#HSFT17: Stop No. 53 – Itawamba AHS Indians

HEAD COACH: Clint Hoots
Aug 18 Ripley Home
Aug 25 New Albany Home
Sept 1 Saltillo Away
Sept 8 Houston Home
Sept 15 Corinth Away
Sept 22 Aberdeen Home
Sept 29 Amory* Away
Oct 6 Shannon* Home
Oct 13 Mooreville* Away
Oct 20 Pontotoc* Home
Oct 27 Caledonia* Away
*District games

FULTON, Miss. (WCBI) — Itawamba AHS has established itself as a perennial power in Mississippi.

But going into this season, the Indians are in the same position as last year: reloading.

Itawamba will have to replace a stout 22 member senior class that showcased the likes of star athlete Caleb Whittle & quarterback Austin King. But head coach Clint Hoots believes his team is up for the challenge.

“It will be hard to replace them,” Hoots said. “We have 12 seniors so it’s a smaller senior class but it’s a good group of guys that have lifted and worked every day. They know the expectations don’t drop. We expect to be in the division championship race and compete for one.”

“It will be tough because we lost Caleb and it’ll be a tough receiver to replace,” senior Lane Domino said. “We have a junior, first time quarterback starting for us. I think we’ll be fine.”

That first time starter at QB is Jaxon Orr, who has a familiar last name around Fulton as his brothers also played at Itawamba.

Having the likes of Lane Domino, Lamarcus Rhodes and Jamal Shumpert all returning for the Indians will help nurture a young QB as nothing has changed on the field or off the field.

Everybody is real tight and close together,” Shumpert said. “We do a lot of things together. That’s special about us and we have pride.”

“We do have a lot of leaders,” Domino said. “We’re building leadership and coming together as a team. Just like Jamal said we have to come together and I think we’ll be good.”

“The thing about Itawamba is we’ve always fought hard,” coach Hoots said. “The community expects it out of them and we try to push that across and they buy into it. They will play as hard as they can and see what happens in the 4th quarter.”

And it’s that 4th quarter and the tail end of the season that Coach Hoots wants his team honing in on for 2017.

The Indians have flown out of the gates the last 2 seasons, with a combined 9-0 start to the year. Itawamba has made the playoffs 11 straight seasons but failed to notch a victory in the postseason the last 2.

This year, the Indians hope the ball bounces their way on the road to a Title.

“That’s what makes the high school playoffs in Mississippi so great because you never know what will happen and what teams will get hot,” Hoots said. “That’s the thing we’re talking about this year is finishing. We’ve come out of the gates real hot the last 2 years and that’s something we’re addressing as a coaching staff and getting them ready for the postseason.”

The Indians will start the season with a 2-game home-stand against Ripley then New Albany before traveling to Saltillo to open up the month of September.

Categories: 2017, High School Sports

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *