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Full slate for Union in 2003

By By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
July 20, 2003
Brad Breland had the easiest job in Mississippi when it came to making out a football schedule for 2003.
All the third-year head coach at Union had to do was go to a spring meeting, pick up the schedule, and head to the house.
Union competes in Region 3-1A, the only league in the state with 11 members. With 11 playing dates, each team has one open date. Union's comes the 11th week … the same week the Class 2A, 3A, and 4A playoffs begin. All the other 40 Class 1A members are playing each other as are the Class 5A schools.
There wasn't a whole lot of need in trying to fill the open date with everybody else already occupied.
Not that all has been easy for Breland at Union. He had to turn around a program that had no previous playoff appearances. The Yellowjackets earned their first trip in 2001 and played eventual 1A state champion Puckett for the 1A South State title in 2002.
Union is the defending 3-1A champion, having beaten Puckett in the regular season.
Joining Puckett and Union as major players in 3-1A this fall are Scott Central (down from 2A), South Leake (down from 2A), Thomastown, and Nanih Waiya.
With winning comes higher expectations.
One thing the Jackets will do this fall is become familiar with rural Leake County as they have road trips to South Leake, Edinburg, and Thomastown.
Union opens at home with Noxapater on Aug. 29. Union has a 13-5 all-time lead in the series which began in 1934.
The Jackets travel to Walnut Grove to face South Leake on Sept. 5. The two haven't met since 1996. The Wildcats lead the series 8-6.
Sept. 12 finds Union hosting Nanih Waiya. Union holds a slim 2-1 series advantage.
On Sept. 19, the Jackets visit Edinburg. The Jackets lead that series 7-1.
Union hosts Pelahatchie for homecoming on Sept. 26. The Jackets have won two of the previous three meetings. The Jackets travel to Pisgah on Oct. 3. Union has won three of four meetings with the Dragons.
Union hosts Sebastopol on Oct. 10 and holds a 10-5 series lead over the Bobcats. On Oct. 17, the Jackets go to Thomastown in a series knotted at one win apiece.
The final two weeks of the season find Union hosting Scott Central on Oct. 24 and traveling to Puckett on Oct. 31.
Scott Central holds a 6-3 series advantage over the Jackets, while Puckett has a 2-1 series edge.