Tallulah Academy jumps into football season vs. Tensas Academy

Published 3:42 pm Thursday, August 10, 2023

Most of the football teams in the Mid-South Association of Independent Schools will be on the field Friday night to fine-tune their lineups and schemes in preseason jamborees.

Tallulah Academy is not among them. The Trojans are playing for real.

Tallulah will host Tensas Academy Friday at 7 p.m. It’s one of a dozen MAIS “Week Zero” games that kick off the 2023 season a week before the rest of the association’s teams.

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Tallulah Academy coach Bart Wood said he’s not a fan. The early opener has led to a truncated preseason schedule and less time to work out the kinks as he replaces most of his starting lineup.

“It changed everything. I don’t like it at all,” Wood said. “We had a scrimmage (last) Friday and then you usually go to a jamboree and then a game. I have a whole bunch of changes I’m putting in (Monday) and I don’t know if they’re going to work. It changes everything.”

Tallulah Academy went to Monroe last Friday for a jamboree against Briarfield, River Oaks, Franklin Academy and Union Christian. No scores were kept as the teams rotated playing series against each other, but Wood said he was impressed with his offense.

Senior Hayes Hopkins is taking over at quarterback for three-year starter Dee Morgan, and there are five other players who are either first-time starters, in their first year with the program, or switching positions.

Tallulah is coming off a season in which it went 10-2 and reached the MAIS Class 2A championship game for the second time in three seasons, and has expectations of contending again this year despite its roster turnover.

“It was opposite of what I thought. Going into it, I thought our defense would be ready and our offense would be trailing behind and it was the opposite. But I’ve got some personnel stuff I can change,” Wood said.

Wood added that his concerns about playing in Week Zero have more to do with the X’s and the O’s, instead of being in shape or dealing with game time temperatures in the 90s.

“I don’t think conditioning is any issue at all. Yeah, it’s going to be hot as all Hades, but I think it’s more of scheme stuff,” Wood said. “Especially with us, we’ve lost 10 seniors. It’s just trying to figure who needs to be where.”

MAIS Week Zero Games
All games at 7 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 10
Parklane Academy at Madison-Ridgeland Academy
Friday, Aug. 11
Tensas Academy at Tallulah Academy
Porter’s Chapel at River Oaks
Franklin Academy at Briarfield
Riverdale at Hillcrest Christian
Newton Academy at SBA
Winona Christian at Benton Academy
Greenville-St. Joe at Washington School
Bowling Green at Adams County Christian School
Bayou Academy at Jackson Academy
Hartfield Academy at Heritage Academy
Lamar Academy at Starkville Academy

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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