East Central Community College (MS) will open a new football season against Northwest Aug. 29 in Decatur.

Among the returning standouts as the Warriors seek a return to the playoffs after a two-year absence is defensive standout Alvin Dempsey, a Port St. Joe High School graduate.

For the first time since 2017, the Warriors play more games at home than on the road.

The Warriors return four starters on offense and five on defense from the 2018 squad that finished 4-5 overall and 3-3 in the MACJC South Division. Nine starters from last season are playing at four-year colleges and universities this fall.

On defense, the Warriors return two key players from last year’s defensive front that helped contribute to 27 sacks in nine games.

Dempsey, a defensive tackle, and defensive end Ronnie Thomas (Clinton) are both back. Dempsey totaled 40 tackles, six and a half sacks, and seven tackles for a loss last season. Freshman Joshua Ratcliff out of Assumption High School in Napoleonville, La., is expected to step in alongside Dempsey and Thomas.

For the second year in a row, East Central faces the most difficult schedule in the MACJC. In addition to the season opener against Northwest, the Warriors play all four playoff teams from a year ago, including road games at Copiah-Lincoln, East Mississippi, and Jones.

East Central will also travel to Southwest, as well as host Itawamba, Pearl River, Gulf Coast and Hinds.

All home and away football action this season can be heard on WKOZ “Cruisin” 98.3 radio or at www.eccc.edu/eccc-media. Live stream video of all home games as well as links to live stream of road opponents can also be found at www.eccc.edu/eccc-media.

For more information on ECCC Warrior football, including a full schedule and roster, visit www.ecccathletics.com.