A unique relationship

Published 7:00 am Saturday, August 13, 2016

After attending the meet and greet of Pearl River County football coaches on Thursday, I became even more excited about this season.

Hearing what the coaches had to say about their preparation and expectations was not only enticing, but made the hairs on the back of my neck stand while goose bumps ran down my arms.

High school football coaches Dodd Lee, Picayune Memorial High School; Jay Beech, Poplarville High School; and Larry Dolan, Pearl River Central High School provided thorough information about their teams and what to expect. It was a great opportunity to be updated on the athletes who will shine this year and have the possibility to move on to the collegiate level.

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My first expectation of the meet and greet was learning which coaches potentially despise each other because of the deep rivalry and history between these teams. However, it was quite literally the opposite.

All of the coaches willingly sat at the same table and chatted like best friends. they are. They caught up on each other’s families and what they have been doing since the last time they talked. It was nothing more than a reunion for the coaches, all rivalries put aside.

To me, seeing this camaraderie shows the personality of the local towns in Southern Mississippi. Since I am new to the area, I have not experienced the true Southern hospitality Mississippi exudes, but seeing the coaches smile and laugh together really made me appreciate their good nature.

After seeing them have such a good time with one another, it’s hard to visualize them stepping on the gridiron to battle against one another as rivals.

For me, being from North Carolina, it’s like seeing Coach K and Roy Williams get coffee together during the offseason and playfully punch each other on the shoulder while laughing at inside jokes. We all know it happens, but actually seeing the authentic friendship between rival coaches is a great sight.