KILN, MS (WLOX) - Rocky Gaudin is back. He spent 13 years as an assistant at Hancock under Irvin Favre. Left to become head coach at Bay High for 4 seasons.. And from 1994 through 2004 he was head coach at Hancock. For the past 8 seasons he was head coach at Mercy Cross, St. Patrick and Resurrection.
Gaudin said, "It's good to be home you know you always here that but for me, it is, a special thing. And I'm glad for the opportunity to be back."
Gaudin takes over a football team that posted only 2 wins in 11 games last season and he's ready for the challenge of building a competitive team in the solid Region 4-6A ranks.
"I think we'll be fine, " he stated. "Just have to be a little patient and I told the kids yesterday, If you keep doing the things we're doing it will pay off. It may not pay off this week. It may not pay off this month or this year but we're going to get there."
Shane Ladner moves from wide receiver to quarterback and will pull the trigger for the Hawks this season.
Gaudin said, "He's here every day. He works hard. He's got a great attitude. He's fun to be around which is a good thing and I think he'll do a fine job for us. I really do."
Junior wide receiver Logan Perniciaro hauled in 10 catches last season and scored 2 touchdowns including this 70 yard strike against D'Iberville last season. Sophomore's Jeb Malley and D-J Riley are expected to grab their share of passes.
Aaron Fairley a 5-foot-10, 180 pound senior should carry the load this season at running back. His strong point?
"My speed and I have like good agility," Fairley replied. "I also want to try to rush for a thousand yards."
Defensively Devin Smith is ready for a solid senior season. He had 76 tackles last season, 2 sacks and 2 fumble recoveries. Coach Gaudin is counting on Devin to be a vocal leader.
Next week WLOX will profile Smith on the 10:00 p.m. sports. Devin is a 6-foot-3, 270 pound senior. We'll begin our "Elite 11" series on Monday profiling top seniors from the Mississippi Gulf Coast.