by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher
Despite the circumstances of 2020, football has become an integral part of family tradition, bringing complete strangers together to share in the game’s excitement. The boys of the fall in high school football provide more to the local communities in each game with its extravagance from the plays and halftime performance of the marching bands and dancers.
The 5th Annual Oyster Bowl between Long Beach and Pass Christian High School starts the season off with all the hope of having a successful season. Neither team had a great 2020 with new coaches, as the Pass Christian Pirates were 1-6 under Chase Carmody and the Long Beach Bearcats finished 1-9 while Ryan Ross was calling the shots. Carmody and Ross have a close fellowship; as former player-coach, which will be discussed closer to the game.
While the contest was a scrimmage last year, the Pirates previously won the two meetings before by close games and great offensive play. Historically, the Bearcats lead the series 40-21-1, however since 1982 (the creation of Mississippi High School Activities Association) the record has been close with Long Beach winning fourteen and Pass Christian ten. Therefore, cross town rivalries have been built from youth age groups to adult years.
Before the creation of the districts and state championship games, both teams played in conferences; such as the Pascagoula River, the Gulf Coast or the Desoto.
Bob Rogers led Pass Christian to its only 10 win victory season and Pascagoula River Championship; including a 20-6 victory against Long Beach in 1975. Even with 12 years apart, the Bearcats won their team-high 11 games in 1961 under Paul Magee and Tommie Seals in 1973. Each time, Long Beach won the Gulf Coast Championship and shutout Pass Christian.
Since the MHSAA creation, neither team has been that successful in postseason play, but the cross town rivalry remained. With six appearances, two wins versus five appearances to only one win, Long Beach and Pass Christian use this game to build up their hope for the season.
Regardless of the victor, each team will be building their season around the outcome of this contest. With over 90 seasons of play from both high schools, the 5th Annual Oyster Bowl will bring out the best: the start of a new season.
“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up.” –Vince Lombardi