Coach Sean Harden, Long Beach HS

This is the second in a series of interviews that Gene's Page has conducted with high school coaches in Mississippi. Today's interview is with Long Beach High School head football coach Sean Harden.

Coach Harden, talk a little about players you have that you feel can be division-one prospects by the time they are seniors.
"The first player I want to tell you about is an upcoming senior. His name is Jay Hawthorne. Jay is a 6-1, 170 pound wide receiver/defensive back. Jay finished this season with 30 receptions for 450 yards and 6 TD. On defense, he had 45 stops and 3 interceptions. Jay has been a starter since his freshman year. This past year was the first year we really featured him on the offensive side of the ball. Jay runs a legitimate sub 4.5 forty. Jay was also named to the first team all district 8 5A team.

"I have several sophomores that all also have a chance to be prospects. The first one is defensive lineman Xavier Mitchell. He is 6-4, 230 pounds, runs a 4.7 forty, bench presses 285, and squats 470. He started every game of his freshman and sophomore seasons. He has played DL, DE, LB, FB, and TE for us. This year, he primarily played defensive line and finished the year with 10 sacks, 5 fumble recoveries, 1 int. and 70 tackles. For his career, Xavier already has 18 sacks. He is a very impressive player and one whom we are very excited about. He is also a very good student. Xavier was second team all district 8 5A.

"The second sophomore is Tim Lewis. Tim has started every game of his high school career as well, beginning with his freshman season in 2000. Tim is 6, 185, and plays Inside linebacker for us. He bench presses 250 lb. and squats 430. He runs a 4.7 forty. Tim finished this season with 104 tackles and 5 fumble recoveries. He had 15 tackle performances against Gulfport and Moss Point. Tim is a great student.

"Both Xavier and Tim attended one of the 2 day MSU camps this past summer.

"We also have a left-handed sophomore quarterback who has a chance to be a good one. His name is Pat Farrell. He is about 6-4 to 6-5, 215 pounds and has a great arm. He has about a 4.9 forty. He has more quickness than straight-ahead speed. He is not going to beat many in a foot-race. He is a great leader who is like having another coach on the field. He is also a great student in the classroom.

"Pat is also a great baseball player. He was a relief pitcher for the high school baseball team as a freshman. His velocity is in the mid-80's. After seeing him throw the football, I feel he has increased that some.

"This sophomore bunch that I have is a special group."

Are there any others that you can think of off the top of your head?
"I do have one freshman who played for me as an 8th grader. Jarvis Shelby (5-8, 170, 4.5) is a two-year letterman for me. He has become a hard worker for us. Before we left for Christmas, we maxed out in the weight room and he benched 250 and squatted 440. And that is full parallel squat. He backed up Brandon Jacobs who signed with Ole Miss. He also played fullback when we went to a two-back set. This past season, he was our starting tailback and finished with over 1,000 all-purpose yards (614 rushing which was 24th best in the state in 5A classification)."

While I plan on calling all the high school football coaches in Mississippi during the next two to three months, if you are a Mississippi high school football coach and would like for me to go ahead and contact you now, please email me your home or office phone number and the best time to call you and I will give you a call. You can contact me by email at

Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page (, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. You can contact him by email at

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