Meridian Star

Sports

February 9, 2013

MAIS schedules released for 2013 season

MERIDIAN — The Mississippi Association of Independent Schools announced its schedules on Wednesday and for four area schools the first opportunity to look into next season has officially arrived.

    For Lamar head coach Mac Barnes, the biggest change in Raiders’ move to 3A this season will be the seven district games Lamar will play compared to the three they played while in 2A last year. Lamar’s district schedule includes East Rankin Academy (home) Sept. 6; Jackson Prep (home) Sept. 13; Copiah Academy (away) Sept. 27; Columbia Academy (home) Oct. 4; Presbyterian Christian Academy (away) Oct. 18 and Oak Forrest (away) Nov. 8.

    “Last year when we only had three division games, we had to find a whole bunch of other games,” Barnes said. “We only had three games that really counted. Now we have seven games in our division that count, so I like that better. Of course 3A has some bigger schools in it, but I’m telling you, the years we spent in 2A, there were some mighty good teams there too.”

    Even with the Lamar’s step up to 3A, Barnes has compiled a challenging non-district schedule for the Raiders. Lamar will play five non-district games including Starkville Academy (home) Aug. 23 ; Winston Academy (away) Aug. 30; Northeast Lauderdale (home) Sept. 20; Simpson Academy (away) Oct. 11 and Russell Christian Academy (home) Oct. 25.

    Barnes said he is excited to play host to two local teams in Northeast and Russell Christian, and said the games should provide a big crowd and an exciting atmosphere for the players.

    “We played Enterprise the last two years, and each time we played Enterprise, that was the largest crowd we played in front of,” Barnes said. “It was one of the largest gates in the history of Lamar when we played Enterprise last year.

    “I think there will be some excitement in both situations, with Russell winning state championship coming out of the 8-man league and Northeast Lauderdale being a larger public school. I think there is some excitement there.”

    Barnes said he was also glad to keep rival 2A Simpson Academy back on the schedule again after making the move up to 3A.

    “Our Simpson game has developed into a rivalry,” Barnes said. “I’m glad we are playing Simpson again, they have really been tough, and they are very good program.”

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