School Spotlight: Humphreys County High School (Belzoni, MS)

Humphreys County High School is a class 3A high school located in Belzoni, Mississippi – a small town in the Mississippi Delta region. Humphreys County Cowboys are coming off their best seasons since the mid 1990’s, with an 8-4 record and a playoff appearance. The school was established in 1929 under the name Belzoni High School, before the school changed to Humphreys County High School in 1970. The Cowboys have 7 district championships in the span from 1986 to 2004. In 2020, Humphreys Country hired Head Coach Timothy James.

Timothy James has coached for a good amount of years now. Before Humphreys County High School, Coach James was head coach at Yazoo City High School for one season before moving on to Simmons High School for two seasons. In 2018, Coach James lead Simmons High School to a 14-1 record with an appearance in the state championship game. He now has his mind set on turning the Cowboys program back into their powerhouse days.

Coach James believes in being a tough coach on his players, but also a player’s coach who respects his athletes. The goal for the program is to outdo the previous season, which is easier said than done. However, with the returning crew and upcoming stars for the Cowboys; this team is worth paying attention to in 2023. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Coach James, where he highlighted some of the talent he will have on his team for the upcoming season:

No. 66 left tackle, Larry Edwards is listed at 6’5″ 265 pounds. Edwards is in the class of 2024, and will be a senior this upcoming season for the Cowboys. As a junior, Larry was on the 1st team offense for 3A District 3. So far, he has received multiple offers from community colleges within Mississippi.

No. 66 LT – Larry Edwards

On the opposite side, no. 54 right tackle, Semaja Dixon is listed at 6’3″ 320 pounds. Dixon is a multi-sport athlete who competes in powerlifting as well. He is in the class of 2025, giving him two more seasons as the Cowboys right tackle.

No. 54 RT – Semaja Dixon

In the interior of the offensive line, Center no. 52 Marcus Mcdaniel is listed at 6’3 250 pounds. Mcdaniel also made 1st team offense for 3A District 3 in 2022. He is currently a junior, graduating in the class of 2024. Marcus is joined in the interior by no. 57 right guard Jamir Peterson. Peterson is a large interior guard with 6’2″ height in the class of 2024.

No. 52 C – Marcus Mcdaniel

Behind the Cowboys stout offensive line is running back no. 1 Lazarious Penn, who is listed at 5’9″ 180 pounds. Penn was crowned 3A District 3 Offensive Player of the Year in 2022. He rushed for 1,776 yards on 193 carries with 21 total touchdowns. Lazarious has also received community college offers throught Mississippi.

No. 1 RB – Lazarious Penn

Switching to the defensive side of the football, no. 23 Ollizious Brent is the Cowboys returning linebacker. Brent is listed at 6’0″ 170 pounds, in the graduating class of 2024. He is a smart linebacker who seems to have a good sense of how to read a quarterback.

No. 23 LB – Ollizious Brent and No. 24 LB – Coreyale Carpenter

No. 6 middle linebacker, Demarion Brooks is listed at 6’1″ 200 pounds. Brooks is in the class of 2025, and will have two more seasons with Humphreys County. Joining Brooks in the linebacker core is outside linebacker Coreyale Carpenter, who Coach James believes can have a big impact in the 2023 season.

No. 6 LB – Demarion Brooks

Cornerback no. 3, Le’Derrius Bass is listed at 6’1″ 180 pounds. Bass is in the class of 2025, giving the Cowboys two more seasons with this lockdown corner.

No. 3 CB -Le’Derrius Bass

It is without a doubt that the Humphreys County Cowboys are on the turnaround. Coach Timothy James has this program on the rise after an impressive 2022 season. This is a young, exciting team in class 3A that has earned respect from their peers. Humphreys County High School is a team worth keeping an eye on in 2023, and years to come.