PCHS football team overcomes adversity, achieves best season in more than a decade

For the first time in more than a decade, the Pass Christian Pirates varsity football team will host the play-offs at Pirate Stadium for this year’s run for the state title.

Coaches and school officials say the student athletes have worked extra hard this season to hold their number two spot for the 8-4A MHSAA Football Championships.

“These are exciting times for the Pirates considering it has been since 2002 since a playoff game was held at Pass High,” said Pass Christian Schools Athletic Director Tim Ladner.

“The amount of support is incredible coming from all sides, including the faculty, students, and the community in general.”

The Pirates have made runs to the playoffs a few times over the past few years, but each season, they have come up short. Coaches and players said they recognized early on that this season was promising and it was as if the community rallied right behind the team as it continued on its quest for excellence.

The upcoming battle against Florence, school officials say, has created an electric atmosphere around the school.

“Students know that they have to have as much enthusiasm in the classroom as they do on the field,” Superintendent Dr. Carla Evers pointed out. “These athletes have had the opportunity to play together and grow together as young men, coming from all different backgrounds.”

But the road to victory for Pass High has not come easy or without struggles.

Some players from the team were at-tacked last month on social media after they took a knee during the National Anthem on Tank Williams field in Bay St. Louis, echoing national protests.

Since then, Pass players have not taken the field at a single game during the National Anthem. The school district contends that action was for the athletes’ safety.

“Our students have an insurmountable respect for each other and after meeting with the coaches, students, faculty, and parents; the decision to move forward and maintain focus on achieving their goals together as one entity was made,” Evers said.

With the stadium projected to be filled for this Friday night’s game, there are no safety concerns for the players and those attending, said Athletic Director Ladner.

Another bump in the road came after Vancleave claimed a 23-14 victory in their Friday night match-up on Oct. 22. The win bumped Vancleave’s record up to 4-6 and brought Pass Christian’s record down to 4-6. But the Pirates re-fused to give up. Their big win against St. Stanislaus last Friday was a tremendous turning point and was a big inspiration to Pirate fans.

Supporters and school leaders say they believe this year’s team has the potential to win it all and are looking forward to Friday night’s showdown.

“We are P.C. We are proud,” Evers said. “We hold that in high regard and we have to make sure we represent that everywhere we go. I know that these student-athletes will put their heart in everything they do whether that be in the classroom taking a test or on the field running a play.”

Pass alumni have also expressed their full support, saying “Once a Pirate, Always a Pirate.”

The game will be held this Friday Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. in Pass Christian.

Story by Jordan Daniels