All posts by tbradenbishop

Tupelo Golden Wave football game day information, reminders

Football is here.

Tupelo hosts Lafayette tonight at 7 p.m. Trent Hammond and his anxious group of young men look to knock off the No. 21 preasoned-ranked Commodores.

The Daily Journal’s David Wheeler has tonight’s preview here. Be sure to also look for David’s recap in tomorrow’s paper.

THS will also host a community-wide tailgate on the practice fields at 5 p.m. Click here for more information.

WTHS, Craig Horton, and Todd Jordan will broadcast tonight’s game live on They’ll cover all Tupelo football games this season. WTHS will cover other sporting events throughout the 2013-2014 sports year.

Be sure to follow Tupelo High or T. Braden Bishop on Twitter for updates throughout the game.


Review, Preview, and Blankets of the Week (August 18)

This weekly post will give you a review of last week, a preview to this week, and Blankets of the Week according to the head coaches of those sports.

Two fall sports opened their regular season this past weekend. Volleyball and slow-pitch softball both have eventful games/matches. Football and XC open up their regular season Friday and Saturday.

VOLLEYBALL: Lady Wave volleyball (2-3) defeated Hattiesburg and Starkville but lost to DeSoto Central, Our Lady Academy, and Lewisburg last week in the Set It Off Challenge at Ridgeland. They look to rebound this week with a home match against New Albany (5:30/6:30) and a JV tournament at Center Hill Saturday. Follow @LadyWaveVB on Twitter.

S-P SOFTBALL: Slow-pitch softball (1-1) opened their season with a loss Kossuth and a win against O’Brannon last weekend at the Kossuth Classic. The Lady Wave will host IAHS Tuesday and travel to Myrtle and South Pontotoc Thursday and Saturday. All games will start with JV at 5 p.m. and varsity will follow. Follow @LadyWaveSB on Twitter.

FOOTBALL: Golden Wave football traveled to Fulton last Friday. They scrimmaged against IAHS for two quarters. Here’s the Daily Journal’s recap. THS now looks to opening the 2013 season up against Lafayette County this Friday at 7 p.m. Lafayette defeated Amory 21-0 in a controlled scrimmage last Friday. The season-opening contest with the Commodores and the Golden Wave will be broadcasted live online at

XC: Boys and girls XC participated in intrasquad competition last Friday at Ballard Park. They will open their season at TCPS Saturday night. Follow @TupeloXC on Twitter.


  • Senior pitcher Reagan Aldridge helped Lady Wave slow-pitch defeat O’Bannon, 16-1, with solo and a 3-run homers last week (first two home runs in her career).
  • Sophomore libero Kaitlyn Wilson had team-highs with 18 kills and 15 digs in five matches at the Set It Off Challenge. Wilson’s five starts are the first of her varsity career.

As always, follow @tbradenbishop or @TupeloHigh for Tupelo High sports updates and pertinent information regarding all Tupelo Golden Wave athletics. is also on Facebook. Be sure to Like us.


Times, opponents confirmed for opening fall sports

Volleyball, XC, football, and slow-pitch softball have all confirmed times, opponents, and venues for this week.

VOLLEYBALL: Coach Laurie Bishop and her Lady Wave varsity squad will travel to the Set It Off Challenge in Madison Friday and Saturday. They’ll play Hattiesburg at 4:30 and division rival DeSoto Central at 8:30 Friday. Both matches will be played at Ridgeland High School in Jackson. Saturday’s times and opponents are TBA.

XC: Coaches Anna Kathryn Sloan and Johnathan Begnaud will allow their XC teams to compete against each other in an intrasquad meet Friday at Ballad Park at 6:30 (girls) and 7:00 (boys).

FOOTBALL: The Trent Hammond Era will technically begin next Friday night when THS hosts Lafayette County at  7 p.m. Until then, the Golden Wave will travel to Fulton this Friday to battle Itawamba Agricultural High in a controlled-scrimmage jamboree at 7 p.m.

SLOW-PITCH: Coach Josh Hegwood confirmed in a tweet earlier that his team will travel to the Kossuth Classic Saturday to play Kossuth at 10 a.m. and O’Bannon at 11:30.

FYI: THS will hold Meet the Wave for fall sports in the Performing Arts Center Thursday at 7 p.m. Admission is $2 per person or $4 per family.

