HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) _ The early days of the 2019 football season have been anything but kind to Sacred Heart and Richton high schools.
Both entered the season with slim rosters chock full of the young and the inexperienced. Both have gone through rough stretches, though both are taking steps forward.
“We’re really young,” Richton coach Stephen Rice said, “so, it’s been kind of struggle, and even the older kids who we’ve got playing, they’re inexperienced.
“But I think some of our freshmen, some of our younger players, have really grown, week to week. Coming out of playing several games, they’ve figured out they can survive. They’ve seen that they can compete at this level.”
Though the teams own just one win between them, another ‘W’ will be up for grabs Friday when the Rebels (1-3, 0-1 Region 4-1A) visit the Crusaders (0-3, 0-1). Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Both dropped their region openers this past Friday.
Richton, which stepped down from Class 2A this fall, fell to Sebastopol High School, 23-12. Sacred Heart played arguably its best game of the season before dropping a 26-19 decision to Salem High School.
Sacred Heart coach Ed Smith said despite the early strife, his Crusaders have continued to hang tough.
“You’ve got to get better and you’ve got to learn, but on the other side of it, you’ve got to find a way to keep them from getting discouraged,” Smith said. “When you come up short, that’s the thing we’ve tried to get into their heads, is that you just don’t quit.”