The high school athletic year for 2020-21 has officially come to a close with the completion of spring football practice on Friday, May 21.
Both Bay High and Hancock played spring games to close out their 15 days of practice while Saint Stanislaus chose not to play a scrimmage game.
Bay High Tigers
The Bay High Tigers closed their spring football practices with a jamboree on Friday, May 21, against King Charter School of New Orleans and Live Oak High School from Livingston Parish.
The three teams played controlled scrimmages against each other with junior varsity beginning at 5 p.m.
The jv squads got 20 plays on offense each before the varsity teams squared off for a running half of football.
In the first varsity game between Bay High and Ling Charter, the Tigers needed all of their 24 minutes of play to find the endzone.
Ben Wilemon scored for Bay High on a 60-yard interception return with less than one minute to play.
Later, the Tigers played Live Oak and fell 14-0 but not without pushing the ball downfield only to be upended twice on turnovers.
Bay High head coach Jeremy Turcotte commented, “First and foremost, we came out of spring healthy. We are deeper in some spots than we have been in years past. We have some really bright young guys at various positions. We will look a little different than what we looked like last year.”
Some of the players that caught the eyes of the coaching staff during the spring practices were Layland Adam, Vincent Lan, Ben Wilemon, Tyson Hawkins, Xander Ladner, Noah Cutter, Carmello Simpson, Ayden Christophe, Jaylen Antoine, and Fisher DeCamp.
The Tigers now move into the summer training workouts that Turcotte wants to use to develop timing and chemistry within his position groups.
Bay High has several 7-on-7 practices set up to accompany the weight training and conditioning regimen.
Turcotte ended, “We are very appreciative of how hard the players have worked during these last 15 days. The coaching staff also put in some tough hours out here with the players getting them ready for the next step. This group can be a special group but the work is on their shoulders to carry.”
The Hancock Hawks ended their spring training in football on Friday, May 14, with a spring scrimmage against George County.
The Hawks were faced with several voids to fill due to graduation but the coaching staff feels like they accomplished their goal of creating competition across the board.
Hancock head coach Neil Lollar stated, “We knew we were young at several positions so we needed to create competition. We feel we accomplished that this year. We had some returners from the season that stepped up and helped lead the younger players. And, we had some new guys step up and solidify opportunities for playing time this fall. It has been a competitive camp and we are excited about the fall.”
The Hawks return Cameron Miller and Pierre Fowler in the offensive backfield and they will lean on them to get the ball moving forward.
The receivers are a young position group with Tanner Ladner, a rising junior, being the seasoned veteran. The staff is looking for three to four guys to be able to work in throughout the season.
The OL/DL position group is anchored by D’Khyrie Smith along with contributors Bryce Ladner, Jacob Messa, Ryan Ladner, Joey Alligood, and Triston Varnado.
At linebacker, the Hawks return some strong football IQ players in Jeffrey Hopgood and Bryson Adam.
At defensive back, the Hawks may be the most green at this position. Hancock replaces Cameron Ganier with Xavier Ganier. Other DBs figuring into the music are Miller, Fowler, Colby Kearn, and Heath Dedeaux.
Perhaps the most intriguing player the staff noticed is Jasper Talley whom they say is very versatile and can be used in a varied system.
Lollar says several will play both ways like Miller and Fowler.
Lollar was pleased with their scrimmage against George County. He said the team performed well but also has stuff to clean up.
Lollar ended, “We will go into summer with the mindset to condition hard. We will play some different sets this year having tweaked a few things. The coaching staff did a great job installing it. Now, this summer we will get some confidence with it.”
Saint Stanislaus Rock-A-Chaws
The Saint Stanislaus Rock-A-Chaws completed their spring football practice on Tuesday, May 18. The Rocks did not play in a interscholastic scrimmage.
SSC head coach Nate Encrapera commented, “We approached this spring much like we have approached it for the last several years and that is to get as much film on as many players as we can. We strive to put them in situations to see who can play where. We want to get our best 11 players on both sides of the ball and create competition. We feel that we have accomplished that this spring.”
Encrapera said he and his staff saw some good things from Davien Lagarde, Ryan Tyler, Brandon Rhodes, Joe Bradford, Jacob Bradford, Ja’Kobe Cameron, Canye Bankston, Heith Shinn, and Alex Fabra throughout the course of the spring.
The Rocks plan to use the summer to get stronger, faster, and bigger to aid in injury resistance. The summer will also be utilized to increase the mental toughness and acuity of the team. Encrapera stated that the team will be reading the book Guidelines for the Leader and the Commander by the late General Bruce C. Clarke.
The Rocks will be moving into Class 3A in August after having been a member of Class 4A since the MHSAA went to the classification system in 1982.
Encrapera stated, “We are taking the move in stride. It is hard to find a more competitive district than the one we will be playing in with perennial contenders West Marion and Jefferson Davis County, as well as, Seminary, Perry Central, and St. Patrick. We will prepare every week to be competitive just as we have up to this point.”
With spring football complete and summer training starting, the wait for kickoff is just 12 weeks and two days away.