Pass Christian High School Quarterback Kameron White runs around the corner to the endzone. White contributed to all four touchdowns for the Pass Pirates in the Friday night football game against the Vancleave Bulldogs on Oct. 16, 2020. (Photo by Richard Gleber)

by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher

The Pass Christian Pirates football team has gone through a number of trials and tribulations since their 2019 season; which was historically the best performance ever of 8-4 and playoff victory, since the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) creation of the playoff system in 1981.

In this time period, the Pirates went through changes in coaches, leaving of players, catastrophic hurricanes, and a global pandemic of COVID-19 that has canceled three games.

Despite everything, this Pass Christian football team may have a few of the best athletes in recent history of the program.

“We’ve got a lot of athletes, so we want to spread them out and grab some space,” said second year Pass Christian High School Football Coach Chase Carmody, who finished 2-6 in his 10th year overall of coaching, but first of the Pirates.  “I want us to play with passion and effort.”

A spread offensive format and a two back high is the scheme of the defensive unit according to Carmody with the feature being placed on the signal caller, #2 Kameron White.

White; a 5’9 senior “jack of all trades” and grandson of legendary Pass Christian coach Kevin Woods, started every game last year as Quarterback finishing with nearly 800 yards passing and seven touchdowns while rushing for over 600 yards and 10 scores.  During the 2019 season; as a sophomore, the multi-sport star caught for 1000 yards and led the team with 11 touchdowns receiving.

Last season, the young freshman phenom Terry Patton jumped on the stage.  Even with rough performance by the Pirates, Patton showed promise as he ended the season with close to seven hundred yards total offense and eight touchdowns.  Additionally, Patton finished with 17 total tackles, 2 interceptions, and a forced fumble.

“Terry Patton will be a little everywhere on the field,” expressed Carmody.  “He may be at running back one game, wide receiver the next, safety another…or be at all three in the same game.”

The ability to keep the speed going is essential from the trenches; which according to the head coach, the Pirates will have 4 new starters, but “Drake Pond is the leader” on the offensive line and “is the gel that makes us go up front and have developed a little bit of a nasty streak.”

Defensively where Carmody’s expertise is in, Pass Christian is stacked with a handful of veterans, led by dual sport senior safety Xavian Chamberlain, who has nearly amassed 150 tackles in his four years.  Other players, such Aden Purchner, Jaylin & Jayden Acker, and Bryant Piernas have each accounted for tackles, hurries, pressures, forced fumbles and interceptions.

“The biggest thing for defense is that we will be prepared every week,” stated Carmody.  “Jaylin is a leader among the corners, Aden is a strong safety depending on what we are seeing and he’s played a lot of football.  We moved Thomas Gorman; who was a receiver, down with Xavian and Bryson Adams playing linebacker.  Jayden Acker has great hands and will be a good defensive lineman.”

In keeping up with all levels of a football game, the Pirates may have the most talent between the laces.  Veteran placekicker Davon Klein recently won a field goal competition in Jackson County and has some come through a few crucial moments.

“I’m proud of this man and all the hard work he has put in,” conveyed Carmody after Klein won the competition.

The senior has converted 63 out 0f 66 extra points and 5 of 6 field goals in his four years on Pass Christian’s football team; including a game winner against rival St. Stanislaus in November of 2019 that clinched a home playoff for the Pirates.

In their 91st season, which already canceled the 5th Annual Oyster Bowl due to the spread of the pandemic early in the school year, the Pirates look forward to a 27th winning season in team history.

The Pirates are on schedule to begin their season on the road against the Forrest County Agricultural High School (FCAHS) in Brooklyn, Mississippi this Friday at 7pm.

(The front photo of Terry Patton catching the game tying touchdown to come within two points of the Bay High Tigers last season on October 2, 2020.  Although Patton caught the touchdown, Pass Christian failed on the next two point conversion.  This photo was named the Mississippi Press Association’s Sports Photo of the Year by Richard Gleber)