#HSFT20 – Stop #55 Oxford Chargers

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HEAD COACH: Chris Cutcliffe
Sept 4 Grenada Away
Sept 11 Lafayette Home
Sept 18 Open
Sept 25 Southaven* Away
Oct 2 Lewisburg* Home
Oct 9 DeSoto Central* Away
Oct 16 Horn Lake* Home
Oct 23 Olive Branch* Home
Oct 30 Hernando* Away
Nov 6 Tupelo* Home
*District games


OXFORD, Miss. (WCBI) — “We know we got a target on our backs, so we got to do it twice now,” senior kicker and punter Jack Tannehill.

After a come from behind win in last season’s state championship game against Oak Grove, the Oxford Chargers love the sweet taste of victory and don’t want anything else.

“To be on the first team to win,” senior tight end Alec Vaughn said. “My brother played. He wasn’t able to win it, but we’re going to show people it wasn’t a mistake last year. We’re here to keep winning.”

“We got everybody coming at us because we won state last year,” senior outside line backer and safety Tristan Shorter explained. “They want to beat us. We got to come harder than we did last year. Practice harder so we can have a better game plan for the people who want to beat us this year.”

“It’s always been a huge goal for our program when I was a player here, as an assistant coach here, was to finally get over that hump and win a state championship,” head coach Chris Cutcliffe said. “Now that we’ve done it, it’s no time to sit back and relax and be content where we are. It’s time to get better.”

The Chargers have the tall task of replacing key players from last season’s offense featuring quarterback John Meagher and now Auburn Tiger J.J. Peguess, but the team says they’re looking forward to the challenge.

“You can’t really replace J.J. Peguess,” Tannehill said. “We got to find a way to make it work without him. Whether it’s coming up with a different game plan or getting a guy to fill some of his duties and giving the other duties to another guy, we got to come up with something.”

“I think those guys and the guys that came before them laid a great foundation for our team and for our program and how we go about our business,” Cutcliffe explained. “We have some great leaders, and some players we’re excited about that haven’t played a lot in the past sitting behind some of those older players. We’re excited about seeing them get on the field and seeing what they can do.”

Oxford also lost ten starters from last season’s defense so some new guys are stepping into much larger roles. However, the one returning starter is doing everything he can to give the younger guys the knowledge he gained.

“Last year, I had everyone ahead of me that already had some playing time,” Shorter said. “I was following them. They were teaching me the ropes. This year I feel like I got to teach them. The guys that were under me that didn’t get a lot of play time. Teach them the things that we need done for the game.”

“We got a lot of new faces on defense,” Cutcliffe said. “A lot of guys we’re excited about getting out there. We think have really put in a lot of work over the years and developed into good players.”

Despite the turnover, the team is confident in their chances of defending the 6A crown.

“Obviously, as the defending champion you’re trying to defend that and to some extent you’re not really an unknown commodity, but certain individuals definitely are so we’re excited about seeing what they do,” Cutcliffe said.

“Every year, we’re the underdogs,” Vaughn explained. “We’re the underdogs last year, but we’re letting everybody know we’re here. We got the same mindset coming in that we got to be great.”

Oxford starts their title defense on the road against Grenada September 4th.

Categories: 2020 High School Football Tour, High School Sports, Local Sports, Sports

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