Junior Colleges

PRCC opens season on road under new coach

Quarterback D.J. Gillins is the key to Pearl River having a successful season.
Quarterback D.J. Gillins is the key to Pearl River having a successful season. Pearl River Community College

Pearl River Community College starts its season under first-year coach David Saunders.

The Wildcats play at Northeast at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

PRCC (2-7 in 2015) has dominated the series, winning 29 of 34 games. Northeast, however, won 26-23 at the Wildcats homecoming last year at Dobie Holden Stadium.

Saunders, the Wildcats’ special teams coach last season, doesn’t know what to expect in the opener.

“This first game, you really don’t know much about your opponent,” Saunders said in a news release. “But we do know they return a lot of talent from last year, and, like us, they’ve brought in some quality new players. We expect a battle up there.”

Saunders expects improvement from the Wildcats.

“These kids have worked extremely hard to get ready for this season,” Saunders said. “We believe we’ve got some good football players, but, more importantly, we are excited about the character of these young men.”

PRCC cornerback Tyler Jack has noticed the difference during preseason workouts.

“Last year, we kind of did what we wanted,” Jack said. “This year, you can’t do what you want. You do what the coaches want.”

PRCC’s offense will be led by two Division I transfers: quarterback D.J. Gillins and wide receiver Matthew Eaton of Pascagoula. Gillins transferred from Wisconsin and Eaton arrived from Temple.

Sophomore Joronnie Hinton, Pearl River’s leading receiver last season with 37 catches for 482 yards and a pair of touchdowns, is also back.

Coach Greg Davis is starting his second season at Northeast, 2-7 in 2015.

James Jones: 228-896-2320, @_jkjones

Pearl River Community College at Northeast

Where: Tiger Stadium, Booneville

When: 6:30 p.m., Thursday