Player of the Pine Belt: Hattiesburg DE Tabias Hinton
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Hattiesburg High head coach Tony Vance believes one of the keys to the Tigers season will be returning starters on their defense and at the heart of that returning group is junior defensive end Tabias Hinton.
“Certainly expecting big things from him,” Vance said. “Expecting him to, you know, come out and lead our defense. He’s one of those guys doesn’t talk a whole lot, leads more by example and the way he plays the game.”
“I learned a lot from last season,” Hinton said. “I really can’t explain it but I’ll try to use it as best as I can.”
With an impressive stat line from his sophomore season, Hinton’s goals for his junior year are simple.
“Get more than 18 sacks and more than 77 tackles,” Hinton said.
But the four-star prospect wasn’t always a disrupting presence up front. He originally played wide receiver and didn’t have the easiest transition to the other side of the ball.
“Oh it was hard because I was so small and I had to work out to try and get bigger,” Hinton said.
“He’s one of those guys who’s gonna be in here every day,” Vance said. “He’s gonna work hard when he’s here. The sky’s the limit for him. I think he’s starting to understand that, understand that his ability level, you know God’s gifted him with, and he’s using it to the best of his ability.”
Vance, no stranger to talented players like Hinton, enters his ninth season as head coach of the Tigers.
“Time really flies but [I] want to continue to build on the tradition of Hattiesburg High,” Vance said. “Build on, you know, what we’ve established here over the course of last nine seasons and get our team back to a championship level.
The Tigers kick off their season on August 27 at Petal.
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