POPLARVILLE – The Pearl River Community College football team completed its first week of preseason practice Tuesday night with a spirited session of drills under the lights.
The Wildcats are hard at work preparing for the 2015 season opener at 7 p.m. Aug. 27 at Coahoma.
“We looked pretty good; we’re just beat up a little bit,” said third-year coach William Jones. “Guys have been running around all summer with shorts on, then they get in pads and helmets, start getting after it. So you’re going to have some bumps and bruises.”
PRCC has approximately 80 players in camp. By rule, the Wildcats must cut their roster to 55 players and10 redshirts by Aug. 26.
The biggest question facing Pearl River as it approaches the season is who will take the snaps at quarterback.
Currently, PRCC has three quarterbacks, all newcomers, battling for the starting spot, and Jones said the competition has been keen.
“All three guys are really doing an outstanding job executing the offense,” Jones said. “One of them may have a better day than the others from one day to the next, but all three of them are doing what we ask them to do.”
The three players in the spotlight at quarterback are Mack Lowrie, a transfer from Boston College, Matt Williams, a freshman from Smyrna, Tenn., and Marshall Kranz, a freshman from Richland who played for Florence High last fall.
“It’s a very competitive race so far,” Jones said. “Matt was here a little earlier than Mack, so he may have a little more of an advantage. But you can’t hide talent. The best guy’s always going to show up when you get into pressure situations.”
Other than the usual aches and pains, Jones said the Wildcats have been free of any serious injuries so far in preseason camp.
“We have a few sprains and twists, and we had a guy (Monday) with a (dislocated) kneecap, but he’s walking around OK,” Jones said. “He should be out a week or so, but it looked worse than it was initially. But nothing major right now.”
Jones said the Wildcats reported to camp in good shape after their summer workout program, and they are ready to get the program back near the top among the state’s junior colleges.
“We feel good about where we are,” Jones said. “Our summer preparation has paid off and everybody is in good condition. We’re executing very well. At times, things don’t always look perfect, but I think we’re doing a great job of executing our offense and defense.”