PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Football fever hasn't cooled down since Ole Miss and Mississippi State took signature wins last weekend. It's just now started. The football practices at Pascagoula High School are picking up a little this week. One could call them inspired.
What happened last week when Mississippi State defeated Texas A&M and Ole Miss beat Alabama has had a ripple effect, and it's giving some high school teams motivation.
At Pascagoula, both wins have special meaning. Offensive Coordinator Kevin Fant was a star quarterback at MSU in the early 2000s, and standout defensive end Marshean Joseph has committed to the Bulldogs. The game-winning interception by Ole Miss was made by former Pascagoula player Senquez Golson. Both Fant and Joseph were at the MSU game.
"When everybody gets to talking and things get exciting, there's an air about the players," Fant said. "For the lack of better words, they just come to practice more energized."
Joseph said the feeling crosses university favorites.
"I just believe everybody in Mississippi is actually glad that Ole Miss and State won those games, because the State of Mississippi is just a family. We're all family," Joseph said. "It doesn't matter what school you go to. If you're playing football, then that's all that matters."
Golson is not only a hero in Oxford, but also in Pascagoula. His high school coach, John Tomes, and the current Panther defensive backs see Golson's comeback as confirmation that effort and commitment pay off.
"They are seeing now how you can reap the benefits of hard work and doing the stuff we do day in and day out, whether you like it or not," Tomes said. "It's a progression that's going to get you to the next level."
Pascagoula, sitting at four wins and two loses on the season, will travel to undefeated Picayune this Friday. While coaches say last Saturday has been a big topic of discussion among players, their focus is all about Friday's game.