HURLEY, MS (WLOX) - If there was any question, now we know. East Central’s historic 2017 campaign was no fluke.
On the night Seth Smith became the winningest head coach in program history with an overall record of 43-28, East Central put the finishing touches on a 9-0 record, the Hornets' second straight undefeated regular season.
“I always give credit to the coaches and players because that’s where the credit should go,” Smith said. "To be successful, it’s a big puzzle, and I’m just a small part of that puzzle. Our coaches and our players, honestly from day one, have done an amazing job.”
Last year, the Hornets won thanks in large part to a high-flying offense. This year? They’re getting it done with a dominant defense, allowing just under eight points per game, including four shutouts to their name.
“I knew we’d be pretty good because we’ve been playing together since we were little kids. I knew we’d gel eventually and we’d be pretty decent,” Avery White said with a smile.
The senior linebacker is leading the charge, who tops the team with 92 total tackles and 23 tackles for loss.
“The one thing you do is you thank God that you get to coach one of them," Smith laughed. "When you have kids like him, you’ve got a chance to be successful.”
The 6′4, 190-pound prospect has an innate ability to get to the ball-carrier, and colleges have noticed. White holds offers from Southern Miss and South Alabama, and could be announcing his decision as early as this week.
“It’s really exciting," White said of the recruiting process. "Just to know that I could be able to go to the next level just makes it great.”
White and the East Central defense will continue to be counted on if the defending 4A South State Champions look to make another deep run through the playoffs.
“(So far) they’ve been able to check every box," Smith said. "So now we know, if you don’t check a box this week, you don’t get another box to check. It’s literally got to be the same boring ‘one game at a time’ mentality, because if you overlook an opponent, you’re not going to win.”
The Hornets host Quitman in the first round of the Class 4A Playoffs this Friday.