Bearcats ready themselves for 2021 football season
By Datti Jinkiri
Fall is just around the corner, and that means that Mississippi high school football is nearing its start. The Long Beach Bearcats football team will open their season on August 27 with a road game against Pass Christian High School. The Bearcats haven't made the playoffs since 2011 and will be looking to get back to the promised land.
Head Coach Ryan Ross is headed into his second season at the helm. The team finished with a 1-8 record in Ross' first year, but he's optimistic about the upcoming season.
“It's been a crazy year for everybody, because of COVID-19,” Ross said. “We did get to have a spring practice, so I feel like things will be better in the future.”
“Our goals are the same for every season,” he added. “We want to have a winning record and make the playoffs!”
According to Ross, the Bearcats will play uptempo in a spread offense and use multiple looks on defense. Fans can expect to see entertaining football from the team this season.
The Bearcats will return nine starters from last year. On offense, quarterback Charlie Starita and wide receiver Amaru Jones will lead the way. On defense, linemen Josh Brown and West Bourland will be key up front. Linebacker Avery Berry and defensive back A.J. Allen will also add some experience to the defense.
Three of the team's promising young players feature on the defensive side of the ball. Cornerback Edjuan Trautman, defensive lineman Brandon Davis and linebacker Jahari Mitchell will be underclassmen to keep an eye on this season.
The Bearcats will be in Region 4-5A with East Central, Gautier, George County, Pearl River Central, Picayune, Vancleave and West Harrison.
After the Pass Christian game, Long Beach will continue non-region play with games against Bay High and St. Stanislaus. The Bearcats will begin region play with a road matchup with Vancleave on September 24.