Coachspeak: Bassfield's Lance Mancuso
The Bassfield football team was one win from the state championship game in 2008. The Yellow Jackets advanced through the playoffs easily at first, outscoring their opponents 81-22 during the first three games. But the season ended in the semifinals against Forest.
Coach Lance Mancuso’s Yellow Jackets open 2009 against the Oak Grove Warriors, a 6A powerhouse. Mancuso sat down with Coaches Aid’s Patrick Lowery for a few thoughts on the upcoming season.
Q: I know last season Bassfield went 11-3; what are your expectations for this season?
A: Every year brings new challenges. We want to be competitive for every quarter of our games. We want to compete for a district title. Then, move to the next level and make the playoffs.
Q: Offensively speaking, who will be getting this rolling for the Yellow Jackets?
A: We like to run the football. This season we have our entire offensive line back, which will help us out tremendously. We are led by our senior quarterback, Carvey Magee.
Q: And what about defensively?
A: We have more questions on the defensive side of the ball. The biggest thing is that we lack some size. We graduated two great defensive linemen last season. Marcus Hosey and Wilber Myers should fill the leadership roles for our defense. They step up and lead our team in a big way.
Q: Last season your team averaged 25 points per game. Do you expect for that number to rise this season?
A: We should be very productive on the offensive side of the ball. However, we have a tougher schedule this season, so we may not score as effectively in our first few games as we did last year. By the time we reach our district play, things should be rolling fine for our offense.
Q: Defensively your team allowed only 12.7 per game? Will this year be the same?
A: As I said earlier, the defense lacks a little size; however, we make up for that with lots of speed and talent. I feel we should be rolling on the defensive side of the ball.
Q: With the new addition of the 6A class and changes to the other classifications within the MSHAA, what do you expect for this season?
A: Well, we lost St. Patrick in our district. They moved up to 3A -- other than that, our district has remained the same. I feel that we have the most competitive district in all of the state.
Q: With these new changes, who will be your rival?
A: Our entire district will be competitive; North Forrest and East Marion are big games.
Q: First game this season the Yellow Jackets face 6A powerhouse Oak Grove. What are your thoughts on that game?
A: Oak Grove really gives our guys an opportunity to play on a stage that they have never been on. For us coaches, it will give us a lot of answers for the future of our season and program. Oak Grove is a great program with great coaches.
Q: Other than Oak Grove, who do you feel is a tough challenge or must-win for Bassfield?
A: We have some very difficult non-district games. We need to pick up at least one or two of these games. We also need to beat our arch-rival, Prentiss.
Q: Who do we expect to see playing at the next level from Bassfield?
A: We have a lot of quality players for us at Bassfield. One senior that seems to be ready for the next level is tight end and linebacker Justin Penn. Also our quarterback, Carvey Magee, will excel at the next level. We have a tremendous junior class with lots of talent -- Wilbur Myers and Marino Dagin.
Q: We cannot forget about special teams, Coach. How is the kicking game?
A: (Laughing) … We are not where we would like for it to be. It is definitely a phase of the game that is very important and we have to improve on. We have to execute in game-time situations.
article updated on 08/22/09 09:44