Press Box with Jake – Bird’s Eye View into Region 3-7A as Spring Practice Concludes

May 13, 2024 – BRANDON MS – By Jake Wimberly

Happy Monday and off we go into another week! Jake Wimberly here and moving forward, I’ll be visiting with you here on this column to discuss and keep you informed on a variety of sports topics, and a lot around Brandon sports and athletics. This column will also provide information on SEC and national college football, the NFL and more.

Thanks to Brandon042 for having me on this platform, as we know it doesn’t get much better than one town, one team and one dream here in Brandon!

Speaking of Brandon, before we dive off into some spring football – congrats to the Brandon Baseball team for punching a ticket to the state championships at Trustmark Park!  What a feat for this club to get over the hump and head to the championship.

More on this as we move along and all state championships will be live on radio via ESPN 105.9 the Zone.

Region 3-7A Post Spring Preview:

Spring football practice around the state is wrapping up and graduations are about to be in full swing, and for football that means it’s time to hit the summer grind of 7 on 7, workouts and more, because believe it or not, we are just three months away from the 2024 high school football season.

Your Brandon Bulldogs play an exhibition against Neshoba Central this Tuesday, May 14 2024 at Bulldog Stadium (in Brandon MS). We’ll have a recap here on that spring game, soon after

The 2023 football season for the Brandon Bulldogs ended with another Region Championship and a third straight trip to South State, but the Dogs lost a classic to Oak Grove and finished the year 10-3, capping the greatest run for a senior class in school history.

The 2024 season will have its own unique story lines and we look forward to bringing those to you on a variety of platforms, via Brandon Bulldog Athletics.

Let’s take a peak around the region and get you caught up on the toughest region in the state of Mississippi.

Region 4-7A Post Spring Analysis: 

Brandon Bulldogs:

2023 Record: 10-3, first in the region

What’s to like?

Playmakers – this team will have a ton of em. Yes, this club must replace Landon Varnes, Nate Blount and some others, but this team is loaded with playmakers named Phillips Jr., Ashley, Robinson, McQueen, Norwood and many more.

This team will be extremely talented front end to back, and likely the preseason favorite in 7A in just about every publication this summer.

Summer goals to accomplish:

Continuity – sure this team needs to jell along the offensive and defensive fronts – that’s football, but every team is different and this team has to create their own identity.

Post Spring Region Projections: 1st place

Oak Grove Warriors:

2023 Record: 12-1 and State Champions

What’s to like?

The program – 2023 was arguably the most talented Oak Grove team in recent memory and the state championship showed it.

This team however lost a ton of key players at key positions, but you have to like the program and stability built down in the Pine Belt. This staff is as good as any in the state and while the faces will be new, the goal is still the same.

Summer goals to accomplish:

Find key replacements at key positions like quarterback, offensive line and more. This will be a talented but young football team.

Post Spring Region Projections: 3rd place

Pearl Pirates:

2023 Record: 8-4

What’s to like?

A young team turns mature. Pearl has been as scrappy a bunch as there is the last two years, but now this team has some age and length behind them. Led by Junior quarterback Jack Durr, this team will be a handful in 2024 and should be one of the better teams in the state.

Summer goals to accomplish:

Continuity with a new staff – the Pirates welcome in a new football coach and crossing “I’s” and dotting “t’s” will be the theme this summer off Highway 80.

Post Spring Region Projections: 2nd place

Northwest Rankin Cougars:

2023 Record: 5-5

What’s to like?

Numbers – Northwest has the dudes, they just have to put it all together this summer. This club was close in many a ball game in 2023, and should be a tough out for most anyone in 2024.

Summer goals to accomplish:

Solidify prime position battles like quarterback and running back.

Post Spring Region Projections: 4th place

Petal Panthers:

2023 Record: 4-5

What’s to like?

Marcus Boyles – back for his third stint with Petal and the ole ball coach, can still flat out coach. In just one year at Meridian last year, he made a massive difference, taking the Wildcats to the second round of the playoffs.

With Boyles back in the saddle at his old stomping grounds, expect this team to sharpen their teeth quickly and have a stake in the game in the region.

Summer goals to accomplish:

Continue to bring back that Petal attitude and swag they had under Boyles, before he stepped away a few years ago.

Post Spring Region Projections: 5th place

Meridian Wildcats:

2023 Record: 6-7

What’s to like?

Athletes – Meridian always has dudes and that will not change in 2024. Yes they need to replace the likes of Daniel Hill and some others, but there are just DUDES in Lauderdale County.

Summer goals to accomplish:

New Staff, young kids have to come together over the summer to regroup and build off last year’s playoff run.

Post Spring Region Projections: 6th place

Lots to do before we kick it off this year, but make no mistake about it – the 2024 season will be a fun one and one we are all waiting on.

That will do it for this week! Until the next time, I’ll be bunkered down in the studio and or pressbox.

Feel free to ask any questions for future articles – hit me up on X –  @ Jakewim

Until next time. #BOE

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