PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - It's not hard to feel the buzz around The Pass right now. The Pirates host Long Beach Thursday night, officially kicking off this season of high school football on the Coast.
"I'm super excited," senior running back Tionne Frost said. "This is the game I've been waiting on."
"I'm just ready," senior defensive tackle Travon Frost said. "I'm trying to keep calm, but hey, it's just all about staying humble."
Gone are VJ Swanier and his 17 touchdowns from last season, but the Pirates still boast numerous weapons on offense. Tionne Frost leads the attack for a deep backfield, and sophomore quarterback Dustin Allison is back after throwing for 462 yards and four touchdowns as a freshman.
"All my teammates had my back and it was a learning experience," Allison said. "When you have each other's backs, everybody works to that one level."
"He handled it about as good as a freshman can handle it," head coach Casey Wittmann said. "He went all over the South this summer preparing for the season. He doesn't play like a sophomore, he plays like an upperclassmen."
Despite losing each of their top four tacklers to graduation, Pass Christian returns a stout defense, including a strong group of linemen upfront.
"It's just all about replacing and staying humble," Travon Frost said. "(It's) just every man accounting for the person next to them."
"I don't really see us giving up more than 21 points this year," senior linebacker Nate Stewart said. "That's how I feel."
As the Pirates still search for their first district title in program history, this group feels confident they can be the ones to raise a banner in The Pass.
"We've got a very, very special group of guys," senior center Nathan Weatherly said. "I've known that this was going to be a very special group for a long time, and to finally be seniors, we know that this is a team that can compete for a district championship this year."
Kickoff between Pass Christian and Long Beach is set for Thursday at 7 p.m.