Issuu on Google+

The Oxford Sun

PIGSKIN PREVIEW Friday // August 31, 2012 • Page 1B

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?

Photo By Kevin Anderson

Jackets ready for start of season BRANT LOCKLIER bllox@hotmail.com Kwan Alexander ( LSU), Trae Elston (Ole Miss), Michael Flint (Arkansas State), Dez Swink (Coahoma Community College), Monte Bass (Coahoma Community College), Coty Spurling (University of North Alabama), Dominque Williams (Coffeyville Community College), Calvin Baker (Jacksonville State University) and Jackson Stephens (minor league baseball contract). All these players are gone and graduated and on to the next level. They were all part of the deepest run in the 6A playoffs in team history last year as the Jackets made it to the 6A semi-finals before falling to Hoover. In all 23 players graduated off of the 2011 team, but the good news that there are some pieces in place that will be something to build off of in 2012. Let’s take a look at the 2011 Jackets Offense 2011 Offensive coordinator Mark O’Bryant left to be the Head Coach at Ashville High School and Head Coach John Grass will turning his offense over to Michael Darden to calling the plays this year. He will have two good candidates at the quarterback

position to take over for the departed Jackson Stephens. Neither Sophomore Ty Webber or Senior Joe McGuire have the deep throw that Stephens had, but they both have more mobility and can run the football if pressured. Webber got in some solid playing time last year in some late season games as the Jackets had huge leads. McGuire spent most of his time at receiver last year and is a seasoned player that knows how to win. He was a member of the Oxford State Championship baseball team last spring and was a one-man wrecking crew in the state playoffs. Both quarterbacks will have one of the best backs in the state to hand the ball off to in Rock Thomas. Thomas will be a junior this year and exploded on to the scene rushing for over 1,500 yards a year ago and 20 touchdowns. He ripped off over 300 yards in the first round state playoff victory over Spain Park and earned All-State honors. Rock is considered one of the top prospects in the country and already has offers from Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Florida, Clemson and UCLA and has, surely, more offers to come. The Offensive line will be the huge question mark entering the season. Only Tim Lewis returns and a lot of promising new starters will be bringing their talents to the line.

Lewis is bangeed up right now, so it looks like five new starters will line up on opening day against Carrollton. Noah Lynch will be at left tackle, Demario Kirksey at left guard, Chance Strickland at center, Matt Butler at right guard and Derek Mahaffey . Lewis is getting over an ACL injury and his return is eminent. Right now the line is made up of two seniors, two juniors and a sophomore. The receiving corps will consist of veterans Terry Mason, Jarrius Orr and Joe McGuire. Juniors Octavious Davis and Laquandre Ferrell along with sophomore Thomas Rudolph will getting plenty of playing time. Defense Defensively, the Jackets return 8 players that saw a lot of playing time a year ago. Up front you have two senior SEC prospects in Trent Simpson( 6’5 230) and Ulric Jones (6-5 270) at the defensive ends and Junior Kenyn Richey (6-0,290) will be at tackle. This line will be formidable and could create a lot of havoc in opponents’ backfield in 2012. Seniors DeAngelo Thompson, Josh Montgomery and Juniors Weston Caldwell, Josh Snow and Octavious Davis lead an experienced group of linebackers. Senior Damere Martin, junior Colton Turner and senior Latahj Emory will head up the secondary.

Grass enters fifth year as Oxford head coach BRANT LOCKLIER bllox@hotmail.com

Bama will try to repeat as national champions page 4B

Auburn will attempt to improve from last season SEE Auburn, PAGE 5B

Jacksonville State faces rugged schedule See JSU, Page 5B

>> WHAT’S INSIDE OXFORD

Football / 1B Cheerleaders / 3B Band / 4B

college

Jacksonville State / 5B Auburn University / 5B University of Alabama / 4B SEC Schedule / 4B

It is hard to believe that it has been four years already, but Coach John Grass is entering his fifth year as the Head Coach of the Oxford Yellow Jackets. His record of 35-13 is the second best winning percentage of any Oxford coach in history and last year marked a run to the state semi-finals before losing a close game to Hoover. All four of his seasons have involved playoff appearances as his teams have posted 8-3,8-3, 7-5 and 12-2 marks since his arrival in 2008. He has done this against one of the toughest schedules in the state as he has taken on powers such as Carrollton Ga., Auburn and Central of Phenix City. Coach Grass began his coaching career at the age of 27 at his alma mater, Ashville High School in 1995. He spent five years serving in many capacities. He was Athletic Director, Head Football Coach and Head Girls’ Basketball Coach. He graduated from Ashville in 1986 and graduated from JSU in 1990. He moved on to Hoover High School in 2000 and served as Assistant Head Football Coach and Offensive Coordinator. The Bucs were 28-2 and state champions once during his time there. In 2002, Grass became the Head Football Coach at Albertville. He led the Aggies to a 9-4 season and led them to their first quarter final playoff appearance in their history. In 2003, Grass took over at Moody High School where he led the Blue Devils to three straight playoff appearances. Moody made their first quarter final appearance in 2004 under Grass with a 9-4 record.

