Bassfield football looks to "Finish" 2012 - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Bassfield football looks to "Finish" 2012

BASSFIELD, MS (WDAM) -

Just over two weeks away from the start to the 2012 season, the Yellow Jackets are motivated by the finish of 2011. Rewind the clock back to late November a season ago, Bassfield High School, with an undefeated mark in division play through the regular season, faced East Marion for the right to go to Jackson.

Having been handing it's only loss of the regular season by Bassfield, East Marion returned the favor. The Eagles scored 16 points in the fourth quarter, erasing a 14-7 Yellow Jacket lead, and won 23-21. Two points separated Bassfield from Jackson.

"That's something that's kind of stuck in our mind throughout the winter and summer workouts," said Bassfield Head Coach Lance Mancuso, "I guess you could say we've had a bad taste in our mouth ever since that situation."

As a reminder, and a motivator during practices, the team dawns gray practice shirts with bold, black lettering that read, "Finish."

"Hopefully, that's a reminder every day of where we want to be, and where we want this team to go," said Mancuso, "We've been real close these past two years, and we just haven't been able to finish. This year we're making every effort that we can to make sure we finish everything we do."

To help his team finish, Mancuso will have plenty of experience back, especially on offense. Everybody behind center, including quarterback Josh Applewhite, fullback Jerome Keys, and tailback Rod Williams combined with senior split end Jeffrey Smith should help the Yellow Jackets put up points.

Mancuso says the strength of his defense lies in the linebacking core, and returning starters AJ Moore James Graves. "We feel like we have a veteran group coming back skill-wise," he said, "Some of the question marks are going to depend on if our defensive line and our offensive line comes along. We've got some young guys up there who've never been in action on Friday night, and hopefully if those guys develop, we'll be able to put a contending team out on the field every Friday night."

It's not a given the Yellow Jackets will return to the South State Championship. If they do, one word will immediately ring in the ears of the Yellow Jackets.

"These guys are looking to," said Mancuso, "if we get the opportunity in the same situation, to finish the season out strong. "

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