|CLASS 6A | REGION 1
|HEAD COACH: Chris Cutcliffe
|Sept 29||South Panola*||Away|
|Oct 5||Desoto Central*||Home|
|Oct 13||Horn Lake*||Away|
|Nov 3 Tupelo Away
OXFORD, Miss. (WCBI) — 2016 marked the first season without Jack Abraham and DK Metcalf in Oxford to strike fear into the hearts of opponents.
The new look Chargers locked in a fifth straight playoff appearance and finished 8-5, but couldn’t get past the second round.
Second year head coach Chris Cutcliffe says a lot of good was learned through the ups and downs.
“We replaced a really great senior class, the best senior class we’ve probably had come through at Oxford High School,” Cutcliffe said.
“We had a lot of guys playing for the first time, we did a lot of great things. We had some good moments, we lost some tough games. Of course, we didn’t end the way we wanted to to West Point, which was an outstanding team. It didn’t end the way we wanted to, but a lot of positives to build off on and hopefully we can build on that this year.”
“We had a lot of close games that we lost so that’ll help the people returning, it’ll help us learn,” senior linebacker Quentin Wilfawn said, “We know how to play through that, and work through losses and tough stuff like that so that’ll help. Of course we know, a part of Oxford is winning so you just want to win when you come here.”
Oxford returns a ton of talent offensively, including starting quarterback John Reece McClure, leading rusher Hiram Wadlington, and top wideout Jaqaun Webb.
“I feel like we’ve got people in every position, for four plays straight, somebody is going to make a play to get a first down, that’s how I feel,” the senior wide receiver Webb said.
The fireworks on offense are to be expected in Oxford, but this year’s team could be led by an experienced and hard hitting defense.
Ten seniors return on that side of the ball to lead the Chargers in pursuit of it’s elusive first state championship.
“You know what you got and how they work,” Wilfawn said.
“You know what you have from last year and we have some young guys coming up that will help us out too, but ten seniors…that always helps.”
The playmakers will need to step up in 2017, as the Chargers make the leap from Class 5A to 6A.
“This is something we’ve seen coming for years, and we’ve tried to schedule a lot of 6A teams in our non-region schedule,” Cutcliffe said, “Our kids have played against 6A teams really their whole lives so that experience against those teams will pay off and I think our guys are ready for it.”
“It’s going to be the same thing every week. We know when we go to Starkville, we know what they’re about. I feel like West Point was like a 6A team, you know what they about. You know they’re going to hit you hard in the mouth and try to intimidate you and now it’s every week. No weeks off,” Webb said.
The Chargers will open the season on the road against Vicksburg, before traveling to Starkville for the Little Egg Bowl in week two.