Countdown to kickoff 2022: Bay High Tigers

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (WLOX) – No, Tiger Stadium doesn’t have a full kitchen on its turf, but don’t be confused if you hear a little dessert talk on the sidelines.

“We have all the ingredients. We have great sugar, we have flour, we have great eggs, I just tell them to bake the cake,” head coach Jeremy Turcotte said.

“We all combine well, like baking a cake,” senior linebacker Tysen Hawkins echoed.

“Year one, year two, and year three, we’re buying the cake parts, mixing them together, and putting them in the oven. Now we just have to pull it out and bake it, that’s all we have to do,” senior linebacker/running back Ben Willemon said.

Back under center is quarterback Xander Ladner, already with double-digit starts under his belt, and even some postseason experience. But he’s not your typical returning starting quarterback.

“He’s only going to be a sophomore but he started 10 games as a freshman and led some come-from-behind drives,” Turcotte said. “He did a great job at what we asked him to do. This year he’s really hard on himself, I have to play good cop to his bad cop, which is a great thing you want from your quarterback.”

The Tiger defense returns seven senior starters, including last year’s leader in interceptions in Wilemon, and one of the leaders in tackles in Hawkins.

“Seniors are thick on defense, we’re old on defense,” Willemon said. “We work better together, it’s more of a family instead of a team – that goes for the whole team. We click, that whole defense is working.”

“We take a lot of pride in it, we want to be a defense that shuts down everyone and everything,” Hawkins said. “Our biggest thing this year is stopping big plays and making big plays.”

It’s year three at the helm for the Bay St. Louis native Turcotte, who has taken the Tigers to the postseason in consecutive years. And after their first eight-win season in nearly a decade, the culture is really starting to shine, as they aim to roar to new heights.

“Our kids just continue to go above and beyond and do the things we ask them to do without us even asking. They’re warming up behind me, and we don’t even need to be out here. We have some great leadership,” Turcotte said. “They want to be good, they’re extremely coachable. They’re kids and they make mistakes, and they want to be coached and want to be good. I think that goes an incredibly long way.”

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