Oxford football team shooting for another run at state championship


Niles Lovelady, staff writer

The OHS football team faced an unusual finish to last year’s season, ending their playoff run with a second round loss to Madison Central. The Chargers ended last year at 8-5, but will look to make their third run to the state championship game in the last four years this season.

Head Coach Chris Cutcliffe gave his thoughts on last year’s season, which included a lot of positives even though the season ended short of the ultimate end goal.

“We got better as the season went on which I feel like is always one of our expectations for the team,” Cutcliffe said. “The goal was to win a state champion- ship and we didn’t do that, but we were improving as the season went on and we just happened to run into a great Madison Central football team that won it all.”

The goal stays the same, with the Chargers facing many of the same opponents from last year. They look to bounce back with the majority of games being played at home. Oxford starts off the season once again facing Brandon, this time on the road.

“The travel aspect is definitely a lot better this season than last. We play a lot more home games and not as many long
road trips,” Cutcliffe said. The Chargers return 7 on offense and 5 on defense. There are many new players at key roles on this year’s team. Senior wide receiver Cashe Shows talked about the transition of new players starting on both sides of the ball.

“Last year, we had a lot more seniors on defense,” Shows said. “This year, we have a lot of our offensive starters coming back. We had to fill a few holes in the defense but I think we will be just fine.”

Along with the offensive players, almost all of the coaches have returned.

“We have had a lot of stability in our coaching staff which is great,” Cutcliffe said. “Obviously some of the scheme is going to change to wisely fit the players in the best way possible.”

The Chargers will be led on offense by senior transfer quarterback and Utah commit Mack Howard. He touched on
the offensive gameplan. “I absolutely love the offensive game plan. It fits us very well and we are starting to execute at a high level in practice,” Howard said.

The Chargers will be led on defense by senior linebacker and Arkansas commit Alex Sanford. Sanford talked about the extra motivation brought to the team after last season’s early playoff exit.

“We didn’t finish the job, and we didn’t get the ring,” Sanford said. “Especially with losing my sophomore year and last year in the playoffs, it’s crazy motivation.”

The Chargers play in the toughest division in the state of Mississippi. They have seven games at home and four
games on the road this season.

“There is no doubt that we play in the hardest region in the state, but we also try to test ourselves with as tough of a non-region schedule as we can,” Cutcliffe said. “We have done a great job of that. It really prepares us for the playoffs.”