"We're looking very good. I think we could be the best defense on the Coast."
A bold statement from senior defender Chad Searight, but it's that kind of confidence that currently looms large around the Warriors practice field. Even though D'Iberville tasted success in 2016, the Warriors are hungry for more. Why, you may ask?
"Because you know everyone's clawing to get what you got," head coach Eric Collins said with a smile.
Coming off an eight-win, Region 4-6A Championship season, the Warriors know there's a target firmly placed on their backs in 2017.
"We had a lot of success last year, so we're a main target in the district," said Louis Paul Smith, a 3-star offensive lineman prospect for the class of 2019. "We've been working hard, we're steady."
"We know it's not gonna be easy because, of course, teams are looking forward to us to get revenge," senior running back Ja'Quavis Foster said. "We gotta just play our role, do good and we should be alright."
It won't take long to see what D'Iberville is made of. The Warriors face a monstrous non-region schedule, including visits to Tylertown and Madison Central, who both boast over 64 home wins since 2004.
"You know, yeah, we want to win," Collins said when asked about how they approach this opening-season stretch. "We want to win every game that we play, but more importantly we gotta test ourselves and see where our shortcomings are so that we can get better for district play."
Foster is one Warrior expected to have a big year. Behind a strong offensive line led by Smith, Foster looks to build on his 152 carry, 1043 yard and six touchdown output from last year.
"It's good cause (we've) got not only me, but two other dominant running backs, Devon and Jordan Hartley, and they (have) a lot of size," Foster said. "I feel like it's not really just on me this year, it's all of us as a team."
A team that looks to build off of last year's Region championship.
"Our ultimate goal is state," Smith said. "We have our mind set on state."
"We just gotta keep building it one day at a time, keep focused one day at a time," Searight said. "We can't get the big head. We just gotta keep focusing."
The Warriors host Moss Point for Jamboree action this Friday before opening the regular season at Tylertown on August 18th.