GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Joe Roberts is the head coach at Christian Collegiate Academy.His football team is a little different from other high school football teams along the coast.
It's 8-man football....8 players on offense facing 8 players on defense. Coach Roberts says... it's still football...played the same way, but with fewer players.
Roberts said,"People try to compare 11 man and 8 man a lot and except for 3 men, it's still football. You still need 8 guys on defense to run around and make tackles and you still need 8 guys on offense, offensive linemen. Normally you have a center, two guards. It's about getting after it, each man doing your job and playing for the guy next to you."
Roberts has been coaching for 17 years and says the success of the football program at Christian Collegiate Academy has been an inspiration for the entire school.
"First thing you want to teach your kids...who you are playing for,"stated Roberts. "You're playing for each other. Secondly, when other kids are watching the success and success breeds success. We start in the weight room in the summer and these kids started five years ago and it didn't start with this group out here. It started with the guys that we had in the past. We decided we want to do better. Other sports in our school seeing the success, now they're doing well and better which breeds success in your school."
Last year the Bulldogs cracked the playoffs with a goal of winning the state title. The failure to accomplish that goal in 2013 has led to what the players call..... Unfinished Business.
Roberts said,"We earned the opportunity to win a District Championship this past year, but it was bittersweet because we made it to the semifinals and were knocked out in the Franklin game. Well we talked about having a motto for this year. Their motto they wanted was "Unfinished Business.' We won a District Championship, that's good, but tell you a little bit about their character, they want something more."
Christian Collegiate Academy beat Rebul Academy Friday night 54-0 giving the Bulldogs 5 wins and 1 loss, 4 and 0 in the District Standings.
Christian Collegiate Academy is dedicated to winning on the field of competition and in the classroom.