For the second year in a row, August 7th just so happens to be the day News 25 checked in with the D’Iberville football program on 25 Teams in 25 Days.
Also for the second year in a row, the Warriors just so happen to have an SEC recruit with the last name Walley. Brotherly love is the name of the game in the second year of the Larry Dolan era.
“We’re just family. Everything we do is do it for your brothers, don’t do it for yourself.”
Running back Justice Davis said, “Last year, it was the year that our seniors were all – everybody on the team came together and that’s when we became like a family and that’s when it all built together and we all knew that we could be something great.”
No blood relation necessary at D’Iberville where bleeding black and gold is the only pre-requisite. Tight end Colton Deshazo said, “D’Iberville is a community of football. Everyone loves football. Everyone. Everyone. It’s literally we bleed black and gold football, everyone in the community. If you don’t know Warrior football, you’re not from D’Iberville.”
After missing the playoffs for the first time in 14 years in 2018, the Warriors bounced back in a big way last season with an overall record of 9-3 and a district mark of 6-1. But a late season loss to Gulfport spoiled what could have been their first region 4 class 6A title since 2016 and a first round home playoff loss to Brandon spoiled what could have been their first post-season victory since 2014. “It was a very good season. But the way it ended was just devastating, so it makes us this year want it just that much more. And this season is going to be our revenge season.”
Running back/ cornerback Justin Walley said, “Well yeah, regular season we had a really good season besides losing to Gulfport. But the playoffs, when my brother went down in the St. Martin game, it really hurt us. And losing out of the first round of the playoffs again, it really just brings down your confidence as a team.”
The silver lining from last year’s early exit was a look into the future. With big brother Jaden Walley sidelined due to injury, little brother Justin Walley took his spot on offense recording 12 of his 26 carries on the season for 162 yards and three touchdowns. “(Did he kind of like pass the torch to you in any way?) Yeah, I believe we shared the torch last year. But you could say that.”
Jaden signed a national letter of intent with Mississippi State back in December, leaving Justin with a big decision of his own as a senior.
Just over a week ago, little bro narrowed down his recruitment to a top four including MSU as well as Ole Miss, Minnesota, and Baylor. “It’s been really stressful. I’ll just be sitting down thinking about it and it’s just driving me crazy.”
Head Coach Larry Dolan said, “You watch him practice, you don’t know that he’s an SEC player. He’s just another kid playing high school football and enjoying himself. But on Friday nights he kind of comes alive and does what he’s supposed to and that’s why he has the offers that he has.”
In other words, from one Walley brother to the other, alongside quarterback Dwight Williams, running back Justin Davis, and tight end Colton Deshazo, good luck outscoring the Warriors this season. “That’s kind of our offense. It’s not the one you’re probably going to get Herschel Walker or Bo Jackson in there and get 30 carries a night. But they’re going to carry it 15 times and catch it six times, and that’s kind of the way we like to do things.”
More than anything, winning is the way D’Iberville likes to do things. And even with 18 years now separating this year’s class of about 20 seniors from that 2002 4A state crown, the year some of them were born, that way of doing things still hasn’t changed. Quarterback Dwight Williams said, “With losing first round playoffs last year, it just feels like we want to go farther. But I mean every year we’re trying to get to state, so like every year we just work towards state.”
“If you’re always having to talk about winning a state championship, winning a state championship, win your region, well, your program is probably growing instead of where you want it to be and right now we haven’t won a region championship in a while and we definitely haven’t won a state championship in a while, but our kids know that those are our goals.”
Those road Warriors lost their date at Jefferson Davis County on August 21st as well as home games against Picayune on August 28th and Hammond, Louisiana on September 18th.
They were able to pick up road games at Wayne County on September 4th and George County on September 18th.