BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - It's championship week in the high school soccer ranks. South State titles are on the line Tuesday and a heated rivalry takes the spotlight in Bay St. Louis where Bay High and St. Stanislaus meet on the Rockachaws home turf.
St. Stanislaus is the three-time defending Class 4A state champion and you guessed it, the Rockachaws made their way to the title game each year by beating their cross-town rival Bay High.
Danny Patton took over the head coaching reins at St. Stanislaus this season after Ryan Joiner left to become the head coach of the Ocean Springs Lady Greyhounds. Patton guided the Rockachaws to a 17-5-1 overall record and a perfect 6-0 slate to capture the Region 8-4A title.
Kelly Ross and his Bay High Tigers enter the 4A South State showdown with a 13-6-2 record. Two of those losses were to St. Stanislaus by the scores of 2-1 and 1-0.
So, what comes to mind whenever you mention Stanislaus to Bay High senior John Bowman?
"I think about St. Stanislaus beating us three years in a row for South State and I can't take that, "said Bowman. He added, "We need a win."
St. Stanislaus senior Corbin Blanchard is gunning for his fourth straight Class 4A South State championship and a win over the Tigers Tuesday night, and he and his Rockachaws would get a chance for a Four-peat Saturday in Jackson.
I told Blanchard that Bay High players are upset when mentioning St. Stanislaus. So, what was his response? Blanchard said, "Hopefully, they'll be upset again this year. We plan on making them upset."
Ethan Loftin of Bay High said, "It's a battle every time we step out on the field with St. Stanislaus. They have more technique, but when it comes to athleticism, I think we've got 'em."
Rockachaws head coach Danny Patton knows the Bay High-St. Stanislaus soccer match will go right down to the wire. "It will be a battle, "said Patton. "A fight. One goal win, one goal loss. That's the way it always goes."
Bay High coach Kelly Ross said, "It's just a matter of us bringing it when it matters and taking advantage of the chances that we're going to get."
Andrew Elkins of St. Stanislaus summed up the Tigers-Rockachaws best by saying, "We know a lot of their guys on their team and we grew up playing with each other. So, it's a heated rivalry, but we have respect for each other and it will be a good game."
The Bay will be rocking Tuesday night! It will be one of the featured games on WLOX News Now at 10 p.m.