It’s clear why Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College coach Chad Huff calls Larry Sisson loyal.
Used to being “The Guy” while playing for his father, Scott, at Resurrection, the young quarterback instead redshirted last season at Gulf Coast while learning from starter A.J. Erdely and backup Tyler Allen. During the fall and summer, Sisson saw two more quarterbacks transfer in from Division I programs and yet he remained.
His commitment to the Bulldogs paid off last week when Sisson made his first collegiate start at Southwest in place of the injured Kalen Whitlow. All Sisson ended up doing was throw for 268 yards and two touchdowns as the Bulldogs knocked off Southwest 47-35 in an important MACJC South Division win.
With Whitlow still considered day-to-day with an undisclosed injury he suffered two weeks ago at Mississippi Delta, Huff alluded to Sisson possibly making his second straight start Saturday when MGCCC hosts rival Pearl River for homecoming at 3:30 p.m.
“Larry is a kid who has battled, battled and battled and done what he's supposed to do,” Huff said. “Everything hasn't gone his way, but like we tell the guys, work hard and battle and good things will happen to you.”
Huff said Sisson did exactly what he had hoped and the Bulldogs rallied around him.
“Larry is a very likable guy. He's just one of those guys who wants it so bad. You can tell he's desperate and hungry,” he said. “That's what we talk about every single day. It's all about those guys who will keep fighting and battling.
“That’s the kind of kid Larry is — unselfish and all about the team.”
Gulf Coast enters the game in control of it’s post-season destiny with a 4-3 overall record and 3-1 mark in the MACJC South Division, one game behind East Central (4-4, 4-1) with a game in hand.
Copiah-Lincoln (4-3) and Pearl River (2-5) are both tied 2-2 in the division, making Saturday’s showdown imperative for both Coast programs.
“They have some talented players, just like they've had in the past. Coach (David) Saunders does,” Huff said. “They're a 2-5 team, but watching their film they very well could be the opposite. They've been in a lot of games.
“They're still in the hunt for the playoffs. If they win out, they’re in. So we're going to get their best effort.”
Gulf Coast kicker Joshua Rowland was named the NJCAA Special Teams Player of the Week.
Rowland converted all four of his field goal attempts — two from 44 yards and one each from 42 and 22 — in the Bulldogs’ win at Southwest.
Rowland tweeted late Thursday he picked up his first Division I offer from Southeast Missouri.
An All-American sophomore, Rowland is 5 of 7 on field goals this season and has converted 24 of 25 extra-point attempts.
Saturday will prove to be a busy day in Perkinston as Gulf Coast has a number of homecoming celebrations planned.
Events include the Band of Gold and Perkettes alumni rehearsal (10 a.m.-noon), registration at the Alumni House (11 a.m.-noon), alumni art show at Malone Hall (11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.), archives exhibit at the alumni house (11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.), children’s activities at Malone Hall (11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.), chapel service at Gregory War Memorial Chapel (11:30 a.m.-noon), cookout, pep rally and introduction of honorees and homecoming court (noon-2 p.m.), historical marker dedication at Stone hall (2-2:15 p.m.), alumni/Perkettes performance lineup (2 p.m.) and pre-game activities (2:30-3:30 p.m.).
Athletic Hall of Fame honorees include Dale Chatham (baseball), Katherine Gendron (softball), Sonny Pisarich (football), Janice Felsher Seymour (basketball), Joe Saia (football), Leonard Sumrall (tennis) and Hayes Weathersby (golf). The Bulldog Hall of Honor recipient is Wilma Proffitt Valentine. The Spirit of Gulf Coast honoree is Glen East. The Alumni Hall of Fame honorees are Kevin Holland (Jackson County Campus), Leonard Papania (Jefferson Davis Campus) and Chett Harrison (Perkinston Campus). The Sam Owen Award recipient is Charles Sullivan.
Gulf Coast will also honor the 1966 and 1986 state championship Bulldog teams.
Who: Pearl River at Gulf Coast
When: 3:30 p.m. Saturday
Radio: 103.1 FM