Countdown To Kickoff: Gulfport

Published: Aug. 13, 2021 at 11:01 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Last year’s Gulfport team wasn’t the team South Mississippi has come to know. Their 23-game region winning streak came to a halt, and over half of their nine losses were by single digits. But that’s in the past, and the expectation this year is to get back to the standard.

“We’re getting back to the basics,” head coach John Archie said. “We’re getting back to Gulfport football to let people know last year was a fluke. That’s not the way we do things at Gulfport.”

To get back to where they’re used to being, the players are all on the same page in knowing they have to work as one.

“Just being focused on our team goals and not our individual goals,” junior quarterback Jacob Palazzo said. “Our one word is ‘focus’ going into this year.”

“We’re focusing on teamwork,” senior running back Tyler Reed said. “We’re struggling right now with teamwork, but we’re going to get it right before the season.”

The Admirals return 15 starters this season - eight on defense, and seven on offense. Coupling that experience with lessons learned from yesteryear has made for a highly productive summer thus far.

“We’re getting the best effort out of all our guys,” Archie said. “You hear the saying, ‘give it all you got,’ every day we’re giving it all we got. We’re dressing about 78 guys and everyone is giving 100 percent every day.”

“Everybody is growing,” Palazzo said. “Getting chemistry and getting better as a team.”

Even after just one short week of practicing with the pads on, the Admirals are counting down the days between now and their shot at getting back to where they know they can be.

“I’m so hungry, man. I’m ready to get out there right now. We’re going hard now, we’re not even in full pads. I’m ready for it.”

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