The screams of the crowded spectators, the thrumming beat of the drumline, the clatter of equipment colliding during a tackle, and the rush of adrenaline as you see the ball soar after kickoff: these sounds and sights let you know that we are in the thick of football season. Homecoming is always a highly anticipated game every year on campus. There are alumni reunions, tailgating, concerts, and of course, the football game. This year, the Mississippi College football team will be facing off against the undefeated West Georgia Wolves for the annual Homecoming game on Saturday, Oct. 27. The team has been on the road since the first week of this month, and they have brought home a 37-24 win against Shorter University.
West Georgia is going to be a challenge for MC. They’re currently ranked third in the division 2, and they bring an impressive offense to the game. The Choctaws will take the field directly following their thrilling victory over Shorter, which was sealed when sophomore defensive lineman D.J. Smith returned an interception 73 yards for a touchdown. Senior running back, Tiberias Lampkin, said, “We need to be physical and intense. If we can play our game and be intense, we’ll be alright.”
Junior defensive back, Turner Rotenberry, added, “That running back we’re going to face is pretty good, so if we can contain him and make him go sideline to sideline, I think that’d be a great accomplishment for our team.” The team is definitely prepared to take on this challenge.
Detric Hawthorn, the starting quarterback, has such ability that even at away games, you can hear the crowd of the opposing team talk about his speed. “We’ve been getting focused at practice, making sure everyone’s locking in. We’ve made a couple of changes with the offense; defense just needs to keep doing what they’re doing. The offense is going to stay strong,” said Hawthorn. “Defense sets the tone,” he added, “I hope defense gets on the field first. If they get the stop, then the offense gets in, and we’re going to go ahead and score. So, if we start off with a touchdown, it’s going to be great.”
Detric has been a force to contend with, rushing for 592 yards so far this season. His new nickname, “The Great Eight,” might just stick. Laughing, he said the moniker makes him “feel like a hero.”
When it comes down to it, it’s more than just a game. When asked about what a win would feel like for this team, Lampkin stated, “It would mean everything, since [West Georgia is] ranked #3. Not just for me personally or for our team, but for our university and for the city of Clinton. I feel like it’d be big, but I feel like we’re going to get it done.”
Additionally, there’s a lot of talk about brotherhood amongst the players this year. Rotenberry mentioned how the team “plays for each other.” As the Choctaws return home, they’ll be fighting hard and playing for each other, whatever the competition. Because of the excitement of this team, what started as a tongue-in-cheek catchphrase around campus has now become a passionate cheer: Choctaws on the Move!