Hornets’ successful season set new record

Published 7:00 am Thursday, November 30, 2017


After a season of many achievements for the Poplarville Hornets, one player on the team set a new school record.

According to school statistician Gary Malley, senior running back Austin Bolton rushed for a total of 2,300 yards this season, which broke the school record in recent history set by Jesse Pernell last season.

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“This is my first time hearing about breaking the record and it’s a great feeling,” Bolton said. “There have been many great running backs here in Poplarville and it’s an honor to be recognized for this achievement.”

Last season, Pernell set a school record after he rushed for 1,830 yards. Bolton shared the running back duties with Pernell last season and rushed for 1,746 yards.

“Now that I know that I broke his record, I might give him a hard time about it,” Bolton said. “Last year, we had a lot of fun playing together and I loved playing with him. He was a great teammate.”

After enjoying a successful high school career, Bolton is currently undecided where he will play football next fall.

“I have an offer from Pearl River Community College but I haven’t made my decision at the moment,” Bolton said.

Whether Bolton decides to stay in Pearl River County or play football somewhere else, he will always cheer on the Hornets for years to come.

“I will most definitely come back and cheer on the team whenever I have the opportunity,” Bolton said. “This is where I grew up, so I have to come back and cheer for the younger guys. I have to teach the young guys what I learned when I played here so they can also bring victories to the town of Poplarville.”

According to team statistician Gary Malley, quarterback Antonio Barnes ended the season with 37 completed passes out of 64, threw for 712 yards and five touchdowns.

Running back Austin Bolton finished the season with a career-high 2,300 yards, a new school record, and 30 touchdowns.

“It was a great year playing with my brothers,” Bolton said. “We grinded every day at practice and we had a lot of fun.”

Cory Knight finished with 934 yards on 139 carries, Tyson Holston had 853 yards on 106 carries and Roosevelt Raine had 806 yards after 112 carries.

Overall, the ground game for Poplarville scored 72 touchdowns and rushed for 5,699 yards.

On the defensive side of the ball, Graham and Ross Barnett each finished the year with over 100 tackles. The team finished the season with 19 sacks.

The Hornets have now reached the South State championship two years in a row and will look to reach that high point once again with the ultimate goal being to win a state championship.

“From day one, we work hard in the football field and the weight room to accomplish our goals,” Beech said. “Our goal is to win a state championship. The coaching staff and everyone on the team put us in a situation to win the game last Friday but unfortunately we just didn’t come away with it.”