By Curtis Rockwell, Sports Editor
The Picayune Item
Bassfield began it’s current season six months ago with a spring game against defending Class 5A state champion Picayune.
Friday afternoon, the Yellow Jackets and head coach Lance Mancuso earned the title of state champs as well.
Bassfield became just the second team in Mississippi prep football history to post a perfect 16-0 record, and capped the historic season with a 35-0 win over Eupora in the Class 2A state championship game here at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium.
It was the third state title in the past decade for Mancuso, a Pearl River County native and 1989 graduate of Pearl River Centra. He also was the head coach at Poplarville for four seasons before moving on to Bassfield.
“It’s an awesome feeling. How do you even describe it?” Mancuso said. “When you take a group of young men and you start out with one goal and you build all year to get to this point, and to finish it off here in Jackson, Mississippi, it doesn’t get anymore special than this.”
He also led Bassfield to the 2A title in 2009 and guided Seminary to the 2A crown in 2003.It was the fifth state title for Bassfield, as the school becomes just one of eight in the state with five or more crowns in football.
“We’ve had some championship teams at Bassfield. This was the first group to ever win 15 football games in one season (at Bassfield),” he added. “And to cap it off with a perfect 16-0, this group will go down in history in Bassfield, Mississippi, even though we’ve had some great football teams.”
Bassfield jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back in the win. And this one may have been a bit more special for Mancuso as his son, Brandon, is the place-kicker and punter for the Yellow Jackets.
“It’s extremely special. When you can be here, and have your family be part of it each and every day,” Mancuso said. “My daughter’s on the sideline with us. This is why you do it.”