Four from Tupelo swim, XC sign

On Thursday, three from Tupelo swimming and one from XC made it official with their respective colleges.

Donovan Crossen, a five-time MHSAA Class II boys team champion (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017) for the Golden Wave, inked with New York University men’s swimming and diving. The three-time MHSAA record breaker was the 2016 and 2017 Boys’ Swimmer of the Year for the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. He’s also a ten-time Mississippi Top 5 award winner, an ACT Scholar, and a member of National Honor Society.

Hayden Henderson chose Birmingham Southern College men’s swimming and diving. He is also a five-time state champ for Tupelo. Henderson, the 2017 Wendy’s HS Heisman boys’ winner for THS and a Top 5 swimming finalist for three years, has accomplishments in NCSA Junior Nations, MS Age Group Zones team, MS Senior Zones teams, Speedo Sectionals, and MSA Long Course and Short Course championship finalist. He was also the 200 breaststroke champion as a senior and 100 breaststroke champion as a freshman and sophomore. Hayden is a two-time Rotary Scholar and involved in Teenage Republicans, Key Club, and National Honor Society.

Celeste Turner went with Delta State University women’s swimming and diving. Turner received the JM Curlee Scholarship to DSU and has been a scholar athlete for three years maintaining a 3.5 GPA. In swim, Celeste has lettered for Varsity for four years. She was a qualifier for NCSA and South Eastern Sectionals in 2016 and 2017. In 2017, she set a MHSAA record in the 100 fly with a 55.94.

Grant Yancey signed with Millsaps men’s cross country. Grant led the Golden Wave to a 3rd place finish in 2017. He was the top runner for the team for 19-straight races (dating back to October of his sophomore season). Yancey broke 18 minutes in 20 5K races over three years. He was also a member of the state team all four years of high school with PRs of 17:12 in 5K and 10:34 in 2 mile.


Humphrey goes with Motlow State

Jayven Humphrey realizes his future is important but he also knows previous basketball stints with Saltillo High School, various AAU teams, and Tupelo High School helped him fully prepare for his college decision.

On Tuesday, the 6’5″, 201 lb. guard made it official with Motlow State Community College in Lynchburg, Tennessee. As a starter, he helped lead Golden Wave basketball to the 1st Round of playoffs and an overall 20-10 record. Jeff Norwood’s teams have made the playoffs five out of his six head coaching seasons.

“I plan on being the best student-athlete as possible at Motlow,” said Humphrey. ” I am going to try to have one of the best GPAs on the team as well as dominating on the court to reach my goal of a conference ring.”

Motlow State was established in 1969 and has over 5,000 students. The Bucks went 27-9 last season, won their second-straight Tennessee Community College Athletics Conference tournament championship, and advanced to the Round of 16 in the NJCAA Tournament.


Henderson inks with Blue Mountain bowling

Jay Henderson was very happy when he finally narrowed down his college choices. He knew Blue Mountain was the perfect fit when he meet the faculty and saw the class sizes.

On Friday, Henderson made it official with the Toppers of Blue Mountain College men’s bowling.

The 2-time MHSAA Class II boys’ state champion has been on the Tupelo Golden Wave team five years. During his senior season, he averaged a 165. His career-high game in  a match is 250. The team was also runner-up in 2016.

“I look forward to using the skills that I know to help build upon the foundations at BMC,” said Henderson. “This decision will also give me a chance to make new friendships with so many new people.”


Three from Tupelo soccer sign

Lady Wave and Golden Wave soccer continued their signing traditions Friday.

Luz Elana Acosta (Itawamba Community College), Carter Chandler (Freed-Hardeman), and Carter Halbert (Mississippi College) made it official with their colleges of choice.

Acosta, a left back defender, helped Lady Wave soccer win their division three out of the last four years. Tupelo advanced to playoffs in all four of her years.

Chandler, a left back defender, transferred to Tupelo from Corinth last summer. His impacted was felt immediately. Carter battled injuries during his senior season but scored one goal and had seven assists. He helped the Golden Wave finish 2018 with only one loss.

Halbert, a defensive midfielder, will join his brother, Keaton, as a Choctaw at Mississippi College in Clinton. Carter finished the season with 12 goals and four assists.


Five from Tupelo sign on NSD 2018

DE/LB Peter Gray (University of Texas at San Antonio) and LB Jett Johnson (Mississippi State University) made their early decisions back in December but Tupelo High School football brought their overall signing class total to seven with five more student-athletes on National Signing Day 2018 this morning.

  • WR Sirmarcus Evans – Northeast Mississippi Community College
  • DL Kerry McKenzie – Itawamba Community College
  • OLB Jake Morris – Holmes Community College
  • OL DJ Rudd – Itawamba Community College
  • Kicker/Pitcher Josh Smith – East Mississippi Community College (football/baseball)

Evans (5′ 10′, 160 lbs) rushed 26 times for 247 yards… had 25 receptions for 529 yards and four TDs. He was also instrumental as Tupelo’s top punt returner for two seasons and chosen MAC 6A All-State 2nd Team punt returner.