Photo By Trent Penny

Oxford head coach John Grass gives some pointers to Derek Mchaffey. In 2006 and 2007 Grass was the Head Football Coach at 6A Spain Park and led the Jaguars to a state championship game against Prattville. That year Grass was named the 6A State Coach of the Year. Grass is a maker of men and his coaching staff’s cares about the kids and they do everything they can to create a winning atmosphere and they do it the right way. The Yellow Jacket program has burst into statewide prominence in the 6A ranks and many Yellow Jackets are receiving scholarships to big time schools. Grass is married to the former Jada Arnold of Ragland and they have three kids Judson, Jules and Jace Cannon. It is a good time to be an Oxford Yellow Jacket.


2

PAGE 2B / FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

Front line faces Keep your eyes on the field for this season’s Yellow Jackets picks

Jarrius Orr

La’Tajh Emory

Terry Mason

Desmon Owens

Joshua Montgomery

Trent Simpson

Joe Mcguire

Derek Mahaffey

Ulric Jones

DeAngelo Thompson

Matthew Butler

Austin Adams

Reginald Kelley

Timothy Lewis

Darrius Rogers

Josh Snow

Jordan Gregory

Kelvin Adams

Jacob Shake

Thomas Rudolph

Weston Caldwell

Drake Champion

Ty Webber

Rock Thomas

Joshua Sewell

KeShaun Abbott

Jared Shake

2012 Oxford Yellow Jackets

2012 Oxford Yellow Jackets Team Roster # Name 1 Jarrius Orr 2 Terry Mason 3 Desmon Owens 4 Ty Webber 5 La’Tajh Emory 6 Racean Thomas 7 Joshua Montgomery 8 Damere Martin 9 Trent Simpson 10 KeShaun Abbott 13 Dylan Johnson 14 Joe Mcguire 16 Jacob Cook 17 Colton Turner 18 LaQuandre Ferrell 19 Derek Mahaffey 20 Mason Love 21 Trent Houston 22 Jared Shake 23 Kelvin Adams 24 Terry Mccord 25 Octavious Davis 26 Reggie Cook 27 Thomas Rudolph 29 Dylan Sipplin 30 Weston Caldwell 31 Ryan Stovall 32 Joshua Sewell 33 Jacob Shake 34 Jonathan Green 35 Joseph Corkren 36 Jordan Gregory 37 Drake Champion 38 Jacob McGuffey 39 Ryan Owens 40 Noah Lynch 41 Josh Snow 42 Joseph Chestnut 43 Richard Branton 44 Ulric Jones 45 Colton Midthun Truss 46 James Lloyd 47 Olajade Brown 48 DeAngelo Thompson 49 Christopher Simpson 50 Scottie Conley 53 Zachary Prestridge 54 Matthew Butler 58 Austin Adams 59 Tyler Graessle 63 Kenyn Richey 66 Stewart Baker 67 Wyatt Turner 68 Reginald Kelley 69 Keithien Gavin 70 Timothy Cooper 71 Quentin Bradford 72 Seth Waits 73 Ryder Strickland 74 Kenneth Roberts 75 Gage McDaniel 76 Cameron Hill 77 Timothy Lewis 80 Jonathan Thomas 83 Adam Rogers 86 Dayton Greenwalt 87 Cooper Lewis 89 Joshua Harris 90 John Heard 93 Demario Kirksey 94 Quindarrius Lily 99 Darrius Rogers

Pos WR WR RB QB DB RB LB DB DL LB WR QB WR DB WR DL LB DB LB LB DB WR DB RB RB LB WR LB DB DB LB DB DB LB WR DL LB WR WR DL DL LB DB LB K DL OL OL OL LB DL OL OL DL OL OL OL OL OL OL DL OL OL WR K K K WR DL DL DL DL

Gr 12 12 11 10 12 11 12 12 12 11 12 12 10 11 11 11 11 11 12 10 11 11 11 10 10 11 10 11 10 11 10 10 11 10 11 10 11 10 10 12 10 10 10 12 12 11 10 12 12 10 11 11 10 12 10 10 12 10 11 12 10 10 12 10 10 10 10 10 10 12 12 11

