HATTIESBURG, MS - Several of the current Bulldogs weren't even alive the last time Bay Springs played in a state championship game.
When Bay Springs lines up against Calhoun City on Friday, it will be just their third appearance in a state title game, previously losing to Calhoun City in 1989 and most recently suffering a 17-12 loss to Booneville in 1999.
The Bulldogs say they've received words of encouragement all weekend from former players and people of the Bay Springs community who remember those South State championship teams.
"We had a lot of great groups come through here but we never really had the great coaching staff that we do now," said Bay Springs senior wide receiver Daniel Davis. "Coach [Dan] Brady, he's been pushing us. And the bond that the senior group and the young players share, it's just like a brotherhood instead of a football team."
Bay Springs (12-3) has embodied that spirit all season long. Even trailing the four-time defending state champion Yellowjackets late in fourth quarter wasn't enough to break the Bulldogs.
"Never quit," said Bay Springs head Coach Dan Brady. "Doesn't matter the game, doesn't matter the score, they're never going to lay down. They're going to finish every time. Whether that be a win or a loss, they're going to fight all the way 'til the end."
"Unbreakable bond," Davis said. "Nothing can tear us apart."
Davis admits he never thought Bay Springs would be playing in December when he first strapped on his helmet in August.
But now that they are, the Bulldogs are ready to seize the moment.
"These kids want to be the ones that leave that legacy," Brady said. "To finally get over the hump and win a state championship."
"This year is going to be the last year I play football, I'm not playing in college," Davis said. "So, I'm just going to enjoy it while I can right now. Hopefully I come out with some new jewelry."