Regents School building football program

Published 7:17 pm Thursday, August 24, 2023

First ever Lions team will play 5-game season

Regents School of Oxford took a big step in the school’s pursuit of building a football program last week when the first ever Lions football team traveled to Carroll Academy to take the field and begin the inaugural season.

The Lions will field a JV team this year and next, with the goal of having a full high school team for the 2025 season. First year head coach JoJo Pearson took the young Lions on the road on Thursday, Aug. 17, and although the team was on the short end of a 40-18 final score, the ride home was raucous and cheerful.

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We took them in two vans and it was amazing,” Pearson said. “They were jacked up. It was the most encouraging part of the whole night for me, just to see their excitement after playing their first football game.”

I’ve never lost a game and had that much positivity,” he said. “We went from learning how to put on our pads to our first game in a very short time. I’m expecting a lot of growth as the season goes on. I just want to encourage the kids to see God’s sovereignty and his love, and to learn to play unto the Lord and not unto man.”

Regents, in its 23rd year, has experienced profound growth in recent years, spurring an ongoing capital campaign that will increase the school’s footprint with academic and athletic additions.

Pearson said school officials wisely chose to start the program with students in grades 6 to 9 and compete only as a JV program for two years allowing coaches and staff to train and prepare a high school team to compete with established academies including Marshall, North Delta, and Carroll.

Regents chose to play all away games this season because of a lack of suitable playing surface, but long term plans include new facilities for football, softball, baseball, track, and other athletic programs.

The Lions will have home games next year, officials said, and while it might not be the team’s “forever home” there will be football played on the Regents campus in 2024.