Ht 5’10” 6’0” 6’1” 6’0” 5’8” 6’0” 6’2” 5’9” 6’5” 6’0” 6’0” 6’0” 5’10” 6’0” 6’1” 6’1” 5’11” 5’11” 5’9” 5’10” 5’10” 6’2” 5’9” 5’11” 5’9” 5’10” 5’10” 5’10” 5’10” 5’10” 5’11” 5’9” 5’10” 6’1” 5’11” 6’0” 5’10” 6’2” 5’9” 6’5” 5’9” 5’10” 5’11” 5’9” 6’0” 6’2” 5’10” 6’2” 6’3” 5’11” 6’0” 6’2” 5’10” 5’10” 6’2” 6’0” 6’4” 5’10” 5’10” 6’0” 5’7” 6’0” 6’0” 5’11” 5’7” 5’7” 5’9” 6’1” 6’0” 6’0” 6’0” 6’0”

Wt 160 180 200 185 170 200 190 150 230 210 185 175 165 170 180 220 155 165 175 170 160 175 140 180 165 195 155 175 155 150 190 150 150 190 145 220 185 170 150 270 170 165 150 205 200 220 215 230 185 160 290 240 175 215 210 210 295 210 210 220 180 240 260 160 130 125 150 170 180 215 200 225


THE OXFORD SUN

FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012 /Page 3B

Oxford High School Cheerleaders

Oxford High School Majorettes, Dance Line

OHS second in playoff appearances BRANT LOCKLIER bllox@hotmail.com Oxford football ranks right at the top of the hill when it comes to playoff appearances. Out of over 400 high school teams in the history of Alabama High School football history the Yellow Jackets rank second in alltime playoff appearances with 33 trips to the playoffs. The playoffs began back in the late 60’s and only Colbert County has been to more playoffs than Oxford. Colbert County has been to the playoffs 35 times, just two appearances more than the Jackets. Colbert County had a streak of 30 straight years broken last year as they suffered through a 3-7 season. It was their third straight losing season and if that trend continues, Oxford has a

chance to take over the top spot. The Yellow Jackets have been to the playoffs 26 of the last 28 years, with 2007 and 2002 being the missing years. Colbert County has won five state championships and Oxford three state titles over the years. The rest of the top 15 include : T.R. Miller 32, Hazlewood 32,Sweetwater 32, Brantley 31, Thomasville 31, Murphy 31, Stanhope Elmore 31, Hartselle 30, Jeff Davis 30, Oneonta 30, Luverne 30, Oneonta 30, Addison 30, R.A. Hubbard 30 and Deshler with 30 playoff appearances. Hazlewood with 11 state championships, Colbert County with 5 titles, T.R. Miller with 6 and R.A. Hubbard with 5 titles are the only schools in that elite group of teams with more state championships than Oxford’s 3 titles.

OMS, Freshman schedules set The Oxford Middle School teams (the 7th and 8th grade teams) kick off their season with a Jamboree at Jacksonville High School on August 25th at 3:00. They host Helena on August 30th. The 7th grade game begins at 5:30 and the 8th grade game begins at 7:00 on most nights. The Jackets will play at Pell City on September 6th and host Davis on the 13th. Tarrant visits Oxford on the 18th and Gadsden will be at Oxford on September 25th. The Jackets travel to Emma Sansom on October 2nd and have a yet-to –be announced date in October with Stanhope Elmore.

MILLER MONUMENT CO., INC.

Serving Anniston, Oxford, Coldwater, Lenlock, Heflin, and Munford

MILLER FUNERAL HOME Crematory & Event Center

Millers Flowers & Gifts

Toby Miller, Owner Phone (256) 831-4611 “The Perfect Tribute” 34 E. Hamric Drive Oxford, Alabama

(256) 835-3001

Highway 78 East at Barry St. P.O. Box 3346 Oxford, Alabama 36203

38 Hamric Drive Oxford, Alabama

(256) 835-0911

313704

The Oxford Middle School and the freshman and JV Schedules are set as we get ready to kick off the 2012 campaign. The Freshmen and JV will usually play on Monday nights with a 5:00 and 6:30 kickoff for the two games. They will open on September 4th, the day after Labor day, against Gadsden City . They got Clay-Chalkville on the following Monday ( the 10th) and finish out September with Pell City and Gadsden City. Other scheduled games in October are Pell City (10-15) and Clay-Chalkville ( 10-22). Other games in October were not scheduled as of press time.

“Locally Owned & Operated”


