Players of the Pine Belt: Sacred Heart senior RB/LB DJ Booth

Players of the Pine Belt: Sacred Heart RB/LB DJ Booth
Published: Aug. 10, 2023 at 11:36 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Sacred Heart Catholic School is back in Region 8-1A after playing independently in 2002.

The Crusaders are hungry.

“I could see people’s determination change from the beginning of summer to now because they see how good we could be, our potential,” said senior DJ Booth. “Their spirits have been raised and hopes.”

The Crusaders have created some momentum this summer, averaging 28 guys per day at workouts.

Head coach Ed Smith notes that number is more than Sacred Heart’s rostered the past few years.

“I think this is one of the best summers we’ve ever had,” Smith said. “We had I think 34 guys wearing helmets, stretching yesterday. That’s more than we’ve ever had. They’ve really bought in this summer and are really committed to being there and doing the work.”

Booth is one of just three seniors with playing experience – and he has plenty of it, lining up at running back and linebacker.

“I feel like I could do anything at running back,” Booth said. “I feel like nothing could hold me back at running back. Middle linebacker, you can take out any emotion.”

“His leadership, his work ethic,” Smith said. “We kind of challenged him back in the spring that this is your team. You gotta take control of it, take responsibility for it and step in to that role.”

The greatest thing Booth brings to the table is belief, Smith said.

Booth said he sees potential in his teammates.

“Our goal’s to always be better than last,” Booth said. “Don’t want to end up how we did last year. We always strive for something better.”

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