MSSU prepares for only spring game, Bradley’s coaching debut

Local Sports

JOPLIN, Mo. — There’s plenty of anticipation surrounding the Missouri Southern football team, not just for the return of football in general, but also for new head coach Atiba Bradley’s coaching debut.

Because of the pandemic, the Lions have not played in a real game since 2019. Plenty has changed, and people are anxious to see what a new era of Lion football can look like.

The Lions only have nine practices under their belt, but Bradley likes what he’s seen out of his team so far.

“Well I think the biggest thing is that they’re young,” Bradley said. “So with youth you’re seeing daily improvement. I mean everyday they make a mistake, but the next day they’re correcting it. I think that’s probably been the most exciting thing is right now our guys are just sponges soaking up everything from football to the weight room. These guys want to get better and they’re making the effort so as a team we’ll be better.”

Bradley wouldn’t commit to a starting quarterback moving forward, but said Eastern Illinois transfer Jaylon Banks would probably get the start for the Lions on Thursday.

Missouri Southern will travel to Bethany, Oklahoma Thursday to face Southern Nazarene. Kickoff is set for 3 pm.

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