Presbyterian Christian has only been varsity football since 2001.
The Bobcats played three years (2001-2003) as a independent school then in 2004 they made the jump to MAIS Class AA. A year later PCS jumped up to MAIS Class AAA, Division II and when Joey Hawkins took over in 2009 the Bobcats jumped to the MAIS’ highest classification in Class AAA, Division I and been there ever since.
“I remember being when they would play Jackson Prep and have just 16 players on the roster,” Hawkins said, whose in his eighth year at the small Hattiesburg school. “Our kids have worked so hard and it has been fun watching them grow. We’re playing for the ones that started this football program 15 years.”
But over the last two years the Bobcats have had a lot of firsts.
Last year, PCS defeated Jackson Academy for the first time ever in the regular season and then defeated the Raiders again in the first round of the MAIS Class AAAA, Division I playoffs to claim its first ever playoff victory and reached the semifinals of the playoffs.
This past Friday night the Bobcats outlasted Madison-Ridgeland Academy 45-44 in triple overtime to move to 6-0 on the season and is off to the best start in school history.
“Where we are right now is a tribute to the kids. It has been amazing,” Hawkins said. “We’re just getting better on a daily basis. That is our focus.”
The Bobcats do have a balance offense, but have leaned on a running game that is averaging 299 yards a game. PCS has one of the top running backs in Mississippi in senior Isaiah Woullard.
Woullard, who holds an offer from Southern Miss, has rushed for 1,274 yards with 16 touchdowns. For his career Woullard has rushed for 6,555 yards which puts him sixth on the all-time in the state’s career rushing list. Noah Ingram of Ruleville holds the record with 8,254 yards from 1997-2000.
Quarterback Luke Hudson has passed for 735 yards with seven touchdowns and just two interceptions.
“Luke and Isaiah are the ones that makes our offense go,” Hawkins said. “Luke has made some big plays for us and Isaiah just goes out and does what he has done for us for the past three seasons.”
A big improvement this year for PCS is on defense. Last year PCS gave up right at 35 points per game, this year their giving up 18.3 points per game and is led by the twin linebackers in Rush Stewart and Justin Stewart.
“Our defense has been a big defense,” Hawkins said. “They’ve dramatically gotten better and are getting stops and creating turnovers.”
The Bobcats host Oak Forest (4-2), whose played in the MAIS Class AAAA, Division II state championship in each of the last two years and won it in 2014.
“We’ve played a tough schedule and we are starting six sophomores so there is room for a lot of improvement,” Hawkins added. “It has been a fun year so far but we got a long way to go.”