Flashes trying to rally after 0-2 start

Published 1:00 pm Thursday, August 31, 2023

Week 2 might seem a little early for a football team to have to do some soul-searching, but after two blowout losses the St. Aloysius Flashes are there.

“(Sunday) night I had a heart-to-heart with our team, and then (Monday) at 6:30 in the morning at film review again we had another heart-to-heart to make sure that it’s going to take everybody,” St. Al coach Bubba Nettles said. “They all assured me that they’re ready to roll, so we’ll see.”

The first test of the Flashes’ renewed commitment comes Friday, when East Rankin Academy vists Farrell Stadium (0-2). It’s a chance to get right in the wake of an ugly loss to archrival Cathedral in which nothing went right.

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Injuries and illness decimated the roster leading up to the game, to the point Nettles only had 12 players available at one practice last week. Cathedral then took advantage of several early mistakes to build a 38-0 lead and it was never much of a contest.

“It was a strange week of practice. Everything that manifested during the week of practice manifested right off the bat first thing Friday night. We self-imploded from there,” Nettles said. “It was a disaster, it was embarrassing, and it was all on me. I can assure you I will do everything in my power to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.”

Facing East Rankin appears to be a chance to do just that. The Patriots are also 0-2 and the program has not had a winning record since 2012. It has won a total of nine games the past five seasons.

Facing each other is the eye in an early-season storm for both teams. Each has a difficult schedule to navigate and will certainly look at this one as a chance to build positive momentum.

St. Al faces Class 4A power Tri-County next, to kick off a run of three district games in four weeks. With the healthy roster numbering in the low 20s, Nettles said, survival might be as important as winning.

“Always the expectation is to win a football game. But these first four or five weeks opening up was a pretty tough stretch and the kids knew that going in,” Nettles said. “The hard work is there. I just don’t think they were fully understanding how bad it was going to be. These first two weeks set them back on their heels a little bit, but I think (Sunday) night we got our feet back underneath us.”

All games start at 7 p.m.
East Rankin at St. Aloysius (Radio: 101.3 FM)
Warren Central at Pearl (Radio: 105.5 FM)
Forest Hill at Vicksburg (Radio: 107.7 FM)
Riverdale at Porter’s Chapel (Radio; 104.5 FM)
Tallulah Academy at Briarfield
Deer Creek at Sharkey-Issaquena
Central Hinds at Amite School Center
Jim Hill at Port Gibson

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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