25 Teams in 25 Days: St. Martin Yellowjackets

On day two of 25 Teams in 25 Days on News 25, it’s a different line of questioning this pre-season for the St. Martin football program. In 2017, the Yellowjackets answered the big one about their playoff drought with their first post-season appearance since 2003.

Lightning kept the Yellowjackets off the field on their second day of official practice, but it didn’t keep them out of the playoffs last year. Running back / Wide receiver Elijah Washington said, “It was definitely a big, big deal because I mean like I said we all put in the work. We wanted to be one of the best St. Martin teams to come through in a while, and I mean I feel like we made that statement, even though all the talent that came through here, I feel like we made a big statement saying that we’re not really messing around. Like, we’re serious.”

On paper, St. Martin arrived a year early and was rewarded for ending that 14 year playoff absence with a first-round match-up against the eventual Class 6A state champion Pearl Pirates. “I mean, I feel like after that Pearl game we were all kind of just in shock, pretty much. But I mean it was a big wake up call, you know?”

Defensive end Kobe Evans said,”We had some rough times and some good times, but we all fought through, kept it going, everybody picking each other up, going to another level, now we get over that hump, now we can keep going to the State.”

Head Coach Eddie Wayne Whitehead said, “All our guys, we’ve got a big senior class that’s coming back so. And they’re going to have more leadership put on them, but for them to step up last year as juniors and to get us there was really big, and so hopefully they’ll carry that over to this year.”

Those 25 juniors are now 25 seniors and all of a sudden, St. Martin is one of the most experienced teams in the entire state, returning all 11 of its starters from a year ago on both offense and defense. One of those starters is Mississippi State commit Brandon Cunningham. “Like whenever we’re running the ball it’s like hey, is it going to Brandon’s side? Cause you know if it’s going to Brandon’s side, I mean you’re going to try to break it for a big play or either way it goes. But most definitely when it goes to that side, it’s open.”

“We’ve really been talking about it since eighth grade. We wanted to be the team that goes to the playoffs, host a home playoff game. We were on the road, but we want to be the team that starts history, keep it going.”

The Yellowjackets get right back to work tomorrow as they continue to countdown the days until their August 17th season opener at Forest Hill.

Categories: Local Sports, Sports

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