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Clinton Christian Warriors looking for a good season

Special to The Clinton Courier The CCA Warriors football team is pictured at a spring scrimmage. The Warriors open their season on August 18.

Special to The Clinton Courier
The CCA Warriors football team is pictured at a spring scrimmage. The Warriors open their season on August 18.

There is a lot a of optimism on Northside Drive in Clinton heading into the 2023 football season, with the recent hiring of new head football coach Teddy Dyess.

Dyess spent thirty years coaching in the Mississippi public schools, MHSAA, and had a stellar record, including three state championships.

The new head coach feels good about his roster with the players coming back off of last year’s 6-5 Warrior squad and the new transfers that joined CCA this summer.

The Warriors are set to open up the season on August 18 at defending Class 4A state champion Greenville St. Joe. The first home game at Clinton will be against Class 6 A Madison St. Joe on August 25.

One of the goals for Dyess this fall is to find players talented enough to only play on one side of the ball and not have to play both ways. But the Warriors are not quite to that level yet.

“We would really prefer that our players not have to be on the field for 120 snaps,” said Dyess. “We will have to play a few guys both ways to start the season.”

According to Dyess, so far, the defense is ahead of the offense.

“Normally, your defense is going to be ahead of the offense early in the practices, because you just line up and play on defense; but, on offense, it is more about timing and learning the system.”

“We feel that our team strengths will be our defense and our offensive line. We feel real good about all three levels of our defense, defensive line, linebackers and the defensive secondary.”
Expected to start on the defensive line will be senior Isaiah Bennett, 5’ 10” and 210 pounds; senior Cooper Orman, 6’4” and 265 pounds; junior Josiah Clemons, 6’ 7” and 325 pounds; and sophomore Bo Mayor at nose guard. Senior Nico Bowens will alternate between linebacker and nose guard.

Starters at linebacker will be seniors Austin Pitts, Josh Coakley and Nic Watson. Also working at linebacker is sophomore Jacob Zeith.

At defensive corner back will be senior Carter Wilson and junior Brian Boone. At free safety will be junior Jeremy Robinson.

On the offensive line will be sophomore center J.T.Knight 6’ 1”, 220 pounds. At the guards are seniors Cooper Orman and Timothy Thoman. The tackles are both juniors, Josiah Clemons and Zion Hudson. Senior Joshua Johnson is expected to be in the offensive line mix a little latter in the season, after a shoulder injury has time to heal.

Vying for a start at wide receiver will be senior Say Stamps and juniors Brian Boone, Jamueris Robinson and Conner Purvis. Also working at wide receiver will be sophomores Robbie Buckley and Jequeris Collins and freshman Caiden Boyd.

“We have eight or nine guys that we feel can come in at wide receiver and play at us,” said Dyess.

Carter Wilson, a senior, is expected to get a lot of carries at running back. Also in the backfield mix will be senior Nico Bowens and freshman Kyle Crandell.

Cooper Loftin, a 6’ 4” 205-pound junior, will be the quarterback. Loftin saw a lot of playing time in 2021 as a freshman.

On special teams, freshman Desmond Mason will handle kicking and punting. Nathan Baird will be the holder, and Orman will be the deep snapper.

Dyess is hoping the Warriors can get off to a fast start. District 2-4A games include St. Aloysius at Vicksburg, Winston Academy at home, Central Hinds Academy at Raymond, and rival Tri County Academy at home.

Under the MAIS playoff qualification rules, all games, whether district or non-district games, count as points towards the playoffs.

A Class 6A win over Madison St. Joe would count for more points.

“We are just in a tough district,” says Dyess. “We are ranked fourth in the state in Class 4A, and the other three teams ahead of us are in our district. But we do feel that none of the teams on our schedule have better players than we do.”

“The key to us having a good year is to stay healthy and avoid injuries. We are a small school. We do not have a lot of depth on the offensive line or at linebacker, so hopefully we will not have any injuries at those positions,” said Dyess.

Two of the senior leaders that Dyess is counting on are defensive lineman Isaiah Bennett and wide receiver/ linebacker Say Stamps.

“Coach Dyess brought a lot of energy into our program when he came here last spring and has made a big impact on our team,” said Bennett. “We feel a lot more confident and that we have a chance to have a great season this year.”

Stamps agreed.

“Our coach has changed up our schemes to fit our talent on both sides of the ball. That, I feel, has given us more confidence. If we can play good in those first couple of games, I feel it will give us a lot more confidence to have a real good season.”


Young Clinton Arrow football team looking ahead

By Danny C. Davis

Defensive and offensive linemen battle in drills in the hot August heat in practice

Defensive and offensive linemen battle in drills in the hot August heat in practice

Clinton Arrow head football coach and now athletic director Judd Boswell will begin coaching his twelfth year on Arrow Drive this year. He has the longest tenure of any head coach in Region 2-7A and of any coaches in Class 6A in Mississippi, except for Warren Central’s Josh Morgan, who is starting his thirteenth year at Vicksburg.