Make an effort to support these dedicated teams.


Tupelo XC teams look to regain crowns in 2013

One point.

One point separated Tupelo and Ocean Springs boys XC in the MHSAA state meet at Clinton last season.

“That was really tough to hear when it went official,” said senior Andrew White. “All you can really do is focus on the future and not let it happen again.”

Almost a year has passed and THS is looking to avenge last season. Tupelo’s state team lost three seniors but have six returnees.

The girls placed 3rd behind Ocean Springs and Madison Central in 2012.

“We are vert excited about the upcoming season,” said third-year girls’ coach Anna Kathryn Sloan. “We have a young, but driven team. We are going to rely on younger runners to get fast times.” Sloan, a Golden Wave alum, also said last year was disappointing but her girls look forward to a “new winning streak.”

Here’s the 2013 meet schedule:


Teams will be split for competition August 16th for an intrasquad run. The squads will run locally August 24th (TCPS), September 14th (Pontotoc), September 21st (Saltillo), and October 26th (Tupelo). Meets in Memphis, Moulton (AL), Fayetteville (AR), and Clinton will provide heavy competition from surrounding states. Also, the Choctaw Invitational in Clinton October 19th is the same course for state November 9th.

“Competition will be at a high level for us prior to November,” said boys’ coach and THS alum Jonathan Begnaud.


Meet the Wave evening announced for fall sports

Tupelo High Athletic Director Andy Schoggin has announced Meet the Wave 2013 information for all fall sports.

Football, volleyball, slow-pitch softball, coed cheerleaders, swimming (boys/girls), and cross country (boys/girls) will be introduced in the Performing Arts Center at THS Thursday, August 15th at 7 p.m. Admission will be $2 per person or $4 for each family. Coaches, players, and team rosters will be presented in an emcee format.

FYI: Tupelo High will also host Open House that same afternoon from 4:30-6:30.


Duke track officially introduces Ashton Huey

Ashton Huey was officially announced as a Class of 2017 member of the Duke University men’s track and field and cross country program yesterday. Huey plans to long jump for the Blue Devils.

Via the Duke Sports Information:

Four year letterwinner in track & field and cross country for Jonathan Begnaud at Tupelo High School…member of four cross country state championships (2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011)…finished second in the pole vault at the 2013 6A State Championships…finished third in the event at the 2012 6A State Championships…two-time Tupelo High School Field MVP…garnered Wendy’s High School Heisman award…served as captain of the cross country and track team during his senior season…recipient of the Balfour Award and graduated Cum Laude…member of the National Honor Society and served as the Tupelo High School Vice President from 2011-2013.

“My track/cross country family at Tupelo was an amazing positive experience and I’m excited to be able to compete at the next level and be able to form life long friendships with my new team,” says Huey.

“My time in Tupelo made me who I am, not just the 4 years I was in high school, the 2 most important years were probably 7th and 8th grade when I was under Nathan Hall and Scott Brown. Without that I probably wouldn’t have amounted to much athletically in high school. Jonathan Begnaud, Anna Kathryn Sloan, Andrew Jones, and Fred Hadley gave me many resources and opportunities.”

Huey reports to Durham, North Carolina August 20th.


Tupelo’s Taylor Russell wins national bowling crown

Taylor Russell is no stranger to dominating in the alleys.

The upcoming sophomore captured the 2013 Junior Gold National Championship for 15 and under youth girls last week. Arriving in Detroit July 12th and coming off of a 5th place finish in the Junior Gold Nationals in Indianapolis in 2012, Russell felt confident about her chances for redemption. Completing 25 games of qualifying Thursday which wrapped up close to midnight, she returned as the 13th seed in Friday’s finals. Match play started at 8 a.m. with a decisive win in Round 1. Unfortunately, Round 2 found Taylor falling into the loser’s bracket. She needed a strong finish in the double elimination to stay alive. Taylor never looked back in the two game sets, and she rolled 18 consecutive games in nine matches with only the one loss. Round 6 was a monumental win against last year’s champion Breanna Clemmer from South Carolina, 397 to 376. Round 9 lead to the title match against undefeated Ashley Channell from Tennessee. Taylor needed to defeat her in back-to-back matches to earn the championship. Winning match #1 373 to 338 lead to the final match with Taylor securing the crown, 370 to 353.

