BASSFIELD, MS (WDAM) - When Lance Mancuso found out that Bassfield High would be consolidating with Prentiss High in 2017, like many he didn't know what the future held. Mancuso says he was "honored" when he learned that he would be the athletic director and football coach of Jefferson Davis County High School.
"I've had such tremendous support from not only the Bassfield community but also the entire county which includes the Prentiss area," Mancuso said. "I really am honored and cherished to be in this place. Hopefully we can begin something that will eventually be well-respected throughout the state."
Certainly, Mancuso is a well-respected coach in the Pine Belt, having led the Bassfield Yellowjackets to five 2A state championships in his nine seasons as head coach.
But 2017 presents a new challenge for Mancuso as Jefferson Davis County will compete in region 8-3A alongside schools like Tylertown, Seminary and West Marion.
"You're talking about 3A schools that have made deep playoff runs each year coming out of that district," Mancuso said. "So, it will be a huge task for our young men to get adjusted."
While Mancuso says assembling a coaching staff for football and all other sports will be an ongoing process this spring, the new mascot name has been decided.
Jefferson Davis County will compete as the Jaguars and don the colors of silver and blue. As of right now, Mancuso says the new high school will be located on Bassfield's campus but where the Jaguars will play football is still to be determined.
The other question that remains: when do the jerseys come in?
"That will be up to the business department when they start giving us some money to start," Mancuso joked. "But we're looking in to all that. A new start, a new beginning, it's a new opportunity and hopefully we can put together a staff that has the young men in mind, as far as football goes. A staff that's going to be dedicated to achieving the type of goals that we want to accomplish here."