Countdown To Kickoff: George County

Published: Aug. 20, 2021 at 11:04 PM CDT
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LUCEDALE, Miss. (WLOX) - James Ray’s first full offseason as George County’s head coach was dedicated to getting back to where the Rebels are used to being.

“We had a full spring, we had a full summer, I think we’re ready to go,” Ray said. “We’ve identified the guys that need to be on the field. We’ve developed depth, where we didn’t do that last year. I’m excited for the season to get started.”

“We say it all the time, we’re on a mission to bring this team back to a championship level of significance,” running back Trent Howell said. “We’re preaching that every day.”

Leading the offense alongside Howell is wide receiver and Ole Miss commit, the speedy Marquez ‘Mojo’ Dortch. Throwing to him will be big-armed Illinois commit Ashton Hollins, who enters his first year in Lucedale, moving this past December from Mobile.

“It’s going to be a nice connection this year,” Hollins said. “He’s pretty good, he’s fast, he’s everything you want in a receiver for real.”

“He’s looking great. We still have to build that connection together. By the season we’ll be great,” Dortch said. “We’re still working every day, coming out here trying to get better and be prepared.”

Despite losing defensive back MJ Daniels, who begins his freshman campaign at Ole Miss this fall, Ray says his defense is more battle-tested entering this season.

“Defense took their lumps last year, they were very young. We started a bunch of sophomores, we even started a freshman on defense,” Ray said. “That’s the largest group coming back, our defensive side. I think they’re going to be really good.”

Those sophomores-turned-juniors look up at a 23-man senior class, which is leading by example to help get the Rebels back to prominence.

“Just encourage them. Let them know that they can do it,” Howell said. “Even when they mess up, just don’t get on them off the bat. Let them know what they’ve done wrong and encourage them that they can do it.”

“Just come out every day, work hard, no excuses at all,” Dortch said. “We’re going to push through it.”

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