The Mississippi High School Athletic Association has strict rules for when teams can begin practice and Houston will play the game as it is meant to be played with their first drills in full pads this weekend.
“We’ve done this for a couple of years now and the community really seems to like it,” said Houston football coach William Cook. “I think the team hypes it, too, and looks forward to it. I know it’s usually cooler and both players and coaches like cooler weather in the fall.”
The Hilltoppers started physical drills Monday with units running through conditioning exercises and getting a start on what will be the 2014 football season.
“We will get two practices in shells and then put on the full pads Friday night,” said Cook. “It’s football and putting on the pads means something.”
Cook said the Hilltoppers will follow it up next weekend with a Friday scrimmage against Bessemer (Ala.) Academy at West Lowndes High School for two quarters of friendly competition.
“That scrimmage will give the guys a chance to push on someone in a different uniform,” said Cook. “We use it to try a few things and get a last look at different people.”
Cooks said the scrimmage will be more for coaches to make last minute evaluations rather than to let the Hilltoppers shine on the scoreboard.
Houston heads to Pontotoc for a 7 p.m. season opener on Aug. 22. The Hilltoppers play their first home game when Calhoun City comes calling on Aug. 29.
The Hilltoppers will then face off against cross county rival Okolona in the Battle of the Creek Sept. 9. That game will also be played in Houston.
District competition starts Oct. 3 at Caledonia.
Houston Football 2014
Aug. 9 – Midnight Madness at Topper Field in Houston.
Aug. 19 – Scrimmage with Bessemer Academy, at West Lowndes.
Aug. 22 – Houston at Pontotoc.
Aug. 29 – Calhoun City at Houston.
Sept. 5 – Okolona at Houston.
Sept. 12 – Houston at East Webster.
Sept. 19 – Choctaw County at Houston.
Sept. 26 – Houston at Eupora.
Oct. 3 – Houston at Caledonia*
Oct. 10 – Kosciusko at Houston*
Oct. 17 – Leake Central at Houston*
Oct. 24 – West Lauderdale at Houston*
Oct. 31 – Houston at Noxubee County*
* denotes district game