ve got them playing right now. It’s just trying to get these guys to buy into the system and just be team players and play as one unit.”
Lane said the most unanswered question is the placement of interior linemen. He added he knows who his linemen will be, but where they will line up on the field is still the question.