No. 1 Starkville Yellowjackets
Head Coach: Chris Jones
2017 Record: 13-3 (Class 6A Runner-up)
Starters Returning: Offense: 5 Defense: 7
Players to Watch: QB Luke Altmyer; RB Rodrigues Clark; RB K.J. Lawrence; WR Malik Brown; WR Rufus Harvey; DE Jalil Clemons; LB Zach Edwards; DL Jaylan Ware; DB Alexis Stallings; DB Myles Stone.
Coach Speak: “We’re trying to chase greatness around here and last season gave us some motivation. Finish the job. We got both quarterbacks back is like a point guard mentality. Moving Malik Brown to wide out and having Luek Altmyer at quarterback will make us more explosive, do more things on offense and be more balance. Defensively we got the playmakers and these kids love to make plays. Class 6A North is no cake walk especially in our region, so we better be ready every week.”
Outlook: After coming up short in the 6A state championship game last year the motto during the offseason for Starkville is finish the job. Well the Yellowjackets are the frontrunners to get back to the state title game and have the playmakers to do it. Luke Altmyer will be the full-time starter at quarterback after tossing for 478 yards with seven touchdowns in limited action last year. Last year’s starting quarterback Malik Brown will be moving to wide receiver. Running back Rodrigues Clark will anchor a potent rushing attack after tallying up 1,705 yards with 17 touchdowns last season. Rufus Harvey (517 yards receiving, seven touchdowns) will be the top target at wide out. Defensive end Jalil Clemons along with linebacker Zach Edwards (125 tackles in 2017) will anchor a veteran front seven defensively. Clemons and Edwards each had 11 sacks last season. Alexis Stallings and Myles Stone return at defensive back and will be leaders in the secondary.
Season Opener: Aug. 17 vs. Noxubee County