Wildcats set football schedule

Published 2:49 am Thursday, May 13, 2010

POPLARVILLE – Last season, Pearl River Community College failed to make the state junior college playoffs for just the second time in head coach Tim Hatten’s eight years at the helm of the Wildcats.

Hatten and his trrops hope this season’s schedule, which was released recently, bodes well for a return to the postseason.

“That’s not where we are used to being once the playoffs start, at home that is,” Hatten said, when he was one of the keynote speakers at the annual World Coaches Clinic recently. “We’ve got to get back to that high level that we have built a reputation for at Pearl River.”

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Hatten and the Wildcats got their first look at the football schedule for the 2010 season last week.

The Wildcats will kick off their season with  back-to-back home games, starting with Northwest Mississippi Thursday, Sept. 2, and Itawamba Thursday, Sept. 9 (both 7 p.m. kickoffs), before playing four straight MACJC South Division opponents.

Southwest Mississippi plays host Thursday, Sept. 16, in Summit (6:30 p.m. kickoff), while East Central visits Dobie Holden Stadium Thursday, Sept. 23, followed by defending South Division champ Mississippi Gulf Coast Thursday, Sept. 30 (both 7 p.m. kickoffs).

PRCC then eyes four consecutive Saturday contests, starting with a road trip to division foe Copiah-Lincoln Saturday, Oct. 9, in Wesson (5 p.m. kickoff) before defending state champ East Mississippi plays host in a non-division match up Saturday, Oct. 16, in Scooba (3 p.m. kickoff). That game pits a pair of former PRCC assistants, in East Mississippi head coach Buddy Stephens and Lions defensive coordinator William Jones, against the Wildcats.

The Wildcats celebrate their Homecoming Saturday, Oct.  23, against division foe Hinds (3 p.m. kickoff) before ending the regular season Saturday, Oct. 30, at Jones County in Ellisville (2 p.m. kickoff).

The Bobcats, in fact, have kept the Wildcats out of the playoffs two of the past three seasons by beating PRCC in a key South Division match-up.

Pearl River head coach Tim Hatten enters his ninth season at the Wildcat helm this fall and boasts a 67-16 record. His teams have won four MACJC state titles (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006), as well as an NJCAA national championship in 2004. The Wildcats also played for the national title in 2006 as well.

But arch-rival Gulf Coast has won three straight state titles since the Wildcats won it in 2006.