THE OXFORD SUN

PAGE 4B / FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

Oxford High School Band

Tide reloaded, set for another run

picks. Lesser-known wideouts like Kevin Norwood, who had a career-best four catches for 78 yards in the national championship game, and Kenny Bell are joined by much-touted newcomers. McCarron is standing by his targets. “The rest of the country might not know what they can do, but I know,” said McCarron, who capped his first season as starter with MVP honors in the BCS championship game. “That’s all that matters to me. It doesn’t matter how many top 10 plays we get Consolidated News Service on ESPN. I know they’re Alabama tight end Michael Williams ready to defend national championship. making plays for me. “One of the proudest including All-America safety Mark Barron, Butkus Award things for me is it’s not semifinalist Courtney Upshaw and finalist Dont’a Hight- only one of the most skillful groups of receivers we’ve had ower, along with both starting cornerbacks. since I’ve been here, but they’re really good off the field. Johnson, C.J. Mosley and Trey DePriest are experienced They’re all levelheaded guys.” linebackers and Adrian Hubbard is a strong pass rusher Two of Alabama’s most recognizable players are now who could replace Upshaw. Cornerbacks Dee Milliner and anchoring the middle of the front lines. Outland Trophy John Fulton and sophomore safeties Vinnie Sunseri and Ha winner Barrett Jones moved from left tackle to center, Ha Clinton-Dix also have experience. filling the lone vacancy on the line and making way for “We lost some great players, but we’re still Alabama,” sophomore Cyrus Kouandjio. linebacker C.J. Mosley said. “We always recruit great playJones, guard Chance Warmack and right tackle D.J. ers and we’re going to have great players as backups and Fluker are all first-team preseason All-Southeastern Conthose guys have to step up and do their job.” ference picks. The offense has fewer players to replace under new coorJesse Williams, who bench-pressed 600 pounds over dinator Doug Nussmeier, who will operate a similar style the summer, is the noseguard after starting every game at to Jim McElwain. defensive end last season. Quarterback AJ McCarron doesn’t have Doak Walker The Tide players hardly seem worried after the talent Award winner Trent Richardson to hand off to, or expe- exodus. rienced wide receivers to target. Gone are Marquis Maze “We’re going to have a great defense,” defensive end and Darius Hanks, who weren’t stars but reliably played Damion Square said. “That’s why we recruit every year. their roles. Everybody talks about all the players that we lost, but we Eddie Lacy is trying to keep the backfield bonanza going recruited those guys, too, to replace some other great playafter averaging 7.1 yards on 95 carries last season, but sat ers that played at the University of Alabama. Rashad Johnout the spring recovering from surgery to repair a turf toe son, Javier Arenas, Rolando McClain, just to name a few. injury. Richardson was a Heisman Trophy finalist last sea“We recruited some more guys that can compete at a high son and Mark Ingram won in 2009. Both were first-round level early.”

JOHN ZENOR Associated Press

TUSCALOOSA — The definition of a successful season for Alabama these days is no mystery. Undefeated with a national championship. Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban doesn’t mind grand ambitions, but emphasizes his squad can’t afford skipped steps or misdirected focus. That’s one reason tight end Michael Williams said that while anything less than a national title “is a failure,” but that’s the big picture. “You can’t think of it that way,” Williams said. “Take it one game at a time.” Especially with the first game being Michigan in Arlington, Texas. The Tide enters the season considered one of the championship front-runners, seeking to claim a third national title in four years and second straight. The veterans know from experience what a sense of entitlement and lack of focus can hurt even a loaded team (see Alabama, circa 2010). Saban and a number of players with the voice of experience say this team doesn’t suffer from the kind of overconfidence that led to a 10-3 disappointment two years ago. They’ve raved about the team’s attitude and work ethic during the summer. The words “defending national champion” might not be outlawed around the football offices, but they’re not encouraged either. “We’ve been around the coach so long, we won’t do like that 2010 season,” linebacker Nico Johnson said. “It pretty much taught us a lesson that we can’t look forward.” A quick look back: The Tide has gone 48-6 over the last four seasons. In college football where the roster turnover is so high, Saban has imported a string of highly-rated recruiting classes. The Crimson Tide has avoided any major drop-off in talent at a program where 10 wins are a letdown. The coach said this group probably fared better than any of his other teams on the preseason test that includes sprints and bench press. Saban has managed to apply his definition of success to his program: “Consistency in performance.” “Things don’t happen by accident,” he said. “You don’t win a game by accident. You don’t win a division by accident. You have to make it happen, and you have to make it happen by what you do every day.” Alabama must replace four first-round NFL draft picks before making another national title happen. The defense lost an abundance of talent to the NFL,

2012 SEC FOOTBALL SCHEDULE Date Team

Sept. 1

Sept. 8

Sept. 15

Sept. 22

Sept. 29

MICHIGAN Arlington, Texas

WESTERN KENTUCKY

ARKANSAS Fayetteville

FLORIDA ATLANTIC Tuscaloosa

OLE MISS Tuscaloosa

JACKSONVILLE STATE Fayetteville

LOUISIANAMONROE Little Rock

ALABAMA Fayetteville

RUTGERS Fayetteville

TEXAS A&M College Station

AUBURN

CLEMSON Atlanta

MISS. STATE Starkville

LOUISIANAMONROE Auburn

FLORIDA

BOWLING GREEN Gainesville

TEXAS A&M College Station

GEORGIA

BUFFALO Athens

MISSOURI Columbia

KENTUCKY

LOUISVILLE Louisville (Sept. 2)