Boswell only trails former Arrow head coaches Roy Burkett (1956-1970) and James Sloan (1972-1978 and 1985-1990) as the longest tenure as a coach of the Arrows in their 102-year football history.

Clinton finished 7-5 a year ago. The Arrows started the season unranked and then knocked off Top 3-ranked Class 6 A powers Madison Central and Starkville and stayed in the Top 10 for the later part of the 2022 campaign.

CHS finished second behind top-ranked Tupelo in the Region 2-6A, the strongest region of all MHSAA classifications, and earned a home playoff spot.

After defeating Desoto Central 41-14, the Arrows fell in the Class 6A North semifinals to eventual Class 6A state champion Starkville.

This year, the Arrows have moved to the new MHSAA Class 7A and again are in the arguably toughest region of all classifications, Region 2-7A.

And they again face the toughest schedule statewide.

In region play, Clinton will have to face preseason #1-ranked Tupelo, #2-ranked and defending state champion Starkville, Top 10-ranked Madison Central and much-improved Germantown in Region 2-7A.

So, just getting to the playoffs will be very tough, once again.

Add in the non-region schedule, which includes #3-ranked and runner-up state champion Brandon on the road. The Arrows open the season at old-time rival Warren Central, who was 11-2 a year ago, and then face this year’s tough Class 6A opponents South Panola and Grenada.

So, things get no easier this year for the Arrows, with a brutal schedule.

Clinton lost nine starters on offense and seven on defense from last year and start the season unranked once again.

“We are just very young this year and inexperienced,” said Boswell. “But we will be baptized by fire early with the schedule we play.”

“But these kids we have this year are just super awesome and fun to be around,” he said. “They have been a blessing so far as far as work ethic and attitude.”

Strengths of the team are the defensive secondary, according to Boswell.

“They have a chance to be real good in the secondary with the guys we have coming back. They are probably more receptive to coaching than we have had in a long time. Being coachable and understanding your assignment is a big part of the battle,” said Boswell. “Having Veshone Malone and Blue Coleman returning is big. Also, Chase Harper has looked good, and having Brady Torrence back this year is big. Latravious Wheeler has looked good in the secondary, too.”

Areas of concern starting the season are the offensive line.

“Our offensive line lost some really good players,” said Boswell. “You have to be really good up front at this level to be successful. We‘ve got a few guys back, and it is going to take awhile to get some experience on the offensive line for us.”

“We are strong on the defensive line with a lot of good players back, like Jonathan Flowers and T. J. Spann and other guys that played a lot.”

“I think we will be okay at linebacker, with Tyler Railly and Lucian Price. Both those guys played last year, and we are looking forward to their playing this year. Then we have young guys like Jaiden Jefferson, who played as a ninth grader, and Robsen Neblett, who is a sophomore.”

Boswell also feels very good about the wide receivers, backfield and quarterback positions.

“We have more depth with our receiving core with a lot of talented kids. This will be Jordan Bracey’s first time to play receiver, and he is really good. All of those guys are talented; they just need experience.”

“Sam Semi has come in as a quarterback and really throws it well and is a threat running the ball, too. He is going to be a more of a dual threat guy than what people are looking for. Josef Walker is going to be good and can learn from Sam when we bring him back from injury in October,” said Boswell.

“We looking forward to Jakobe Williams in the backfield,” he continued. “He just needs some touches to get experience, and Mathew Magee is going to be good running the ball for us, too.”

“At tight end, we are very excited about Phillip Burchfield. He had a very good spring and summer. He is a big presence out there and can also play wide receiver for us.”

“We feel real good about special teams having Hayden Wolfe and Joseph Peabody back, and we should be solid on our kicking game this year.”

“This year is going to be hard and a grind, but I think it is going to be fun.”

“We are going to have to play a lot of guys early,” said Boswell. “It is going to be very hot at 5:30 p.m. on August 25 at Vicksburg.”

“We just need to get a strong start against tough non-region opponents and keep everybody healthy and build for the month of October for region games.”

“You work all year to get to November and the playoffs. It is not always based on how well you do in August and September. But, at the end of the day, those months get you prepared for October and November.”

Clinton opens up on the road at Vicksburg’s City Park Stadium at 5:30 p.m. on August 25 against Warren Central. It will be the Arrows’ first appearance in the Red Carpet Bowl, which features a double header with Clinton and Warren Central playing first, followed by Vicksburg and Holmes County at 8 p.m. Tickets are available online for $10 and are valid for both games. They can be purchased at

The Arrows’ first home game will be against Northwest Rankin on September 1 at 7 p.m. at Arrow Field.


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