#HSFT21 Stop #21 – Winona Tigers

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CLASS 3A | REGION 3
HEAD COACH: Joey Thompkins
Aug 27 Choctaw County Home
Sept 3 Kosciusko Away
Sept 10 J.Z. George Home
Sept 17 Philadelphia Away
Sept 24 Water Valley Home
Sept 30 Alexandria, LA Home
Oct 8 Yazoo County Home
Oct 15 Humphries County Home
Oct 22 Amanda Elzy Away
Oct 29 Ruleville Away

WINONA, Miss. (WCBI) – The Winona Tigers hope to break away from the competition in 2021. The Tigers finished with an 11-2 record last season, losing to Noxubee County in the Class 3A north finals.

“That’s really the real reason I try to go so hard,” senior defensive end Marlonzo Small said. “I try to stay in front and lead the other guys. I know what the goal for this team is. I just want to push myself and my teammates as hard as I can so we can get back to that.”

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“That’s all we do,” senior running back Deriaun Townsend said. “Put in good work in the summer. Hope that carries over into August and hopefully into December.”

Winona has a tough road ahead. The Tigers graduate seven offensive starters from last year’s team, including four linemen and three wide receivers. However, a couple of dynamic playmakers return to lead this offense.

“We are going to be young up front and young at receiver,” head coach Joey Thompkins said. “I believe that our quarterback Jekeyvion Burnley and Deriaun Townsend. Those two seniors are going to lead us, hopefully.”

Senior quarterback Burnely is back after getting injured four games into last season.

“He will help tremendously,” Townsend said. “He can run and is a very accurate passer. That’s what we’re going to lean on.”

“Try to be more of a leader,” Burnley said. “Work harder. Try to stay healthy this year.”

Burnley’s backup isn’t a slouch either. Sophomore athlete Chase Richardson rose to the occasion last season to lead Winona’s high-powered offense. Now, he will remain a focal point of the team.

“The offense is a lot more open because you’re not so scared of getting your first quarterback hurt,” Thompkins explained. “You have two quarterbacks that can actually play.”

“Chase stepped up tremendously last year; for him to do that as a freshman says a lot,” Townsend said. “Chase will be a very impactful player for our team. He will play defense and offense. He will go to safety and come over and go-to receiver. He will play backup quarterback.”

Did I mention Winona returns the leading rusher in Class 3A? Running back Deriaun Townsend looks to “carry” the Tigers deep into the playoffs.

“He’s a special player,” Thompkins said. “He’s a special kid. He’s going to run the ball hard. He’s guy who just really wants the ball.”

Winona kicks off its season at home against Choctaw County on August 27th.