Lawrence County High School is a class 4A public school located in Monticello, Mississippi. The red and black Cougars opened school doors in 1987. Lawrence County played 12 years in 4A football before having a perfect season in 1999, winning their only state championship. Since then, the school added three district championships in 2008, 2009, and 2015. Currently, the school is under Head Football Coach Jesse Anderson.
Head Coach Jesse Anderson has been a part of Lawrence County High School for quite some time. In fact, he was on the Cougars 1999 championship team. Anderson came back to the school in 2005 as the offensive line coach. He remained an assistant until 2018, when he became head coach for the Cougars. Coach Anderson originally inherited the staff left from the previous head coach, but over the years has been able to put into place his own staff.
Lawrence County Cougars are an exciting, young team that had an impressive season last year. The Cougars went 7-3 in 2022, but missed out on playoffs due to a 2-3 regional record. Coach Anderson says, “We pride ourselves on being a program, not just a football team. The expectations are to win it all every year. – Our kids come in hungry every year to try to get better. Every class wants to go farther than the last, and out-do the previous year.”
This upcoming season, the Cougars are returning 7 offensive starters with 3 on the defensive side. Lawrence County will be returning their dynamic backfield with running back Ahmad Hardy, and quarterback Kannon Cato. This duo will be behind a stout offensive line featuring Jacavious Magee, Ty Ellis, and Jatavious Robertson. On the defensive side of the ball, the Cougars will be featuring returning linebackers Ja’Bra Mcgee and Jaterrious Walker.
No. 29, running back Ahmad Hardy is the heart and soul of this team. Coach Anderson says that he is without a doubt a power 5 running back. Hardy is listed at 5’11” 200 pounds. He started last season for the Cougars as a junior. While Ahmad only played 7 full games due to a minor injury, he still managed to run for 1400 yards on 101 carries. This very impressive back also averages 3 touchdowns a game.
No. 11, quarterback/free safety Kannon Cato is listed at 6’0″ 190 pounds. Cato is a dual-threat, left handed quarterback that manages a Wing-T offense. Due to the system he is in, he does not throw the ball too often, but when he does it is on the dot. Cato is a very impressive quarterback that can do it in the air or on the ground.
The offensive line for the Cougars will feature Jacavious Magee, Ty Ellis, and Jatavious Robertson. Magee is the only senior out of the three, with Ellis and Robertson both upcoming juniors. All of the lineman are over 6’1″ 320, 340, and 275.
No. 8, linebacker Ja’Bra Mcgee is an athlete that shows good knowledge of the game when on the football field. He has the size and speed of a linebacker at any level. He is a hard hitting linebacker that will be helping the Cougars as a returning starter in 2023.
The Lawrence County High School Cougars are heading into the 2023 offseason with high hopes. Coach Anderson has this team developing the way he wants, and has seen tremendous growth with his players. The Cougars will be an exciting team to watch this upcoming year.