BOONEVILLE, Miss. - The Northeast Mississippi Community College football team wraps up one of the most festive weeks on campus of the entire academic year with a crucial divisional matchup.
Northeast hosts Holmes Community College in its annual homecoming game on Thursday, September 19. Kickoff for this special contest is set for 7 p.m. at Tiger Stadium.
It is the first of two straight Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) North Division home tilts for the Tigers. Northeast entertains rival Itawamba Community College next week.
Those that cannot attend the matchup can watch it live and in high definition on NEMCCTV. Tune in starting at 6:30 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' pigskin contests all year by searching for "Northeast Mississippi Community College" on each respective app.
The Northeast Broadcasting Network also includes radio affiliate WOWL Fun 91. An audio simulcast featuring Jody Presley and Carter Smith, the Voices of the Tigers, can be heard on frequencies 91.9 FM from Burnsville, 92.9 FM from Florence, Ala., and 102.3 FM from Killen, Ala.
This is the earliest homecoming in school history. The previous mark was ironically also against these same Bulldogs on September 22, 2005, which happened to be Northeast's season opener after its first three games were either cancelled or postponed due to the effects of Hurricane Katrina.
It is the fifth consecutive midweek homecoming for the Tigers. The festivities will begin at 12:10 p.m. with the traditional home game day pep rally in the quad area between McCoy Hall, Ramsey Hall and the Haney Union.
Northeast then holds its 12th annual Sports and Alumni Hall of Fame induction ceremony at 4:30 p.m. in the Claude Wright Room of the Haney Union. The athletic honorees this year are Anthony Gamble, William "Billy" Southward and Shirley Hall White.
Pregame entertainment at Tiger Stadium begins approximately 30 minutes before the contest kicks off. It includes the recognition of the Northeast Sports and Alumni Hall of Fame's newest members plus the Showband from Tigerland.
Homecoming queen Victoria Brown of New Albany and the remainder of her court, which includes Northeast student-athletes Kamryn Cole, Ainsley Renfrow and Jeni Kate Scott from the cheerleading program plus Maddie Tucker of the softball team, take center stage at halftime.
The Tigers tangle with Holmes in their homecoming affair for just the fifth time in program history. Mississippi Delta Community College is the most common homecoming opponent for Northeast with 11 appearances.
Northeast and the Bulldogs are actually deadlocked at 2-2 in these matchups. The Tigers won the most recent such contest by a score of 20-13 on the aforementioned date in 2005.
"We have to out hustle and out play them in every phase of the game. It's as simple as that," said Northeast head coach Greg Davis. "We've got to play disciplined football all the way around. The kids know what's at stake."
Holmes (0-3, 0-0) has arguably played one of the strongest schedules in the country with losses to top 15 ranked opponents Copiah-Lincoln Community College, Jones College and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.
The Bulldogs continue to run an option-based offense. Twelve different Holmes athletes have registered at least one carry with quarterback Kyren Batey accounting for a team-best 145 yards.
Holmes has only completed six passes in 23 attempts through three outings. Devlin Kirklin tops the Bulldogs defensively with 21 tackles, one sack, one pass break up and a forced fumble.
Northeast (2-1, 1-0) posted a season-high 352 yards during its week three victory at Coahoma Community College. Jack Mangel of Athens, Ga., ranks among the top five signal callers in the Magnolia State with a completion percentage of 62.
Northwest Rankin High School alumni Carson Banks and Montel Gladney both have more than 10 catches to lead the Tigers' wideouts. Jamarcus Smith of Saltillo and Macon's Terry Joiner have 25 and 22 tackles, respectively, to pace the defensive effort.