PCA Eagles add new faces for physical MHSAA matchup

Published 9:51 am Thursday, August 20, 2015

After making the playoffs with a 2-8 record, Porters Chapel Academy is looking to beef up its lines and build upon last season.

The Eagles open the season Friday night at St. Andrew’s. It’s the first time PCA has played an opponent from the Mississippi High School Activities Association, and head coach Wayne Lynch expects it to be a tough physical matchup.

St. Andrew’s, a Class 3A team in the MHSAA, finished 3-8 last season and hasn’t had a winning record since 2008. Coincidentally, it also was the last time current coach David Bradberry, was on the sideline. Bradberry was the Saints’ head coach from 2003-09, left for jobs with the MHSAA and at Tupelo High School, and returned as offensive coordinator in 2014.

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Bradberry regained the head coaching position when Adam Mangana left for another job in April.

“We’re probably going to be outmanned,” Lynch said. “We’re just going to play our best and give it all we have and leave it all on the field. No matter if we win or lose we just want to be competitive and give ourselves a chance to win at the end.”

There have been some shakeups in PCA’s roster since last week’s jamboree games against Hillcrest Christian and Brookhaven Academy. Lynch said the team got beat on the line and knows games are won or lost on at the line of scrimmage. Four players have also joined the team this week, spreading the roster out to 25 players and providing some needed depth.

Fatigue factored into many of the last-second losses the Eagles faced last season. With the addition of nine new players it will help take the load off of those playing both sides of the ball and special teams.

“We got one from Vicksburg, a couple from Warren Central. They just came over in the last week or so, we’re just trying to get them in the mix,” Lynch said.

Lynch feels like the new additions will only help the team get better.

“We have some good guys who’ve joined the team. Good athletes and good players. We’ve just got to learn things and get a feel of the system. We’ll start inserting them slowly into the lineup and just see how they do, “Lynch said.

The transfer students have fit into the team well and haven’t disrupted a group that has known and played together all their lives. Current players have accepted their new teammates and Lynch believes everything will work out.

The morale of the Eagles has been good heading into the first game of the season.

“They’ve really bought into each other and bought into the system. They’re excited about the year,” Lynch said. “They’ve really come together as a team. There’s not any superstars or individuals. They want to play as a team and for each other. That’s all we can ask for as coaches.”