The 2023-24 high school soccer season has rolled into region play and teams in the Southern Six have started to assert themselves as playoff favorites from Class I up to the new 7A classification.
The Long Beach Bearcats are looking for their fourth consecutive state championship but will have to do it in the 6A ranks this season while Bay High is seeking back-to-back 4A state titles.
On the girls side, St. Patrick looks to defend its Class I title while Gulfport, West Harrison and Stone High look to take the next step after coming up short in the state finals last season.
For the Lady Cats, it would be their third trip to the state championship after winning it all in 2022.
All team records in this roundup are region marks.
In 7A boys, Ocean Springs took early control of Region 4 with a 2-1 win over Gulfport this week and improved to 3-0 while the Admirals fell to 2-1.
St. Martin and Biloxi are right behind the Admirals at 1-1 while D’Iberville and Harrison Central are still looking for their first region wins.
On the girls side, Gulfport flipped the script, taking a 1-0 win over the Lady Greyhounds. Both teams are 2-1 and trail St. Martin (2-0). Biloxi (1-1) looks to remain in the hunt throughout the season while D’Iberville and Harrison Central are seeking that tough first region win.
In 6A boys, Long Beach has picked up where it left off last season, sitting atop the standings at 2-0 in its new classification.
George County, coming off a 1-0 loss to the Bearcats, is tied with Pascagoula at 1-1 but beat the Panthers this season. Hancock and West Harrison are both 0-1 heading into Friday night’s games.
Picayune slides into Region 3-6A for soccer and the Maroon Tide stands at 2-0 while its county neighbor, Pearl River Central, is 0-1.
The West Harrison Lady Hurricanes, coming off their South State title last season, have opened up 6A play at 1-0 while Long Beach leads at 2-0. George County is 1-1 while Pascagoula and Hancock look to battle for the fourth playoff spot in this competitive division.
A new state champion will be crowned in 5A boys. Long Beach has moved up and Stone is in first place in the Region 4 standings at 2-0. East Central, Gautier, and Vancleave are all 1-1 as they compete with Laurel and Wayne County for playoff spots.
On the girls side, Gautier has jumped out of the gates at 2-0 along with the East Central Lady Hornets while Stone is 1-1. The Vancleave Lady Bulldogs look to fight back from an 0-2 start to battle Laurel and Wayne County for a spot in the playoffs.
In 4A, Bay High has picked up where it left off last season as the Tigers sit at 2-0 and they are joined atop the region standings by a familiar foe as Pass Christian is 2-0 as well.
The newcomer to the division is Poplarville and the Hornets are off to a 1-0 start while Moss Point and Greene County battle to jump back in the playoff hunt early in the season.
The Pass Christian Lady Pirates have made a 2-0 start to lead Poplarville (1-0) while Bay High and Greene County are both 1-1. Moss Point is still seeking its first division win.
In Class 1, which includes 1A, 2A, and 3A schools, St. Stanislaus is off to a 3-0 start while St. Patrick dropped a 1-0 decision to Sacred Heart on Dec. 1 to fall to 2-1. Resurrection is 0-2 and looks to battle North Forrest for a playoff spot.
The defending state champion St. Patrick Lady Irish are off to a 2-0 start and face 1-0 Our Lady Academy in a huge matchup Friday night. The Resurrection Lady Eagles are still looking for their first region victory.