25 Teams in 25 Days

They aren't veterans on the field, but PRC's young team is ready to play football

Pearl River Central players — Orlando Malley, from left, Louis Reece, Tristan Anderson and Cody Skoda — will find inspiration from the memory of their fallen teammate, Shane Smith, who died in 2015. offense will be fueled by running back
Pearl River Central players — Orlando Malley, from left, Louis Reece, Tristan Anderson and Cody Skoda — will find inspiration from the memory of their fallen teammate, Shane Smith, who died in 2015. offense will be fueled by running back jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com

Pearl River Central has one of the Coast’s toughest schedules.

Coming off a 4-7 season, the Blue Devils need a fast start to earn a 5A state playoff berth this year.

“We have a number of positions that will be filled by inexperienced players,” Blue Devils coach Larry Dolan said. “We have more players this year, but they’re inexperienced. We will have to mature quickly to have success in our extremely tough Region 4-5A.”

The Blue Devils will rely heavily on their 4-3 defense, especially upfront.

Orlando Malley and Cody Russell both started on the defensive line. Ethan Gallodoro and Noah McKay are the other projected starters.

Both inside linebackers—Cody Skoda and Kobe Whitehead— are back. Tyler Holmes is projected as the other starting linebacker.

Willie Reece is the only returning defensive back who started a year ago. Damon Anderson, Zac Goynes, Noah Hebert are projected to start in the secondary.

“I’m hoping our defense will keep us in games until the offense gets going,” Dolan said. “Our defense is better. We will be better in our front seven. We feel good about our linebackers. Our secondary needs game experience, but they should be improved.”

The biggest question mark for PRC is its Wing-T spread offense, especially at quarterback. Tristan Anderson has a leg injury and may not be ready for the Blue Devils’ season-opener at Hancock on Aug. 18.

One bright spot offensively is the return of tailback Louis Reece, a senior who gained 671 yards rushing and seven touchdowns last season. Winston Drain and Ryan Spradley are the other projected starters at running back.

Justin Westbrook is the only offensive lineman that started in 2016. Gavin Walters, Justin Fincher, Chase Pippin, Gage McClinton and Kevin Wilcox are all battling for the other four spots.

Jacob Mauffray will start at tight end, with Christian Neil at wide receiver.

“We must develop an identity on offense early in the season,” Dolan said. “I feel by the end of the year, we will come together on offense.”

The Blue Devils’ slate includes a road trip to 4A runner-up Poplarville and the rugged Region 4-5A slate that includes cross-county rival Picayune, Hattiesburg and Wayne County.

“Poplarville can be a good rivalry for us,” Dolan said. “In our Region, Hattiesburg, Wayne County and Picayune are at the top. Stone will have a good team. It’s a tough Region and we have a lot of ground to make up.”

James Jones: 228-896-2320, @_jkjones

Schedule

Aug. 18: at Hancock

Aug. 25: at Poplarville

Sept 1: FCAHS

Sept. 15: at St. Stanislaus

Sept. 22: Long Beach

Sept. 29: Wayne County

Oct. 6: Hattiesburg

Oct. 13: at West Harrison

Oct. 20: Gautier

Oct 27: at Stone

Nov. 3: at Picayune

Roster

1 Willie Reece

2 Tristan Anderson

3 Damon Anderson

4 Cameron Brunson

5 Louis Reece

6 Kobe Whitehead

7 Cody Russell

8 Cody Skoda

9 Justin Stevens

10 Ronald Murray

11 Nick Barquero

12 Christian Neel

13 Justin Stevens

15 Shane Smith

16 Elway Fitzgerald

17 Elliott Neuman

18 Ryan Spradley

19 Zach Goynes

20 Oliver Cardenas

21 Ethan Gallodoro

22 Dylan Brown

23 Bryson Harding

24 Kaleb Chauppetta

25 Kolby Delatte

26 Noah Hebert

27 Tyler Holmes

28 Trent Allemand

29 Chet Bilquist

30 Mason Downey

31 Colton Neff

32 Aaron Arwood

33 Zach Boudreaux

34 Jacob Mauffrey

35 Winston Drain

37 Gabe Johnson

38 Ryan Neil

41 Gavin Martin

43 Clay Spiers

45 Seth Bourne

47 Jacob Kennedy

49 Kevin Camp

52 Cole Spiers

53 Chandler Holifield

55 Chase Pippen

58 Justin Fincher

59 Kelvin Wilcox

61 Justin Westbrook

67 Gavin Walters

68 Spencer Krantz

73 Gage McClinton

75 Trevor Kellar

76 Ric Guccione

77 Julian Trahan

82 Julian Hernandez

83 Xavier Brown

84 Elliot Harwell

95 Orlando Malley

96 Noah McKay

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