High expectations for gridders
By Bob Arnold
Head Co-Lin Football Coach Glenn Davis has high expectation for his team for the coming season after finishing 3-6 overall and 3-3 in Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) South Division play last year.
“I think that we have a good mixture of experience coming back including some third-year guys on both sides of the ball that will help us,” says Davis. “Those guys are going to be big for us in terms of experience and maturity. They’ll have now played in a lot of football games for us, and I think that helps us to have good expectations for our team.”
The Wolves will have to rebuild their defensive secondary for the upcoming season as the unit saw the most sophomores graduated. “We have Ques McNeal (Ackerman) back after a great freshman year, and I expect his sophomore year to be even better,” says Davis. “Jamal Pye (Byhalia) gives us some experience in the linebacking corps, while Nate White (Orlando, Florida) and Kadarius Miller (Magnolia) give us some experience up front on the defensive line. We also have some young guys that we have signed that will really help us on defense.”
The offense will have more experience than the defense.
“In the offensive line we have a good mixture of guys, including William McCollum (Jackson) and Tristan Marchioni (Biloxi) who are returning with playing time from last year, along with Josh Trask (Natchez) who started every game at guard for us,” says Davis. “We are going to be bigger on the offensive line than we have been the last few years and I really like the mobility mixed with the size of our guys.
“Running back wise, Kyjuan Herndon (Jacksonville, Florida) is a transfer who will be in the mix along with returners Bobby Shanklin, Jr. (Macon) and Antonio Luckett (Carthage), as well as Johnnie Daniels (Crystal Springs) who we signed back in the spring. At the receiver position, we have Tyquan Henderson (Canton) back, and that is big for us. Jaylen Smith (Jacksonville, Florida) and O’Ryan James (Houma, Louisiana) are two transfers that we think will produce for us, along with Raheem Roberts (Bogalusa, Louisiana). I think we are more athletic, and we have more speed at the position. We also have some talented freshmen in Carlos Martin (Laurel), Tyron Henderson (Decatur) and Cade Dedeaux (Sumrall), and I really like what I am seeing from them so far.
“At quarterback, I think we are further along than what we were a year ago, as Colton Gardner (Madison) has picked up and grasped things quicker and is working hard this summer for us. I really like what I have seen from DeVon Tott (Mandeville, Louisiana) and Tyler Fortenberry (Brookhaven). Harold Rhodes (Silver Creek) is back at tight end, which is a big boost for us because we are a little thin at that position, and I think that he will be much improved from last year.”
“Corey Case (Brookhaven) will be handling both kicking and punting duties for us on special teams. He was a good kicker and punter in high school, and I expect him to be able to handle those duties for us.”
The Wolves will be road tested early in the year, as three of the first four games are on the road including the first two at East Mississippi and Mississippi Delta on September 1 and 8 respectively. The team then returns home to start South Division play against Jones on September 15, and then hits the road again to face off against rival Southwest Mississippi on September 22. The Wolves return home to face off against Coahoma on September 29 to close out the first month of play. Co-Lin then stays at home and hosts Mississippi Gulf Coast for Homecoming on October 6, then has back-to-back road games against Pearl River and East Central on October 13 and 20. The Wolves will return home to close out the regular season hosting Hinds on October 27.
“We must find a way to win those close games, which got away from us last year especially against Gulf Coast and Hinds,” Davis says. “I think with the maturity that our returners have developed along with a full season of experience under their belts, it will help us in pulling out those close games and help us achieve our goals for the season.”