HomeNewsWe’re picking games, but caring for Crockett first

We’re picking games, but caring for Crockett first

The first time I wrote this column, I had a nice series of words strung together that discussed how much we could trust preseason prognostications and scrimmage patterns by certain teams.

But then when it came time to make the picks, I got to the North Side-Crockett County game, and asked myself who cares?

I’m sure when the boys from Crockett County take the field on Friday to face North Side they will want to win, but it won’t be as big a deal for them to win as it would’ve been if they hadn’t just suffered the loss of a classmate and friend.

Reese Barker is the 16-year-old daughter of Cavaliers assistant coach David Barker. She played softball, and her father is the coach of that team. She was also one of the managers for the football team.

The players probably want to play well to honor Reese’s memory. They probably also want to play well for Coach Barker, who’s been there nearly every year since head coach Kevin Ward took over in 2011.

So the players want to win. The fans would like to see a win.

They even want to enjoy the first official game in the renovated stadium with turf and a nice video board.

But at the end of the night when the game clock gets to 0:00 in the fourth quarter, if the Cavaliers were to lose 63-0 to the Indians, hopefully no one in town cares because they’re thinking about how all of Reese’s loved ones will carry on without her.

So for that reasoning, we’re not picking that game this week. We’re stopping to say a prayer for everyone affected by the tragedy.

But there are five other games involving Madison County teams this week.

Here are those picks:

Liberty 28, Jackson Central-Merry 21: Liberty couldn’t score last year. But they have a new offensive coordinator this year that is apparently connecting with the kids. JCM is in year 3 of playing with this group of athletes, but they had to almost start from scratch with some of the inexperienced kids on the team. It may take a full quarter – maybe two – for Liberty to remember how to get the ball in the end zone. But once they do, it will be hard for the Cougars to stop them.

Peabody 42, University School of Jackson 20: The Bruins are young, small and inexperienced. And Peabody is a solid program that competes at a statewide level every year. The Bruins’ coaching staff is more concerned with the region games when they discuss wanting to see them compete, and this week’s game will be a positive in that they will see how much they need to improve their game to compete with the better teams on their schedule.

Northpoint Christian 34, Jackson Christian 28: The Eagles won this game last year when their defense held the opponent to 17 points. Northpoint returns a good amount of experience and talent, enough to plan to compete for the Division II-AA region championship, and they’ll try to set the tone for the year with a road win over a team that beat them at home last year.

South Side 20, Ripley 14: Ripley is a dangerous team to start the season with because they’re typically a sneaky team with speed that can usually win one or two games each year it’s not supposed to. What South Side has going for it is head coach Lester Narcisse has been the defensive coordinator at Covington for the past three seasons and has beaten Ripley four times in those three years by a combined score of 154-41. The one close game was in the regular season in 2021, 30-20. They came back in the playoffs and won 35-0. That’s not to say a win for Narcisse’s team this week is automatic, but he’s familiar with putting together a defensive plan for them.

Chester County 32, Trinity Christian 24: TCA is good enough to beat Chester County. This pick is about nothing more than the Eagles having a depth advantage and a similar situation to USJ needing to learn some tough lessons early in the season that could benefit the team later in the season.

Brandon Shields is the managing editor of The Jackson Post. Contact him at brandon@jacksonpost.news. Follow him on Twitter @JSEditorBrandon or Instagram @Editorbrandon.

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