August 22, 2011

Defensive Backs Could Lead Stout Choctaw Defense in 2011

More news about: Mississippi College

CLINTON, MS - In the coming weeks, we will take a chance to preview each position on the field for the Choctaws as we head toward the season opening "Backyard Brawl" on September 3rd against Millsaps.  We invite MC fans to take a look and get more acclimated with the 2011 group of Choctaws.

The schedule will be as follows:

Quarterbacks – August 15th
Running Backs – August 16th
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends – August 17th
Offensive Line – August 18th
Defensive Line – August 19th
Linebackers – August 20th
Secondary – TODAY
Special Teams – TOMORROW
Offense – August 24th
Defense – August 25th
Overall – August 26th

When you look for accolades on the defensive side of the ball, you don't have to look any further than the safety position for the Choctaws.  Senior Dustin Retherford (Pace, FL, Pace High School) is the only returning All-ASC performer from a season ago and senior Luke Petitto (Amite, LA, Oak Forest Academy) earned All-Region honors last season and has been selected as a preseason All-American by the D3 Senior Classic.

Retherford finished third on the team in 2010 with 48 tackles, including 27 solo stops.  Dustin had his best game of the season with three interceptions and a pass breakup in a victory over Howard Payne.  For his efforts, Retherford was named ASC Defensive Player of the Week and earned an Honorable Mention All-ASC selection.

Petitto stands as Retherford's running mate in the defensive backfield and comes off of a breakout season in 2010.  Luke led the Choctaws with five interceptions and finished second on the team with 64 tackles and 9.0 tackles for loss.  Petitto recorded double-digits in tackles in two games and earned a Second Team All-South Region selection by D3Football.com despite not earning an All-Conference selection.

Defensive Coordinator Chad Walker discussed his senior safeties, "Luke is as tough as they come.  He is a hard-nose player in the backfield and leads the defense vocally and emotionally.  Dustin is a solid football player and you can expect him to be in the right spot at the right time.  I've stepped into a good situation having two senior leaders at the safety position."

While the Choctaws have two seniors at safety, they also have depth provided by some experience and youth.  Junior Horace Allen (Vicksburg, MS, Vicksburg High School) played in nine games for the Choctaws last season and finished fourth on the team with 39 tackles.  Allen will be a solid contributor that will help lead the young guys at the position.

Sophomore Dylan Klibert (LaPlace, LA, St. Charles Catholic) and freshman Garrett Horst (Spanish Fort, AL, Spanish Fort High School) have seen a lot of playing time in the preseason and could push for a starting spot against the experienced seniors.  Klibert is a physical player that makes big hits from the defensive backfield.  Horst has been a pleasant surprise in camp as he has pushed his for playing time as a rookie.

The cornerback position boasts one of the top players at the position in the conference in Jarrad Craine (Brandon, MS, Hinds Community College).  The senior finished sixth on the team with 37 tackles and recorded only one interception while quarterbacks were forced to throw the other direction in most cases.  Craine is a solid player that can shut down one side of the field.

Walker commented on Craine, "He has the ability to be really, really good.  He's a solid player that makes the right play and can tackle well on the outside.  He forces the offense to account for his presence and allows the rest of our defense to make plays."

Sophomore Darren Watts (New Orleans, LA, West Jefferson High School) is making the move to corner from the safety position his freshman year.  Watts will give the Choctaws to sizeable corners that will be able to defend the bigger receivers MC will face this season.  Watts played in the final six games of the season last year and recorded 12 tackles.  Darren picked off a pass in the victory over Sul Ross State.

Behind the two returning corners, the Choctaws have several players that are pushing for the backup positions.  Freshman Raeon Jones (Alexandria, LA, Pineville High School) has been impressive in the preseason and will push for significant playing time in his rookie campaign.  Jones was a First Team All-Cenla selection and an All-District performer while picking off five passes and recovering five fumbles as a senior.

The Choctaws have five other freshmen that have shown out in the preseason.  James Barton (Baton Rouge, LA, Redemptorist High School)J.C. Carey (Bossier City, LA, Parkway High School)Dantavion Harris (Minden, LA, Minden High School)Jesse Harris (Dehlco, LA, Louisiana Delta Community College), and Milton Shelton (Minden, LA, Minden High School) have huge upsides as the future of the position.

