GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - The youngest of the South Mississippi teams have grown tired of playing little brother to their Region 4-6A peers.
“Down here they’re always thinking that Harrison Central and Gulfport is running everything, but it’s nothing like that,” senior cornerback Jaidon Shelby-Raymond said. “We new to this but we are going to show what we about.”
Making a name for themselves in the 12 years they’ve existed has been no easy feat. West Harrison has yet to accomplish a winning season and hasn’t won a division game in seven years. However, as the program continues to develop, they have struck on a few talented players.
“Take somebody like Llanes (Dickerson) who led the whole state in rushing for the first four, five weeks of the year. He’s off at the river right now,” head coach Quincy Patrick said. “Take somebody like Cooper Martin, he’s at Belhaven. Had another lineman, went to East Central. So that’s success right there. There’s no one word or statement that I can say that makes you think this program has changed. If you’re inside this program, you know it has changed, we see it everyday.
Llanes Dickerson was one of the bright spots of the Hurricanes 2019 season, rushing for over 1400 yards and 19 touchdowns. With his graduation, his talent will be missed, but he made a lasting impact.
“He brought this mentality and this group together. He was the foundation last year of us,” Shelby-Raymond said. “Now we’re just going to follow in his footsteps and what he left behind we’re going to pick up.”
The Hurricanes come into 2020 with a young team and just 12 seniors on the roster, but this group of upperclassmen plan to give it their all on Friday nights.
“I’ve got to step up as a leader and motivate a lot of the younger kids,” senior quarterback Josiah Khan said. “Basically, they are telling me to be more vocal because I have to be a leader out here.”
“I don’t really look at it as me having to be a leader or me having to be a captain,” Shelby-Raymond said. “I look at it as these are my homeboys, these are my friends and we’re all trying to come up together.”
“Everybody knows the story of David versus Goliath and that’s just a small part of David’s story. If you read the story of David, that’s us. We want to be David,” Patrick said. “David was ordained as king long before he was king. Goliath was presented before David as a test and he had to pass that test to become king. So we have a gauntlet of test in from of us, a Goliath of a test. If we can pass that test, then who knows what the future can hold for us.”
The Hurricanes host Long Beach in a rivalry matchup, September 4 at 7 p.m.