Corner looks for success in region re-alignment

By W. BRIAN HALE, Eagle Sports Writer
Posted 7/1/16

The Corner Yellow Jackets’ first two seasons as a Class 5A program didn’t bring a great deal of success.

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Corner looks for success in region re-alignment


The Corner Yellow Jackets’ first two seasons as a Class 5A program didn’t bring a great deal of success.

In both 2014 and 2015, the Yellow Jackets finished with a 2-8 record — a departure from the four previous years where Corner went a combined 23-19 and made two trips to the playoffs.

Despite the downturn, Corner proved much more competitive in 2015, scoring 70 points more than in 2014 and recorded an area victory — giving the Yellow Jacket faithful hope their team will continue to make strides among the 5A ranks.

With this year’s re-alignment moving Corner from Region 5 to 6, the Yellow Jackets face a new, albeit familiar set of opponents as they vie for a return to the playoffs.

Corner kicks off the season on Aug. 19 against near-by rival Dora in the 42nd meeting between the teams. The Yellow Jackets broke a five-game losing streak to the Bulldogs in a 37-17 victory last season, to take the series record to 29-10-2 in favor of Dora.

Following a bye in Week 2, the Yellow Jackets open region play against the Fairview Aggies. Fairview holds a 1-5 series record over Corner and won the last meeting, 41-20, in 2007.

The Yellow Jackets’ first region road test of the year comes in Week 3 against another long-time rival, the Mortimer Jordan Blue Devils — which finished as the state runner-up with a 13-2 mark. The Blue Devils lead the overall series, 40-19 and won the last meeting, 49-14, in 2005.

Corner returns home in Week 4 for another region showdown with the West Point Warriors — who also made the playoffs in 2015. The Warriors hold a 1-7 series record over the Yellow Jackets and won the last meeting, 41-17, in 2009.

Week 5 brings a break from region competition and a battle with arch-rival Oak Grove in the 66th meeting in the series. With the Tigers’ 29-15 win last year, the series between the program is ties at 32-32-1 overall.

Week 6 brings the return to region play and a road matchup against the Curry Yellow Jackets. It will be the first meeting between the teams since 1995, where Curry won the Battle of the Yellow Jackets, 21-14. Curry holds the lead in the overall series, 8-5-1.

Another long-time rival and playoff contender hosts Corner in Week 7, the Hayden Wildcats, in region competition. The Yellow Jackets have won two consecutive games over the Wildcats — 27-20 in 2013 and 28-22 in 2012, for a lead in the overall series, 32-21.

Corner closes-out region play in Week 8 with a road clash against the Springville Tigers. Springville won both of the meeting in 1988-89.

After another bye in Week 9, the Yellow Jackets meet the Oakman Wildcats in the season finale at Hosea Collins Stadium. Oakman, which has enjoyed success under coach Mark Hastings as both a Class 2 and 3A program, has gone a combined 46-10 in the past five seasons, with five consecutive trips to the second round of the playoffs and two region championships. It will be the first meeting between the two teams.

The Yellow Jackets are led by Zac Willis, who is entering his sixth year at the head of the program.