Countdown to Kickoff 2023: Pass Christian Pirates
PASS CHRISTIAN, Miss. (WLOX) - The pads are back on for the Pass Christian Pirates under new head coach Jeff Stockstill, who comes to Pass from Scott Central, where he led the Rebels to back-to-back 2A state titles.
“They popped each other pretty good yesterday,” he said.
The Pirates made a first-round playoff appearance last year and hope to keep that trend rolling into 2023.
Even with a new coaching staff, Coach Stockstill says the transition has been smooth.
“Those guys did a good job last year,” said Stockstill. “These kids know how to be coached, they know how to respond, they’ve done a good job and we’ve just kept the ball rolling.”
In part, Coach Stockstill says they’ve been able to smoothly transition into this season thanks to the even class sizes and returners with experience.
“Class numbers are pretty balanced we have around 18-22 kids in each class,” said Stockstill. “We have a good group of seniors returning from last year so we will rely heavily on those guys, especially in the skill positions.”
One of those seniors is defensive lineman Tabious Cherry who says his work in the weight room and on the field in the summer has helped him gear up for his final year in a Pirates uniform.
“Me personally just working on my craft and my moves and getting stronger,” said Cherry. “I want to leave a big impact. Say I gave it my all, not saying I came out here and didn’t give it my all.”
Another senior of the Pirate squad is lineman Chase McLaughlin.
With being an upperclassman, a larger role in leadership is expected and McLaughlin says this year’s senior class is embracing it in their own way.
“We’ve stepped up and embraced it a little bit more,” said McLaughlin. “Last year we were more quiet, we led by example instead of our voice. This year we’re more talkative and more communicative.
As they strap on the pads for a final time this year, the seniors say they’re looking forward to making the most of it.
“It’s very fun, I love everybody here,” said Cherry. “These are my guys.”
“It means a lot, a lot of us have been playing together since we were five or six years old so, the last time means a lot,” said McLaughlin.
Pass opens up the regular season with the Oyster Bowl, taking on Long Beach.
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