August 13, 2006
Camilla -- The Mitchell-Baker football team has beaten its biggest rival each of the last three seasons, with the Eagles topping Pelham by an average score of 24-3.
But Mitchell-Baker will not be able to beat the Hornets this year.
Baker has gone off with the butcher and the candlestick maker, and Mitchell-Baker is now Mitchell County.
The Eagles have a new head coach this year, and are hoping they have all the ingredients for a big improvement from last season.
The Mitchell County players say they like what they've been hearing from the new coaching staff.
Senior Corey Silas says, "They're somebody we can look to. They've been there, we're trying to get there, so we can learn from what they did and what they're teaching us.
The new coach David Ward says,"What's really good is the kids enjoy to play and they're learning the game. If they learn, I'll put them somewhere. If they don't learn the game, well I can't help you."
The Eagles say Coach Ward's practices are anything but laid-back.
"He's a very good coach," says senior Svante Wright. "He's hyperactive. Bouncing around and knows a lot of things."
Senior Curtis Morgan adds, "I think he's very active, knows what he's doing, and is very energetic. I think he's going to be a good coach for us."
Ward has coached at the high school and college level, winning a state championship in Louisiana.
The new coach says he's looking to develop the Eagles talent.
"I'm trying to get up numbers where I can put out 35 guys who know their assignments, so even if there's a drop-off, there's not much of a drop-off."
And after last years 1-9 finish, the players say they're happy to be back on the field.
Wright says, "It feels good, boy. After a long, bad season like last year, it feels good to get back on the field."
Silas adds "After a season like last year, all we can do is get better. We have a lot of young guys coming back, so the sky's the limit."
Mitchell County opens the season on the road at rival Pelham.