A thin roster doesn’t discourage Ty Priest.

Falkner’s first-year head football coach averaged 18 to 20 players during spring practices but hopes to have 25 by the fall.

“There’s not many of us,” Priest said, “but the ones that are out there really want to work hard. You can see them getting after it.”

Priest, 27, was recently promoted after Quess Hood left to be offensive coordinator at Potts Camp. As an assistant at Falkner for five years, Priest was defensive coordinator for four seasons and ran the offense last season.

Gone from the Eagles’ 2018 offense are All-Area quarterback Lane Elliott, who graduated, and athlete T.J. Colom, who transferred to Walnut. Colom accounted for 1,536 yards and 16 touchdowns last year.

After reaching the Class 1A playoffs five-straight years from 2011-15, Falkner has been left at home the last two seasons.

Priest has let his players know what it will take to reverse their fortunes.

“You’ve got to be dedicated through the summer,” he said. “You don’t win ballgames solely during the season. You start winning them in the spring all the way through until August.”

Falkner opens the season Aug. 23 at Northpoint Christian.

Corinth hires Allen

Domonique Allen has a big rebuilding project on her hands.

Allen was approved last week to be the new girls basketball coach at Corinth, replacing Fred Stafford. The Lady Warriors have suffered through three-straight losing seasons, including a 1-22 mark in 2018-19.

This is the first head coaching job for the 26-year-old Allen, who has been an assistant at Hattiesburg, Quitman, Holmes County Central and Forest Hill.

“I’m definitely going to put some confidence in them,” she said. “I’m going to let them know that they can actually be winners.”

Like her high school coach, Belmont’s Chris Higginbottom, Allen will emphasize fundamentals and defense.

“We’ll have some tough practices and instill structure back in the program,” Allen said. “The talent is there, they just need somebody to push them. I feel I can definitely do that.”

Football champs clash

West Point’s football team, the three-time defending Class 5A state champ, has scheduled a home-and-home series with reigning 6A champ Horn Lake.

The teams will meet at Horn Lake on Aug. 23, and then West Point will host in 2020.

“I don’t like playing 12 games, but some years you’re not going to get any better unless you get some game reps for the young guys,” West Point coach Chris Chambless said. “I know with what we’ve got, we need game reps to get better.”

brad.locke@journalinc.com Twitter: @bradlocke

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