#HSFT16: Stop No. 29 – Hatley Tigers

HEAD COACH: Zane Thomas
Aug 19  Potts Camp  Away
Aug 26  Smithville  Home
Sept 2  Hamilton  Away
Sept 9  Alcorn Central  Home
Sept 16  Mantachie  Home
Sept 23  Houlka  Home
Sept 30  South Pontotoc*  Home
Oct 7  Aberdeen*  Home
Oct 14  North Pontotoc*  Away
Oct 21  Nettleton*  Away
Oct 28  Mooreville*  Home
*District games

HATLEY, Miss. (WCBI) – Hatley High School has come a long way since its winless season in 2012. The Tigers made the playoffs two years ago and responded with a five wins a season ago.

It’s the Zane Thomas era now at Hatley. He said he’s ready for the program to take the next step.

“The availability of a winning attitude all the time has to be built, like your body in the weight room,” Thomas said. “To get results they’ve never had, they have to be willing to do things they’ve never done. The kids have been willing to do that.”

It’s Thomas’ first head coaching job. He’s most recently been an assistant at Itawamba AHS. He emphasized how hard the players have been working.

“When I was in high school, we had some that couldn’t play dead in a western as a tumbleweed, but these kids can go,” Thomas said. “I got a bunch of guys that are really good football players. Having athletes makes it a lot easier on my end.”

15 seniors graduate for the Tigers and they’re young at spots. Sophomore Will Cantrell will start at quarterback. The guys say everyone is responding well to Thomas’ leadership.

“We love coach Thomas,” Sophomore Will Cantrell said. “He’s a great motivator and gets the best out of us everyday.”

“He came in here and really motivated us. We’re really buying in,” senior Josh Metcalf said.

The Tigers said it’s a matter of building off their recent success and taking the next step.

“We do want to win this year,” senior Jaylon Jernighan said. “I feel real good about winning those games last year.”

Thomas said the linebackers are the strength of the defense.

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

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