Alcorn Central has struggled (ahem) in football for a really long time. Coach Jeff Boren is looking for a new consistent and having him there for a third year is a good start for the Bears.
“It’s very important. I was fortunate enough to play for the same coach from junior high to high school,” Boren said. “You don’t have to learn a different way to do things and call things, the little nuisances you deal with every day. There’s not something to adapt to every nine months.”
The numbers back up the, ahem, struggle. Thanks to my good buddy Lee Smith (Esq.) for the numerals.
AC (2-9 the last two seasons) has lost 30 straight division games. Its last win came in 2008, a 35-28 win on Sept. 26 at Kossuth. The Bears lost 49 straight division games from 1999 to 2008. So including a win against Mooreville the week before the 2008 Kossuth win, Alcorn Central is 2-79 in division play since 1999.
The Bears’ last playoff trip came in 1989 under Cecil Stroup, also the program’s last winning season. That was an 11-0 year that ended in the first round of the playoffs. AC went 5-5 the next season. Since then, the Bears have won four games only three times and there have been four winless seasons and six one-win years. Since 1991, Alcorn Central is 42-201.
Making the playoffs means winning at least two of the five division games in 1-3A. Alcorn Central goes to Booneville, Kossuth and Belmont and hosts Mooreville and North Pontotoc. Those five teams swept Alcorn Central 248-39 last season.
Boren has some great insight into where his program is and what it will take to get out of its depths – division depths and playoff peril.
“It’s an extremely tough division. We never go into a week knowing we’re going to win a ballgame,” Boren said. “We fight and chase everything we get. We’ve got to do everything in our power and capitalize on every opportunity to win those two games. The positive is we’ve had great participation all summer. We’re getting there.”