Charging Ahead

The Petal Panthers have given notice that they will not go quietly. The 5-1 Panters are now 2-0 in district after a Friday night trip down to Ocean Springs. Petal got by the Greyhounds 14-6 in an important district game.

Senior running back Isaiah Newsome rushed for 130 yards bringing his season total to 1,133 yards.

The talented Newsome believes the Petal program is undergoing a resurgence under head coach Steve Buckley.

"It was a real big win for us," said Isaiah of the team's win over previously unbeaten Ocean Springs. "I think people in the state are stating to take notice of our team. We are showing people our true potential.

"We have a dominant defense and we have a real balanced offense. We just try to keep catch them off guard."

Before the season began, Coach Buckley had an important conversation with Isaiah.

"Coach really challenged me to step and be a leader this year," said Newsome. "He said that the younger guys all look up to me. I have accepted that challenge and I am trying to help lead my team."

South Alabama was the first school to come through with an offer for Isaiah. A few other schools including all three of his in-state schools are showing interest.

"Ole Miss has called me," said Newsome. "They called me about a week ago. They want me to come to one of their games, but I don't think I am going to be able to make it.

"I am getting some letters from Mississippi State now. They haven't called me yet, but they have been sending me some things for the past couple of months now.

"I like all of the in-state schools. Ole Miss beat Florida, so that caught my attention.

"I like Southern Miss' offense. I think it can really be exposive.

"I don't know a lot about Mississippi State yet. I am just starting to learn about them."

The recruiting process got started a little later for Isaiah than it did some of his peers. The newfound attention can become a distraction for some. Newsome believes he is prepared for the increase in recruiting activity.

"Coach Buckley told me to the right thing at the right time," said Isaiah. "He told me to always handle myself with class. He said I was going to start getting more publicity and that I needed to handle myself the best way I can."

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