Water Valley aiming to keep momentum in home opener against Senatobia

Published 9:54 pm Thursday, September 2, 2021

The start of the 2021 campaign could not have gone any better for Water Valley.

The Blue Devils went up to Independence and shut out the Wildcats 34-0 for a statement road win in their season opener. Now, Water Valley (1-0) returns back to Bobby Clark Field for their home opener against a former region opponent in Senatobia.

Due to COVID-19 issues with North Ponotoc and then weather issues, causing New Albany’s field to be unplayable, The Blue Devils (1-0) did not have a jamboree to serve a tune up. Not having those two quarters to allow his players to experience a preseason warm up before last week’s game caused Water Valley head coach Brad Embry some trepidation, though that quickly went away as the game progressed.

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“(I was) nervous,” Embry said. “You don’t know what to expect and your guys, some of them have played a lot of football and others haven’t. As a coach, it puts you kind of in an uneasy state of mind. Some of the things we thought would happen did happen. Normal, early season mistakes. But again, I was proud of our guys.”

Water Valley’s defense shined in week one, not allowing Independence to gain any momentum or rhythm all game. As with all first games of a season, there were areas of improvement but overall Embry was pleased with what he saw on the field and on film.

“Defense was the bright spot. Played really well,” Embry said. “Didn’t tackle real crisp, but again first game problems and I think that will get better. We’re not able as a small to scrimmage a lot with ones on ones. Without that jamboree, we expected that. We knew we’d miss some tackles. But people hustling the football, getting a lot of hats around the football made up for that.”

The past two seasons, Water Valley and Senatobia were Region 2-3A opponents but that has drastically changed this year. Senatobia went back up to Class 4A after realignment while the Blue Devils shifted up to Region 1-3A.

The Warriors are coming to Water Valley after dropping their season opener in a 20-6 loss to DeSoto Central last week.