VANCLEAVE, MS (WLOX) - There's a new man at the helm of the Vancleave High Bulldogs football team, but it's a familiar face.
After 17 years as an assistant coach -- the last 15 as Vancleave's defensive coordinator -- Lavon Capers takes over the head coaching reigns from Jim Bloomfield, who is now at St. Patrick.
Capers has proven himself as a defensive minded coach, but says he's confident taking on the offense and special teams roles as well.
"The biggest thing is just being more involved on the offensive side of the ball," he said. "We have three new coaches, but we still have four coaches left over from the previous staff."
Consistency has allowed the team to maintain a level of familiarity when it comes to the schemes and terminologies.
Vancleave will rely heavily on 14 seniors returning this season. Among them is senior quarterback Parker Bourque, who says he is feeling 100% after battling back from a season-ending injury in his junior year.
"A lot has changed, but it's for good," Bourque said. "[Capers] has really pulled all of us together to become closer as a group of brothers [and] to push each other."
Bourque is hoping to improve on his 3-2 record last season in which he threw for 639 yards and seven touchdowns.
The Bulldogs are coming off a 2014 campaign that was filled with ups and downs. After losing six straight early in the season, they won three in a row at the end of the year to punch their ticket into the class 4A playoffs.
Vancleave went on to win its first-round matchup 53-50 against Florence before losing to Purvis in the second round.
Capers is confident his team can make another playoff run in 2015 against a tough schedule.
His team's first game is at Stone High on Friday, August 21.