KENT STATE Lexington

NORTH TEXAS Baton Rouge

WASHINGTON

ALABAMA

ARKANSAS

LSU

OLE MISS

CENTRAL ARKANSAS Oxford

MISSISSIPPI STATE MISSOURI SOUTH CAROLINA

TENNESSEE

VANDERBILT

Oct. 13

Oct. 20

Oct. 27

Nov. 3

Nov. 10

Nov. 17

Nov. 24

MISSOURI Columbia

TENNESSEE Knoxville

MISSISSIPPI STATE Tuscaloosa

LSU Baton Rouge

TEXAS A&M Tuscaloosa

WESTERN CAROLINA Tuscaloosa

AUBURN Tuscaloosa

OLE MISS Little Rock

TULSA Fayetteville

SOUTH CAROLINA Columbia

MISSISSIPPI STATE Starkville

LSU Fayetteville (Nov. 23)

AUBURN Auburn

KENTUCKY Fayetteville

LSU Auburn

ARKANSAS Auburn

OLE MISS Oxford

VANDERBILT Nashville

TEXAS A&M Auburn

NEW MEXICO STATE Auburn

GEORGIA Auburn

ALABAMA A&M Auburn

ALABAMA Tuscaloosa

TENNESSEE Knoxville

KENTUCKY Gainesville

LSU Gainesville

VANDERBILT Nashville

SOUTH CAROLINA Gainesville

GEORGIA Jacksonville

MISSOURI Gainesville

LOUISIANALAFAYETTE Gainesville

JACKSONVILLE STATE Gainesville

FLORIDA STATE Tallahassee

FLORIDA ATLANTIC Athens

VANDERBILT Athens

TENNESSEE Athens

SOUTH CAROLINA Columbia

KENTUCKY Lexington

FLORIDA Jacksonville

OLE MISS Athens

AUBURN Auburn

GEORGIA SOUTHERN Athens

GEORGIA TECH Athens

FLORIDA Gainesville

SOUTH CAROLINA Lexington

MISSISSIPPI STATE Lexington

ARKANSAS Fayetteville

GEORGIA Lexington

MISSOURI Columbia

VANDERBILT Lexington

SAMFORD Lexington

TENNESSEE Knoxville

AUBURN Auburn

TOWSON Baton Rouge

FLORIDA Gainesville

SOUTH CAROLINA Baton Rouge

TEXAS A&M College Station

ALABAMA Tuscaloosa

TEXAS A&M Oxford

AUBURN Oxford

KENTUCKY Lexington

TENNESSEE Starkville

WESTERN KENTUCKY Lexington

Baton Rouge

IDAHO Baton Rouge

UTEP

ALABAMA Baton Rouge

MISSISSIPPI STATE Baton Rouge

OLE MISS Baton Rouge

ARKANSAS Fayetteville (Nov. 23)

GEORGIA Athens

VANDERBILT Oxford

LSU Baton Rouge

MISSISSIPPI STATE Oxford

ALABAMA Tuscaloosa

TEXAS A&M Starkville

LSU Baton Rouge

ARKANSAS Starkville

OLE MISS Oxford

KENTUCKY Columbia

FLORIDA Gainesville

TENNESSEE Knoxville

SYRACUSE Columbia

TEXAS A&M College Station

ARKANSAS Columbia

WOFFORD Columbia

CLEMSON Clemson

ARKANSAS Little Rock

TEXAS

TULANE

Oxford

Oxford

New Orleans

JACKSON STATE Starkville

AUBURN Starkville

TROY Troy

SOUTH ALABAMA Starkville

SE LOUISIANA Columbia

GEORGIA Columbia

ARIZONA STATE Columbia

SOUTH CAROLINA Columbia, SC

CENTRAL FLORIDA Orlando

VANDERBILT Columbia

ALABAMA Columbia

VANDERBILT

EAST CAROLINA Columbia

UAB Columbia

MISSOURI Columbia, SC

KENTUCKY Lexington

GEORGIA Columbia

LSU Baton Rouge

FLORIDA Gainesville

TENNESSEE Columbia

FLORIDA Knoxville

AKRON Knoxville

GEORGIA Athens

MISSISSIPPI STATE Starkville

ALABAMA Knoxville

SOUTH CAROLINA Columbia

TROY Knoxville

MISSOURI Knoxville

VANDERBILT Nashville

KENTUCKY Knoxville

FLORIDA College Station

SMU Dallas

S.C. STATE College Station

ARKANSAS College Station

LSU College Station

AUBURN Auburn

MISSISSIPPI STATE Starkville

ALABAMA Tuscaloosa

SAM HOUSTON STATE College Station

MISSOURI College Station

NORTHWESTERN Evanston, Ill.

