Nate Encrapera announced last week his intention to step down as the leader of the Rock-a-Chaws gridiron program and move on to another opportunity.
During Encrapera’s five seasons as head coach at SSC, he went 28-25 including leading the Rocks to the second round of the Class 3A South State playoffs this season where they were eliminated by eventual state champion Raleigh in a hard-fought 30-21 loss thanks in large part to the play of Raleigh’s Class 3A “Mr. Football” Suntarine Perkins.
The Rocks’ 7-5 mark this season was the best of Encrapera’s tenure. St. Stanislaus qualified for the postseason all five years under his direction.
He was elevated to the top spot after serving as SSC’s defensive coordinator for several seasons. His five-year tenure is tied for the second-longest stint as an SSC head football coach in the past 41 years, since the implementation of a state-wide playoff system in the state of Mississippi a time frame that includes 10 different coaches including Encrapera.
Encrapera had several key players that contributed to the Rock-a-Chaws success this season, and some of those players were honored recently with Class 4A All-State selections as announced by the Mississippi High School Activities Association including a quintet honored with First Tam status:
First Team Offense
Chandler Chapman, RB, Sr., St. Stanislaus
Ilias Rida, OL, Sr., St. Stanislaus
Evan Noel, PK, So., St. Stanislaus
First Team Defense
Bruno Doll, DE, Sr., St. Stanislaus
Jacob Bradford, DL, Jr., St. Stanislaus
Senior running back Chandler Chapman finished the year with almost 1,700 yards rushing, which set a new school record, and Rida was a force up front in helping Chapman achieve those numbers. Defensively, Jacob Bradford finished the season with over 100 total tackles for the second straight year plus he had 14 quarterback hurries and Doll had over 80 total tackles, 13 quarterback hurries and five passes defended. Noel was eight of 13 on field goal attempts and converted 35 out of 38 extra point attempts accounting for 59 points.
Ryan Higdon of Raleigh was named coach of the year and his stalwart Perkins the Overall Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in Class 3A while quarterback Will Loy of Wesson was named Offensive Player of the Year.
D’Iberville completes slate
D’Iberville second-year head coach Josh Lader got to work early and has completed his schedule for next season, which will be the first-ever campaign for the warriors in the new Class 7A.
The Warriors will keep former Region 4-6A rival on the slate, despite the Panthers remaining in Class 6A, and it’s the same situation with Picayune. D’Iverville is the only team to beat Picayune in the past two seasons. The Warriors will meet Gautier on the gridiron for the first time since 2014, and Wayne County and Columbia for just the second time ever. In fact, DHS and Columbia last played in 1968.