News 25’s 25 Teams in 25 Days: Christian Collegiate Academy Bulldogs

The smallest team on News 25’s 25 Teams in 25 Days heads into the 2022 season with what’s easily the biggest increase in program size at 63 percent.

Local kings of the eight-man gridiron, the Christian Collegiate Academy Bulldogs check in as stop number nine.

Head Coach Steve Spinks said, “They’re tight-knit. They’re hard-working. I don’t have to push them very hard at all. They know the goals that they have and what they want to accomplish here, and they know that we’re no longer young. We’re junior, senior heavy this year so it’s time to put up or shut up.”

After rostering just one senior in 2021, that being now Millsaps college freshman Houston Mack, Christian Collegiate Academy is loaded at the top heading into 2022 with seven seniors, seven juniors, and seven returning starts, but more importantly, they have 26 varsity players, up from 16 last season. “Last year and the last couple years, we used to have JV guys as our defense. Which no slam on them, they just don’t give you as much of a look.”

Wide receiver/ middle linebacker Devin Lowe said, “Competition level is way higher, making us work a lot harder because we have to work for that position more. We’ve never really had that. We just had the position given to us because we didn’t have a lot of people.”

Now armed with a real depth chart, the Bulldogs looking to improve upon a tale of two seasons in 2021 in which they lost three out of their first four games before winning four out of their next five to close out the regular season with an overall record of 5-4 and a second-place league mark of 4-1 in MAIS eight-man Class 2A District 2. “The good thing is we kind of found our identity going into the end of the season. We started gelling together and guys started stepping up and saying hey, we can play with these bigger guys, these older guys.”

One week later, humble pie coming in the form of a 44-point road playoff loss at the hands of North Sunflower Academy. “I think it is a blessing. They’re still thinking about that. They know that we went up there to North Sunflower and we laid an egg. We didn’t show up, and they know that. And as a coach you can see something, but as a player, for you to recognize that, it really helps motivate you internally.”

Quarterback D.J. Biggs said, “Playoff time is crucial, and we need that. We need to get deeper in the playoffs, and seeing that and taking that ‘L’ we’re hungry for it. We really want to go deep. We really want to make it.”

Starting quarterback DJ Biggs is a two-way monster for CCA, finishing just shy of 2,000 total yards with 31 total touchdowns as the team’s leading passer and rusher last season.

On defense, he was second in total tackles behind fellow junior standout Devin Lowe. “He could play any position he wants and he would be great at it.”

“He is electric. He is a guy that can change the game real fast. He’s got a great football IQ. He sees the field unbelievably, and a lot of that is naturally engrained in him. He’s just a baller.”

“I come with that fire in me. I come ready to play ball. I love the game. I love CCA. I do it for him, and that’s it, man.”

Biggs serving as perhaps the best example of CCA’s 2022 motto: “Be Dangerous.”

Contagious to an entire team that features more seniors than any other Bulldogs team since the 2015 state runners up. “We’re taking it one game at a time, but we also have our mind set to state.”

“The thing we like to talk about is, what are we going to do this season? How are we going to react this season? What are we going to do this season? And it’s really just a hungry mindset. Everybody is hungry. Everybody wants to do the job. Everybody wants to hit it with their all. 100 percent. 115 percent. Everybody wants to give it their best shot.”

“You can think about state championship and if you lose a game, you can get flat really easily. You could think, well, there it goes. And we hold the keys to our own destiny. And I just think if we take care of our business, we do what we do, we give the best effort we give, one play at a time, one quarter, one half, one game at a time, we should be in the position we want to be in if all things work out well.”

The Bulldogs kickoff their 2022 season on the road against Columbus Christian on August 19th.

Let’s get to know Head Coach Steve Spinks a little bit better, big time on the Dickey’s brisket, favorite player growing up was Sam Mills of the New Orleans Saints and the Dome Patrol, favorite championship moment is the 2019 LSU Tigers and Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow winning that national title, one of the best seasons ever.

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