Just how big is tonight's Biloxi-Gulfport game? More than a thousand tickets have been sold through the Athletic Office on the Biloxi High School campus, far eclipsing the hundred or so tickets that are sold in the days leading to an ordinary game.
But, of course, this evening's regular-season finale is far from ordinary.
The storied rivalry between Biloxi and Gulfport will decide a division or region championship for the first time in more than a decade. Biloxi is 8-2, with an unblemished 6-0 region record, while Gulfport is 7-3 and 5-1. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. on the Biloxi campus.
Athletic Department secretary Susie Seymour says interest in the game is unlike anything she's seen in her 23 years in Biloxi Public Schools.
"We'll probably have a crowd between 3,000 and 5,000 this evening, compared to about 1,500 to 2,000 people for a regular game," she said. "The thousand tickets we've sold here does not even include what's been sold at the junior high or at Gulfport's athletic office, and we're also expecting an even bigger walk-up this evening because our seniors will be honored in a pre-game ceremony.
"The best advice for people is to arrive early, be patient, and wear red."
Sun Herald's preview: Gulfport has won three in a row in this longtime rivalry. Biloxi defense faces strong Gulfport run game led by Antwar Ashley (785 yards, 9 TDs) and Nick Burks (419 yards, 8 TDs). Favorite targets for Gulfport QB Chandler Malley are Travis Travon (26 catches) and Zac Lavender (24 catches). Nick Brauchle is an excellent punter and kicker. Biloxi QB Jaylen Woullard has passed for 1,599 yards and 20 TDs, and rushed for 973 yards and 13 TDs. RB Devoriae Martin has rushed for 1,091 yards. Tevaris McCormick and Steve Austin are top Biloxi receivers with 31 and 29 catches, respectively. Biloxi kicker Grayson Pontius has hit 40 extra points and 3 field goals.
On the air, in cyberspace: You can hear an hour of pre-game coverage on WXBD-AM 1490, WTNI-AM 1640 and online at 967thechamp.com. Besides the game itself, coverage will include season recaps, interviews with players and coaches, and a look back at the rivalry.
Saints getaway: Those who have not purchased a chance for the Saints Getaway being offered by the Biloxi High Band Boosters this evening at halftime can purchase tickets until the beginning of the second quarter. To learn more, click here.
Cross Country teams headed to state competition
The boys and girls Cross Country teams have had an exciting season.
Coach William Harper reports that the boys finished second in the district meet Saturday at Biloxi High School, after battling with Ocean Springs all season for the lead.
The boys had four second place and one first place finish this season. Winning All District honors for the boys were Kody Clark, Daniel Pratt and Jeremy Landis. Finishing out the scoring for the Biloxi boys was Collin Manuel and Jacob Broussard.
The girls team placed fourth in the district. Winning All District honors were Caitlyn Andrews and Aaliyah Leacock. Other girls scoring for Biloxi was Victoria Plott, Azalee McAlpine and 7th grader Gabi Williams.
Both teams will compete in Clinton on Saturday in the state cross country championship.
Biloxi squad wins three-state drill competition
The Biloxi High School Air Force Junior ROTC has kicked off its drill season in winning style -- winning a three-state meet that included 12 squads.
The Biloxi outpointed all competitors during the Hurlburt Air
Force Base 17th Annual Drill Championship in Florida on Oct. 29.
Among the winners in Biloxi's championship showing were first in Unarmed Exhibition Drill, commanded by Cadet Lt. Col. Hailey Russell; first in Armed Exhibition Drill, commanded by Cadet Maj. Eric Henry; first in Color Guard, commanded by Cadet Lt. Col. Regene Hall; first in Unarmed Regulation Drill, commanded by Cadet Maj. Camila Meza; first in Armed Regulation Drill, commanded by Cadet Maj. Cobiasha Coleman; and second in Open Ranks Inspection, commanded by Cadet Maj. Camila Meza.
Said Biloxi High Aerospace Science Instructor and retired Air Force MSgt. Kenneth J. Melton: "Congratulations to the Biloxi High School AFJROTC Drill Team for an outstanding performance."