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There won't be much that surprises Noxubee County coach Tyrone Shorter when his team takes the field against the Starkville Yellowjackets Friday night.
Even though he enters his first season as the head coach of the Tigers, Shorter isn't unfamiliar with the program. He was on the staff of previous coach M.C. Miller for 12 years as assistant coach and defensive coordinator.
"The transition was easy for me," Shorter said. "I know these kids and have been coaching them since they were in the seventh grade. The community is behind me and everything has been going well. We're going to keep this tradition going as long as I'm here."
After winning the Class 4A state championship two years ago, Noxubee County reached the North State semifinals last season.
The Tigers were eliminated by Itawamba Agriculture High School, who was coached by Jamie Mitchell.
Now that Mitchell is coaching the Jackets, the two men will be on opposite sidelines for the first time since that postseason meeting. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Shorter did get to see Starkville's scrimmage against Jackson Callaway last Saturday at Mississippi State's Davis-Wade Stadium and was impressed.
"I knew they were going to be a better football team just because I knew about coach Mitchell," Shorter said. "It's going to be a tough game (in Starkville) because he's doing a good job there. The quarterback (Jaquez Johnson) looks good for them and the defense looks good."
The Tigers also had their turn to participate at the jamboree hosted by MSU and experienced their own share of success.
"I thought the team responded well," Shorter said. "I was really pleased with the offense and we did some things. We didn't want to show a lot, but did some things on the offensive side."
Shorter was pleased with the play of both quarterbacks in junior Jared Johnson and sophomore Deangelo Ballard and liked the effort of sophomore running backs Antonio Ryland and Darrell Robinson.
"I wanted to work on the running game and I thought we ran the ball really well," Shorter said. "We saw what we wanted to see."
One of the members of Shorter's coaching staff will be making a return to Oktibbeha County.
Former East Oktibbeha head coach Anthony King has settled in at Noxubee County since leaving the Titans late in the summer.
"He's catching on fast," Shorter said of King's transition. "He's fitting in very well for us and I'm glad to have him here."