Challenges loom at Sharkey

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 2, 2008

ROLLING FORK — No team in Mississippi struggled more in 2007 than the Confederates of Sharkey-Issaquena Academy.

The final numbers read 0-11, and only four touchdowns scored.

Second-year coach Neil Turner was on hand for the 2007 disaster. He’s back this season with more numbers and a more experienced club that grew despite the lopsided losses.

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“We didn’t win a game and we scored only four touchdowns all year. Two of them came in the first game and the last one came on the final play of the season. At least everyone got to play,” Turner deadpanned.

That wasn’t hard considering SIA had just 13 players to start practice and they lost one of them right before the season started.

“Had the MPSA not allowed us to play our freshmen, we would have had to forfeit half of our games,” Turner said. “Those ninth-graders got a great deal of experience. Because of that, as sophomores, they are not your typical inexperienced sophomores.”

SIA had 18 varsity players report for fall drills. Only three of those are seniors and seven are sophomores who played as freshmen last year.

Lineman Jonathan Kent is one of the cubs who got thrown into the wolves’ den last year.

“Last year we didn’t have too many folks. I expect we will be a lot better team this year,” Kent said.

Sophomore Caleb Joiner will run the team at quarterback.