PRESBYTERIAN Nashville

GEORGIA Athens

AUBURN Nashville

UMASS Nashville

KENTUCKY Lexington

OLE MISS Oxford

TENNESSEE Nashville

WAKE FOREST Winston-Salem

Nashville (Aug. 30)

N.C. STATE Atlanta (Aug.31)

LA. TECH TEXAS A&M

Tuscaloosa

Oct. 6

Shreveport (Aug.30)

SO. CAROLINA Nashville (Aug. 30)

GEORGIA STATE Knoxville

OLE MISS Oxford MISSOURI Columbia

FLORIDA Nashville

MIDDLE TENNESSEE Starkville

2012 SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME • DECEMBER 1 • ATLANTA, GA.


THE OXFORD SUN

FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012 /Page 5B

New-look Tigers will try to improve JOHN ZENOR Associated Press

AUBURN — These Auburn Tigers don’t bear much resemblance to Cam Newton’s version. The Tigers have undergone major changes since celebrating the new year in Atlanta, much less from the Newton-led national championship season two years ago. Gone are title game MVP Mike Dyer, Gus Malzahn’s celebrated fast-break offense and both coordinators. The huddle is back in style in Auburn. Whether it adds up to the winning continuing, well, that remains to be seen. The Tigers fell from 14-0 behind their Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback to 8-5 with a revolving door of three signal callers, but did finish with a dominant performance against Virginia in the Chickfil-A Bowl on Dec. 31. Auburn returns to the Georgia Dome to open Sept. 1 against Clemson. The Tigers still don’t have an established quarterback, with Kiehl Frazier and Clint Moseley battling well into preseason camp for the starting nod. What they got this summer was plenty of reminders from strength coach Kevin Yoxall during workouts. “He made it real clear that 8-5 wasn’t good enough here at Auburn,” tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen said, “and I think everyone bought into that.” Buying in is just one step. Coach Gene Chizik continues trying to rebuild depth and climb the ladder in the Southeastern Conference’s Western Division — and a state that has produced the last three national champions. Auburn’s veterans can at least draw from that experience two years ago. Defensive tackle Jeff Whitaker could relate when he heard an interview with NFL star Ray Lewis recently. “He was talking about his first Super

Consolidated News Service

Auburn’s Corey Lemonier returns to defensive line.

Bowl and how hard it is to get back,” Whitaker said. “It’s always hard to get back but for us, we saw what great looked like. We saw the camaraderie. We saw how we’re supposed to be a unit. That’s what we’re shooting for.” They’ll have to resolve some questions in the offensive backfield and improve the defense to make up much ground on SEC West rivals Alabama, LSU and Arkansas. Frazier seems to have the edge over Moseley, a six-game starter who has been limited since the spring by a sore throwing shoulder. Frazier was used mostly as a Wildcat quarterback as a freshman, going 5-of-12 passing with a couple of interceptions. “Kiehl has gotten a lot better from last

fall to where he’s at now,” tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen said. “Kiehl has taken that leadership role. I think last year being a true freshman trying to lead an offense, he wasn’t that comfortable with it. Now, he’s kind of assumed it’s an opportunity for him to take the reins of this offense. He’s gained everyone’s respect with what he’s done this offseason.” Dyer followed Malzahn to Arkansas State after being suspended for the bowl game after rushing for 2,335 yards his first two seasons. He has since been dismissed from that team. That leaves speedster Onterio McCalebb and the more balanced Tre Mason, the SEC’s leader in kick returns. Much of Mason’s backfield work came in the bowl

game when he had 64 yards and a touchdown. Offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler, a former Florida quarterbacks coach and Temple offensive coordinator, replaces Malzahn. Defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder brings a background that includes both SEC (Georgia) and NFL (Atlanta Falcons) to try to turn around a unit that hasn’t ranked better than 53rd nationally in scoring or total defense over the past three seasons. The defense returns nine starters and the offense seven, but perhaps the most encouraging thing for Chizik is that others have been challenging for some of those jobs. “I think we’re in a much stronger position as a football team than we were a year ago,” Chizik said. “We’ve finally developed some depth and we’ve got a little bit of experience.” Nowhere are those qualities more evident than the defensive line. All four starters return, including defensive end Corey Lemonier, who had 9.5 sacks last season. Dee Ford is likely to take over on the opposite side over returning starter Nosa Egaue. Leading tackler Daren Bates is back at linebacker while cornerback Chris Davis also returns. Cornerback T’Sharvan Bell returns after starting the first 10 games in 2011 before sustaining a season-ending knee injury. The Tigers also return Ray Guy Award finalist Steven Clark at punter. Top wide receiver Emory Blake points out that the 2010 team also was picked to finish middle of the pack in the SEC West. “Our national championship year, nobody was really talking about us before the season,” Blake said. “And the year before that we went 8-5 as well. We have to put ourselves on the map, but we’re ready to do that.”

