The Missouri South- ern State Lions had their first game yesterday against the University of Nebraska-Kearney. This season is a fresh start for the Lions since the team hired new head coach Jeff Sims. Sims was hired by Southern back in November after the Lions finished the season 1-10.
Sims is bringing a new culture to Southern and has the team taking big steps to mold a better football team in 2019, but they are still in the learning process.
“We’re not there yet,” said Sims.
“A lot of people come up to me and say we have an improved. The fact is I’ve seen seen a finished product and we are not at the finish product. If I was a student and I had a D and now I have a B I got better, but I’m not an A student which is the finish product. Until we are an A football program I will not be satisfied.”
The Lions also brought in new talent this year to the team including quarterback
Jacob Park, running back Charles West, and 60 more players. Sims even compared this season’s team to a junior college team because of how much of an influx of players the team has had this offseason. There are a couple of players from last year to keep an eye out for such as running back Dalton James.
“Dalton James had the best camp of any running back that we had. He went out there and proved that he wanted to be the starting running back,” said Sims. “He has played very well in camp.”
Sims also listed off the rest of the running backs talking about their strengths and could possibly see a running back by committee this season.
Another player to keep an eye out this season is quarterback Sean Kelly who was the Lions’ starting quarterback last year. Sims has yet to coach Kelly in a real game, but still got some praise from the new head coach.
“What a great young man Sean Kelly is. It would be so easy in this day and age for a new football coach to come in and a young man who had a tough season to say hey you brought in Jake (Parker) and two freshman quarterbacks I don’t belong here,” said Sims.
“He never did that and has went out and battled and we have seen tremendous improvement from him. We can win a football game with Kelly as the starting quarterback.”
The game against the Lopers on Sept. 5 was the first chance for the Lions to hit somebody else that wasn’t their own teammate.
“Its really exciting to have a game,” said Dalton James. “You’re ready to hit somebody else besides your teammates.”
Due to production “The Chart” was not able to report on the game against the Lopers, but you can find the score on MSSULIONS.com. The next game will be Thursday in Jefferson City, Missouri against the Lincoln Blue Tigers at 6:00 p.m.