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franklin county times

2004 Outdoor Expo Schedule

By By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
August 20, 2004
One program has proven itself to be among the state's elite over the last two seasons; the other is trying to reclaim its spot among Mississippi's best.
This will be the overriding theme when defending 4A State champion Wayne County, which won the 5A title in 2002, hosts Meridian High School in a preseason jamboree tonight at 7:30.
The Wildcats are coming off a breakout season in which they advanced to the second round of the 5A playoffs. Meridian High finished 2003 with an 8-6 record.
The Wildcats are tied for No. 4 in the Associated Press preseason poll, and the rising 5A program should provide a challenge for Wayne County, which is ranked second in the AP preseason poll.
Stanley said the addition of a jamboree to cap the preseason has added extra intensity for his team on the practice field.
Meridian High will need that extra intensity as its defense will try to defend against one of the surprises of last year's prep football season Wayne County quarterback Drexler Johnson. As a freshman, Johnson threw for 869 yards and 12 touchdowns.
The Wildcats have their own breakthrough star from last season in running back Cordera Eason.
Eason, who rushed for a team-high 15 touchdowns as a sophomore, leads a strong running game, which includes returning juniors Derrick Davis and Jamie Hill.
This is the first year the Mississippi High School Activities Association is allowing teams to play in jamborees without the exhibition being counted as one of the 10 games public schools are allowed to play in the regular season.
The jamborees are supposed to have a minimum of three teams, but Ocean Springs dropped out of the exhibition late and an exception was made to allow the Wildcats and War Eagles to hold a two-team jamboree.
The two programs' varsity teams will play the first two quarters, and the junior varsity squads will play the last two quarters.

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