In his second season at Pascagoula head coach, Lewis Sims guided the Panthers to the 5A State Championship game, losing to Starkville.
Pascagoula rang up 11 wins and 3 defeats and ripped off three consecutive victories in the 5A state playoffs...defeating two teams that beat them during the regular season.
After an impressive 38-6 win over West Jones in the first round, Pascagoula dominated previously undefeated Picayune 27 to 10, avenging a 49-10 loss to the highly talented Maroon Tide in October.
The Panthers traveled to Carrier and took out Pearl River Central 17 to 10, after the Blue Devils had beaten Pascagoula 26 to 20 in the regular season finale.
While the Panthers couldn't pull out a win over Starkville in the State Championship game, Lewis Sims completed a super season, named WLOX High School Football Co-coach of the Year.
Sims said, "Just to see the growth of our young men from August to December, just a tremendous satisfaction for our coaching staff and a testament to these young men and their ability to listen, learn and grow in each and every experience we had throughout the season."
Sims recognized the success of his senior class and the entire Pascagoula School System.
"I'd like to thank our Administration for the support they have given us throughout the year." Sims added, "I would like to thank our faculty, our staff. Most of all our coaching staff, those unsung heroes who show up everyday Sunday through Friday and make sure these young men learn what they need to be successful on Friday nights."
Jeff Hopgood is the other WLOX High School Football Co-coach of the Year, following a season that resulted in 10 wins and 2 losses, a season Hopgood calls historic.
Hopgood said, "I'm definitely appreciate of getting Co-Coach of the Year. We had a great year this year, an historic year. We actually hosted our first-ever home playoff game and won that game and got to the second round of the playoffs and won that game as well and got to the third round against a tough Greene County team and came up a little short at the end."
The Bay High Tigers completed the regular season with 8 wins and 1 loss and jumped into the 4A State playoffs on fire.
Hopgood guided his Tigers to an impressive 49 to 21 victory over Northeast Jones, followed by a road victory, eliminating Germantown 45 to 7.
After taking a halftime lead over Greene County, the Wildcats rallied and pulled out a 28-26 win over the Tigers, ending Bay High's season.
Despite that setback Hopgood is thankful for the most successful season in Bay High football history.
"My assistant coaching staff, they did a great job all year," Hopgood stated. He added, "The players bought into the system and the values we try to teach them on a daily basis on and off the field."
It was a very good year for Jeff Hopgood and Lewis Sims, co-coaches of the year.
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