jacksonville state university

Gamecocks face hurdles and challenges

three freshmen, who will be sophomores this year, played 80 per cent of the season; Blake Burks, Max Holcombe and Tarik Milner. Crowe feels that the offense may someMeeting with the media earlier this month times be carrying the burden of the team. Jacksonville State Head Coach Jack Crowe “I’m convinced that we are going to be really said, “There are always hurdles and chalgood on defense one day…that day I would lenges with any football team. This one has like to be soon,” said Crowe. “There’s not its own.” really a lot of pressure on the offense, there One has only to look at the Gamecocks’ is more pressure on the defense. If they come schedule to see the first hurdle and challenge together they’ll help us win a lot of games.” that faces Jacksonville State. Like bookends, The biggest hurdle and challenge for the the first hurdles and challenges jump out in Gamecocks will be in a very young and the first and last game of the season. inexperienced defense. JSU lost three of Week one the Gamecocks travel to face the four starters on the defensive line. The pre-season No. 10 ranked Arkansas. The linebackers are also real young but will have Gamecocks will finish up the regular season the experience of Nick Johnson and Rashad at No. 23 ranked Florida. Sandwiched in Smith to help them out. between is one of the toughest schedules the Brooks Robinson, a senior, played in the Gamecocks could face with non-conference defensive backfield for the Gamecocks last opponent Chattanooga and then they travel year. A leader, Robinson’s goal for the year to face pre-season Ohio Valley Conference is simple, “To win a championship. That or favorite Eastern Kentucky. The schedule nothing.” Robinson also has this advice for never gets easy as the Gamecocks have younger players, “Give it your all.” learned in the last two seasons. On any given There are hurdles and challenges facing the day any team can beat any other team. JSU football team this year. Crowe is very upbeat and optimistic about “We’ve continued to raise expectations of the upcoming season saying, “We’ve got some of the best opportunity to develop that lori tippets // Left Jacksonville State University head coach Jack Crowe. At our program,” Crowe said. “Tradition pretty much says what the expectations are. I can we’ve ever had. I think we have more talent right is quarterback Marquis Ivory. pretty much say that this program has passed on this campus right now than there has been Ealey made his presence known quickly in the league milestones along the way. Every year has been an incresince I’ve been here.” rushing for 1,082 yards on 178 carries and was a first-team Crowe went on to say that this is one of the youngest All-OVC pick. Ealey is working hard to be a team leader mental step forward.” This year looks to be no different for the Gamecocks. overall groups of players that he has ever had with the and to be prepared for the rigors of the hard schedule. Hurdles and challenges can be overcome. average age 19.6. “I’m trying to get right physically and mentally,” said “We are puppies,” Crowe said. “Young folks use a term Ealey. “I feel like if I miss a day of training I fall behind. I when they talk about good players saying, ‘He’s a dawg!’ try to work out everyday. I’m trying to tune my body and and that’s affectionate. We’re fixing to find out if the play- be a team leader and lead by example.” ers will bite.” Ealey said that he is trying to be a mentor to the younger One young player that has all the other players talking is players. “I’m trying to keep them level headed,” he said. ◆ Anniston’s Troymaine Pope, who was named the 4A Back Crowe feels that his offense has dynamic players. of the Year and had 2,539 yards and 31 touchdowns as a •HEADACHES “You look for a triplet situation where you have a runner, senior. a thrower and a catcher and with Washaun Ealey, a premier •NECK PAIN “He (Pope) has created a buzz with the older players from runner, and Alan Bonner, a premier receiver, that becomes the time he has walked in the door. I don’t think I’ve ever a foundation of saying we can make plays. You can make •MID BACK PAIN heard a buzz about a player like I’ve heard about him,” plays behind the line of scrimmage and down the field and •LOW BACK PAIN Crowe said. you have a quarterback that can get all of this done.” In the JSU scrimmage on Fan Day, Pope had 62 yards Bonner, a senior, was the team’s top receiver last year •PINCHED NERVES with a 19-yard TD run. with 33 catches for 582 yards and three touchdowns. Bon•MUSCLE SPASMS Other hurdles and challenges that face the JSU coaching ner says that all of the games will be tough this year but staff, and this is a good one, is that they have two legitimate feels like the strength of the team this year is in having •ARM/LEG PAIN starting quarterbacks in senior Marques Ivory and junior Ivory back. OR NUMBNESS Coty Blanchard. Blanchard took over for Ivory as the startCrowe says that his offensive line is a “sprinkling of ing quarterback last year when Ivory went down in the first young people” but that they all have experience. Last year, game with a broken leg. IN STATE & OUT OF STATE BLUE CROSS BLUE C Ivory is back this year looking as strong as ever and is y t i s r SHIELD, FEDERAL BCBS, HONDA BCBS, Unive anxious to test out the leg. CDJ y ity CDJ t sUniversity i r s MAILHANDLERS, AETNA, MEDICARE, BLUE e r v e CDJR Welcomes TIM PRUITT “Marques is our starting quarterback but we will get Coty DJ Univ C y t i s ADVANTAGE, & MOST OTHER INSURANCES r into the game against Arkansas somehow,” said Crowe. Univeto Calhoun County CDJ Jback D C y t y i t s ACCEPTED. i “He is the best playmaker I’ve been around. Uniquely he iver rs J Unive CDan has things that are really special.” y t i s r e Tim, Oxford native, has been DJ Univ In the scrimmage both quarterbacks took snaps. Blanchard C DJ y t y i a familiar face in the automotive t s i r e ers C v i n was just back into camp after spending the summer in the niv U J y CD since 1988. He welcomes itbusiness 655 Creekside Dr., Ste H, Oxford, AL 36203 Cape Cod baseball league. Both quarterbacks impressed all his friends to come see him at J D C y (Behind Red Lobster in Creekside Square) t i s the fans at the scrimmage. er Jeep Ram. University Chrysler Uni J UnivDodge D C y t JSU will also have in the backfield Washaun Ealey, a i s 1229 S. Quintard, Anniston Hours: Mon, Tues, Wed & Fri 8am-6pm running back who came to JSU last year after spending two CDJ 256-236-7635 iversity n Un U Thurs 7am-5pm years at the University of Georgia. J D ty C By lori tippets Sports Correspondent

