BOONEVILLE, Miss. - Northeast Mississippi Community College's annual commemoration of the armed forces coincides with the start of the nationwide celebration of college football's 150th anniversary.
Northeast welcomes Southwest Mississippi Community College in the season opener for both squads on Thursday, August 29. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Tiger Stadium.
It is also Northeast's Military Appreciation Night. Active soldiers or officers and veterans from any branch of service may bring proper identification to gain free admission for themselves and their family.
All military members in attendance are encouraged to meet at the southwest corner of the field at 5:50 p.m. in order to be publically recognized during the pregame festivities.
Those that cannot attend the matchup can watch it live and in high definition on NEMCCTV. Tune in starting at 6 p.m. for the pregame show by visiting www.nemcctv.com on any computer, smartphone or tablet.
Amazon and Roku television subscribers can also view the Tigers' gridiron contests all year by searching for "Northeast Mississippi Community College" on each respective app.
The game will also air on WADI and WXWX The Bee, which are sister stations of Northeast's primary radio affiliate in WOWL Fun 91. An audio simulcast featuring Jody Presley and Carter Smith, the Voices of the Tigers, can be heard on frequencies 95.3 FM from Corinth and 96.3 FM from Marietta.
Northeast has captured three of its last four meetings with the Bears. The lone setback in that stretch came during the previous campaign when Southwest escaped with a 33-28 win in Summit.
The last contest between these two foes on the Booneville campus was one of the most interesting in series history. Northeast battled through a lengthy weather delay in the opening half to defeat the Bears by a 36-19 score.
The Tigers, who are receiving votes in the preseason National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) rankings, are set to debut 40 true freshmen against visiting Southwest. The Bears are young as well with more than 35 newcomers on their roster.
"It's all about youth," said Northeast head coach Greg Davis. "We've got to mesh and we've got to gel. They're going to be thrown in the fire, but I like our group. I like what we can do. We've just got to put it all together."
Most of the experience for the Tigers resides at wide receiver on the offensive side of the pigskin and on the defensive line with 10 sophomores or redshirt freshmen between those groups.
Isaiah Forte of Montgomery, Ala., started as a freshman at nose tackle for Northeast. Kossuth High School's Isaiah Hill, Devonte Reed of Independence High School and Darius Shipp from Lewisburg High School also saw action in the trenches last year.
Terry Joiner is the top returning tackler for the Tigers. The Noxubee County High School graduate finished fifth on the team during the 2018 campaign with 49 takedowns, including 7.5 tackles for loss.
Baugus, who hails from Corinth, nailed six field goals and averaged 36.7 yards per punt with a career-long of 67 yards. Aberdeen's Rowe placed third in the Magnolia State with 572 kick return yards.
Southwest quarterback Da'Bryan Magee racked up over 1,600 yards and 14 touchdowns between passing and rushing last season. Leading runner Zarious Keyes totaled 486 yards on 101 carries during his freshman campaign.
Linebacker Tamos Stevenson recorded a team-high 57 tackles for the Bears one year ago. Punter Jack Runnels and kicker Brazos Webb give Southwest a pair of sophomores on special teams.