‘Jackets ready for district slate

by Michelle Dillon michelle@thecherokeean.com
Photo by Michelle Dillon Photo by Michelle Dillon

The Alto Yellowjackets completed their non-conference schedule with a perfect 5-0 record. The team had a bye Friday, Oct. 4, and will begin their District 10-2A slate Friday, Oct. 11. Kickoff against the Big Sandy Wildcats (1-3) is set for 7:30 p.m. at Wildcat Stadium.

Alto earned important wins over Corrigan-Camden (40-15) and Garrison (35-21), the only two teams to defeat the Jackets during the regular season last year. Garrison is also the team which crushed any state title hopes Alto had last year by defeating the Jackets in the area round playoff game.

This season, the Jackets have limited their five opponents to 44 points. At the same time, Alto has put 189 points on the board, averaging 37.8 per game versus the 8.8-yard average allowed.

The team has developed both their aerial and running games, making them a formidable opponent.

The ground game accounted for 1,156, or 56.44 percent, of the total 2,048 offensive yards attained to date. Running back Vi’Dareous High leads the rushing stats with 314 yards on 15 carries, with an average carry of 7.2 yards. His longest run was 35 yards against Corrigan-Camden. Aaron Skinner advanced the ball 357 yards on 56 carries, averaging 6.38 yards per carry. His longest carries were 26 yards against Corrigan and 25 yards against New Diana.

The passing game has accrued 892 yards on 49 receptions, for an average of 178.4 yards per game and 18.2 yards per pass. Marlon Warren and Skyler Atkins are the leading receivers for the Jackets. Warren has 314 yards on 15 catches, averaging 20.9 yards per reception. His longest catch and carry gained 53 yards against Corrigan-Camden. Atkins has recorded 296 yards on 18 receptions for an average of 16.4 yards per pass. His longest gain was 50 yards against Garrison.

Senior Harmon West has proven his ability on both sides of the ball. In the most recent outing against Corrigan-Camden, West posted 11 tackles, one sack, one caused fumble, a blocked kick and one interception. As quarterback, he has a pass completion rate for the season of 55.68 percent, hitting receivers 49 times in 88 attempts.

With their non-conference games resulting in a perfect 5-0 record, including wins over Garrison and Corrigan-Camden, the two teams who beat the Jackets last year, Alto players can move into district play with confidence.

“Any type of victory will do that,” said head coach Ricky Meeks. “The kids are playing with a lot of confidence and playing within the system, how they’ve been coached. They’re trusting one another.”

The teams that make up the district include Union Grove (3-2), Carlisle (2-2), Cushing (1-4), Big Sandy (1-4) and Hawkins (0-6).

“Every team will present a challenge,” Meeks observed. “We don’t think of one more than another; we play in a very tough district. We focus on us every single day and keep preparing that way.”

Alto will begin district play against the Big Sandy Wildcats (1-3) Friday, Oct. 11. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Big Sandy.

The broadcast of the game can be heard on the radio at 103.3 FM or online at 103thebull.com.