RYAN CHIROPRACTIC, P.C.

(256) 832-0077

rsi


THE OXFORD SUN

PAGE 6B / FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

Gamecock ovc 2012 schedule Sept 1 / 6 pm

at Arkansas

Sept 8 / 6 pm

UT-CHATTANOOGA

Sept 15

OPEN

Sept 22 / 5 pm

at Eastern Kentucky*

Sept 29 / 3 pm

SOUTHEAST MISSOURI*

Oct 6 / 7 pm

at Tennessee Tech*

Oct 13 / 1:30 pm

at Eastern Illinois*

Oct 20/ 3 pm

TENNESSEE STATE*

Oct 27 / 3 pm

MURRAY STATE* (HC)

Nov 3 / noon

at UT-Martin*

Nov 10 / 3 pm

AUSTIN PEAY*

Nov 17/ TBA

at Florida

CLINTON M. RAY, M.D. ORTHOPAEDICS SPORTS MEDICINE & PHYSICAL THERAPY SATURDAY MORNING SPORTS INJURY CLINIC

BEGINS AUGUST 25TH, 8-10 AM THRU THE PLAYOFFS

* - Denotes OVC game. (HC) - Denotes homecoming. Home games in bold. All times are central and subject to change

FOOD OUTLET www.shopfoodoutlet.com

Everything you need for your pregame meal or tailgate!

Doug Strautman, PT Ashley Slayton, PT Daniel Clonts, PTA David Weeks

Dr. Clinton M. Ray Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine is pleased to welcome Dr. Jeffrey D. Lawler to the practice. Dr. Lawler is a Sports Medicine fellowship trained Orthopaedic Surgeon, who trained under the world-renowned Orthopaedic Surgeons Dr. James Andrews and Dr. Lyle Cain. Now accepting new patients, to schedule an appointment call 256-241-4842

WE ACCEPT AND ORIGINAL COST PLUS 10% FOOD STAMPS WELCOMED! JACKSONVILLE

ANNISTON

ALEXANDRIA

ANNISTON

618 PELHAM RD SOUTH

HIGHWAY 431

HIGHWAY 202

NORTH NOBLE

1419 HAMRIC DRIVE EAST • SUITE 201 OXFORD, AL 36203 256-241-3242

BYNUM

HIGHWAY 202

PELL CITY

COGSWELL AVENUE

NEW 2013SANTE FE HYUNDAI

Randy Beason, ATC Jocelyn Colley, ATC Heather Lindenberg, ATC Leslie Pickette

IS ALMOST EVERYDAY IS A OVER HYUNDAI DAY!

NEW 2013SONATA HYUNDAI

Five-Star Crash Test Rated

UP TO

40

MPG

PAYMENTS AS LOW AS --> THIS WEEKEND ONLY

HYUNDAI ACCENT NEW 2013 Receive a New 55” IN HDTV for FREE with JUST TIME FOR EVERY PURCHASE FOOTBALL SEASON… IS or LEASE of a NOW THE TIME NEW Hyundai TO BUY!!

WITH PAYMENTS AS LOW AS $169 A MONTH AND INTEREST RATES AS LOW AS 0% FOR 60 MONTHS

NEW 2013 VELOSTER HYUNDAI

*Disclaimer - W.A.C. All Payments are based on a 36 mo Lease with $2,000 Due at signing on Select models, 0% is available on select models.

HYUNDAI 110 South Quintard Avenue, Anniston, Alabama


Oxford Sun - High School Football