Gulfport hungry to break playoff curse

Under the watch of head football coach Eddie Pierce, the Gulfport Admirals have made it to the playoffs three out of the last four years. The problem being they’ve gone three and out in the first round and they feel some kind of way about it during the first official week of practice. Hungry for redemption they broke out the shoulder pads for the first time this afternoon.
Gulfport’s motivation to keep its drive alive dates back to 2010. That’s the last time the Admirals won a first round playoff game, despite making the post-season five out of the next six years. Head Coach Eddie Pierce said, “We’ve been to the playoffs all but one year and we haven’t gotten out of the first round yet, and I think that is a goal. Get to the playoffs, get out of the first round. We need to make a stand and gain some respect again for Coast football.”
In 2016, that respect belonged to the Brandon Bulldogs and their 28-0 shutout victory over the Admirals. Defensive End/Full Back Jeremiah Braziel said, “It was hard because it was just like the beginning of the game we felt like everybody was together, and then everybody got sluggish, we got tired and things started falling apart. So the bus ride back, we all agreed that next year that’s not going to happen. We’re going to make sure, we put everything we can into making a change and we’re not going to lose in the first round this year.”
Linebacker Karlos Dillard said, “We’re all about tradition, trying to change things around for the better, for the positive. And losing in the first round is real, is terrible, it’s a terrible feeling. So all the seniors got together and we were like we’ve got to do better to get a better chance and do better for the school.”
A fresh start for the Admirals comes in the form of their season opener versus George County in the Port City Bowl, no longer the Shrimp Bowl with Biloxi, but a primetime event nonetheless. “Especially now, they changed it now to the Port City Bowl and that’s Gulfport so that’s our name. So we’re going to come out and do our job for the city, make our fans, parents and community proud.”
“It’s still the same, it’s still the first game. We still go out there to compete to win, so I mean just because they changed the name doesn’t mean that it changed the whole aspect of the game.”
With several new faces running the show on offense that same rule of thumb applies to Gulfport’s senior-led defense. “Just watch out because we will be the No. 1 defense in the state of Mississippi this year.”
“Really, just that the Admirals – we’re trying to shock the nation. We’re trying to be the best defense in the state, not one of the best, but the best defense in the state. We’re trying to be the best team in the state. We’re just going out there every game, and we’re trying to win.”
“I mean I think it could be something special. The kids, our coaches think it can be special but you’ve got to get out there and play every week. We can talk about it all we want to, but eventually you’ve got to get out there and prove yourselves.”
The Admirals get their first chance to do that next Friday at their jamboree versus St. Stanislaus.

Categories: Local Sports, Sports

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