Players of the Pine Belt: Sacred Heart's Campbell Klein

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Campbell Klein will be the featured running back for Sacred Heart this season. But no matter how many yards and touchdowns he accumulates, Klein doesn't forget the guys up front who make it all possible.

"I think they're the most important guys on the field," Klein said. "Without them we couldn't do anything and we've got a big, strong O-line this year. I think they're going to help us out a lot."

This strong sense of team has fueled Klein's off-season work. He understands how important his role is and he's working to produce.

"He had a good season last year and he worked really hard in the off-season," Crusaders head coach Lonny Schraeder said. "He's done everything that he can do to be as good as he can for his senior season."

Klein has a message to opposing defenses.

"I've been working hard," he said. "Been in the weight room a lot. Eating right. Doing a lot training in the off-season. Well I'm a lot heavier. It'll be a lot harder to bring me down. It won't just be one guy. It'll take a couple to bring me down this year."

Klein's coach expects the same.

"He's a really good running back and he's a hard runner," Schraeder said. "He'll lower his shoulder and get yards when there's nothing there so I'm looking for a big season. And he's a leader. He's a silent leader. He comes out and works really hard and other kids watch him and see him and want to do like he's doing."

The Crusaders made history in 2016, making the class 1A playoffs for the first time in program history. Klein expects an even better showing in 2017.

"We have a really good senior class coming back," Klein said. "We've got real good chemistry. We all play good together. We've been playing together since we were little."

Another playoff run for the Crusaders won't be easy.

"Man I tell you what you got Lumberton who should have won it last year," Schraeder said. "Really, they should have won it. wasn't too long ago Stringer won the state championship. You've got teams with just a lot of tradition. Mt. Olive…Resurrection was there a couple years ago. It's a tough row to hoe. It's going to be tough and then we've got East Marion coming into the district who we've never played before but they've won some state championships too. So you've got a lot of teams with a lot of tradition. We just have to get out there and play. It's going to be a challenge."