By Robert Wilson
Photos by Bobby McDuffie
Presbyterian Christian School dedicated its new turf football field Friday night and the football team followed with a 35-20 victory over Columbia Academy in the 2023 season opener at PCS’s Bobcat Field in Hattiesburg.
“This was a special night for our community to be able to come together and celebrate seeing this dream become a reality,” first-year PSC head of school Jimmy Messer said. “We appreciate everyone who helped make this possible. We thank God for His blessings and look forward to making great memories on this field. Our goal is to see our student athletes grow as players and as people and this will help us achieve that goal. #TeamPCS came together and worked together to make this happen and we look forward to a bright future.
“Our board partnered with several sponsors to provide the financing for this project. We appreciate each of the businesses who saw the impact of this project can have on our school community. We thank them for believing in PCS.”
The businesses involved in this project were Parish Tractor, Community Bank, Southern Bone and Joint, JW Chain Contractors LLC, Dandy Dan’s, Combined Benefits Administrators and Sports Contractors Unlimited.
PCS presented each sponsor with a plaque that had a picture of the turf and a football signed by the football team and a soccer ball signed by both the boys and girls soccer teams. PCS also presented the board with a football and soccer ball signed by the teams.
“People said it was one of the biggest crowds they had ever seen in school history,” Messer said. “It was a wonderful atmosphere, and we are looking forward to more crowds like this to come.”
Friday night was also the debut for new PCS head coach Michael Brown, an Oak Hill Academy and Mississippi State graduate who has 23 years of coaching experience. Brown came to PCS after one season as the director of football operations and special teams coordinator for Vestavia Hills, Ala., High. He spent eight years as associate coach at Hoover, Ala., before going to Vestavia Hills and helped Hoover win three state championships. Brown also was an assistant coach at West Point High and as a part of state championship coaching staff. Brown has also coached at more schools in Alabama and at Hebron Christian in Mississippi.
“Michael Brown is a great hire for PCS,” Messer said. “He is ready to run a program like this and his experiences at some very successful programs will benefit us in so many ways. He loves Jesus, loves kids and loves football. He will benefit PCS not only in what he does with our kids on the field but with the core values he will stress and the culture of his program! The future of Bobcat football is very bright.”
“What an awesome first time on the new turf,” Brown said. “We played to the physical potential I had visioned us to play. These kids have taken ownership of our team as have begun to create an identity already of who we are and are going to be. Offensively we played with the three 3 Ps, pace power and perimeter and play action. We showed that we can score under pressure and pressure opponents defensively. Our kids played extremely hard and disciplined. That’s our standard and we lived up to it. We will be a better version of ourselves between Game 1 and Game 2 because we have become a group that’s playing for something greater. I’m so blessed to be a Bobcat.”
Senior quarterback Cannon Crowder scored two touchdowns and threw a TD pass to sophomore wide receiver Kade Welford, junior fullback John Hayes Hunter ran for one TD and senior free safety Jakobe Lindsey returned an interception for a score.