Bobcats expect opening game to be challenging
By By Shawn Wansley / EMG sports writer
Sept. 3, 2003
Jones Junior College coach Parker Dykes expects a major challenge from the East Mississippi Community College Lions Thursday night.
The Bobcats, ranked No. 14 in the National Junior College Athletic Association preseason poll, and Lions will kick off at 7 p.m. Thursday at Scooba.
Last year, the Bobcats had to score with just over four minutes to go to beat EMCC 17-10 at Laurel's Watkins Stadium in the annual Lions Bowl game.
Jones is expected to start three quarterbacks against EMCC.
Carrolton, Ga., freshman Derrick Boykin will be under center, while Wayne County freshman Akeem Lofton will be at a wideout slot. Mize freshman Jay Johnson, the No. 3 quarterback, will be the start at the F-back' position for the Bobcats.
EMCC went 3-6 last season, but returns 21 lettermen. Among their top players are quarterbacks Daniel Spinks and DeAngelo Dantzler, along with wide receiver Nico Edwards, offensive lineman Cody Brown, linebacker Renvel Greene and defensive backs Sammy Daughty and Julius Randle.
Jones will start nine freshmen on offense, five on defense and two on special teams.
The Bobcats, who feature players such as guard Tommy Keys, tackle Chris Triplett, wide receiver Thomas Hosey, defensive back Quinten Sullivan and linebackers Derrick Ducksworth and Cornell Blakley, went 8-4 last year, finished second in the South Division and second in the state.
Dykes hopes they will be ready to play Thursday night.
Jones will be without the services of two players.
Jason Duckworth of Mize hurt his leg early in practice and, hopefully, can return in January. Justin Edwards, an offensive lineman from Pearl, injured a knee and will have to have surgery soon. He will also miss the rest of the season.
Dykes added that assistant coaches Steve Boyd, Eddie Pierce, Ed Smith, Chris Robinson, Picasso Nelson and Jay Dennis have worked hard this preseason to get the Bobcats ready to play.