On Thursday the Hattiesburg High School football team continued its first week of official practice on the first day of classes.
For the Tigers, the chatter of state championship potential has already begun. And if they’re going to live up to the hype, it’s going to start with their ‘Big 3.’
First up, Julian Conner. He’s a two-time WHLT Player of the Week alum, and a senior quarterback with all the tools to get the job done if he can stay on the field.
“Well, we’re expecting big things out of him,” says Hattiesburg head football coach Tony Vance, now entering his fourth season at the helm. “Got to keep him healthy, that’s number one. And we feel like if we keep him healthy, then we’ll be in really good shape on offense.”
Of course his favorite target is another former Player of the Week, Tennessee commit Jordan Murphy. Yet another senior ready to set it off in 2016.
“Jordan has really worked hard to get where he is, and I think one thing about Jordan he makes our DB’s better everyday at practice,” says Vance. “And I think our other wideouts look at Jordan as a model and they try to get better, and do things that he does to get themselves better.”
As for the ground attack, junior phenom Fabian Franklin has that on lock. He’s looking for his second straight 1,000-yard season.
“Expecting a big year out of Fabian, expect him to pick up right where he left off last year,” says Vance. “And he’s a really good back, so he’s going to have to make some things happen.”
All together now.
“All of those guys with the ball in their hands pose a threat any time they touch it, so it’s going to be important that we get the ball in those guys hands as much as possible and let them carry the load,” says Vance.
The Tigers open their season at home against the Petal Panthers on Saturday, Aug. 20.