Coach Walker commented on his young guys, "We have a lot of freshmen that have  a lot of potential at the cornerback position.  They all have great cover skills and once they learn our defense, we will have a formidable group back there.  Some will push for immediate playing time, but I think it will really help them to watch our experienced guys in Craine and Watts.

"For the defensive backfield as a whole, we have some solid starters.  They provide a great deal of leadership for our young guys, and they have bought into our system.  In our returners you have some real playmakers.  I'm also excited about our young guys.  They have a lot of promise and tremendous up-sides as we head toward the season.

Tomorrow we will preview the special teams.

Sep. 24: All times Eastern
Final
Christopher Newport 17, at TCNJ 0
Final
at Hobart 27, Union 23
Box Score Recap
Final
at Thomas More 20, Carnegie Mellon 16
Box Score Recap
Final
at Massachusetts Maritime 32, Worcester State 14
Box Score Recap
Final
at Endicott 37, Nichols 0
Box Score Recap
Final
MIT 30, at Maine Maritime 13
Box Score
Final
at Buffalo State 40, Morrisville State 24
Box Score Recap
Final
at Salve Regina 48, Coast Guard 10
Box Score
Final
St. Lawrence 20, at RPI 14
Box Score Recap
Final
at Framingham State 23, Western Connecticut 17
Box Score
Final
at Montclair State 21, Rowan 14
Box Score Recap
Final
at Stevenson 54, FDU-Florham 15
Box Score Recap
Final
at Trinity (Conn.) 38, Bates 7
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Western New England 59, Curry 28
Box Score
Final
at Utica 24, Cortland 13
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Colby 9, at Williams 7
Box Score Photos
Final
at Middlebury 40, Bowdoin 3
Box Score
Final
at Amherst 34, Hamilton 0
Box Score
Final
Kean 24, at William Paterson 13
Box Score Recap
Final
at DePauw 66, Hiram 17
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Franklin and Marshall 45, at Juniata 22
Box Score
Final
at Kenyon 31, Allegheny 7
Box Score
Final
Salisbury 35, at Southern Virginia 0
Box Score
Final
Albright 20, at Delaware Valley 17
Box Score Recap
Final
Lycoming 28, at Misericordia 24
Box Score
Final
at Plymouth State 30, Mass-Dartmouth 14
Box Score
Final
at Husson 35, Alfred State 0
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Final
at Springfield 28, WPI 23
Box Score Recap
Final
at Moravian 24, Dickinson 10
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Final
at Denison 45, Wooster 7
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Wittenberg 24, Wabash 14
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Final
at St. Vincent 57, Grove City 32
Box Score Recap
Final
at Susquehanna 55, Gettysburg 40
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at King's 21, Lebanon Valley 17
Box Score Recap
Final
at Alfred 20, Ithaca 6
Box Score Recap
Final
at Widener 25, Wilkes 23
Final
at McDaniel 30, Ursinus 27
Box Score Recap
Final
at Muskingum 28, Marietta 10
Box Score Photos
Final
at Minnesota-Morris 28, Iowa Wesleyan 27
Final
at John Carroll 42, Heidelberg 14
Box Score
Final
Ohio Northern 16, at Otterbein 10
Box Score Photos
Final
Case Western Reserve 35, at Waynesburg 7
Box Score
Final
at Franklin 44, Bluffton 38
Box Score Recap
Final
Rose-Hulman 23, at Defiance 15
Box Score
Final
at Centre 49, Chicago 27
Box Score
Final
at Mount St. Joseph 38, Manchester 19
Box Score Recap
Final
Hanover 49, at Anderson 25
Box Score
Final
at Merchant Marine 55, Rochester 7
Box Score
Final
Johns Hopkins 30, at Muhlenberg 24
Box Score Recap
Final
Concordia-Chicago 42, at Maranatha Baptist 10
Box Score Photos
Final
Washington U. 36, at Birmingham-Southern 21
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
UW-Platteville 56, at Lakeland 0
Box Score
Final
