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Cougars eye 2003 season

By By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
July 24, 2003
DECATUR Newton County football fans can only hope the Cougars' last two showings on the gridiron aren't an indication of things to come.
Over the last four years, the Cougars have won 46 of their 52 games with the 2002 team setting a school record for wins in going 13-1 and playing for the Class 3A South State championship.
Newton County lost 46-0 to eventual 3A state champion Collins in the 2002 finale. The Cougars followed that with a 33-0 loss to a strong Louisville squad in a spring game that was played under actual game conditions.
All four of the Cougars' non-division games will be against Class 4A teams.
There won't be nearly as much depth at the Decatur school as in recent years.
Experience in some positions is virtually non-existent.
The Cougars open at Kosciusko on Aug. 29. The two have met only once previously with Newton County winning 10-0 in the second round of the 1990 state playoffs.
Newton County's home opener will feature its first meeting with Lafayette County of Oxford on Sept. 5.
The Cougars travel to Northeast Lauderdale on Sept. 12. The two haven't faced off since 2000 in a series that is even at two wins apiece.
Newton County hosts Quitman on Sept. 19 in the first meeting of those two schools.
Division 5-3A play begins on Sept. 26 at West Lauderdale. The Cougars have dominated that series with 11 wins in the 12 meetings.
The Cougars host Forest on Oct. 3 for homecoming. Forest holds a 7-3 series advantage. Newton County visits Morton on Oct. 10. The Cougars have won six of the previous eight games.
The Cougars host Carthage on Oct. 17. Newton County has a 6-2 series advantage. Newton County travels to Southeast Lauderdale on Oct. 24. The Cougars hold a slim 6-5 series advantage.
The Cougars close out the regular season on Oct. 31 at home against Choctaw Central. Newton County is 4-0 against the Warriors.