#HSFT20 – Stop #59 Starkville Yellowjackets

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HEAD COACH: Chris Jones
Sept 4 West Point Home
Sept 11 Louisville Away
Sept 18 Meridian Home
Sept 25 South Panola* Away
Oct 2 Germantown* Away
Oct 9 Open
Oct 16 Madison Central* Away
Oct 23 Laurel Home
Oct 30 Warren Central* Home
Nov 6 Clinton* Away
*District games


STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) — The Starkville Yellowjackets enter the 2020 campaign looking to play hard and sting harder! Last season, Starkville fell one game short of the 6A state championship game after losing to rival Oxford in the north half final. Now the team has one goal in mind!

“Finishing,” head coach Chris Jones emphasized. “Everyday, we’re trying to preach and make sure that we finish. Finishing our drills. Finishing team stuff. Just on a day-to-day grind making sure we understand the importance of finishing.”

“You got to finish strong,” senior linebacker Keyshawn Lawrence said. “We always get to the playoffs and fall short. You got to play all four quarters. You can’t just play the first and second quarters. You got to play all four.”

The Yellowjackets lose key playmakers from both sides of the ball including the team’s interception leader Khiry Gee and Endzone Offensive Player of the Year and Mississippi State Bulldog, Rufus Harvey! But this is Starkville. Head coach Chris Jones is excited for the guys he has now to step up and showcase what they can do.

“A lot of the kids got lost I want to say cause we didn’t have a spring so we have some kids that are under the radar that can really play,” Jones said. “They just need the opportunity right now.”

“A lot of the young guys from last year are really stepping up,” senior quarterback Luke Altmyer explained. “We’ve worked really hard this summer. Even before school got out, we were making sure to always work hard. These guys have been around this system for awhile and I think we’re going to shock a lot of people with the weapons we have.”

Starkville does return some known faces who will have a strong say in how far this team goes. Returning tackles and sacks leader Keyshawn Lawerence leads a stingy defense and Florida State commit, quarterback Luke Altmeyer, calls the shots on offense. However, Jones says it’s going to take more than one player to reach their ultimate goal.

“He should do a good job,” Jones said. “He got a great supporting cast. He got kids around him that can play. I think he understands more so now than ever that it takes all eleven. I can play, but I need all eleven guys on board. I think he understands as a quarterback I need everybody on board I have to use all my pieces. At the end of the day, I can’t do it by myself.”

“You learn a lot as you play and get more reps,” Altmyer said. “I’ve had a lot of reps through my career. I’ve been here for four years now. I’ve learned a lot and I’m ready to be the best I can be.”

The Jackets have embraced the tradition of a program that’s won six state titles and hopes this season is the one where they create their own legacy.

“We have to do what we need to do so that we can be a part of that elite tradition,” Jones explained. “So we can have that conversation with your uncles, and cousins, and all the people who won before.”

“This year we lost a lot of our seniors, but I expect with most our people we have coming back, we know the scheme of football,” Lawrence said.

“With our senior leaders, and the talent we have, coaching staff we have, we’ll be fine,” Altmyer confirmed. “We’ve been doing this for a long time. We’re ready.”

Starkville kicks off the season September 4th hosting rival West Point.

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

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