Several good teams dot the landscape in Class 6A South this upcoming season. With a few new teams moving up into 6A, this looks to be a wide open year for the teams down south.
Natchez- Natchez will be looking to replace a very deep graduating class on both sides of the ball. A lot of their success on offense could depend on two players - junior quarterback Derrian Johnson (530 yards in 2010) and wide receiver Scott Turner (400yds receiving) On defense, Natchez will rely heavily on senior linebacker Myran Anderson.
Meridian- Year in and year out, coach Larry Weems just seems to find a way to make Meridian competitive and this season will be no different. On offense, the three headed monster of running back Michael Hubbard and wide receivers junior Isaac Johnson and senior Shelton Cole will lead the way. On defense, Meridian will be led by senior linebacker LaDerrick Roberts and his 60 tackles and four sacks and Jabril Cox and his two interceptions will lead the way.
Oak Grove- The Warriors will be a very explosive offensive team this season. They will be led by senior quarterback Steven Swindle[/db], who passed for over 1,000 yards last season. His go to target might be senior wide receiver Wesley Smith who was very productive as a junior. Oak Grove also has two very talented senior running backs in Jordan Woods and Shawn Anderson, who combined for 1,341yards last season.
Brandon- The Bulldogs will certainly be a team to reckon with this upcoming season. They have experience on both sides of the ball. On offense, they will be led by quarterback Tre Polk and quarterback/ wide receiver Colby Williams. On defense, they will be led by linebacker Tayler Polk, who was a tackling machine last year with 152 tackles. They also have Mississippi State commit Nelson Adams one the defensive line who had 55 tackles a year ago.
Hattiesburg- Hattiesburg will have to find a new quarterback to take over and they might experience some growing pains along the way. They will be led on offense by senior running back Terrance Flowers. The new quarterback will have a very good target to get the ball to in junior wide receiver Brandon Acker. On defense, the Tigers will be led by sophomore defensive back Tito Windham who had 65 tackles a year ago. They also have senior defensive lineman Anthony Jones and his 72 tackles returning as well.
Terry- Terry will be another team that has some rebuilding to do as well. They have a lot of good young talent and will be competitive as always. Returning to lead the offense is senior running back John Ward, who rushed for 637 yards last season. On defense, the Bulldogs will be led by senior safety Zavian Bingham.
Petal- The Panthers may very well be the favorite to win the district this season. They have one of the most explosive players in the state to help them get there in senior quarterback Anthony Alford. Alford rushed and passed for over 2,652 yards last season and could very well be the best player in the state. His favorite target, junior wide receiver Jamarcus Revis, and his 350yds receiving return as well.
Forest Hill- The Patriots will have to replace some good players on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Isaiah James is gone and junior Trevontae Willis will be taking over under center. He will have a very good target in senior wide receiver Shaquan Holmes. Two very good linebackers will lead the defense in senior Patrick Odom (64 tackles) and junior Absolum Blackmon (34 tackles).
BDJ Playoff Team Predictions- Meridian, Petal, Oak Grove, and Brandon
Region 4 has a couple of teams that could make some noise in the playoffs. There are some new teams making the jump and should provide for some really good Gulf Coast matchups.
Ocean Springs- The Greyhounds will have to replace some very good players on both sides of the ball. With a new coach and a new more wide open offense, they will be a team to be reckoned with. On offense, Ocean Springs will be led by senior running back Eddie Szigeti who had over 500 yards rushing last year. Replacing Joseph Morrow as the go-to receiver will be senior wide receiver Donovan Smith. Senior linebacker Cody Wilson (94 tackles) will lead the defense this year.
D'Iberville- The Warriors will be another youthful team in Class 6A. They have some good players returning however and benefit from playing in this division. On offense, they will rely on quartback Garrett Landrum and running back Justin Brister. On defense, linebacker Anthony Rodriquez will return after having 70 tackles and 5 sacks a year ago.
George County- The Rebels have always been a tough team to play and this year should be no different. The only problem they will have is having to replace a lot of playmakers on the offensive side of the ball. The Rebels will have to rely on their defense early in the season. That means senior linebacker Jonathon Taylor will need to match his 106 tackle and two sack 2010 season. Also on defense, the Rebels will have senior defensive end Quinton Nix and his 84 tackles and two sacks returning.
St. Martin- A new coaching staff may provide new optimism for the Yellow Jackets. It may take a year or two to get all the pieces in place for St. Martin to make a run at a playoff berth, but they should at least be more competitve than they were last year when they finished 0-11.
Gulfport- The Admirals will be the team to beat in the region and may be the team to beat in 6A South. They are explosive on offensive and have playmakers on defense. The offense will be led by senior running back Antwar Ashley (973 yards rushing) and Travon Travis (850 yards receiving). The defense will be led by senior linebacker Jamison Goins, coming off a 101 tackle, three sack season.
Hancock- The Hawks have some depth at key position and will be a team to watch this season. They have two linebackers on defense that are very active and always around the ball in senior Aaron Ladner (109 tackles) and senior Alex Johnson (129 tackles). On Offense, they will be led by senior running back Detrick Goff.
Biloxi- The Indians have some holes to fill on offense and will rely on an experienced defense to start the season. Returning will be sophomore running back Devorie Martin , who rushed for 350 yards as a freshman. Whomever takes over at quarterback will have a very good target in junior Scott Austin who had 350 yards as a sophomore. On defense, the Indians will be led by Nick Lucas, who had 137 tackles and two sacks, and Kaleb McHone who had 64 tackles and five sacks.
Harrison Central- The Red Rebels will be rely on their running game to try to make an impact in the district this season. They have an experienced offensive line led by senior Brandon Farmer and a very good running back returning in senior James Booth, who rushed for over1,300yds as a junior.
BDJ Playoff team predictions- Gulfport, D'Iberville, Ocean Springs, and Hancock
BDJ South State Championship game prediction- Petal vs. Gulfport
BDJ South State Champ- Gulfport
BDJ 6A State Championship prediction- South Panola over Gulfport