GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Head coach Mike Justice and his staff believe this is the year Gulfport will contend for the Region 4-District 8 title. The veteran of 30 years in the coaching ranks begins his 3rd season at Gulfport High.
Justice said, "Well we built this thing on the right principles of blocking and tackling, grades, students. We think we're there.
Last season Justice guided his Admirals to 6 wins and 5 losses, but failed to crack the state playoffs.
"Thought we could have been better but we didn't. But had a good year, turned it around and now we're past that. We need to move on with it," he explained.
Coach Justice has a very good quarterbacks calling the shots. He's Dennis Robertson, a 6-foot-4, 230 pound senior. In 2009 he was the starting quarterback for the Biloxi Indians before an injury sidelined him for the season.
"He had been at Biloxi. He's a Gulfport boy and ended up there for a while. He's back with us now and he's good young man. A good family. Just works hard. Does the things we want done," Justice said.
Robertson will have a high profile receiver in Travon Travis, a 5-foot-11, 175 pound junior. He gained valuable experience last season from his wide receiver post and was a threat on punt returns.
The Admirals running back corp is young with only one senior in the group, but those young men also played a lot of high school football in 2009. Coach Justice says the group is solid.
Justice said, "Nick Burks and Christian Williams are doing a good job at fullback both of them over 200 and Brandon McClendon and Antwar Ashley and D-J Johnson are playing tailback for us. So we're full up there we've got some good young kids there that can run."
Defensively 6 foot 5, 275 pound senior tackle Cortez Hartzog is the leader of the pack. Most college recruiters have Hartzog on their wish list and he'll be a key for the Admirals in 2010.