To say the Hattiesburg High School football team started the season with a tough schedule would be an understatement. The Tigers' first three opponents in 2015 (Petal, Laurel, and Collins) combined for a 36-9 record in 2014 and two state championships. Hattiesburg faced all three of those teams on the road to start the 2015 campaign and won all three games.
Hattiesburg head coach Tony Vance relishes in his team's tough schedule and says it is all about building a great team. "Just to play great competition you have to get better. You can't get better if you don't play good people. We feel like we've played three really quality opponents early on and three really quality football teams that are going to have a say so in the division hunt later in the year. We think that made us a better football program."
After knocking off two defending state champions in the first three weeks of the season, the Tigers have started to turn some heads around the state. Junior running back Xavier Yancey says that is all a part of being a successful team. "Knowing that we're winning and we've got a bulls eye on our back and it doesn't do anything but make us play harder. It's a blessing man I can't really do anything but thank God about that." Senior defensive end Devin Lang added that he believes if the Tigers continue to play together as a team they can reach the top. "Starting off good like you said we beat the two state champions last year. We just have to keep fighting as Tigers. Starting off 3-0, the first two years (2013 and 2014) we had kind of down seasons, but right now I think we've got it. We just have to play as a team."
Next up for the Tigers is East Marion Thursday night at D.I. Patrick Stadium.