ELLISTOWN, Miss. (WTVA) - August 4 marked the first day MHSAA affiliated high schools could practice football in full pads.
Many schools opted for a 'midnight madness' practice on Saturday. Teams open up practice at the stroke of midnight. It's a fun way to usher in the start of fully padded practices, and garners a lot of community involvement.
East Union High School was one of the area schools that hosted a 'midnight madness' practice on Saturday.
Kevin Walton is entering his fourth season as East Union head football coach.
The Urchins have around 40 players on their roster, and they're very young. East Union has just four seniors, including running back Joel Wilkinson. Wilkinson is closing in on 5,000 rushing yards in his high school career.
Kevin Walton has changed the offense for 2018. The Urchins will run a split-back veer, made famous by the University of Houston in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s.
"They've been doing a good job picking up on it," said Walton. It consists of four or five plays as the bulk of what you run, just trying to make the defense be wrong."
East Union opens the season at Falkner on August 17.
FULTON, Miss. - Clint Hoots enters his fourth season as head coach at Itawamba AHS.
The Indians are hoping to build off a 10-3 season in 2017. IAHS fell to Greenwood in the second round of the class 4A playoff.
The good news for Itawamba AHS is that a good chunk of the 2017 squad is returning. That includes senior quarterback Jaxon Orr, junior running back Ike Chandler, and the entire offensive line.
"Well, any time you've got a veteran group on the offensive side of the ball, especially, it helps out," said head coach Clint Hoots. "That's been one thing we've been excited for, and we've been able to expand on some things, having those guys, and having that leadership back."