Countdown To Kickoff: St. Patrick
BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Over the last two seasons, the St. Patrick Fighting Irish have won more games in consecutive years than any two consecutive years dating back to 2008-2009. The next step for the program entering 2021? Just keep pounding.
“We’re going to continue to get better, continue to grow the numbers, continue to find ways to win games, continue to be who we are,” head coach Trey Bailey said.
Bailey posted the program’s first record of .500 or better in over a decade in his first year back in 2019, and he’s pleased with the culture that has developed in his time at the helm.
“We’re in that process and making strides there,” he said. “We’re building internally and that’s showing.”
“I think we have developed adaptability,” senior center and middle linebacker Anthony Mattina said. “We take challenges head-on, and we play smart.”
This year’s squad features an experienced defense, returning more than a handful of last year’s leading tacklers, including Hunter Lorenzo and Jameson Thriffiley.
“It’s going to be a dog fight. We’re going to be there. Conditioning is up,” Lorenzo said. “We’re not just a first quarter team, it’s going to be four quarters coming at you. It’s going to be hard.”
“We’re going to do whatever it takes to win out there,” Thriffiley said. “We’re going to take every day and win, win, win. We will not stop.”
Anchored by a strong offensive line, the offense will once again feature athlete Kaleb Chatman, and may throw a couple more things at opposing defenses than years past.
“I think it will be a little more exciting,” Mattina said. “We have a little more fluidity with things, we can do more things, and we’re better at the things we already knew how to do.”
Eager to don the green and white come August 27, this year’s squad is led by a senior class small in number, but huge in heart.
“Playing at St. Patrick, the Irish, that’s everything for us,” Chatman said. “Looking up at all these other guys, when I was in eighth, seventh grade, I always wanted to be on the Irish. We took it to the next level.”
“In the first two days of practice, they’ve grown exponentially in terms of day one to day two,” Bailey said. “If we continue on that path, we’ll be just fine.”
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