West Point football to play critical swing games

Collin Brister
Staff Writer

West Point will play a tough schedule next year, featuring both familiar foes and new challenges. Three potentially critical games in the season will see the Green Wave take on the Starkville Yellow Jackets, the Lafayette Commodores and the Gators of Lake Cormorant.
West Point has lost two consecutive games to Starkville, and the Wave will be looking to end that losing streak when they play the Yellow Jackets at home early in the season.
The game will be huge for both teams due to the rivalry it represents. The schools are located less than 30 miles apart, and Starkville vs. West Point has turned into one of the bigger rivalries in the state.
West Point wasn’t able to get anything going on offense against Starkville last season, which proved to be its demise. Starkville wound up being the 1 in West Point’s 14-1 state championship season.
The Yellow Jackets will have a good team, but this will be the team’s first year under new head coach Chris Jones, as former head coach Ricky Woods left for South Panola at the end of last season. Starkville will also be without the services of standout linebacker Willie Gay,
Next up, the Wave will open up district play in October against Lafayette. This game will have major implications for whichever team winds up winning the district title.
The Green Wave should be used to traveling to Lafayette County, as they drummed up quite a rivalry the last few years with the Oxford Chargers.
Lafayette won the 4A state title last year by beating up opponents on the defensive side of the ball, a trend that will likely carry over to this season.
The Commodores make it difficult for opponents to score, and their ability to move the football methodically on offense helps them with game management and field position.
As for Lake Cormorant, the Gators were the second best team in the district last year, and may have been the second best team in the state.
Lake Cormorant battled West Point twice last season, and the team’s ability to throw the football down the field consistently helped them in critical situations.
Lake Cormorant will have several returning starters for the 2017 season, and the team will likely have its sights set on a return to the north half championship game.
Luckily for the Green Wave, the Gators will be coming to West Point.