For 45 years, Biloxi has manicured the grounds at Yankie Stadium -- so Biloxi High, Notre Dame and Mercy Cross could all host football games. In the early days, players like Clell Rosetti, George Sekul and Jackie Sherill all lit up the Yankie Stadium scoreboard.
A.J. Holloway remembers those days. "A lot of great football players came through here," he said while walking toward Yankie Stadium's 50 yard line.
Holloway once starred on Biloxi High's football team. Four decades later, Holloway is Biloxi's mayor. And in that capacity, he's listening to proposals that could change a rich history in the stands and on the field here on Lee Street. "There is always speculation going around," he said. "But as of now, there have been no decisions made whatsoever. As far as the future of Yankie Stadium, it will stay as it is for the time being."
Mercy Cross has plenty of reason to cheer that news. This fall, it's the stadium's only high school tenant. And principal Bobby Trosclair said that probably won't change, unless Mercy Cross changes. "The future plans are we hope we have the combination with St. John and Mercy Cross down the road, somewhere where we'll have our own facility," the principal said.
For now, the mayor says Mercy Cross -- and Biloxi youth football teams -- have nothing to fear. "It has a lot of uses that will continue to be here," the mayor said. "So there will always be something going on in this stadium."
Event number one was the Mercy Cross season opener.
As for Biloxi High School's new football stadium, it opens a week from tomorrow. The "on campus" complex is just about complete. This weekend, the stadium lights are supposed to arrive. The athletic director said they should be up and tested early next week, so Biloxi can practice under the lights before its home opener.