By CHUCK HATHCOCK
It’s just 67 days until the Kirk Raiders take to the field for the opening of the 2014 football season.
Coming off a 2-8 mark last season, second-year coach John McCrory hopes his team can make improvement against another tough schedule.
The Raiders will take 31 players into preseason workouts July 30. Less than a month after that, they open the regular season at Holly Springs against Marshall Academy.
This will mark the end of the two-year reclassification period. Next season, all Mississippi Association of Independent School will be looking at new schedules. Kirk is expected to stay in Class AA. There will be a new Class 4A for the 2015-16 school year. It will affect the biggest schools in District 1-AA this season, moving them to Class AAA. Indianola, North Delta and Clarksdale Lee could move up.
“Once again, it’s a very challenging schedule for our guys,” McCrory said. “Two of our opponents had double-digit wins. Five of them made the postseason.”
Kirk begins the 2014 season with a trip to Holly Springs to face 2013 Class A runnerup Marshall Academy. The Patriots finished 12-2 last season. Sam Pearson takes over the reins of the program from Bart Jenkins.
Week 2 Lee Academy of Marianna, Ark. comes to Grenada for the Raiders’ home opener. Kirk won a 44-0 decision over the Cougars last season. Lee was winless last season.
Week 3 brings a visit from rival Winona Christian. The Stars were 7-4 last season. They enter 2014 with a new coach. Former Winona High School head man Ken Chandler will lead the Stars this season.
Kirk continues District 1-AA play the next weekend with the short trek to Batesville to face North Delta. The Green Wave finished 5-5 last season. ND won a 45-27 decision over Kirk in Grenada last season.
The lone AAA team on the schedule, Pillow, comes to Grenada in Week 5.
For the full story, see the online edition or the printed edition of the GrenadaStar.