BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The Biloxi Indians haven't had much to celebrate over the past two seasons, going winless in seven region 4-6A games in 2014 and notching just two victories the year before.
First-year head coach Bobby Hall is ready to turn around the Indians after he spent the previous nine seasons at Madison Central High School. He led the Jaguars to the playoffs in all but one season.
Hall was retired for four weeks before deciding on contacting Biloxi Athletic Director Tom Gladney about the open head coach position.
Biloxi will be without starting fullback Nick Ross for the season after the junior broke his femur during practice earlier this month. An additional injury to another offensive player would prove detrimental to an Indians team that doesn't have much depth.
"We obviously need to stay healthy," Hall said. "We're senior-laden defensively. We like our defensive front and secondary. We like those guys and think we'll be good in the kicking game. I think they key for us is to stay healthy."
The Indians will be changing things up on both sides of the ball. They'll be young offensively, but junior quarterback Trey Shaffer, junior tailback Martel Turner and junior wideout Tim Jones will have a big offensive line to work with as well.
"We are ecstatic, 100 percent [for the season]," Turner said. "Last year wasn't too good of a season but now we have a good coach. He's making big moves. We're thinking about a state championship."
In order to claim that state title, Biloxi must improve defensively in terms of points allowed. The Indians surrendered at least 35 points in every region 4-6A game last season but are hoping a new 3-3-5 defensive scheme equals success.
"Compared to last year, we're a lot quicker and faster on defense," senior defensive lineman Chandler Myers said. "We're flying to the ball and that helps a lot in high school football. We're getting to the point of the ball and executing our tackles and that's the biggest thing. we have a lot of seniors on defense. That's providing a lot of leadership for us."
Biloxi will meet Poplarville in a jamboree game this Friday before opening the regular season against Long Beach in the annual Shrimp Bowl.