25 Teams in 25 Days

Resurrection reloads, aims for first state title

Resurrection Catholic High School 2016 football team
Resurrection Catholic High School 2016 football team jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com

The Resurrection Catholic football program has become one of the more dominant teams on the Coast in recent seasons, emerging as a consistent contender for a Class 1A state title.

The Eagles came up just shy of their first state championship a year ago, falling 25-9 to a talented Simmons squad in the title game in Oxford.

While they didn't quite reach their ultimate goal during a 13-1 campaign in 2015, head coach Scott Sisson has no plans on making significant changes.

“If it's not broke, don't fix it,” Sisson said. “We're just going to try to reload with younger guys and go with it. We've got most of our starting offense back except (running back) Dillon Jolly.”

RCS does lose key players like a pair of 2015 Sun Herald All-South Mississippi Team members, linebacker Steve Demetropoulos and defensive end Renzell Jackson, but there will be no lack of talent on both sides of the ball. The Eagles return 10 starters on offense and six on defense.

“The offense will definitely have to score more, but we should be able to do that,” Sisson said. “The defense won't be as good as last year, but we'll be OK. We've still got six starters coming back.”

Senior Patrick Watts, a bruising runner at 6-foot-2, 240 pounds, is entering his fourth year as a key player for the Eagles after rushing for 1,634 yards and 11 touchdowns a year ago. He will be joined in the backfield by senior Justice Sharp, who had 589 yards rushing and eight scores last year.

Junior Cearly Parker will also add depth to the RCS ground game.

The Eagles also return their starting quarterback, junior Blake Porter, who showed improvement as a passer as the 2015 season wore on. He completed 57.7 percent of his passes for 989 yards, five touchdowns and one interception.

RCS should be much more adept at throwing the ball this year with a more experienced Porter and a quality receiving corps that includes four juniors – Pat Roth, Jerry Johnson, Becht Rowell and Caden Hinman. Roth led the way with 20 catches for 230 yards and a pair of scores last season.

“We're going to open it up a little more on offense,” Sisson said. “We have some home run hitters who were a little young last year.”

RCS has four starters back on on the offensive line – sophomore guard Jack Sisson, senior center Hunter Sharp, junior tackle Jackson Byrd and junior tackle Justin Archer. Junior Andy Murphy will be the lone new starter for the Eagles at guard.

Byrd, who stands 6-feet, 280 pounds, will be the centerpiece of the defensive line as the lone returning starter on the line after registering 85 tackles and six sacks last season. He will be joined by senior defensive ends Carter Warren and Ben Walley. Working alongside Byrd at tackle will be freshman Elijah Watts, who is 6-foot, 235. Junior Tyus Bond will also see time on the line.

Becht Rowell and Parker, a pair of juniors are returning starters at linebacker and they will be joined in the starting lineup by junior Jacob Langston.

The most experienced area on defense is in the secondary where all four starters return – senior David Alfred, senior Barron Freeman, Johnson and Roth.

RCS will again be expected to compete for a Class 1A state title in 2016, but Sisson has shied away from talking too much about putting that goal in front of his players.

“(Coaches) haven't talked about it, but they talk about it,” Sisson said.

At a glance

2015 record: 13-1

Region: Region 8-1A

Head coach: Scott Sisson

Assistant coaches: Eric Denmark, Randy Mitchell, Luke Anaya, Steve O'Brien, Ricky Cannette, John Williamson.

Offense: Pro, spread

Defense: 4-, 5-man fronts

2016 schedule

Aug. 20


Aug. 26

At Pass Christian

Sept. 2

JAY (Fla.)

Sept. 10


Sept. 16


Sept. 23

At Escambia Aca. (Fla.)

Sept. 30


Oct. 8


Oct. 14


Oct. 21

At Bogue Chitto

Oct. 28


Nov. 4

At Salem

2016 roster

2 Patrick Roth

4 Ty Tingle

5 David Alfred

7 Jonathan Burgett

9 Patrick Watts

10 Blake Porter

11 Ben Walley

14 Jerry Johnson

16 Barron Freeman

18 Carter Warren

20 Avery Barlow

21 Justice Sharp

23 Norman Douglas

25 Cearly Parker IV

28 Jonathan Page

30 John Trotter

37 Braden Roosco

38 Jacob Langston

44 Becht Rowell

51 Andy Murphy

53 Hunter Sharp

54 Jeremy Johnson

55 Payton Hartman

57 Lane Wleniewitz

59 Jackson Byrd

62 Edward Boland

65 Gavin Backs

66 Elijah Watts

69 Tyus Bond

72 Jack Sisson

76 Justin Archer

77 Evan Harris

83 Cadin Hinman

89 Clark Presley

99 Caden Perez