The Kemper County football team goes through agility drills during a recent workout at the Wildcats’ practice field. The Wildcats open the 2017 season Friday at 6 p.m. when they play Houston in the Mississippi State jamboree in Starkville.

Photo by Steve Swogetinsky
The Kemper County football team goes through agility drills during a recent workout at the Wildcats’ practice field. The Wildcats open the 2017 season Friday at 6 p.m. when they play Houston in the Mississippi State jamboree in Starkville. Photo by Steve Swogetinsky
By Steve Swogetinsky

Kemper County Messenger



Everyone likes to win.

But victory on the scoreboard won’t be the No. 1 goal of the Kemper County Wildcat football team Friday night when they play in the Mississippi State jamboree.

The Wildcats will take on Houston in a jamboree game at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville. Starting time is 6 p.m.

The Wildcats spent some long practice hours under the sun last week. Rain cooled things down Monday but first year KCHS head coach Joshua Pulphus said that work continues.

“We are like the postman,” Pulphus said. “Rain, sleet or snow, we have to be ready to play in any conditions. We practiced in the rain. We have had some good workouts and we are excited about the jamboree.”

Maybe they won’t have to worry about sleet or snow, but Pulphus is interested in seeing how his team responds in their first game-like action of the season. Jamboree games are more like dress rehearsals. They last two quarters and do not count on a team’s record.

 “We have been working hard since the start of practice and we are ready to hit on someone else besides each other,” Pulphus said. “We are going to be young on offense this year and we are looking to see how they respond. Houston is going to be one of the stronger teams in the North 3A and they will be a tough test for us.”

Pulphus said going into to fall practice that the Kemper County defense was going to be the strong point of the team in the early going. The Wildcats have seven starters back on the defense, but Pulphus added that developing depth to have in reserve is important.

“We will be trying to get some of our younger, less experienced guys in during the jamboree to see how they do,” Pulphus said. “It’s going to be a long football season. Right now, we are in good shape, injury wise. But you have to have guys ready to step in. We hope to see where we are in this area on Friday.

“We are going to be patient and develop the team to be ready to go when the region games come up. Those are the games that count.”

The Wildcats are coming off a 15-1 season that saw them win the school’s first state championship in football. Ironically, they are playing the jamboree at the same site where they won the state championship last December.