at Northwestern (Minn.) 38, Martin Luther 20
Box Score
Final
at Eureka 28, MacMurray 13
Box Score
Final
at Westminster (Mo.) 35, Greenville 14
Box Score
Final
Dubuque 30, at Luther 17
Box Score Recap
Final
Monmouth 52, at Lake Forest 6
Box Score Photos
Final
St. Thomas 33, at St. John's 21
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Augsburg 49, Carleton 17
Box Score Photos
Final
Bethel 44, at St. Olaf 7
Box Score
Final
at Hamline 42, Gustavus Adolphus 40
Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Whitewater 35, Morningside 21
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hardin-Simmons 48, Texas Lutheran 38
Box Score Photos
Final
at UW-River Falls 42, Southwestern 22
Box Score
Final
Simpson 17, at Buena Vista 9
Box Score
Final
at St. Scholastica 49, Crown 13
Box Score Recap
Final
Cornell 46, at Beloit 41
Box Score
Final
at Carthage 27, Augustana 24
Final
Coe 48, at Nebraska Wesleyan 17
Box Score Recap
Final
at Wartburg 56, Finlandia 0
Box Score
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 10, Elmhurst 6
Box Score Recap
Final
Hendrix 42, at Millsaps 14
Box Score
Final
Illinois Wesleyan 45, at North Park 10
Final
at Macalester 34, Grinnell 0
Box Score
Final
at Ripon 33, Knox 19
Final
Illinois College 40, at Lawrence 15
Final
UW-Oshkosh 77, at Morthland College (Ill.) 0
Box Score
Final
Central 42, at Loras 34
Box Score Recap
Final
at Geneva 35, Thiel 27
Box Score
Final
UW-Eau Claire 40, at Wisconsin Lutheran 14
Box Score
Final
St. John Fisher 42, at Brockport 38
Box Score Recap
Final
UW-Stevens Point 44, at Adrian 19
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Final
UW-La Crosse 41, at Carroll 7
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Berry 41, Sewanee 3
Box Score Recap Recap Photos
Final
Westminster (Pa.) 38, at Bethany 9
Box Score
Final
Ohio Wesleyan 29, at Oberlin 16
Box Score
Final
at Tufts 17, Wesleyan 14
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Mount Union 49, at Baldwin Wallace 7
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Capital 35, Wilmington 21
Box Score
Final
at Southwestern Assemblies 23, Austin 17
Box Score Photos
Cancelled
Langston at McMurry
Video Live Stats
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 42, Millikin 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at Chapman 19, Trinity (Texas) 17
Box Score Recap
Sep. 29: All times Eastern
6:30 PM
Randolph-Macon at Shenandoah
Live Stats
Sep. 30: All times Eastern
6:30 PM
Emory and Henry at Washington and Lee
Video Live Stats Audio Audio
Sep. 24: All times Eastern
Final
at Thomas More 20, Carnegie Mellon 16
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hobart 27, Union 23
Box Score Recap
Final
Christopher Newport 17, at TCNJ 0
Final
at Wittenberg 24, Wabash 14
Box Score
Final
Salisbury 35, at Southern Virginia 0
Box Score
Final
Albright 20, at Delaware Valley 17
Box Score Recap
Final
at Utica 24, Cortland 13
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Stevenson 54, FDU-Florham 15
Box Score Recap
Final
at Franklin 44, Bluffton 38
Box Score Recap
Final
Johns Hopkins 30, at Muhlenberg 24
Box Score Recap
Final
St. Thomas 33, at St. John's 21
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at UW-Whitewater 35, Morningside 21
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hardin-Simmons 48, Texas Lutheran 38
Box Score Photos
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 10, Elmhurst 6
Box Score Recap
Final
UW-Platteville 56, at Lakeland 0
Box Score
Final
UW-Oshkosh 77, at Morthland College (Ill.) 0
Box Score
Final
Central 42, at Loras 34
Box Score Recap
Final
St. John Fisher 42, at Brockport 38
Box Score Recap
Final
Mount Union 49, at Baldwin Wallace 7
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 42, Millikin 7
Box Score Recap