BOONEVILLE, Miss. – It's finally back. The waiting is over and the 2012 community/junior college football season is set to kick off on Thursday night for Northeast at Tiger Stadium.
Fifth year head coach Ricky Smither and company will look to capitalize off of last year's success with a new group of troops on the battlefield come Thursday night.
With a roster full of young freshman players and a handful of returning sophomores, the Tigers will face a tough opponent when they open the season up against the Wolves of Copiah-Lincoln Community College.
In 2011, the Tigers began the season 5-0 and went on to post a 6-4 (4-2) mark and earn a berth in the first round of the Mississippi Association of Community & Junior College's (MACJC) playoffs. They hope to start this season off in like fashion.
However, one of Smither's losses last season was a 21-12 setback against the Wolves in Wesson in the last regular season game. That loss almost cost the Tigers a chance to play in the postseason but Northeast was able to slide into the playoffs after winning a tie-breaker scenario.
Copiah-Lincoln has won nine out of the last ten meetings dating back to 1991. Northeast's last victory verses the Wolves came back in 2004 where the Tigers won 45-15. The Wolves finished in fifth place in the South Division in 2011 going 5-4 overall and 2-4 in divisional play.
Northeast will have several sophomore key players to look for on the gridiron Thursday night including, tight end Logan Stokes (Muscle Shoals, Ala.) (LSU commit), defensive end Lavon Hooks (Atlanta, Ga.), defensive back Kareem Brown (New Albany), and linebacker Nick Thomason (Muscle Shoals, Ala.), all were members of the 2011 squad and were starters.
Other key players to look for will be freshman quarterback Matt Lipham (Slidell, La.), a transfer from Southern Illinois, who will get the starting nod as the signal caller, along with sophomore running back Jay Jones (Horn Lake) -- who played for Northwest Mississippi Community College his freshman campaign, safety Brain Walker (Cairo, Ga.), wide receiver Xavier Amerson (Orlando, Fla.), and cornerback Antwan Wilson (Charleston).
Tiger fans can catch all of this season's action by tunning in to WNAU AM 1470 in New Albany who will be the new "Voice of the Tigers." Fans can tune in to the live webcast by going to www.wnau1470.com in order to catch all the play-by-play action. A link will also be available at our new athletic website at www.nemccathletics.com.
Fans can also follow the Tiger football season on Twitter @ NEMCC_Athletics and also with live in-game stats provided by Dakstats on the internet. A Dakstat stat link will be sent out prior to each game for fans to click on and follow the action in real time on smart phones and computers.
Also, during Northeast Tiger home football games this fall, the stands will be filled with 'kreatchers'……….Bleacher Kreatchers!
Young Tiger football fans grades k-6 who are Bleacher Kreatchers will be admitted to all four home football games free with a paying adult and will lead the Tigers onto the field at just prior to kickoff.
Each Kreatcher will receive a free t-shirt at the first game Thursday, August 30 verses Copiah-Lincoln.
For more information about how to become a Bleacher Kreatcher call the Foundation office at 662-720-7185 or by email at email@example.com.
Kick-off is set for 7 p.m. for the season opener at Tiger Stadium.