25 Teams in 25 Days: Long Beach Bearcats

News 25’s 25 Teams in 25 Days might be more than halfway over, but the 15th stop on tour is just getting started under its first year head coach. Philip Pigott is calling the shots for Long Beach in 2018, still in search of his first win as a Bearcat.

How his team responds to that Thursday night loss to Pass Christian over the next two weeks is the hot topic at Long Beach.

Head Coach Philip Pigott said, “The hard things lead to the good things. And that’s what we’re trying to drive home to them, that’s the lessons that we’re trying to instill in them that hey, the wins are going to take care of themselves as long as we can do the little things first.”

The culture that Philip Pigott is trying to establish at Long Beach is predicated on discipline, even though that’s exactly what was missing during the second half against the Pirates. Middle linebacker Jonathan Berry said, “You can’t just go to the game and lights cut on and you think you’re everything. You’ve got to make sure you’re right off the field before you get right on the field.”

The Bearcats came out on the wrong end of a 34-31 shootout in the Oyster Bowl and now they have 15 whole days to get right both on and off the field. Quarterback Cade Crosby said, “I don’t like losing at all, I’m just a competitor. I mean we’re going to come back our third, second game, whatever, and we’re just going to try to kill them and put it in the ground. But we do have a lot of things to work on throughout this off-week, that’s the good thing about the off-week.”

“It’s an opportunity for them to understand we have come a long way, but how quickly things can go right back. How quickly it took us to, all the discipline we had instilled to this point, to lose that in a moment of heat. And that’s what we’re trying to get back and that was my message to them at the end of the game, I said you played hard, but you didn’t play smart.”

Not exactly what the former Petal defensive coordinator had in mind for his Long Beach debut, more than six months after replacing Forrest Williams.

On the bright side, the Bearcats are coming off their first winning season since 2011 and they refuse to let a false start determine how they cross the finish line in 2018. “0-1. We don’t look at it no more as 0-1. Start the new week off 0-0. We’ll just keep progressing on that.”

“They’ve got a foundation set, so how do you build off of that foundation? And what’s the next step? The next step is playoffs.”

That same year, 2011, is also the last time the Bearcats made a post-season appearance until this year, that is if all goes according to plan. “This is my senior year, I want to go out with a bang. And go out with a ring on my finger.”

“We’re extremely hungry. We want State, honestly. I mean that’s just the goal, that’s the only goal here.”

“It’s exciting to see how far this team can go, in my opinion. And whether  the wins and losses will tell the story, I see the growth daily. And as long as we keep winning every single day that I come out here and getting a little bit better, a little bit better, I’m really excited what the future holds here at Long Beach.”

Long Beach gets back on the horse at 7 p.m. on August 31st with a second straight home game against Bay High following a week two bye.

Categories: Local Sports, Sports

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