BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The St. Patrick Fighting Irish head into the 2015 regular season with only 26 players on the varsity roster and a new head coach.
Jim Bloomfield moved from Vancleave High School to St. Patrick hoping to help the Irish improve on last year's 4-6 record. He takes over the reigns at St. Patrick following the departure of Tommy Thompson.
Despite the low total of players, the Irish went through a different strength and conditioning program instilled by Bloomfield and expect to be one of the tougher teams in region 8-3A.
"I know that they think they're ready to play tomorrow but I know as a coach that they're not ready physically yet," Bloomfield said. "We have some conditioning to get done. We had been running all summer but it's not the same."
"We hit the weights hard and put in a new offense opposed to what we ran last year," senior linebacker and fullback Kolbie Spence said. "A triple option will be good to run because we have different things we can do. It can be deadly if it's run right."
Senior Matt Jones usually plays wide receiver, but will be counted upon to be another back in an offense that is prevalent among many coast teams.
"We have a big senior class this year," Jones said. "We're excited. All of us are. We grew up together as freshman. A couple people left, a couple people came. We're really excited and ready to go out there and play ball."
St. Patrick will play in a jamboree game next week before opening the season Fri., August 21, against Resurrection.