School Spotlight: Raleigh High School (Raleigh, MS)

Raleigh High School is a class 2a school located in Raleigh, Mississippi. The maroon and white Lions have been around since 1937. In 1994, This long lasting high school moved up to class 3a. Since then, the Lions won three district championships in 1992, 2006, and 2015 before hiring Head Coach Ryan Higdon in 2020. In his short stint thus far at Raleigh High School, Higdon has lead the Lions to three straight district championships, as well as the schools first State Championship title in 2022.

Ryan Higdon began his coaching career in 2006 under Lance Mancuso at Poplarville High School. In 2008, Mancuso took the head coaching job at then Bassfield High School. Coach Higdon stayed along with Mancuso at Bassfield from 2008 until the consolidation of the school in 2016. The school became Jefferson Davis County High School, where Higdon stayed on for three more seasons. In 2020 Coach Higdon had the opportunity to take the head coaching position at Raleigh, and has been there since.

The coaching staff at Raleigh consists of four other coaches besides Higdon. He had three spots to hire and decided to look within his former district to find his defensive coordinator Jared Smith from Magee High School. Coach of running backs and defensive line, Larry Means, has been in the Raleigh school system since a he was a kid. Means was a massive contributor to Coach Higdon when he first got to the school, as Means knew the school and community. Michael Allen is a newer coach to the system but is a key contributor for the staff and team. Coach Stuart Dickerson is a very talented young coach for the Lions. Dickerson is the linebackers coach and helps Coach Higdon with the offensive line.

I have been very fortunate to have the staff I have had since being here. They have bought in to what this team is; They know what I expect of them and they have done a tremendous job in helping me in getting us where we need to go. Those four guys have had a huge impact on how our guys play and the product you see on Friday nights.

Ryan Higdon

Expectations at Raleigh High School are higher than in the past. Coming off of two impressive seasons before the state championship year; Coach Higdon understands that his players are going to have to learn how to handle success. Raleigh High School is taking measures to prepare their players for the upcoming season knowing the target is on their back. The Lions are planning on maintaining dominance and continue to build their program as they move to class 2a in 2023.

Raleigh High School will be returning 6 starters on the offensive side, including their quarterback, tight end, and one of the running backs. On the defense the Lions will only lose a cornerback and a safety, returning the rest of the defensive starters. Coach Higdon was able to highlight some of the talent Raleigh High School will be showcasing this upcoming fall:

Running back no. 6, Kyvryn Moncrief was a prolific runner for the Lions in the 2022 season. He rushed for near to 800 yards in a three running back system. Moncrief will be the primary RB this upcoming season and is expected to make a big impact for the Lions. Kyvryn also saw the field as a three year starter on the defensive side at inside linebacker.

No. 6 RB/ILB – Kyvryn Moncrief

Inside linebacker no. 7, Jordan Coleman will be starting for his third season at the position. Coleman is listed at 6’0″ 200 pounds. Coach Higdon says this linebacker will be “the quarterback of our defense,” and is one of the most important players on the field.

No. 7 ILB – Jordan Coleman

Offensive linemane and returning starter Logan Dearman is one of the hardest hitting players on the team. Coach Higdon looks to him to lead this team on both sides of the line.

No. 70 lineman – Logan Dearman

Coming into the four-back position no. 9, CJ Moncrief, is an excited player Coach Higdon is looking forward to seeing on the field. CJ will also play linebacker on the defensive side for the Lions.

No. 9 RB/LB – CJ Moncrief

Tight-end and defensive end no. 2, Jay Owens, is an outstanding athlete for the Lions. Owens was the leading receiver for Raleigh last year on the offense, and had 12 sacks as defensive end. He will be a top contributor for the Lions in 2023.

No 52. Jamarion Owens is a 6’2″ 252 pound tackle and defensive end for Raleigh High School. Owens started the last season as a freshman. This young man is expected to have an impact at Raleigh for the next few years.

No. 52 T/DE – Jamarion Owens

Raleigh High School is a very exciting young team that plans on maintaining dominance for years to come. Head Coach Ryan Higdon is running a phenomenal program at Raleigh and hopes that the past few seasons can lay down the foundation for success. The Lions know what the expectations are for the upcoming season as they hit the weights this offseason in preparation for 2023.