The Royals are picking up the intensity

Published on September 08, 2014 with No Comments

After their first winning season in many years the Jay Royals and coach Kent Smith put in a very hard off season preparing for an even better 2014.

The Royals, who finished the season with a 6-4 mark, have a renewed sense of purpose as winning sparks winning.

“I think we will be better this season,” said Smith, who is entering his fourth season as the Royals head coach. “It was a big year for us, but more importantly it was how we won as a team.

“It was even better for these young men after what they all had been through.”

Smith, who is a no nonsense kind of coach believes that hard work is the key and the Royals have definitely put that in during the off season.

“The biggest thing since December is the amount of work we have put in,” said Smith. “We had done a lot of work in the off season and the kids have really bought into what we are trying to do here.”

Now it has not been all fun and games as the Royals have a very tough district with the likes of Northview, two years removed from a state title in 1A and Baker, who showed a resurgence and went undefeated last season.

“We start the district play against Northview and it will definitely be a tough district,” Smith said. “Baker went undefeated last season and Freeport will definitely be better this season.

“Even though we had a chance at the end of the game to beat Baker, it will not be an easy road in the district.”

The key for Jay’s success will be not only the line play as the Royals will try to control the clock and the ball, but to remain healthy.

“We will start four seniors on our offensive line this year and it all starts there,” Smith said. “We have to keep our guys healthy and with the style we play the younger guys will have to step up when they are needed.

“The best part of our younger guys is they have been right along with the other guys working hard this off season.”

Jay has 10 freshman on the roster, who might not see a lot of playing time, but could be expected to make some key contributions throughout the entire season.

If there is one game that could be a measuring stick for the Royals is when they host out of state rival Flomaton (Ala.) High to kick off the season.

Last year the Royals went home after suffering their first lost off the season in a close 25-22 slugfest, that started a four game losing streak which included two district games.

Offensively the Royals will be looking for the combination of Braden Cross and Victor Mishoe to do the job in the backfield.

Mishoe will replace Tate Upton as the signal caller, while cross will look to repeat his performance of last year where he carried the ball 236 times for 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns.

One of the top returning targets for Mishoe this year in the passing game could be A.J. Nash who caught 10 passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns.

While it will be interesting to see how the Royals do this season, the future looks even brighter as Cross, Nash, and Mishoe are all juniors.

Smith has added a little bit of fun to the off season as the Royals went to the creek, a tradition Smith brought back from his days as a player.

“I would love to do this more often, but it is a lot of work,” Smith said. “We ran in the creek and worked on the sand banks and made one of our final workouts a lot of fun as a team.”

2014 Jay High School Varsity Schedule


Date                      Opponent                                       Time

Aug. 29                 FLOMATON (ALA.)                        7 p.m.

Sept. 5                  at Rocky Bayou Christian               7 p.m.

Sept. 12                at Vernon                                        7 p.m.

Sept. 26                McINTOSH HIGH (GA)                   7 p.m.

Oct. 3                    at Northview**                                 7 p.m.

Oct. 10                  GRACEVILLE                                 7 p.m.

Oct. 17                  BAKER**                                        7 p.m.

Oct. 24                  COTTONDALE                               7 p.m.

Oct. 31                  at Freeport**                                   7 p.m.

**District Games

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