After a rough start, Flashes embrace the fun of homecoming week

Published 1:00 pm Wednesday, September 13, 2023

A lot of coaches worry about the distractions that accompany homecoming week activies bring.

St. Aloysius’ Bubba Nettles says bring them on.

The Flashes are 0-4 heading into Friday’s homecoming game against Clinton Christian (2-2). Anything that can make some positive memories and boost morale, Nettles said, is welcome.

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“I’m aware that these kids will never get to relive this. I want them to participate in the dress up days and be involved in everything,” Nettles said. “I’m not one of those coaches who makes them sit down and don’t do dumb things at the pep rally. I want the kids to enjoy their high school football career. They can do whatever they want during the day, enjoy it, have fun, make memories, but when it’s time to come to football practice let’s get serious. These kids are perfect at that. They do that wonderfully.”

St. Al’s early-season struggles have stemmed from a thin roster — only about 22 players are playing with the varsity — and a difficult schedule. Their opponents so far have included three MAIS Class 5A opponents and perennial Class 4A power Tri-County.

“There’s not a 4A school or below that has seen the level of football these kids have seen the last two years,” Nettles said.

Although they’ve taken their lumps, playing such a tough schedule has created an amazing opportunity for the Flashes.

Thanks to how the MAIS power points system works, they are currently ranked 11th out of 15 Class 4A teams. That means if the season ended this week, they would qualify for the 12-team postseason.

The power points formula also has a strength of schedule component that rewards teams for facing top opponents. If the Flashes can pick up a few wins in the second half of the season, there’s a good chance they’ll make the playoffs.

“If the playoffs were next Friday we would be a 10- or 11-seed because of all the power points we’ve gotten,” Nettles said. “There’s some opportunities for us to make some noise on the back end of this schedule, where if we can take care of business like we’re supposed to, may catapult us into a top-10 seed in the playoffs.”

Ever the optimist, Nettles is also looking at his small roster as a chance to build for the future. There are only four seniors on the team, and several have already missed time because of various injuries. At one point in last week’s 40-6 loss to Tri-County, there was not a senior on the field.

“Everybody on the roster last week got on the field,” Nettles said. “It was an unfortunate night, but an opportunity for some kids to get some reps. Which was good, considering.”

All games start at 7 p.m.
Clinton Christian at St. Aloysius (Radio: 101.3 FM)
Brandon at Warren Central (Radio: 105.5 FM)
Vicksburg at Terry (Radio: 107.7 FM)
Park Place at Porter’s Chapel (Radio: 104.5 FM)
Tallulah Academy at Wilkinson County Christian
Humphreys Academy at Sharkey-Issaquena
Canton Academy at Central Hinds
Port Gibson at Raymond
Lafayette Renaissance Charter at Madison Parish

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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