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CCA aims for repeat trip to state title game

The Christian Collegiate Academy football team is looking to get back to the state championship in 2016 after coming up just shot of an 8-man title a year ago.
The Christian Collegiate Academy football team is looking to get back to the state championship in 2016 after coming up just shot of an 8-man title a year ago. ttisbell@sunherald.com

The Christian Collegiate football team reached the MAIS 8-Man state title game for the first time a year ago, but it's the way the season ended that still sticks with the Bulldogs.

CCA stumbled out of the gate and fell 34-25 to Tallulah (La.) Academy in the championship contest at Millsaps College in Jackson. The Coast's only 8-man squad finished with a 12-1 record.

How often do the CCA players talk about getting back to the title game and finishing the season with a win?

“More than we should,” senior quarterback/linebacker T.J. Clolinger said with a smile. “I think we'll be back there, no doubt.”

CCA is on a roll of late, winning the last three district championships under head coach Joe Roberts.

“We're looking for a different result this year,” he said. “We've got a great group coming back and we'll try to get back there.”

Clolinger is the man replacing Devan Roberts, the head coach's son, at quarterback this season.

Joe Roberts expects a smooth transition with Clolinger behind center.

“T.J. has plenty of experience the last two or three years playing quarterback,” Joe Roberts said. “He fits right in. We'll also take him and plug him in at running back the same way we did with Devan.”

Clolinger will bring athleticism to the quarterback position.

“I think I can run the ball really well,” he said. “I can make plays out of nothing, break a few tackles and get receivers open by extending plays.”

CCA is a team that has to replace plenty of key players from last year's squad, but a handful of experienced seniors will be put in leadership roles.

One that literally stands above them all is 6-foot-10 tight end/defensive end Sam Jackson. He will provide an extremely tall target for Clolinger and will be a handful off the edge at defensive end.

“Sam scored the touchdown that put us in the state championship game last year,” Joe Roberts said. “He caught a great pass at the end of the game, had a guy on his back and dragged him into the end zone.

“Sam played football for the first time last year and learned a lot. He's a hard working kid and he should fit right into the system. He's a great target for T.J.”

Jackson, whose mom stands 6-foot-8 and dad is 6-4, is confident CCA has a good shot at pushing its run of district championships to four in 2016.

“We've got a lot of new weapons on offense and defense. We have a good shot,” he said. “We talk a lot about (getting back to the title game). Not just getting to it, the goal is to win it.”

Clolinger will be joined in the backfield by fullback Japheth Hodges and tailback Jay Brisco. Jackson should get the start at tight end and Codie Coffman-Hayes will be at the receiver spot.

Parker Hewes is slotted in at left guard, Kyle Gartman is at right guard and sophomore Mica Spinks will be at center.

Senior Devin Lewis, Clolinger and Spinks are slated to be CCA's linebackers. Hewes and Jackson are the defensive ends and De'Gerius Kelly should be at nose tackle.

Coffman-Hayes and Brisco, both seniors, will face the tough task of playing cornerback on an eight-man defense.

At a glance

2016 record: 12-1

Region: District 3

Head coach: Joe Roberts

Assistant coaches: Verlon Carrell, Tyler Smith, Bill Farwell.

Offense: Ball control, some zone read

Defense: 3-3

Starters

Offense

Pos.

Name

Class

QB

T.J. Clolinger

Senior

RB

Jay Brisco

Senior

FB

Japeth Hodges

Senior

G

Parker Hewes

Junior

C

Micah Spinks

Sophomore

G

Kyle Gartman

Junior

WR

Codie Hoffman-Hayes

Senior

TE

Sam Jackson

Senior

Defense

DE

Parker Hewes

Junior

DE

Sam Jackson

Senior

NT

De’Gerius Kelly

Senior

MLB

T.J. Clolinger

Senior

OLB

Devin Lewis

Senior

OLB

Micah Spinks

Sophomore

CB

Jay Brisco

Senior

CB

Codie Hoffman-Hayes

Senior

2016 schedule

Aug. 19

at Tensas

Aug. 26

at Franklin

Sept. 2

CALVARY

Sept. 9

MT. SALUS

Sept. 16

at Calvary

Sept. 23

at Tallulah

Sept. 30

at Franklin

Oct. 14

BRIARFIELD

Oct. 21

REBUL

Oct. 28

at PPCA

2016 Roster

1 Jay Brisco

2 Devin Lewis

3 Aden Beaugez

4 Braden Martinelli

5 Cody Hilton

7 Parker Hewes

8 Micah Spinks

9 William Stewart

10 Cody Bozant

11 Wesley Machatto

13 Codie Coffman-Hayes

14 Japeth Hodges

15 Elijah Deese

17 Matthew Brown

19 Jailon Phillips

21 Alex Conley

22 T.J. Clolinger

24 Sam Jackson

32 River Johnson

48 Bryant Carrell

50 Kyle Gartman

52 Jaden Ashe

65 De’Gerius Kelly

70 Brady Carrell

75 William Martin

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