Player of the Pine Belt: Petal left tackle Reed McKay

Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 11:17 PM CDT
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PETAL, Miss. (WDAM) - Southern Miss head coach Will Hall quarterbacked Amory High School to the 1998 Class 3A state championship. The guy snapping him the football that year was Allen Glenn.

Glenn now heads up Petal High School’s program, taking over the Panthers after five seasons as the head coach of Amory.

“The culture here is something great,” Glenn said. “It’s something that was built way before I got here back to coach [Steve] Buckley, through coach [Marcus] Boyles. Just a tremendous culture that they’ve built and I’m just excited to build upon that foundation. In any aspect we do, from special teams, defense to offense - we’re going to be very, very physical. We got to see who’s going to be physical, who will stick their nose in there.”

Reed McKay has no problem getting dirty.

The 6-foot-2, 255-pound left tackle remembers coming to Petal games as a kid knowing he’d one day be on Panther Field. Now a senior, McKay leads an offensive line molded in the vision of coach Glenn.

The Panthers want to win the line of scrimmage first and foremost.

“He really leans on us up front,” McKay said. “If we’re doing bad at practice he’ll get on to us and if we’re doing good he gives us praise. He just likes to see us up front get after it.”

“I’m a firm believer that it all starts up front on the offensive and defensive line,” Glenn said. “[McKay] kind of brings a mentality, a toughness that we want. He’s a guy that you want to go down a dark alley with.”

Petal prefers to leave the scrapping on the football field – and that’s exactly what it will be in Region 3-6A.

The Panthers feel they have the right guys leading to make some noise this season.

“Growing in this program and seeing the guys above me and seeing what they do with the team and how they get people locked in Friday’s and Thursday’s before the game,” McKay said. “Just kind of following in their footsteps and just doing that my senior year and just trying to bring a state championship home.”

“We play in the SEC West of 6A football is what I say,” Glenn said. “As a coach and as players, you want that. You want to be able to play at the highest level. It’s going to be a war every Friday night. It won’t be hard to get these kids up for a game on Friday’s here.”

Petal opens its season on August 27 vs. Hattiesburg.

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