LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Forrest Williams feels a whole lot better about his 2015 Bearcats, while entering his second year as the Long Beach head coach.
"We have great coaches here who can coach young men up, "said Williams. "Going into year two was getting our off-season in shape, the shape it needed for us to be successful. We're not especially deep, but I believe our No. 1s can compete with anybody."
Heading into the new season, Williams has tabbed 6-1 freshman TQ Newsome as the Bearcats No. 1 quarterback.
In Friday's jamboree game, Newsome started slowly but started to find his rhythm with each and every snap.
Newsome said, "It's a good experience to come out there and compete with the older guys. Doing what I love, having fun playing football. So, being a freshman really doesn't change anything."
Brock Byrd and Trevor Terry will be two of Newsome's top targets. Both became primary receivers for TQ in the jamboree game.
Williams said. "It's a little tough as a head coach to put the keys to the offense in the hands of a freshman, but from what he's shown and the leadership that's he's taken at that position we expect big things from him, not just this year but the next four years here at Long Beach."
The Bearcats have a number of players who will have a major impact on offense and defense beginning with No. 4 running back Mario Clark, the former Gulfport Admiral. He'll also make his precence known on defense.
Talking about the Long Beach defense... No. 22 Kevin Wayne who stands about 5 feet 6...obviously isn't the biggest player, however, in Friday's jamboree game with Pass Christian, Wayne was all over the field making tackles, picking up from where he left off last season.
"I just have the tenacity, just want to catch whoever has the ball, "stated Wayne. "Ever since I was a freshman my coaches always told me, I'm not the biggest guy but I have a nose for the ball."
Senior Travon Taylor No. 52 displayed his defensive talents on Friday. He made a number of tackles and came up with an interception.
Long Beach kicks off the 2015 regular season Friday evening at 5 at Milner Stadium facing the Biloxi Indians in game one of the Shrimp Bowl. St. Stanislaus and Gulfport take the spotlight in game two of the Shrimp Bowl at 8 p.m.