Players of the Pine Belt: Sylva-Bay Academy RB/DB Isaiah Graves

Published: Jul. 27, 2023 at 11:44 PM CDT
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BAY SPRINGS, Miss. (WDAM) - Isaiah Graves is doing his best to ensure this football season is one to remember for Sylva-Bay Academy.

One of just four seniors, Graves is a veteran first-year coach Mo Dale can rely on.

“Isaiah’s a really good kid,” Dale said. “It’s hard going into your senior year to accept a new coach. I’ve been in that spot before. But he’s done an amazing job, all the seniors have, accepting me, accepting these other coaches as well. And he’s really taken that role and being that leader.”

Graves sets the example in the way he works – knowing he may never leave the field on Friday nights playing both running back and safety.

“It’s enjoyable, most definitely,” Graves said. “It’s hard because you have to memorize a whole bunch of plays but that’s the game.”

“The workouts we’re doing is geared toward them being in shape a little bit better because a lot of our players are going to have to go both ways,” Dale said. “So we gear a lot of our offseason workout to this very reason right here.”

The Saints can feel the energy in practice as their season opener August 11 rapidly approaches.

Coach Dale wants them to focus on improving in one minor area every day.

“This summer they’ve really come out and been motivated and determined to become better,” Graves said. “I’m proud of them and we’re always ready to work.” “If you have seniors that will come every single day we have workouts, that bleeds down to the juniors and that bleeds down to the sophomores,” Dale said. “Even the JV kids as well that see that and say, ‘Hey, I want to be that hard worker one day.’ And that’s just how they’ve been leading throughout the summer.”

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