2015 High School Football Tour – Stop #50: Calhoun City

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CALHOUN CITY, Miss. (WCBI) — Two outstanding seasons have come up just short for the Calhoun City Wildcats in the 2A State Championship.

Tallying 25 wins in two years is tremendous, but a spot for the Gold Ball lays vacant in the City trophy case. This year’s senior class wants to be the group that brings the State Title back.

“We just have to work harder and want it more,” senior Brieton Sykes said. “That’s the key right there.

“I’m excited about playing at Calhoun City for one more year. My last year. Trying to do my best and through it all play well with the team and work hard.”

“We just have to play harder and get the things we need to get done.” senior Jaalen Thomas said. “We’re underdogs this year. No one is looking for us to do anything this year. We just have to get it done.”

And that underdog role is very real at Calhoun City: While the Wildcats should be the prohibitive favorite, City has a real chip on their shoulder going into the 2015 season due to others looking past them because of the senior class that graduated.

“Even when we do go a long way in the playoffs, we’re the underdogs,” head coach Perry Liles said. “I think people get lost in the preseason schedule we play. We might not win them all. I know one year we were 3-3 and we went to Jackson. Our guys like that role.”

“We’re going to play hard and do what we have to do to prove them wrong,” Thomas said. “Everybody says we’re underdogs, we’re just going to play hard. We’re better than that.”

But Calhoun City didn’t lose their speed and quickness: head coach Perry Liles returns burners all across the field, especially in the backfield.

It will be a 3-headed monster toting the rock this year, featuring Breiton Sykes, Jaalen Thomas and Jesse Nabors. Those big names could give the Cats exactly what they need as they look to defend their 2A North crown.

“We’re going to be really fast this year,” Thomas said. “We’re not very big on size but our speed will help us out a lot.”

“We had a lot of trouble with teams last year that we couldn’t keep up with their speed particularly Bassfield,” Liles said. “We’ll be down in size so that will hurt but it sort of evens out.”

City will be doing this season with heavy hearts upon the loss of one of their own in the offseason: losing Tripp Macon left a hole in the team, but his battley cry of “I don’t get tired” will live on, especially this season. As Calhoun City dedicates this year to their fallen friend.

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