On defense, McKenzie (6’3″, 200 lbs) concluded 2018 with 2.5 tackles per game and five sacks. He helped Tupelo finish with the 2nd best defense in 6A (11.58 PAPG).

Morris (5’10”, 180 lbs) was one of the most dynamic players in Tupelo’s secondary. Last season, Morris finished 62 tackles (47 solo), four sacks, and one interception. He was also selected to the Div. 1-6A LB 1st Team.

Rudd (5’11”, 240 lbs) played a pivotal role in helping anchor the Wave’s offensive line. He and his fellow linemen helped THS gain a total of 540 yards (416 rushing, 124 passing) in a win at Brandon High School last September. Tupelo put up more points on offense (35.33 PPG) than any other 6A team in 2017. Rudd played in the 2017 North/South All-Star game and was also selected to the Div. 1-6A OL 1st Team.

Smith (5’11”, 150 lbs) finished his senior campaign with 73 kickoffs (43 touchbacks), 46 of 47 PATs, 9 of 11 FGs, and averaged 40.7 yards on each punt (inside the 20-yard line 15 times). Smith was also the North Offensive MVP in this year’s North/South All-Star game, MAC 6A All-State 1st Team punter, and Div. 1-6A Kicker of the Year. In addition to football at EMCC, Josh will also play baseball for the Lions.

With today’s signings, Tupelo head coach Trent Hammond has had 32 football players sign to play on the next level since arriving at Tupelo in 2013.


Gray, Johnson sign early for Tupelo football

Peter Gray and Jett Johnson both played on Tupelo’s defensive side of the ball for two years, and both traveled to this year’s Mississippi-Alabama All-Star game in Hattiesburg last weekend. It was only right they both make college football decisions at the same time.

On the evening of the 2018 Early Signing Period day, OLB Peter Gray (The University of Texas at San Antonio) and LB Jett Johnson (Mississippi State University) made it official with their respective colleges.

Gray, a 6’4, 234 lb. outside linebacker, transferred to Tupelo High School from Texas during the summer of 2016. In 2017, he had 56 tackles (39 solo, 17 assisted), four interceptions, and three pick-6s. He capped off his season senior with back-to-back Division 1-6A titles, back-to-back 6A All-State selections, and a prestigious trip to MS-AL All-Star game. He’s also listed as a 2-star athlete and ranked 41st in Mississippi by Gray also helped Golden Wave baseball to their first state championship in 24 years last May.

Johnson, a 6’3, 230 lb. linebacker and touted as one of the best LBs in Mississippi, is a 3-star and ranked 18th in the state. In 2017, Jett finished with 146 tackles (90 solo, 56 assisted), three interceptions, and one pick-6. He was selected as the Daily Journal’s Defensive P.o.t.Y. in 2016, a 2-time 6A All-State athlete, the 2017 Co-P.o.t.Y in 6A, Mr. Football in 6A for 2017, a MS-AL All-Star selection, and the first Clarion-Ledger Dandy Dozen football candidate at THS since 2008. Johnson has also helped THS basketball reach back-to-back trips to the state tournament in Jackson.

With today’s signings, head coach Trent Hammond has had 27 football players sign to play on the next level since arriving at Tupelo in 2013.


Tupelo Tennis trio officially sign

One of the strongest and most successful programs at Tupelo High School sent three student-athletes to the next level Monday afternoon.

Zak Keith (Itawamba CC), Sebastian Rios (University of Mississippi), and Aryelle Waters (Hinds CC) officially inked with colleges.

As a team, Tupelo won their division last season but lost to Madison Central in 6A North Half last season.

Rios, who will graduate THS this month and enroll at Ole Miss next fall, won 6A boys singles as a junior last April.


Sanders goes with Air Force baseball

South Sanders knew exactly what he wanted when Air Force approached him in the summer of 2016. Today, he made his college dreams come true as the Golden Wave’s first baseball player to ever ink with Falcon baseball.

3B/P South Sanders signed with Air Force Academy Wednesday morning at Tupelo High School. During division play last year, Sanders  batted .360. He also helped guide the Golden Wave (26-10) to their first 6A state championship in 24 years.

The Falcons compete in the Mountain West Conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Last season, AF baseball team went 27-26.


Four from Tupelo soccer sign with Itawamba CC

It’s hard to think of Itawamba Community College men’s soccer and not think of Tupelo High School. Coach Harris Faucette has produced over a dozen signees in three years. Today was no different.

Harrison Daniels, Preston Mattox, Clayton O’Daniel, and Josh White all inked with Mike Sullivan’s team in Fulton.

Daniels, a defensive midfielder, finished last season with two goals and four assists. O’Daniel was an All-Area 1st Teamer last year with 16 goals and four assists as a center forward. Maddox was a goalkeeper in 22 contests in 2016-2017.  White, a left back, started 17 games as a junior defender.