by Dave Schroeder - www.twitter.com/GulfSportsDave
Gulfport running back Antwar Ashley may be small, but he's been a big-time threat for the Admirals.
"I was happy to hear that I was in the Elite 11, because usually I am underrated, maybe just because I'm small," said Ashley.
He's only 5-9, but Antwar Ashley scored 18 touchdowns for the Admirals last year.
"Game 1, he broke for about 60, and we said, look here, wasn't that fun, and then after that he just kept doing it," said Gulfport coach Mike Justice.
Coach Justice says some players have all the talent in the world, but can't get in the end zone.
Ashley is just the opposite. He has an uncanny ability to find a way.
"I make big plays. If they need somebody to score, I'm gonna go get the touchdown, because that's all I smell when I'm on the field," Ashley said. "I'm thinking touchdown, that's it."
"Good backs, great backs, you don't teach them, you just give them the ball," Justice said.
Gulfport fell to eventual state runner-up Meridian is last year's playoffs.
Ever since that loss, Ashley has been anxious to write a new chapter for his Admirals.
"We've been working all summer, it's felt like it's taken forever. Now that's it's here, I'm ready to play," Ashley said.
And coach Justice can't wait to see Ashley play.
"We just don't have a kid that works harder than he does. He really works hard at being what he is," Justice said.
Antwar and the Admirals will begin their season at home vs. Picayune in 9 days.