|CLASS 3A | REGION 1
|HEAD COACH: Mike Mattox|
|Sept 11||New Albany||Away|
|Oct 2||Alcorn Central*||Away|
BOONEVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) — The Booneville Blue Devils know how to win.
Following an undefeated regular season in 2018, Booneville comes off yet another successful season. In 2019, the Blue Devils finished with an 8-3 overall record and a division championship appearance.
Head coach Mike Mattox says the key to that success: continuity.
“Our kids know what we expect here. Know what we expect out of them,” Mattox said. “The year before we had an undefeated regular season, our kids went through a lot of adversity when I was sick and they overcame a lot. They grew up a lot. I think our coaches that year did a really good job teaching things other than football and that spilled into the next year.”
This year will be slightly different for the Blue Devils because they’ll have to create plays without former running back Davian Price. In his senior season, Price accounted for over 1200 yards rushing and 22 touchdowns in the ground attack.
In terms of how you replace such a successful player, Mattox said:
“You can’t. You just figure out other ways to be successful. You find ways for other kids to be successful. We could be better than we were last year offensively because we don’t have that one guy we’re counting on. We’re going to have three or four guys. That good be a plus for us.”
Although losing Price is a massive loss for Booneville, the Blue Devils return 18 seniors including, five starters on the offensive line, and starting quarterback John Daniel Deaton. That’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of experience on this Blue Devil squad.
“9 starters on offense and 9 starters on defense. These kids have put a lot of time and effort into us so it’s very important to us that we play this year, someway somehow,” Mattox said.
“I want to improve on long balls this year,” Deaton said. “I’ve kind of struggled with that over the last couple of years. Short game is pretty decent but definitely need to improve on the long balls.”
Booneville has 17 straight appearances to the playoffs, and while that might add pressure to the team, Mattox says it’s become part of the norm.
“The community expects it. It’s expected at home. It’s expected here. You know we expect them to give us everything they have and the winning will take care of itself,” Mattox said.
The Blue Devils will look for another season of success against Mooreville at home on August 21st.
“If you can go home after a ball game and look in the mirror and say I left it all out on the field, the winning usually takes care of itself,” Mattox said.
“Hopefully, a good one. We’re trying to put it on some people this year,” Deaton said.