Prep football practice begins Monday

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 29, 2012

For the first time in 25 years, Picayune will take to the practice field for preseason training camp as the defending state champions. The Maroon Tide, along with just about every other prep football team in the state of Mississippi, will begin fall drills in the heat of the Summer on Monday.

Head coach Dodd Lee said his reigning Class 5A state champions will hit the field at 7 a.m., and again at 5:30 p.m., for two a day drills. Picayune will keep that schedule, weather permitting, for the first week of camp. “I just want to make sure our kids are in excellent shape conditioning wise,” Lee, entering his 17th season at the helm of his alma mater, said. “We just have to keep a good attitude and try and get better every practice, every day.”

The Maroon Tide set a school record for wins in a season last year with 13, as Picayune went 13-2 and beat Starkville in the Class 5A state championship game at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium in Jackson on the first Saturday in December.

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Most pre-season observers have picked the Maroon Tide and Yellow Jackets as favorites once again to possibly meet in a re-match for the state crown. Starkville quarterback Gabe Myles was named to the prestigious Dandy Dozen team as selected annually by the Jackson Clarion-Ledger this past week. Picayune beat arch-rival Pearl River Central in the Class 5A South State title game, in an historical Pearl River County match-up.

The Blue Devils finished 9-5 and made it further into the postseason than at any other time in school history. They will begin practice under third year head coach Eric Collins on Monday as well.

Also, Poplarville, which finished 5-5 last year, as well as Hancock will begin practice Monday as well.