Wildcats amidst preseason drills

           POPLARVILLE --- Some 90 prospects are amidst preseason football drills here at Pearl River Community College with aspirations of suiting up for the Wildcats in their 2013 season opener at home against nationally-ranked East Mississippi on Thursday, Aug. 29.
            Preseason practice kicked off Monday --- a week before the start of the 2012-2014 school year --- with a daily practice and walk-through sesson set through Saturday.
            This year’s season opener has added meaning for first-year head coach William Jones, who served as EMCC’s associate head coach and defensive coordinator from 2008 through 2012. The Lions earned post-season playoff berths all five seasons and won two MACJC state titles and an NJCAA national championship in 2011.
            Jones previously served as DC at PRCC from 2001 through 2008 under former head coaches Scott Maxfield (2001) and Tim Hatten (2002-2012). During that time span, the Wildcats won four straight MACJC titles (2003 through 2006), including an NJCAA national championship in 2004.
            Jones said The River’s practices are open to the public.
            The Wildcats plan a morning Media Day on Saturday, Aug. 17, with a team scrimmage set for 10 p.m. ‘Meet The Wildcats’ night is on tap for Thursday, Aug. 22, where all Pearl River athletic teams (football, women’s and men’s soccer, women’s and men’s basketball, softball, and baseball) and the ‘Spirit of the River’ marching band will be introduced starting at 6 p.m. The night will be climaxed with a football scrimmage in Dobie Holden Stadium.
            In a preseason poll of all 14 of the MACJC’s head coaches, East Mississippi is predicted to finish first in the North Division; followed by Northeast Mississippi, Itawamba, Holmes, Northwest Mississippi, Mississippi Delta, and Coahoma.
            In the South Division, Mississippi Gulf Coast is tabbed for first; followed by Copiah-Lincoln, Hinds, Jones County, and Pearl River with East Central and Southwest Mississippi tied for sixth.
            Mississippi Gulf Coast enters its season ranked No. 1 in the JCGridiron Dirty Thirty poll, while East Mississippi is No. 6.

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