Countdown to Kickoff 2023: Picayune Maroon Tide

Published: Aug. 17, 2023 at 8:14 PM CDT
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PICAYUNE, Miss. (WLOX) - The Picayune Maroon Tide are no strangers to success, but that was last year, and the year before.

Nonetheless, for the back-to-back state champions the job remains the same.

“One thing we pushed and worked hard is to make sure we know the job’s not finished, that’s been our saying all summer we still have to put in the work, nothing is going to be easy and everything is going to be earned,” said head coach Cody Stogner.

Stogner enters his fourth year at the helm of the Maroon Tide and knows the success of seasons past is past, and they’re focusing on 2023.

“Obviously it takes a lot of luck to get there and its hard to get there but we have to get better at us too,” he said. “We’re trying to be the best 2023 Maroon Tide football team we can.”

Despite losing 5A Mr. Football in running back Dante Dowdell, the Tide bring back nearly everyone on both sides of the ball, including defensive end and Florida commit Jamonta Waller.

He says they know the challenge ahead of them and what their opponents are going to bring every Friday night.

“We look at it like everybody wants to beat Picayune and us winning those last two seasons are what we go off of,” he said. “We know we’re going to get everyone’s best shots.”

Another returner is senior running back and Stanford commit Chris Davis, who was part of a one-two punch with Dante Dowdell and will now carry the majority of the load at running back.

He says he and all of his teammates feel well-prepared heading into the fall.

‘In your game, you can always improve on your game and I feel like everybody in this room this summer, it’s been a hardworking summer, so we’ve all been putting in the work and we’re getting it,” said Davis.

As the seniors get ready to strap on the pads for one last ride with the Tide, they say they’re glad they’re able to do it with so many familiar faces around them.

“It’s just like a big family,” said Waller. “When somebody gets onto someone or something like that, there are no bad vibes, it’s just that we have so much respect for each other.”

“Coming up, knowing I’ve grown up with these guys and been playing ball with these guys forever, it just truly is a blessing,” added Davis. “I wouldn’t be here without the Man above and I give all glory to Him.”

Picayune kicks off the season on the road taking on Brandon.

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