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|CLASS 4A | REGION 2
|HEAD COACH: Clint Hoots|
|Sept 11||New Hope||Away|
|Oct 2||South Pontotoc||Home|
FULTON, Miss. (WCBI) — The 2019 season was one to remember for the Itawamba AHS Indians.
Itawamba finished the regular season undefeated before losing the team’s first game to the eventual 4A State champs: the Corinth Warriors, in the third round of the playoffs, 44-31.
That high standard of success is what the Indians set for themselves every year.
“Our expectations for our kids and the expectation the community has with them is a pride thing,” head coach Clint Hoots said. “They have a tradition here of winning and that’s what we expect to do and they know that. They feel it in the community, they feel it here at school. It’s a thing about having some pride about our program and it helps us become better players, better men and we’re excited to see what they can do this year.”
“The expecations don’t change,” senior DE Wade Cannon said. “They’re always the same every year. It’s always one game at a time, but we just look forward to division championships. Our goal is just win and beat everybody on the way.”
One key to the Indian’s competitive success on the field is the player’s competitive edge with each other during practices.
“They want to be the next man up. They’re battling for positions. A lot of times when you have guys battling for spots it helps. It definitely helps. Competition brings out the best in each one of them. I’ve been proud of our guys this summer and how they’ve worked and competed,” Hoots said.
The Indians have a couple of key spots open to compete for. Itawamba losses former wide receiver Davion Sistrunk and running back Ike Chandler.
While losing two offensive weapons is a big loss for the Indians, it just comes with Itawamba’s territory.
“Both of them are phenomenal players for us. Every year a new person comes up. A new person steps into that roles and fills it. I can think back through the years, this will be my fourteenth year coming up being here, I think back through the years and all the players that have come out of nowhere that steps up to be huge players for us. All the players that play for us have a big time role for us. It’s exciting for me to see who’s going to be that guy. Who’s going to step up to the challenge and they always do.”
“It just motivates us to fill those spots,” senior OL Garrett Beyer said. “You know the other guys want to be just as good as those guys and fill their shoes the best they can.”
Like every year, Itawamba hopes to keep the division crown in Fulton.
“Got to go back and get more this year,” senior Jaxon Nolan QB/CB said. “Every year fighting for division champs, playoff run, trying to strive to be better than we were the year before.”
“They’re gritty. They’re extremely gritty. They’re hardworkers. Just like a mold every year. It’s kind of the same type deal. They work hard, they get in there, in the weight room they’re hardworkers. Conditioning they’re working hard. Out here at practice they get after it and compete. All those things add up to success. That’s what we try to strive for,” Hoots said.
The Indians start the season against Saltillo at home on September 4th.