#HSFT16: Stop No. 35 – Booneville Blue Devils

HEAD COACH: Mike Mattox
Aug 19 Walnut Home
Aug 26 Baldwyn Away
Sept 2 Nettleton Home
Sept 9 Corinth Home
Sept 16 Tishomingo County Away
Sept 23 OPEN
Sept 30 Alcorn Central* Home
Oct 7 New Site* Away
Oct 14 Benton County* Away
Oct 21 Belmont* Home
Oct 28 Kossuth* Away
*District games

BOONEVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) — There’s no such thing as a down year at Booneville, and the Blue Devils didn’t have any plans of going through one last year, even after losing their leaders at quarterback, running back and defense.

Going 8-4 may have been a surprise to some, but it was expected for head coach Mike Mattox and the Devils, and it was the way Booneville ended the season a year ago that has the head coach eager to see his team for 2016.

“We have a lot of returning kids back and that excites me,” Mattox said. “We got better as the year went on last year.

We were awful young and had things happen to us off the field last year. They accepted what we taught them and we taught them things other than football. They got better and better and towards the end of the year we had a decent ball club.”

It was a high powered offense a season ago that was more than decent, averaging 30 points per game for the Blue Devils and don’t expect that number to go down.

With the return of leading rusher Dallas Gamble, leading receiver Tyrese Bell and quarterback Preston Stroupe to go along with a new wrinkle on the sideline there’s much to look forward to on the field for Booneville.

“We’re putting in a new offense,” coach Mattox said. “We hired a new coach in Kyle Bond from Tupelo. He will work with our offense and we’re excited about that. He coached at Kossuth when they weren’t spread and then they were and at Tupelo they were spread. He will bring things to the table offensively that we like. We’ll take those skill people and see what we can do with them.”

Booneville hasn’t missed the postseason in 14 years and that’s a streak that the Blue Devils expect to continue this upcoming season.

While coach Mattox preaches taking the season a day at a time, he knows that his team still thinks back on the division title loss to Kossuth and the Skunk Bowl defeat to Baldwyn that will motivate his team for more than just the playoffs.

“We hope to be able to get in our kids’ minds they can compete with Kossuth, Benton County, Baldwyn and Corinth,” Mattox said. “Hopefully we’ll keep getting better each week. That’s what we did last year. Our kids got better and better as the season went on. We always want that and hopefully we’ll take the next step this year.”

Booneville will start the season at home against Walnut before visiting rival Baldwyn for the annual Skunk Bowl to wrap up the month of August.

Categories: 2016, 60 in 60 2018, High School Sports, Local Sports

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