POPLARVILLE – Pearl River Community College football is back on the practice field starting the preparations for the 2018 season.
The Wildcats completed the first week of spring practice Thursday, looking to build on last fall’s 5-4 season, which included a 4-2 mark in South Division play.
“It’s a whole new season,” said head coach Ted Egger, who will enter his second season as the head man at PRCC. “We’ve got a lot of work to do.
“Guys are working hard to get better in every phase of the game. We don’t have a great number, but we have a lot of guys who we expect to play for us next fall.”
The Wildcats closed strong in 2017, winning three of their last four games to post their first winning season since 2014 and only the second winning mark since 2010.
PRCC has 38 players out for the spring, including freshman quarterback Markevion Quinn (Ruleville), who was a first-team All-MACJC selection last fall after rushing for 879 yards and 17 touchdowns. Quinn completed 77 of 161 passes (47.8 percent) for 943 yards and six TDs.
The Wildcats are allowed 18 practice dates in the spring, and will put on at least two public scrimmages, the first at 11:30 a.m. April 7 as part of Wildcat Day, the school’s spring athletic showcase.
In other PRCC football news, Egger has added two new coaches to the Pearl River staff, one young and one old.
Zach Crisler has joined the Wildcats after a one-year stint at Nettleton High School in Jonesboro, Ark.
The 23-year-old played a year at Arkansas State before suffering a career-ending injury. He will coach running backs, with Matt Monicelli shifting over to coach wide receivers.
Also joining the Wildcat staff is former Adams State (Colo.) head coach Marty Heaton, who agreed to come out of retirement to coach safeties.
Egger coached under Heaton at Adams State in a previous stop, and both defensive line coach Zach Lochard and linebackers coach Matthew Wiggins played for Heaton at Adams State.
Otherwise, the PRCC staff will return intact, with Terrance Metcalf back as offensive line coach and assistant head coach, Ryan Trevathan returning as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, and Harry Wright coming back as tight ends coach.
Pearl River is also looking to the future as it will host Thursday Nights Under the Lights, a four-week camp on each Thursday night in May for players in grades 5-8.
“It’s all about getting young people out here, continuing to get coached and to try to teach them the fundamentals,” said Egger. “And it’s a way to introduce them to how we do things at Pearl River.”