“It’s crazy because I never would have thought I would make it this far,” Taylor said in the USBC release. “It was a very challenging week, but I pushed myself through it.” featured articles and live streaming of the Junior Gold Matches. Taylor has now shifted focus to the Team USA trials in Las Vegas in January followed by the 2014 Junior Gold Championship that will be held in Buffalo, NY.

Taylor carries a 4.0 GPA, she’s a rotary scholar, honor society member, and  a member of the Tupelo High band. She also loves to sing and has taken vocal lessons and plays the guitar.

Taylor began her career at the age of five. After moving to Tupelo in 2003, she started youth bowling with her older brother upon arrival at Rebelanes. Taylor has competed in three Junior Gold events since age 13. She started bowling the Southern Scratch Junior Bowling Association tour in 2007 when she was 10. She’s bowled varsity for THS since 7th grade.

Here’s a detailed list of her career accomplishments:

2007: Tupelo Prep Bowler of the Year

2008: SSJBA Super Bowl Qualifier in Minor division

2009: SSJBA Super Bowl Qualifier in Minor division

2010: SSJAB 2010 Points Champion in Classic division, placed 5th in Super bowl event in Florida

2011: Nominated for the Pop Star award given to the best high school athlete in each sport while in 7th grade, 1st MHSAA title for THS, Holiday Tournament Singles Champion, 5th place in SSJBA Super Bowl Classics division, Qualified for 2011 Junior Gold Championships in Las Vegas and placed 278 out of 600 in the 20 and under division at age 13.

2012: Winner of the 2012 Mississippi High School Pop Star Award, 5th place finish in Junior Gold National Championships U15 girls, 2012 Georgia Youth Tournament of Champions winner, 2nd MHSAA title for THS,  9th place in SSJBA Super Bowl Classics division.

2013: Winner of the 2013 Mississippi High School Pop Star Award, 2013 Junior Gold National Championship winner U15 girls, 3rd MHSAA title for THS,  9th place in SSJBA Super Bowl Classics division.

Watch a replay of the 2013 North Pointe Junior Gold championship matches here:

 Special thanks to Terry Russell and




Former Tupelo standout to head New Site baseball

Tupelo’s coaching tree continues.


On Monday, Wesley McCullough, a ninth-grade assistant baseball coach and Mississippi Studies/Geography teacher at THS, was approved as the new head coach at New Site.

“Wesley was a great player in our program” said Tupelo baseball head coach Gary Enis. “I know he will do well coaching the game now. We wish him well with his new job, and we look forward to following his team’s progress.”

Here’s Itawamba Community College’s release by Mr. Adam Gore, Assistant Sports Information Director:


McCullough, a 2007 graduate of Tupelo, played two seasons as an outfielder for Coach Rick Collier and the Indians.

As a freshman, he batted .257 with 25 RBI and four home runs in 74 at-bats.

In his final season at ICC, he helped lead the Indians to the 2009 Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) state championship. He batted .286 with 32 RBI and four home runs in 112 at-bats that season.

As a senior at Tupelo, McCullough helped lead the Golden Wave to a 29-1 regular season mark, 34-5 overall record, and a division championship.


Be sure to also check out the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal Tuesday for more on McCullough from Brandon Speck.



Tupelo High football Dandy Dozens since 1989

Tupelo High School boasts six Clarion-Ledger Dandy Dozen football selections in school history. Let’s take a look at those players since 1989.


1989: Stacy Wilson, DE


Wilson was fortunate enough to be tabbed on the C.L.’s inaugural dozen. He went on to play defensive end at the University of Mississippi. He played four seasons with the Rebels while racking up 68 tackles and two sacks during his 1994 senior season.


1992: Kirk Presley, QB

535bd28e11a6b277a077c9eb3eb4d6af51984653Presley played football for the Golden Wave in 1991, 1992, and 1993. As a junior quarterback, his 1992 team won 5A North Half, but lost to Moss Point in the championship. In 1993, he led his team back to Jackson and captured the school’s first and only 5A state football title against Hattiesburg. During his senior season, Presley signed a national collegiate letter of intent to play football and baseball at Mississippi State. However, he was chosen #8 overall in the 1993 MLB Draft. He bypassed college and signed a guaranteed $900,000 contract with the New York Mets. He now lives in Tupelo and head coaches the Tupelo 49ers American League baseball team.


