25 Teams in 25 Days

Hancock putting stock in linebackers

2016 Hancock High football team.
2016 Hancock High football team. amccoy@sunherald.com

Hancock High’s football team is expecting to be more competitive in district play this season as the team returns 19 seniors, six starters from the offensive side of the ball and six from the defensive side.

The Hawks finished 4-8 (1-6 Region 4-6A) a year ago. They are looking to capitalize on the maturity and leadership of those returning starters and the toughness and quickness of their corps of linebackers.

The Hawks are looking to set the tone with the front four at the line of scrimmage and with a corp of linebackers, especially sophomore Trenton Ladner, who started at outside linebacker as a freshman a year ago. He is joined by senior outside linebackers Ray Ladner and Riley Martinez.

“They’re probably the best group of linebackers I’ve ever coached,” coach Rocky Gaudin said. “They’re tough and they’re quick. A lot of our success will depend on their ability to stop the run. They’re a really good group of linebackers.

“Trenton was the only freshman to start for us last year. He’s tough and he’s quick and he gets to the ball.”

Offensive outlook

On the offensive side of the ball, the Hawks will be relying on senior quarterback Steven Good to run the Hawks’ spread offense, which is looking to run the ball half of the plays and passing the other half.

Good transferred to Hancock after staring last season at Bay High. Gaudin said Good has grasped the Hawks’ scheme well and has shown consistent improvement.

Six-foot-1, 190-pound junior Marquis Cherry will be the featured running back for the Hawks.

“I think he’s going to surprise some people,” Gaudin said. “He has good size, good speed and toughness. He constantly runs the ball downhill.”

When the Hawks look to pass, Heath Dedeaux will be one of Good’s top targets. Dedeaux was one of the coast’s top receivers in the first half of last season, prior to getting injured. Chase McDonald, Anthony Jones and Brooks Rayburn are all expected to see action at receiver.

Tough schedule

The Hawks will get a preseason test Friday night at Brett Favre Field in a jamboree against Moss Point. Their 12-game regular season schedule starts Aug. 19 with the first of five non-district contests. On Sept. 23, their Region 4-6A schedule begins at home against Ocean Springs.

“Our district is like the SEC West,” Gaudin said. “It’s a very tough district with Ocean Springs, Gulfport, George County, St. Martin, Biloxi, D’Iberville and Harrison Central. That’s a tough schedule.

“I’ll never do it again,” Gaudin said of scheduling twelve games in the regular season. “I was trying to get the guys some exposure when I added the twelfth game. But that doesn’t give us any time but to get ready for the next game.

“If we can stay healthy, and if Good continues to get comfortable with what we’re doing, we can be a pretty good football team.”

At a glance

2015 record: 4-8 (1-6, district)

Region: 4-6A

Head coach: Rocky Gaudin

Assistant coaches: Neil Lollar, Jeff Hopgood, Teddy Morris, Shawn Feazelle, Stu Rayburn, Taylor Lafontaine, Jarred Underwood, Andy Perniciaro, Jack Donovan, Joe Vitalec, Vincent Handy and associate coach Mike Scardino

Offense: Spread

Defense: Multiple

Hancock schedule


Aug. 26 At West Harrison

Sept. 2 At Bay

Sept. 9 DE LA SALLE (LA.)

Sept. 16 At Poplarville


Sept. 30 At St. Martin


Oct. 14 At D’Iberville


Oct. 28 At Biloxi


Hancock roster

1 Elliot Nolan

2 Michael Blackwell

4 Marquis Cherry

5 Demery Hamil

6 Drake Necaise

7 Steven Good

8 Mark Pearson

9 Michael Durr

11 Bryce Ferrell

12 Brooks Rayburn

13 Heath Dedeaux

14 Brodie Fitts

15 Anthony Jones

16 Trevor Wheat

17 Ray Ladner

18 Caleb Garcia

19 Ethan Ladner

20 Mel-Yves Krauser

21 Nicholas Melgar

22 Anthoni Flowers

23 Zack Flowers

25 Justin Bynum

27 Christian Holder

28 Chase McDonald

30 Blake Comeaux

31 Everette Ganier

32 Luke Miller

33 Devin Delle

34 Brady Shoemaker

36 Gabe Singleton

38 Christopher Anderson

39 Riley Martinez

40 Cameron Blaize

41 Zack Munger

42 Gabe Story

44 Trenton Ladner

45 Bryce Peterson

46 Davis Shannon

47 Skyler Ritchie

48 Bailey Cooley

49 Alan Seckinger

50 Dylan Cooley

51 Steven Ingersoll

52 Joseph Morano

53 Elijah Touchstone

54 Nick Irias

55 Chevy Piet

56 Brenan Ladner

57 Jeremy Fuller

58 Brenan Ladner

59 Justin Martin

60 Dylan Raphael

61 Chance Wedgeworth

62 Jesse Evans

64 Destrien Barr

65 Matt Jones

66 Dylan Firchau

67 Clint Stennet

68 Brook Jeter

69 Dillon Smith

70 Nick Rose

72 Tyler Kapp

74 Kyle Barsema

76 Chris Carpenter

77 Drake Ladner

79 Corey Smith

80 Zane Diamond-Odell

82 Anthony Shubert