LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Senior defensive lineman J'arius Warren wants to demolish his junior season total of 142 tackles. Whether it's by surpassing last year's team-leader Kevin Wayne (213 tackles) or not, his goal is to crack 200.
With an even more determined outlook in summer camp, alongside other defensive stalwarts like linebacker Dustin Bryant (100 tackles) and Tyson Callahan (71 tackles, 5 sacks), Warren and the Long Beach Bearcats are hoping to showcase their talents throughout the entirety of games.
"We have a whole new attitude this year," said Warren, who holds offers from Tulane, Navy, South Alabama, ULM and Nicholls State. "Last year I practiced alright, but this year I go at it way more in practice. I think we're looking to win way more games than previous years."
Long Beach went 3-9 in 2015 and has won a total of six games in the past four years. Their last winning season (8-4) was current Mississippi State linebacker Richie Brown's senior season in 2011.
"We can play, we can play," senior defensive lineman Trevon Taylor said. "We just have to finish the second half [and] just come out and finish."
Senior wide receiver Mathew Cropper is expected to be one of the offensive playmakers that junior quarterback Jaidon Evans or freshman quarterback Cade Crosby will rely on this year.
Cropper played in just three games after breaking his leg in the team's jamboree game last season.
"I came to practice every day after that, watched practice and tried to help out as much as I could," Cropper said. "We're doing good. We have a good quarterback. Both of them."
The Bearcats open the 2016 season against the Gulfport Admirals August 19 in the Shrimp Bowl, which follows a 25-7 loss to the Biloxi Indians in last year's Shrimp Bowl.
Their first home game is August 26 against South Jones before going on the road for five consecutive games.