BOONEVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) -- We got a little teaser last Friday but this Friday, public high school football explodes back onto the scene with games all around our viewing area. Our game of the week for the debut of the 2020 Friday Night Fever is Booneville hosting Ripley.
Booneville is coming off a strong regular season in 2019 but a disappointing first round exit. They're our first stop in this edition of the scouting report.
"We're definitely motivated, just go out there, work hard in practice and go put it out on the field," Senior quarterback John Daniel Deaton said.
Deaton is one of 18 return seniors for the Booneville Blue Devils. He's entering his third season as the starting quarterback for the Blue Devils. That kind of senior leadership is a comfort for head coach Mike Mattox. Bringing back that much experience from a team that, before their 42-14 loss to North Panola in the playoffs, only lost two games by a total of two points.
"The experience is there and we always expect a lot out of our seniors leadership-wise," Mattox said. "And to me you only go as far as your senior leadership."
On offense, Booneville returns starters at nearly every position, including the entire offensive line. They're ready to finally hit the field for their senior years.
"We have good chemistry together anyway, we work well together, and we've done it, and we know what to do," Senior lineman Ben Mauney said.
For Deaton, it's a confident booster knowing he's surrounded by guys he's grown up with.
"I've been with these guys since 7th grade," Deaton said. "We know each other well and we work together well."
First up are the Ripley Tigers. A team coming off a down year, but have a new coach in place. A coach that won a state title in Calhoun City.
"We've competed with him a long time, power-lifting, football, everything, he does a great job," Mattox said. "Ripley is going to be typical Ripley, big, physical, and fast. They'll have great athletes, so we'll have to be at the top of our game to have a shot at it."
Thursday night we visit with the new look Ripley Tigers. Booneville and Ripley kick-off on Friday at 7.