Rewriting the script of a challenging schedule

Published 9:51 am Thursday, August 18, 2016

Submitted photo. The Maroon Tide look to lean on their few seniors to lead them through the 2016-17 season.

Submitted photo.
The Maroon Tide look to lean on their few seniors to lead them through the 2016-17 season.

Dodd Lee, Picayune Memorial High School’s head football coach, has high expectations for his team to ensure they don’t repeat last year’s losing record. 

To Lee, the beginning of the season is practically the playoffs. PMHS opens their 2016-17 schedule against four 6A schools, which Lee said is something they usually only see toward the end of the season and even in the playoffs.

Because of the early challenges in their schedule, Lee scheduled five two-a-days last week, in which all the athletes participated. They started the first practice at 6 a.m. before school, following another practice after school until 6 p.m.

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“The kids have a great attitude coming into this season. They all worked hard in the offseason, which is exciting to watch,” Lee said.

The Maroon Tide will have five returning seniors with starting roles, which is one more than last year.

“Four of the seniors go right down the middle of the offense, starting with a senior center, quarterback, fullback and tail back. They’re all pretty good football players and they’re great leaders too,” Lee said.

With senior running back Josh Littles in the backfield and senior quarterback Skylar Bowman, Lee is confident the offense will perform better than last year.

Littles totaled over 1,800 total scrimmage yards last season.

Last year, the Tide’s record was like a roller coaster; they lost their first three games, then hit a five-game winning streak, ending the season with four straight losses.

Despite losing three games early in the season, Lee has a different approach to those rematches.

“It’s a new year. With this new year come new opportunities. We won’t look back at last year; it’s just not how Tide football operates. We will continue to get the best out of each other and lay everything we got on the field,” Lee said.

Even with consistency being a problem last year, Lee is optimistic about the younger members of the team, especially with multiple underclassmen starting multiple games last season. On top of that, Lee said he has three or four players that have potential to go far in their football careers.

“Experience is not an issue. I am very comfortable with how the players have stepped up into roles they probably wouldn’t have on other teams. We are working well as a team already, which is exciting to watch,” Lee said.

Lee said he is excited to start this season against D’Iberville High School on August 26.