As football teams hit the field today for the first limited game action of 2019, some are hoping to find clarity in position battles.
Jamborees begin tonight across the state, and 37 area teams will participate over the course of the weekend. While some jamborees will feature just two teams facing off, some schools will host up to eight games involving teams from all over.
For North Pontotoc, the Vikings will face Holly Springs in the first game of the Oxford Jamboree on Saturday. North Pontotoc is making the move back to MHSAA Class 4A this season, and it will have to replace an extremely productive quarterback for a second-straight season.
“I want to see us execute and play really hard,” North Pontotoc coach Andy Crotwell said. “There will be mistakes and things that have to be overcome. It’s going to be really hot at 1 p.m. on that turf, and I want to see how we compete in conditions like that.”
Two players, sophomore T.J. Polk and freshman Reece Kentner, are battling it out for the starting quarterback position this season. Polk, who received some varsity experience last year as a running back, has the upper hand right now and will get reps with the varsity starters on Saturday.
Kentner will play with the backups.
“Polk has been in the system a year longer, and he’s shown good command of what we’ve asked him to do,” Crotwell said. “He’s a physical runner as well, but Reece continues to get better every day also.”
At the skill positions, the Vikings lost their top four receivers from last season and top two rushers. At receiver, a number of kids will get action in the jamboree. Crotwell is excited to see how they perform.
Also in the Oxford Jamboree are Houston, Oxford, Ripley, and New Albany – all playing against out-of-area schools.
Hatley, Booneville and Itawamba AHS will play a round- robin with both varsity and JV in the Hatley jamboree tonight starting at 7 p.m.
Also, Corinth will face defending Class 6A champ Horn Lake, while Lafayette will travel to Batesville for a matchup with South Panola.