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Primetime 23: Patrick Price of Loyd Star

The Primetime 23 recognizes the 23 best football players for the 2017 football season in the area.

Loyd Star senior running back and defensive back Patrick Price learned a lot from the seniors on last year’s team.

Price ran for 337 yards on 42 carries with four touchdowns on the ground last season. He also had four receptions for 76 yards.

Price had to sit behind Zac Arnold at the running back position and watched Arnold and former starting quarterback Parker Flowers lead the ground attack for the Hornets. The duo combined for 1,559 yards rushing and 20 touchdowns to form a potent offense.

Price learned a lot from Arnold and Flowers and he’ll now step up to be the workhorse running back for new head coach Brian Ford.

“I looked up to those two throughout my time at Loyd Star,” Price said. “They’ve brought me up over the years and just told me to be myself and run with a chip on my shoulder.”

“We’re going to lean on Patrick (Price) a good bit this season,” Ford said. “He’s going to be our workhorse on offense and I’m excited about his potential.”

The majority of the carries will go to Price as he’s been preparing for this role all summer.

Price will also play on defense at defensive back. During the 2016 season, Price totaled 22 total tackles, 15 of which were solo tackles, with two interceptions and one fumble recovery.

Price is not only preparing for the workhorse role at running back, but he’s also conditioning himself to play valuable snaps on the defensive side.

It was a good start to the 2016 season for Loyd Star as the Hornets started 2-0 with dominating wins over Bogue Chitto and McLaurin. The team proceeded to lose the next six games, including two district losses to Amite County and Prentiss.

Loyd Star went 2-1 down the stretch with wins over Enterprise and Bassfield to end the regular season, but fell to North Forest in the first round of the 2A state playoffs.

Price went down with an ankle injury in their 31-30 loss to Stringer and has been working on his body in offseason to stay healthy.

“I’ve mainly worked on my legs and ankles,” Price said. “I’m trying to build my lower half so that injury won’t happen again. I’ve also been working on my speed. I improved my 40-yard dash time from a 4.67 to a 4.45, which is a milestone for me.”

With a new head coach coming in, the players have to buy into a new philosophy and a new coaching style in order to succeed.

So far, Price has developed a great relationship with coach Ford and he’s helped Price develop into a better player and leader.

“Coach Ford has been a tremendous help so far,” Price said. “He’s not only helped me become a better leader, but he’s helped me get stronger in the weight room. We text each other daily and he checks on me almost every single day so it’s been a fun experience under him so far.”

Arnold and Flowers put up big numbers on the ground last season, but Price wants to break those numbers and set a new standard at Loyd Star.

With the majority of the carries going to the rising senior, Price can possibly reach his goal and even more.

“My personal goal is to rush for 1,000 yards,” Price said. “I want to have the least amount of fumbles by a running back in the state of Mississippi. If I gain more weight and stay healthy, I can do all of those things.”

With his lofty goals and great ability to run the football out of the backfield, Price has been named to the Primetime 23 list.

“It’s an honor for me to be named one of the 23 best football players in the area,” Price said. “It’s a huge honor for me and also because it’s another opportunity to get my name out there for recruiting.”