25 Teams in 25 Days: Pass Christian Pirates
The Pass Christian football program is just one year removed from making history.
A lot of seniors on this year’s team remember just how fun that run was as sophomores and now they want that kind of legacy for themselves.
Head Coach Chase Carmody said, “We would do that anyways, when it’s a new year, whether we were undefeated or lost every game, we’re going to throw that out. The next year is totally new. It’s a clean slate, so we’re going to take stuff we learned from last year and move on and hopefully have a great season this year.”
These days, Pass Christian is living under a new standard, the 2019 standard of winning the first-ever playoff game in program history. Now feeling the effects of not living up to that standard for the first time since. Quarterback Kam White said, “I mean it was just all fun. Playing football and just playing for the fun of it, doing something we love, just trying to get back to where we were.”
Safety Aden Purchner said, “We were a good team that year. That was probably the best year I’ve ever had, and that’s what I’m saying. We’re going to work harder every day just to get back to that spot because that was a year.”
The Pirates experienced a six-win drop off in 2020, finishing with an overall mark of 2-6 and a district mark of 0-3, even getting robbed of their final game against St. Stanislaus due to Hurricane Zeta as if dealing with COVID-19 quarantines wasn’t already enough. “Last year, we learned how to work through adversity for sure because when we got to district, we were without five or six starters every game.”
“Half the teams we didn’t get to play, or like Stanislaus, how we didn’t get to play last year, we’re just getting back at it, trying to get back what we lost.”
The pandemic already striking again in 2021, costing Pass its annual Oyster Bowl rivalry game against Long Beach to open the season. “We’ve still got some players out right now, quarantined, but when we get everybody back, everybody fighting for that first win.”
At full strength, the Pirates return about half their starters, including dual-threat quarterback Kam White, who accounted for 1,400 all-purpose yards and 17 touchdowns a season ago. Pass was run-first in 2020, but this year, the playbook is wide open. Left tackle Drake Pond said, “Yeah, it kind of meets in the middle. We’re more so run-heavy, just a little bit, we run more of a speed option type game, especially with Kam as our quarterback, that’s kind of what we have to do.”
“I think we’re really versatile. I could do it on my feet. I could do it on the arm. We’ve got plenty good receivers, get out there and catch the ball and get some yards after the catch.”
Pass also features a senior class of 2022 about a dozen strong, all in on the program’s reclamation mission. Not only do the Pirates want to make some more noise in November, they want to keep it loud in September and October, too. “We all want a state championship. I think that’s everybody. But we all go day-by-day, all-in, is what our motto is this year. We just do our best every Friday.”
“Yeah, we always talk about wanting to leave here, obviously setting records and want to have the best year, but we love to have fun in there. We want to have the best year we can.”
“Just not losing. I mean it’s my senior year, I don’t want to go out losing and on the bench after the game just thinking about what I could’ve done better. I just want to leave it all out on the field and just not lose again.”
“They want to be remembered; our seniors want to be remembered. Everybody talks about that senior class two years ago that got them to the playoffs, won that first playoff game. They want to be remembered too. They want to leave their impact on Pass, and their goal is to go win a region championship, something that’s never been done at this school, so that’s what they’re shooting for and that’s what we’re working for every day.”
Due to COVID-19, Pass Christian kicks off its season a week late at Forrest County Agricultural High School on September 3rd.
The Pirates lose their annual Oyster Bowl rivalry game with Long Beach this Friday.