Millsaps football readies for season-opening rivalry game
The Majors will play Belhaven on Thursday to start the 2023 season
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Millsaps football will open their 2023 season Thursday with a familiar opponent. The Majors start their season with the Riverside Rivalry against Belhaven.
“Without a doubt it always brings a little extra to it with it being a rivalry game,” said interim head coach Cory York. “Our guys are excited. It’s a lot of dislike between us, when you’re right across the street from somebody, that even makes it a little bit more. Our guys are fired up, I’m sure they are too.”
While it is a rivalry game, the players are trying not to treat it any differently than any other game.
“I think for the school it adds some intensity, but for us it’s game one, it’s the next one, which is always the biggest one,” said senior tight end D.B. Bennett. “We’re just here to focus on ourselves and control what we can control.”
“We’re not trying to make it bigger than it is,” said junior defensive back Darren Labit. “It’s just our first game, it’s our first test, but it definitely makes you come in with the laser focus.”
The Majors have had a few seasons with a sub-500 win percentage recently, but are confident they can turn things around under York.
“The culture of this team is really changing,” Bennett said. “How we practice, our mentality, everything that I’ve seen the last four years is really changing. I think it’s going to be really positive.”
“This team is probably the hardest working team that I’ve been around,” Labit said. “I’ve been on the last two teams; the culture has definitely shifted. I’m excited about that.”
“The game is roller coaster, you’re never on top for long, you’re never on the bottom for long. Getting our guys to understand that there’s going to be some dips and that’s okay, but battling back from those dips, we can work our way back to the top, is really the key to being successful,” York said.
York said if the Majors want to have a good year this season, they need to not look ahead.
“That’s something we really push with our guys: one play at a time, one day at a time,” he said. “Don’t look down the road, let’s look and see what we can control and what we can take care of today and we’ll take care of tomorrow and tomorrow comes.”
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