1994: Jarious Jackson, QB

crop_18994090841Jackson earned three THS letters in football as a quarterback, defensive back, and outside linebacker. He was 1st-Team All-State quarterback as a senior and accounted for 2,100 total offensive yards in 1994. As senior captain, he completed 54-134 passes for 880 yards, seven TDs and seven interceptions. He helped THS to a combined 17-8 record in 1993 and 1994. Jarious also competed in basketball and track at Tupelo.

Jackson was named to prep All-American teams by SuperPrep, Prep Football Report and Bluechip Illustrated. He was ranked 6th nationally among quarterbacks by Bluechip Illustrated and 10th nationally by SuperPrep. He was also one of five quarterbacks named to Super Southern 100 by Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

He went on to attend the University of Notre Dame, where he was a two-year starter and set a school single-season records for passing yards, completions, and attempts as a senior in 1999 (Before Brady Quinn). He also broke the yardage mark held by Joe Theismann.

He was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 7th round (214th overall) of the 2000 NFL Draft. He only saw action in five games in four seasons as a backup.

Jackson went on to play for the Barcelona Dragons (Europe) and Canadian leagues like the BC Lions and Toronto Argonauts. Those teams won the Grey Cup in 2011 and 2012 respectively. He retired earlier this year and now coaches the quarterbacks for the Lions.


2007: Ken Davis, RB

KENNETHDAVIS6_7Under coach Eric Collins, Davis led his 2007 team to a 9-4, 5-2 record. His final game, he saw a powerful South Panola team convert a 4th and 8 and 4th and 11 in the fourth quarter to beat THS in the second round of playoffs. He committed to the University of Mississippi but eventually attended Itawamba Community College.


2008: Chris Garrett, QB, and Chad Bumphis, WR

Garrett2008 marked the only season THS had two Dandy Dozen selections from the same team.

Garrett, a three-star recruit by and, was the starting quarterback for three years. He was a 2nd Team-All-State selection and a 1st Team All-Area as a senior. He threw for 1,901 yards and 22 touchdowns to go along with six rushing touchdowns. He was rated at the #16 pro-style quarterback by Rivals, #28 in the country by Scout, #9 prospect in the state by SuperPrep, and #11 prospect in the state by Rivals.

After high school, he committed to LSU where he was reshirted his freshman season. He later transferred to Northwestern State July 2010.



Bumphis was listed as the #16 wide receiver available in the country and by Rivals. He was also listed as the 109th-best prospect overall in the nation and #3 in the state. Chad was No. 2 on the Clarion-Ledger’s list of the 10 Most Wanted High School Prospects in Mississippi. ESPN ranked him No. 5 in the state. At THS, he had 2,034 receiving yards, 1,348 rushing yards, and 568 yards passing. He also totaled 1,429 yards in returns and scored 10 touchdowns on special teams. He accounted for 2,207 yards and 23 touchdowns for Coach Collins. He committed to Mississippi State in January 2009.

In Starkville, Chad saw action all four seasons as a Bulldog. He finished his career at MSU with 159 receptions, an MSU record of 2,270 yards (14.3 average), and another MSU record of 24 touchdowns. He had 37 attempted rushes with 232 yards and one touchdown.

Chad signed a free agent deal with the Miami Dolphins April 27th.

Tupelo volleyball uses summer to rebuild

VB logo

Laurie Bishop’s volleyball teams are no stranger to a busy but important summer. “Summer is our preseason. It’s a challenge to get in the gym on a regular basis but it’s a sacrifice players are willing to make going into the season”, said the third-year coach.

THS volleyball, who won the program’s fourth state title in 2011, has been practicing since mid-June. Players participate in drills, conditioning, game play and various team building activities.

The 22-7 team from 2012 lost six pivotal seniors. This year’s squad looks to rebuild with a few new faces. Seniors Kerrigan Buck, Morgan Hereford, and Crystal Coleman will be asked to provide the necessary leadership for this year’s team.

Bishop is prepping her team for an important set of summer league matches tomorrow from 10 a.m. –  4 p.m.


THS volleyball will host their final summer league day Monday, July 22, and travel to team camp later that same week.

The 2013 season opens in Madison Friday, August, 16th at the Set It Off Classic. THS won the tournament in 2011 and was the runner-up in 2012.

Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 8.46.47 AM

Be sure to follow @LadyWaveVB on Twitter.