HSFT Stop #60: Starkville

Starkville, Miss. (WCBI)- Starkville’s 2022 slate ended with a 48-32 win over Brandon in the 6A state championship game in Hattiesburg. 26 seniors return and head coach Chris Jones says staying hungry and not getting complacent will be key.

“A lot of it is just putting the past in the past and not dwelling on it,” Jones said. “It’s all about the next day, game and season. It’s 2023 so everything we did in 2022 doesn’t matter. We’re staying focused on what’s ahead of us and we will take it one day at a time.”

The Yellow Jackets’ headlining returners include receiver Braylon Burnside, who committed to Mississippi State in June, and quarterback Trey Petty who will play for Illinois next year. The duo says getting the commitments out of the way has them even more focused on this season now.

“There are a million kids playing so knowing I have a spot at a good school with good coaches and a good program makes it easier for me. It makes me not think as much and helps me mentally,” Petty said.

Besides lighting up defenses on the field, Burnside and Petty have an inseparable bond off of it. They believe that relationship can translate to more team success.

“When your best players are your hardest workers, it’s easy for everyone else to follow the lead,” Jones said. “It’s not like they are good players but hate working and the weight room, it’s the opposite for both of those guys. They’re first to the weight room.”

“Outside of football if you see him, nine times out of ten you’ll see me. We have each other’s back outside of this field. We’ve always been locked in,” Petty said.

The Yellow Jackets’ season gets started Friday at home against Noxubee County.

Categories: 2023 High School Football Tour, High School Sports, Local Sports, Sports