HSFT Stop #46: South Pontotoc

Pontotoc, MS- Rod Cook is entering his fourth year as South Pontotoc’s head coach. He’s been doing everything he can, which includes leading 5 AM workouts, to keep his team trending in the right direction.

South Pontotoc’s 2021 season ended with a 41-0 playoff loss to Clarksdale in the first round. For Rod Cook’s crew, it was their first playoff appearance in his head coaching tenure. He calls it a step in the right direction.

“They see what it feels like to be in that situation. Clarksdale had a good, well-coached team and our team saw what it takes to get there,” Cook said. “We were real young last year, had a good group of seniors with young guys playing who got experience. We’re looking forward to that this year.”

For the returning players, it created a big chip on their shoulders

“Really makes you want to work harder,” senior linebacker/tight end Ethan Patterson said. “You can’t play with just one guy, all 11 need to do their job. You have something to prove now. It shows how we feel when we lose like that. We never want that to happen again and we want to make some changes.”

Cook has a lot of confidence in this year’s group. He saw great things from the secondary in seven-on-seven work this summer, and it doesn’t stop there.

“We have a bunch of depth at offensive and defensive line. We have a good mix of seniors and young guys stepping up,” senior center/defensive tackle Larkin Gillespie said.

“We will take one game at a time and do what we have to do. Our kids know we will play all the way until the horn blows in the fourth quarter,”  Cook said.

The Cougars season gets rolling August 26th at East Webster.

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