Vols playing solid on defensive side

Starkville Academy gang tackles on defense.
By: 
DANNY P. SMITH
Staff Writer

Points have been hard to come by against the Starkville Academy defense lately.

In the last four games, the Volunteers have only given up 10 points and they all came against Pillow Academy two weeks ago.

Starkville Academy has shut out Magnolia Heights 21-0, Winston Academy 36-0 and Canton Academy 38-0 in the last four weeks.

The Vols have been focused on the game plan by defensive coaches Brad Butler and Bubba Davis and have executed it to almost perfection.

"Our defense has played great the past few weeks," Starkville Academy head coach Chase Nicholson said. "It's been mostly the game plan coach Butler and coach Davis have put in every week and our guys buying into it. It's attributed to the defensive staff and defensive players."

Willie Lathem, Will Miller, Campbell Spivey, Howell Archer and Matt Miller have all been around the football this season for the Vols.

Will Miller leads the unit with 97 tackles, while Spivey adds 87 stops, Archer contributes 82 tackles, Matt Miller has 81 tackles and Latham chipped in 79 tackles.

Latham had five tackles against Canton Academy with three of them for a loss and he had a fumble recovery.

Being in the program three years now, Latham now knows as a sophomore what to expect.

"As I've gotten older, I've gotten more comfortable," Latham said. "Coaches are putting me in the right situations and everyone is doing their job. If I do my job, everything works out."

Latham was a valuable contributor as an eighth grader when Houston Massey had to sit out due to injury.

Chase Nicholson said Latham does a good job of learning the plan and getting it done.

"He does a good job of adjusting with coach Butler and being able to understand what's going on with the different defenses," Nicholson said.

Latham and the SA defense will be called upon again this week when it goes against a very strong Heritage Academy team in Columbus.

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