By Brad Locke
For Corinth Today
Big things are happening for Biggersville football.
Prior to this year, the Lions had achieved just one winning season since 1993. They hadn’t made the playoffs since 1997.
Just last year they went 4-7 and finished sixth in Division 1-1A. That was the first season with Stan Platt at the helm.
In Year 2, Platt has Biggersville relevant again. Entering Friday’s regular season finale at Smithville, the Lions are 8-2 overall – their highest win total since 1989, which is also the only year they’ve won a postseason game during the playoff era.
The Lions are currently in third place in 1-1A at 5-2 – their most division wins ever – and have already clinched a playoff spot. Beating Smithville (8-3, 6-1) would give them a home playoff game in the first round.
“It’s kind of a first for a lot of things,” Platt said.
And it’s happened even more quickly than he expected.
Platt had been out of coaching since 2000 and was principal at Rienzi Elementary when it closed. So he decided to be a coach again and had a plan for making Biggersville a winner.
In his first year, he focused on the eighth-grade class. Now freshmen, that group has played a huge role this season, with 13 of them either starting or making significant contributions.
“The difference was we got kids that are excited about playing football,” Platt said. “That plays a big role, when you’ve got someone who loves to play the game instead of just liking to play or having to play because we need you.
“Us being such a basketball school in the past, it was kind of hard to get some of our kids to buy into our program. So these eighth-graders did last year and had some success, and that’s carried over to this year.”
Biggersville also owes a good bit of its success to two juniors: quarterback Quonn Mayes and running back Quamon Davis.
Mayes has passed for 418 yards, and he’s rushed for 592 yards and 11 touchdowns. Davis has rushed for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns, plus he has three receiving TDs and has returned two kickoffs for touchdowns.
Two new assistant coaches this year have also been critical. Shelby Waddell came in from Cherokee, Alabama, to help Platt with the offense, while Jeff Anglin left Ripley after six years to lead the defense.
And former Kossuth head coach Scott Gray, who teaches in Memphis, helps out, too.
“I always knew that Biggersville has had potential,” Anglin said, “and I sort of always wanted to come here and just try, because tradition has been here in the past. … I’ve always seen the potential there. I always knew it was here, it was just getting it to the forefront, getting it out of them.”
Anglin, a Baldwyn native, was the junior high head coach for most of his time at Ripley, so he understands why Platt put an emphasis on instilling last year’s eighth-graders with a love for the game.
“Having been at bigger schools, coming to a smaller school you have fewer players, so you sort of have to get them on your side to show you care,” Anglin said. “Once you do, you can get them to run through brick walls for you.”
Platt said 21 of this year’s starters are expected back next year, and the future looks bright for Biggersville. But he doesn’t want to get too far ahead of himself.
Right now, he’s not even thinking about the playoffs. Just Smithville.
“We can’t look down the road three or four weeks or three or four years,” Platt said. “Right now we’re just trying to get better each week. I know that’s an old sports coaching cliché, but that’s basically what we are doing. We’re not letting them get a big head. We’re trying to keep everything down on the ground and get better every day.”
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