August 10, 2010 8:46:00 AM
There is something to be said for a high school football team playing host to a 10-team jamboree at its school.
It''s another thing when that team gets a chance to play host to the event at Mississippi State''s Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field.
That''s the situation coach Michael Bradley and his New Hope football team will be in Saturday when they serve as the host school to four other area teams and five other solid teams from the region.
Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A champion West Point, Columbus, Noxubee County, and Starkville will join New Hope. Brandon, Jackson Callaway, Itawamba, Philadelphia, and West Lauderdale also will participate in the event that will kick off at 11 a.m. and run through 7 p.m. Each game will feature two quarters of varsity action and one quarter of junior varsity play.
"Any time you get an opportunity to play on a college field it is definitely something the kids look forward to and remember for a lifetime because not all of them will get to play on a college field," Bradley said. "Our kids enjoyed playing at Ole Miss last year (against Oxford) and we wanted to try to give our kids the experience at State. We have had a chance to win a few ballgames the past couple of years, and when you''re putting together a jamboree with a lot of good teams it will attract interest and give your guys a chance to get some exposure."
Last year, Bradley and his team played in a jamboree at Philadelphia. This year, Bradley said it was his school''s chance to play host to the event. The more he started to plan the event he thought it would be a great opportunity to have all of the teams play at MSU. It just so happened that MSU football coach Dan Mullen visited New Hope High one day and the two talked about the possibility of having the teams open their seasons in Starkville.
Mullen liked the idea and put the process in motion. Bradley has spent a lot of time in the offseason and since the start of preseason practice making sure all of the details are coordinated.
Tickets for the event will be $5. The ticket allows a fan to stay for all of the games. Concessions also will be sold.
Noxubee County will kick off the day at 11 a.m. against West Lauderdale. Starkville will take on Callaway at 1 p.m., followed by Columbus against Brandon at 3 p.m., West Point vs. Itawamba at 5 p.m. and New Hope vs. Philadelphia at 7 p.m.
All of the local teams except New Hope will open their regular seasons Aug. 20. The Trojans will open their season Aug. 27 at Tupelo.
New Hope is coming off an 11-2 season in which its only losses were to West Point. Both teams figure to be contenders in the North to play for a state title.
Bradley said the opportunity to have all of the teams on a college campus is a "win-win situation" for everyone. He said the fact he could tell coaches the event was going to be at MSU made it easier for him to fill the final slots in the schedule.
"We have got the defending state champion in 5A in West Point, we were the (5A) North runner-up, and Jackson Callaway was a 5A state playoff team (that New Hope defeated) with several Division I prospects," Bradley said. "Philadelphia has two players who are going to play Division I, one going to Ole Miss and one going to Memphis. Itawamba has a quarterback who already has committed to Ole Miss. Starkville, Columbus, and Brandon all have new coaches. It is definitely going to be a jamboree that should generate some excitement and some interest."
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.
proudparent commented at 8/10/2010 12:53:00 PM:
I encourage all to come out and support these local teams! This is a good opportunity to show these kids that we are behind them and believe in them!
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