Countdown to kickoff 2022: Long Beach Bearcats

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 10:45 PM CDT
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LONG BEACH, Miss. (WLOX) - New field, new coach, and new era for the Long Beach Bearcats, as Jacob Massey makes his head coaching debut this season. He may be new to the Coast and his future opponents, but he’s no stranger to tough competition, most recently serving as the offensive coordinator for Petal.

“I learned a lot from Petal and coaching in that league,” he said. “There’s a lot of good coaches and players, similar to the league we’re in now.”

He’s done some winning, too, making the postseason five times in a row as the OC at Amory High School, picking up some of those winning habits along the way.

“It’s the little things, it’s being disciplined,” he said. “If you can’t be held accountable as far as showing up on time, or showing up to practice, then we can’t depend on you to go out on Friday nights and make a play.”

Even though it’s been a decade since the Bearcats’ last postseason appearance, those ‘little things’ are already sticking to the players.

“I feel like it’s a really big change since coach Massey came here. It’s very different, it’s more disciplined than any of the years I’ve been here,” senior wide receiver Joseph Kozlowski said. “So far, so good. I can’t wait for the season to start.”

“We’re adding stuff we’ve never done before thanks to coach Massey,” junior linebacker Jahari Mitchell said. “He’s bringing all the work, more discipline, and educating us in the real world. Not just in football.”

To most, ‘win’ may mean to be the victors on the scoreboard. At Long Beach, it means something different.

“Our theme for the season is W.I.N. - ‘what’s important now’ - and I think most of the guys will tell you we’re trying to make Long Beach better,” Massey said. “Not necessarily worrying about those outcomes, we can’t focus on winning. Because if we focus on that, then we take our eyes off the little things.”

“This year has been about getting better,” Mitchell said. “We haven’t even gotten to the season, so we’re thinking about the opponents, but they’re not our main focus, we’re trying to better ourselves right now. We’ll get to them later.”

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