Player of the Pine Belt: Wayne Academy quarterback Stone Ross

Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 11:09 PM CDT
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WAYNESBORO, Miss. (WDAM) - Wayne Academy made a tremendous run to the MAIS 4A state championship game last season, with quarterback Stone Ross at the forefront.

Ross returns for his senior season but the Jaguars have a new head coach Marcus Davidson who is opening up the playbook in Waynesboro.

“Coach [Todd] Mangum that was here before did a great job with them,” Davidson said. “You can tell that they’ve been in the weight room and everything was left organized and tip-top shape. It was just changing over a scheme and trying to get them to learn what I want to do on the offensive and defensive side of the ball.”

Davidson brings a triple-option system to Wayne Academy which Ross believes will help spotlight the team’s skill guys even more.

“It’s a transition moving from a guy like Mangum to a guy like coach Davidson,” Ross said. “But we like the philosophy and all the new schemes he’s put in. I think it really fits us well. Lots of skill guys that we can get the ball to in space and I feel like that’s going to work out really good for us.”

“Stone is a great leader,” Davidson said. “He will help us click and we’ll go as he goes as he makes the right reads and choices at quarterback. And we’re trying to work with him now on some of these bootlegs and roll out passing and everything, on his accuracy. And if we can get that accomplished, he’ll have a great year.”

Of course, last year wasn’t too shabby for Ross and the Jaguars – winning nine ball games and making a run to the MAIS 4A title.

But they left a little food on the table and are hungry for more.

“A lot of these guys were here last year and they know how fun it can be and how competitive we are,” Ross said. “We’re excited, we’re looking forward to it. Trying to have the same success we had last year, just take it one step further and finish it off. We’re gonna have to put in the same effort and more even to get back there and end it with a ring.”

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