Players of the Pine Belt: North Forrest's Daylyn Croom

Players of the Pine Belt: North Forrest's Daylyn Croom

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Over 1,900 passing yards and 20 touchdowns, 879 punt return yards and even a fumble recovery on defense. It's tough to say he did it all, but Daylyn Croom contributed quite a bit to the North Forrest football team last season.

"Daylyn is really going to kind of be the X-factor of this team this year," North Forrest head football coach Anthony Dillon said. "He's actually had one full year as the starting quarterback now and had some brilliant numbers last year so we're looking for big things from him.

"We noticed that once we started getting to district play, he really started seeing a lot of the stuff my offensive coordinator was trying to get him to see. And so we're expecting big things now."

Daylyn says he expects his senior season to fly by pretty quickly as he plays football, basketball and baseball. But for now, the three-sport athlete is just focused on those Friday nights in the fall."

"I'm kind of taking it slow but I'm ready to take it on," Croom said. "I'm ready to lead my team. That's what my job is, I'm the quarterback, I have to lead. I have to lead everybody and make them do the right things and tell them what to do."

Dillon said he is expecting more leadership from his signal quarterback.

"With the experience that he has, we're expecting him to be able to get guys lined up and coach them on the side.," he said. "And just keep their morale up if they get down. And just lead the team."

The Eagles are hoping Daylyn is the calming force for a team that started 0-6 last year.

Though North Forrest responded with 5 straight wins to make the playoffs, a 5-7 record and 2nd round playoff exit is far below the ultimate goal: And that's winning the first state title in school history.

"Our goal as a team, every team's goal is to win state," Croom said. "We come here everyday, put in work, weight room, we got to win every day coach tells us. Win every day then it makes it easy on Friday's."

Added Dillon, "I mean coming into every season, like I tell the guys all the time, every team's primary goal should be to win a state championship. But like I tell the guys, all I ask for them is to just go out each Friday and leave it all on the field. And when the last horn goes off, we can live with the results if you gave it your all."