Long Beach middle school football team has recipe for success

The 11 and 12-year-old Long Beach Bearcats have been playing spectacular football.

They recently competed in the Pickle Bowl in Perkinston. It's the success there and over the past few months that has earned them the right to play in the Gumbo Classic in New Orleans in December against teams from cities like Chicago, Atlanta, Minneapolis and Nashville.

"If every player steps up and the line hits hard, I think we'll do really good," Kevin Montgomery said. "We might have a chance to make it to the end."

"We have a real promising team coming forward," head coach Aaron Brockup said. "Our eighth grade team this year only lost one game when they lost the championship to Picayune so it's getting promising for Long Beach."

One of those promising players is sixth grader Jervey Foxworth. The 11-year-old ran for nearly 1,800 yards this season and also had eight touchdowns in one game.

"He passed for one [touchdown], caught one, ran for one and even had two kick returns for touchdowns," Brockup said. "He was just on fire that night. He was feeling it."

While talented kids like Jervey still have a lot to learn in the game of football, there's something that adults can learn from these kids every day when it comes to athletics. These Long Beach Bearcats are all about having fun while playing the game and not taking it too seriously.

"It's fun playing football," Tommie Johnson said. "You get to run a lot and get a lot of exercise."

"It means a lot because I know I deserve to be on the team because I tried really hard during the regular season," Kaleb Joyner said. "I get to play with all my friends I know from school."

"It's important to win some games but it's important to have some fun during them because it's not going to last forever," Camron Matthews said. "You have to make it worth it. It's not like, 'okay let's just do this and get it done with.' You just gotta have some fun."