Meridian Star

Sports

August 22, 2013

Area football previews: Kemper County looks for quick start with new coach

Wildcats look for quick start with new coach

    Every coach seemed to complain about the short preseason in 2013, but for Kemper County's first year Chris Jones it felt even shorter.

    He was hired in late June, cutting spring ball and shortening his time with the team this summer.

    But after getting to know the team, scouting out athletes in school's hallways, Jones said he likes the Wildcat's chances headed into Friday nights season opener at Heidelberg, despite entering the season with a few injuries and bumps and bruises.

    They are coming off a 24-12 loss to Forest Hill in last week's Jamboree, but Jones said he liked what he saw. The biggest thing they are going to need to work on is holding up through a full 48 minutes.

    “The first group that was in, we kind of dominated,” he said. “First eight minutes or so, we did real well … [Overall,] I thought we did okay, gives us something to improve off of.”

    This week, Jones said the difference maker is going to be in their speed and relying on a few experienced guys to lead the forces. Hopefully, the result will be an early win to match all of last year's Ws.  

    Kevin Bourrage is returning to the quarterback role and leading the team. Willie McCary will be another to watch, but after being banged up in the final weeks of preseason, Jones said, he will be game-day decision, but one that could make a huge difference.

    “I won’t risk one game for a season, the season is pretty long,” he said.

    Otis Cross is one of those Jones saw playing basketball and transplanted him on to the football field. Cross will be a key player on Friday night at receiver. Jones also likes the way the defense looks, despite a mostly new linebacker core.

    But this coaching position is Jones' first head role. He spent the last three years as an assistant at Louisville and said he is just as ready as those taking the field.

    “I feel really good about it, to be honest,” Jones said. “I’ve always felt that if you prepare, do the things you are suppose to do, it really should work ... It all starts with the week and preparation going into the game, and I think we’ve been getting better and better every day.”

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