Wildcats ready to play


Community Calendar

By Steve Swogetinsky

The Kemper Messenger

The Kemper County Wildcats will see their first action Friday night when they host Leake Central in a jamboree football game.

The game will last two quarters and will not count on either team’s record. The game will be played at East Mississippi Community College in Scooba, as will all of the Wildcats games this season.

The game starts at 7 p.m.

 “We are looking forward to getting to play against another team,” Coach Ray Ray Westerfield said. “We have been practicing every day since we first came back. We put on shoulder pads (last) Wednesday. That gave us a chance to see what the guys can really do. Everybody looks good in shorts and t-shirts. But we were able to get some work done since we first went out in pads. I have seen some guys grow over the summer and in the last two weeks. Everybody has looked good.”

This is going to be an unusual football season because of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Westerfield said the team is following all CDC recommendations.

“Its unprecedented,” Westerfield said. “But we are going to work hard and do our best, There will be no excuses.”

The Wildcats went 3-7 last season. They will open the regular season September 4 at East Mississippi against West Lowndes.

“We have some kids who have played a lot of football,” Westerfield said. “We have a lot of good athletes. We have to get the ball to our best athletes on offense.”

Aaron Steele will start at quarterback. Steele played wide receiver last season but did play quarterback in three or four games because of injuries.

Dicenzo Miller Jr. will play running back.

“These are two guys who can carry our running game, along with the offensive line” Westerfield said.

Playing receivers will be Jamar Grace, Jamari Scott, Ty Steele and Jaidan Burrage.

The offensive line will be clearing the way. Devin Bourrage anchors the line at center. Zaes Moss and Lathan Brown are the guards while Jagarrion Butler and Kenteric Elk are the tackles.

The defense will line up in an Odd Stack formation. Romeo Mitchell will be at nose guard while Robert Barrett and Jakylan Bourrage will be on the ends. Ishmael Naylor, Aaron McCoy and Eric Hickman will play linebacker. The secondary has Kyler Welch and Deon Windham at the safeties; Jordan Little and Ezekiel Smoot on the corners; and Heaven Coleman at free safety.

Miller will do the punting, and Jay Russell is the place kicker.

“The defense looks good, very organized,” Westerfield said. “We aren’t that big but we want to use speed to our advantage.”

Going into the season, there are no two-way starters.

“Guys starting on offense will play backup on defense, and guys starting on defense will backup the offense. That’s the best way to build depth.”

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