The 2017 edition of the Holmes Community College Bulldogs has 17 returning players from last year's 7-3 team that finished the season at No. 7 in the National Junior College Athletic Association poll and Graphic Edge Bowl champions after a 28-21 in the Cedar Falls, Iowa bowl game.
The Bulldogs finished 4-2 in the North Division with wins over Coahoma, Northeast, Miss. Delta and Itawamba and losses to East Mississippi and Northwest. The Bulldogs went 2-1 in non-division play with wins over East Central and Southwest and a loss to Co-Lin.
The team opens Aug. 31 versus East Central in Goodman at 6:30 p.m.
Offensive returners include: Josh Dodd, quarterback, Kosciusko; Sanchez Berry, running back, Bassfield; Rashad Pittman, running back, Mize; Steven Burdette, wide receiver, Senatobia; Cameryn Brent, running back, Lawrenceville, Ga.; Rodney Shaw, offensive lineman, Courtland; Chris Dye, offensive lineman, Greenville; Jawaski Webb, offensive lineman, Senatobia; Trey Freeman, offensive lineman, Ocean Springs; and Jarius Gooch, offensive lineman, Water Valley.
Brent was the second leading rusher for the Bulldogs last season finishing with 584 yards on 103 carries and four touchdowns including one in the Graphic Edge Bowl. Dodd threw for two touchdowns including one in the Graphic Edge Bowl and Younger caught two touchdowns including a touchdown in the Graphic Edge Bowl.
Defensive returners include: Dwain Alford, defensive back, Ocean Springs; Martavious Adams, defensive back, Pickens; Quindarrius Whitley, linebacker, Inverness; Vada King, defensive lineman/linebacker, Smith Station, Ala.; Michael Simmons, defensive lineman, Ridgeland; Brian Matthews, defensive lineman, Pisgah; and Tyshon Spencer, defensive lineman, Crawford.
Whitley was the fourth leading tackler with 48 tackles including nine solos and 39 assists with 3.5 sacks and five tackles for loss while King had 46 tackles including 34 solos and 12 assists with 7.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss and Spencer had 31 tackles with 3.5 sacks and five tackles for loss.
The remaining schedule includes: at Southwest, Sept. 7, 7 p.m.; at Miss. Delta, Sept. 14; home vs. Coahoma, Sept. 21, 6:30 p.m.; home vs. Northwest, Sept. 28, 6:30 p.m.; at East Miss., Oct. 5, 7 p.m.; at Copiah-Lincoln, Oct. 12, 7 p.m.; home vs. Northeast, Oct. 21 (Homecoming), 3 p.m.; and at Itawamba, Oct. 28, 2:30 p.m.
Head Coach Jeff Koonz returns to lead the Bulldogs. Tim Stowers is the offensive coordinator, and Chris Shelling is the defensive coordinator. Matt Wannebo and Raymond Gross serve as offensive assistant coaches while Lane Powell and Mark Cornwell serve as defensive assistant coaches.