Callaway coach has experience with SHS
Starkville's Preston Baker (28) got experience running against Callaway during a jamboree held at Mississippi State in 2010. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)
Friday night won't be Callaway football coach Daryl Jones' first time bringing a football team to Starkville.
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As the head coach at Columbus, Jones and his Falcons had to play the Yellowjackets on the road, then prior to the 2010 season, the Callaway Chargers and Starkville met in a preseason jamboree at Mississippi State.
Jones said it won't be totally strange when the Chargers and Jackets meet again at 7 p.m.
"I'm somewhat familiar with the area, the Starkville tradition and with coach Mitchell because we played them in the preseason jamboree," Jones said. "We were able to watch them on film as well."
Callaway stands at 3-6 overall and 1-4 in Class 5A, Region 2, District 6 and after two-straight years of making the playoffs, may not get there this season.
"We've had our ups and downs," Jones said. "We have a young team this year and haven't been as successful as we'd like to have been this season.
"When I left Columbus, I didn't coach for one year and I was in administration so I've been coaching the last three years. The previous two years we were fortunate enough to get to the playoffs, but were unable to advance because of the New Hope Trojans. We think we're headed in the right direction."
Jones has some young players in key positions such as sophomore quarterback T.J. Washington, who has 1,233 yards passing and 462 yards rushing for Callaway. Washington had made his share of mistakes by with four lost fumbles and 15 interceptions.
"We do have some good players that once they grow up, we're looking to be a good football program," Jones said.
Jones knows that on-the-job training could be tough against the Jackets, but believes the Chargers are capable of giving a good effort.
"(Starkville has) some very athletic guys who are long, rangy and can throw the ball fairly well," Jones said. "We're going to have things cut out for us. We feel like if we play our best football, we can win the football game."