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Close-knit Lions having fun

By Staff
TEAM BONDING – Members of the East Mississippi Community College football team have a little fun after the team's picture and media day holding a wheelbarrow race. Participants included, from bottom left: Robert Carlisle, Johnathan Russell, Courtney Grainger, Henry Stringfellow, and Carlisio Blanks. Back row: Edward McWilliams, Will Mosely, Marcus Betts, C.C. Finley and Daniel Spinks. Photo by Kyle Carter/The Meridian Star
By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
Aug. 19, 2003
SCOOBA An impromptu wheelbarrow race, at the request of a photographer, may make a football coach cringe thinking of possible injury, but it also serves to show how close a team can get in just one week.
Ten East Mississippi Community College football players divided into teams of two and held such a race Monday at Sullivan-Windham Field during the Lions' picture and media day.
The Lions, who finished last season with a 3-6 record, have gotten even closer since the team reported to campus on Aug. 10.
EMCC battled heavy rain at the start of preseason practice and oppressive heat in the second half of opening week.
Through the first-week of practice head coach Tom Goode found one thing on his team that simply can't be coached chemistry.
The 12-year EMCC head coach said the majority of the players reported to the team in shape.
The biggest obstacle for the Lions after one-week of practice, which began on Aug. 11, has been the weather.
But the team and coaching staff have handled mother nature's audible pretty well, after seven days on the field.
The squad did get a small break during its picture day.
Afternoon practice was put aside for team, individual and group photos for the Lions' program, moving practice to the cooler evening hours.
EMCC players had no problem with the disturbance of the practice schedule.
Team members joked throughout the near 90 minute photography session, and the coaches even got into the act a few times.
The prospect of running drills and working out, after the sun went down, was a big factor in the light nature of the afternoon.
When the sun went down, the Lions returned to work, as Goode looks to shore up two holes on his team.
EMCC opens its season against Jones County Junior College on Sept. 4 at home.