Countdown to Kickoff 2022: Gautier Gators
GAUTIER, Miss. (WLOX) - Expectations are high for the Gautier Gators.
“Big time players make big time plays in big time games, so you got to want the ball to come to you when you’re number’s called,” said head coach Marcus High.
A big time player Coach High is used to turning to is quarterback Kaden Irving.
“I’m been starting since the 9th grade,” said Irving.
Irving’s now a senior and entering his fourth year as the starter. With so much experience, he’s learned to keep it cool no matter the situation.
“Let the game come to you, don’t go out there and rush for everything,” said Irving. “You just have to be patient, it’s all going to come, just keep working hard.”
Irving has no shortage of experience around him. The Gators have 24 seniors including receiver Aaron Phillips.
“Me and Kaden have been connecting since pee-wee football,” said Phillips. “We’ve always had that relationship, we have that connection, I can look at him and he can look at me and I already know I’m getting the ball.”
Up front, Gautier will be missing highly recruited offensive lineman Bryson Hurst, but Coach High is still confident in this year’s class of lineman.
“We’ve been relying heavily on Alwayne McDonald and Brandon Davis, they’re going to be our two anchor guys,” said High. “They do a good job being in the system for four years, so they know what to expect.”
A close loss to West Jones in the first round of the playoffs last year has fueled the fire for the Gators to take it a step further this season.
“There’s a couple of games we just didn’t finish out well, we just didn’t finish at the very end, so we’re working on that and I think we’ll be okay,” said High.
“We go by all in now and that means the team is together like a family all as one,” said Phillips. “If all of us can be together we can make it to state and that’s the goal.”
Gautier opens the season Aug. 26 at Jackson Provine.
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