02 Feb

on the docket

It’s Groundhog Day. And National Signing Day. It’s also Opening Day. The new college season begins today for Magnolia State schools when a new head coach, John Bates, takes his Rust College Bearcats to Tuskegee University in Alabama. Rust (13-20 last season under Stanley Stubbs, now the new coach at Mississippi Valley State) will lift the lid on a busy opening week for the state’s small schools. Other openers on the docket:
Friday: William Carey launches coach Bobby Halford’s 37th season in a doubleheader against visiting Lindsey Wilson. The Crusaders went 36-12 in 2021, won the Southern States Athletic Conference Tournament and made the NAIA playoffs. … At Clinton, Mississippi College, coming off a disappointing 16-20 campaign, hosts North Greenville for a twinbill. … Delta State, 28-20 and an NCAA Division II regional participant last year, travels to Hot Springs, Ark., to play Henderson State in a tournament.
Saturday: Blue Mountain, where former associate head coach Taylor Clark has taken the reins from program founder Curt Fowler, opens at home with a pair against Williams Baptist. … Millsaps is at LeTourneau (Texas) for a doubleheader to begin coach Jim Page’s 31st season with the Majors, an uncharacteristic 10-24 in 2021. (Millsaps will host an eight-team tournament Feb. 11-13 with games at both Twenty Field and Smith-Wills Stadium.) … Tougaloo (4-21 last year) opens at Xavier (La.).
P.S. Belhaven (20-18 last season) opens Feb. 11 on the road at East Texas Baptist, and MUW (23-11) will play that day vs. Rhodes College in the Millsaps tournament. The NCAA Division I schools start Feb. 18, with the exception of Alcorn State, slated to begin the Reggie Williams era on Feb. 25 at McNeese State.

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