Hawks have A chance

To notch A W in first conference tilt at Ep

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Kelly Hawks are in the East

First SEMO Conference game for school

Friday night at East Prairie’s Eagle Nest, the Kelly Hawks will become officially a member of the SEMO football conference. Long noted primarily as a sold basketball program and all around good school system, many fans and alumni longed for Football. The Home turf at Thomas W. Kelly is the best in the area.

And, it’s taken   years to get here. An official member of the MSHSAA SEMO Conference. And, that’s a good thing. A football program in small schools is tough to sustain; much Less winning all the time, but the Hawks will survive the early years and Look back on the beginning in future decades as a blessing.IMG_0781

But, not this week. East Prairie, under 5th year head coach Chad Jamerson has assembled an assembly Line Like program the past few years and all signs point to another successful run for the Eagles. And, please note, ‘we’ throw pep rallies for .500 seasons. So, the expectation level, unLike some smaller schools in the Bootheel, is not unrealistic.

What many point to in Ep, however, is the familial nature of the clannish community. Faith, Family and Football, a story I did a year ago, is absolutely spot on again this season. Small towns stick together through thick and thin. When Ep was going 0-10 (2012) and 1-9 (2011) the stands were still packed at #TheNest on Friday nights. Remember, we’ve only defeated Charleston 7 times out of a Million and still attend the massacres. #IDLP

Friday night, it’s 0-0 on the slates. Kelly wants to win and Ep doesn’t want to the first conference foe to succumb.

Should be a good one. Get there early at Ep for a good seat. The crowd will be fired up by the band and the fans. The concession stand will be full and fluid. George Williams will be at the press gate and if you can’t be there in person, KYMO 105.3 is your place to go for the best coverage of a team in the Bootheel. Randy Sutton’s video and the long time voice of the Eagles Reid Howell and Rob Barker make it a must listen.

Here’s the preview of the Eagles courtesy of the Standard Democrat preview edition. In news stands now.

…”After two years of winning just one game the Eagles have posted back-to-back above .500 seasons. To make it a third they’ll have to plug in a few old faces into new positions starting with

Sophomore Derez Tipler will be filling some big shoes Friday night as Ep hosts Kelly. Tipler is tabbed as the starting QB replacing veteran graduated senior Brett Ellis.

Sophomore Derez Tipler will be filling some big shoes Friday night as Ep hosts Kelly. Tipler is tabbed as the starting QB replacing veteran graduated senior Brett Ellis.

quarterback. Replacing graduated starter Brett Ellis, who threw for 860 yards and six touchdowns and another 457 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground last season, will be Derez Tipler (5-9, 160, Soph.). The athletic Tipler filled in for an injured Ellis last season during a two-game span and went 1-1 as the starter. He compiled 324 yards rushing and was 12 for 25 with 118 yards passing during that time. Pairing with Tipler in the quick and nimble department is returning all-purpose weapon Deverence Jones (5-9, 165, Sr.). Jones averaged 10.1 yards per carry with 1,108 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. He was East Prairie’s leading rusher, receiver, kick returner and punt returner for a total of 2,304 yards on top of being their second-leading tackler with 63. All-Conference selections Nathan Owens (6-1, 265, Sr.) and Mason Tidwell (6-2, 260, Sr.) return to anchor East Prairie’s offensive and defensive lines. Jon Ross Slayden (6-4, 180, Jr.), Luke Marcum (5-10, 130, Jr.), Brian Shoffner (5-9, 176, Jr.) and Casey Gregory return on the defensive side.”

As, for the Hawks, ...

…”After graduating 15 seniors from a season ago the Hawks’ 37-man roster is littered with underclassmen. Kelly features 16 sophomores and 12 freshman looking to step into starting roles and has no choice but to rebuild in its third season as a varsity program. They lost its most dynamic weapon in Maurice Davis, who led the offense with 595 rushing yards with seven touchdowns and 417 receiving yards with three touchdowns on 28 catches. The speedy Davis was dangerous in the return game as well earning five touchdowns between kick and punt returns. Tight end Aaron Graham had 14 catches for 215 yards and two touchdowns while combining with Davis for the bulk of Kelly’s offensive output last season, which scored 22 points per game. Expected quarterback Kyle Fitzgerald did not return to the team so Christian Worley (6-0, 170, Soph.) will be Kelly’s new starting

Kp Photo (c) 2015

Kp Photo (c) 2015

quarterback. Two of Kelly’s three seniors, Shane Goering (5-8, 180) and Austin Eskew (6-7, 330), return as the team’s most experienced players. Those two will anchor the offensive line along with Dylan Sanders (6-1, 225, Jr.) and Isaac Faire (6-1, 215, Soph.) who both saw significant time last season. Luis Logeman (5-6, 150, Soph.) is expected to take over as Kelly’s top rusher after a freshman season where he had 27 touches from the backfield. Brent Carlyle (5-8, 155, Jr.) will also factor in the running mix. Quintin Lara (5-10, 160) is Kelly’s third senior who will be the team’s top returner at wide receiver after catching two passes a year ago. Goering leads Kelly’s defense from his linebacker position along with returners Eskew, Faire and Sanders. Their defense allowed 45 points per game last season. It’s the first year that Kelly will participate in the SEMO Conference after spending its first two years without a conference home. They will join the newly constructed SEMO East, which includes Charleston, East Prairie and Malden.”

So, let’s get ready for some Football Friday Night on the Prairie. ‘Kuz it’s Kick-off time. 7 pm at the Eagles’ Nest.

ALLRIGHTSRESERVED:KpKronicle ~ Kevin Pritchett

*Previews courtesy of Sikeston’s Standard Democrat. 

**Schedules courtesy of MaxPreps

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