#HSFT17: Stop No. 50 – Pontotoc Warriors

HEAD COACH: Jeff Carter
Aug 18 Houston Away
Aug 25 Senatobia Home
Sept 1 New Albany Away
Sept 8 Aberdeen Home
Sept 15 Oxford Away
Sept 22 Ripley Home
Sept 29 Mooreville* Away
Oct 6 Amory* Home
Oct 13 Caledonia* Home
Oct 20 Itawamba AHS* Away
Oct 27 Shannon* Home
*District games

PONTOTOC, Miss. (WCBI) — 2016 was a ground-breaking season at Pontotoc.

The Warriors not only won their first playoff game since 2003, but collected the most wins in a season since 1992 when they made the State Title game in 3A.

Pontotoc was painstakingly close to getting back to the State Championship last year, but fell just short. So the question for head coach Jeff Carter is: will this year’s team be ready to do it?

“No, they’re not ready yet,” Carter says, with a grin on his face. “Just from watching practice, we have a little ways to go. The knowledge of the system is there we have to put it in action. We have to finish plays and tap into that athleticism we have.”

“Last year was a phenomenal year but the past is the past,” senior Cole Smith said. “We had to put in a lot of hard work to make our own phenomenal year. We have a lot of young guys that will have to play big roles and I think it’ll be an exciting year.”

While Coach Carter will be blunt about his team, there’s sure to be plenty of excitement like LSU commit Cole Smith said, especially on offense.

Star athlete Austin Morphis returns for his senior year with the Warriors and so does bruising tailback Gabe Harmon.

But the Warriors will have to combat an injury that will keep Harmon out for the start of the season. Despite that, Pontotoc hopes to match or exceed the 38 points per game they averaged in 2016.

“We have a whole bunch of dogs,” Morphis said. “We won’t quit and we won’t give up. Everybody can play a part and we always have room for growth.”

“When you have all your guys out there, it’s easier to gel,” Carter said. “When you have an injury or a setback then it’s the next guy up. With Cole’s leadership and Austin’s leadership, they’ve been there and done it and now they need to lead in a positive way.”

And there will be leadership needed to guide the new signal caller at Pontotoc as Jacob Carter graduated, but there is plenty of confidence for 2017 as Pontotoc continues their road to the school’s first State Title.

“I think they feel confident in what they’ve done,” coach Carter said. “You have to be patient to gel and when you lose 22 seniors and 14-16 starters, it’s a lot to fill. I think they understand that. We have a talented team.”

“We don’t have any quit in us,” Morphis reiterated. “Anything is possible.”

Themgrapes will start the season on the road at Houston before returning home to The Hollow to host Senatobia.

Categories: 2017, 60 in 60 2018, High School Sports, Local Sports

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