News 25’s “25 Teams in 25 Days” is finally making its way down to the 1A ranks to visit Resurrection Catholic at stop number 22.
RCS may be the smallest MHSAA school on the Gulf Coast, but the Eagles usually turn out pretty big results.
The only difference this year is a new head coach who is bringing the noise heading into 2019.
Tight end/ linebacker Branden Orozco said, “Definitely the music if you can hear it in the background. There’s a lot of music. The energy is up and upbeat.”
Perhaps a little rejuvenated after spending more than two decades in one place, that being Vancleave High School, Lavon Capers still isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel at Resurrection Catholic. “They’re willing and eager to learn a new system, and we’re just trying to build on what Coach Sisson got started here.”
What Scott Sisson started during his six years at RCS was a championship culture, cemented by the program’s first-ever South State title in 2015. “Well, they expect to win here for sure. They’ve had a winning tradition here over the last few years. And again — just like you said, they played for a state championship. So whenever you come here you’re expected to put a winning product on the field.”
Wide receiver/ running back Will Clemens said, “New atmosphere but we have the same goal we’ve had the past five years is to get to that last game and win it.”
Last year, the Eagles fell short of that goal in the first round of the playoffs with a shutout loss at Nanih Waiya. It was the first time they failed to win at least one game in the post-season since 2013. “After that season, people kind of looked at us as Resurrection isn’t anything anymore. But this year, I think we’re going to open some eyes for sure.”
At the very least, the Eagles will turn some heads by running a totally different offense as a part of their brand new playbook under Coach Capers. A change of scenery that both sides have embraced since day one as they continue to mix the new with the old. “We’re a family, one way or another.”
“Well, the biggest thing is that I still know how to work hard and I came into a situation where I’ve got a bunch of guys that are willing to work hard.”
“We came in knowing we had a good chance and we kind of took that through summer and thought in the back of our heads what happened in that Nanih Waiya game. And we worked knowing that our first game we’re looking for people to get a new perspective on us, you know?”
What that lasting image looks like is up to Resurrection’s 12-member senior class of 2020 and a first-year head man who still has the same nervous energy as he did when he first started coaching 27 years ago. “There’s always butterflies. I always tell kids, coaches, anybody that I ask when they ask me if I’m nervous, I tell them yes. I’m nervous every Friday and if I ever get to the point where I’m not nervous, I’ll quit. Because it doesn’t mean that much to you if you’re not nervous.”
Resurrection Catholic is one of just a few schools on the Gulf Coast that actually doesn’t open up this Friday with its season opener scheduled for August 30th at North Forrest.