All posts by tbradenbishop

Hurst hurts Madison Central, advances to face Columbus

MADISON – The Tupelo Golden Wave baseball team had a lineup full of heroes Friday in its first round playoff game against the rival Maidson Central Jaguars. And they needed every one of them.

The last two were Ty Wheeler with the game-winning RBI, and sophomore pitcher Drew Hurst with the final two outs of the eighth inning fight as the Wave held on for a 6-5 win.

“We threw the last two punches, so to speak,” Tupelo head coach Gary Enis said. “it was the sacrifice fly to get the lead, then Hurst closing the door.”

With the victory, the Wave (22-8) win the Class 6A playoff series 2-0, and advance to meet former division foe Columbus in the second round of the playoffs. Columbus also needed extra innings Friday to sweep its series with Clinton. Game 1 will be at Tupelo Friday, with Game 2 at Columbus Saturday.

The late-inning heroics were needed as Madison Central scored a tying run in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Jaguars loaded the bases with no hits and no outs to begin the inning, with a fielders choice plating the run.

Though it was extra baseball, the Wave did not let the extended play last long. In the top of the eighth, Carter Clayton turned a check swing into an infield hit. Michael Ray followed with a grounder that was misplayed, allowing Clayton to advance to third. 

Ray stole second, then William Ikerd was intentionally walked to load the bases with one out. That brought up Wheeler, who with two strikes on him, lifted a fly to right field that scored Clayton, who made a smart slide for the go-ahead run.

Then the pressure fell to Hurst, who was on the mound for the final three outs of the seventh. In the bottom of the eighth, the Jaguars had a leadoff single. Clayton then made a nice diving catch on a bunt, and Hurst chalked up a strike out. Central still had life on a second single to put two on, but Hurst recorded the final out with a strike out.

“I can’t put into words how we feel right now,” said Ray, the senior center fielder. “We’ve been wanting to play Madison Central in the playoffs since we were freshmen and seeing Connor Carothers and that Wave team from 2011 play them in the playoffs. This is what you dream about.”

After Game 1 where Tupelo bats were almost absent, though it was a 2-1 win, Enis had a full-scale batting practice Thursday. That paid off for the Wave Friday, beginning in the top of the third inning.

With Madison Central leading 1-0, Matthew Miley led off the third with a single, winding up on third. With one out, Clayton laid down a perfect squeeze to score Miley. Tupelo kept going, with Ray hustling out an infield hit, eventually scoring on an error off the bat of Luke Weeden. Ikerd followed with a double, with Weeden scoring from first as Tupelo took a 3-1 lead.

The excitement level went up a notch in the fifth as the Jaguars scored three runs on three hits and an error to take a 4-3 lead. Tupelo responded in the sixth, with Miley and Roy getting one-out hits. Then with two away, Ray hit a ground that was misplayed, allowing two to score for a 5-4 lead. 

“This was just a great win,” Enis said. “We didn’t want to go play a Game 3.”

Clayton started the game on the mound for Tupelo. Will Buse entered the game in the fifth, and Jason Garrett entered the game in the sixth inning.

Thanks to David Wheeler for the post. Read his specials in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal and follow him on Twitter at @OldManDavid.

Roy pitches quickly, Tupelo captures Game 1 over Madison

TUPELO – The current Tupelo Golden Wave baseball team is basically void of high school playoff experience. So who would step up to lead the Wave to potentially their first post-season win since 2011.

Hudson Roy.

The Tupelo senior had a no-hitter through five innings, and pitched his way out of a bases-loaded situation in the sixth to lead the Wave to a 2-1 victory Thursday against the Madison Central Jaguars. The victory in Game 1 of the best of three First Round series in Class 6A gives Tupelo a 1-0 lead in the matchup, with Game 2 today at Madison Central at 6 p.m.

“A win is a win, and you have to credit Hudson Roy for his pitching performance,” Tupelo head coach Gary Enis said. “But we have to do a better job supporting our pitching.”

Roy cruised through the first five innings not allowing a hit, with only one base runner reaching base on an error in the fifth inning. Then in the top of the sixth, the bottom two batters in the Jaguars lineup reached base bloop hits to center by Kyle O’Keefe and Matthew Mordecai.

A bunt and a hit batter latter, the bases were loaded, though an average-depth fly to right field failed to advance the runners. Then Matthew Zimmerman singled to center, tying the game at 1-1. Then with a full count on Trace Hanby, Roy dug deep and recorded the strike out to get out of the inning.

“He came through for us on that 3-2 count,” Enis said. “He carried us to victory.”

“I felt like I was hitting my spots good, even in the sixth inning,” Roy said. “It’s great to get this win, and I hope it gives us momentum for tomorrow.”

Tupelo (21-8) responded to Madison Central in the bottom of the sixth, though not in text book fashion. Carter Clayton reached base on an error, moved to second base on a balk, then scored on a ground ball off the bat of Michael Ray, which saw Madison Central overthrow to first base.

The first inning saw Tupelo grab the early lead, with Roy drawing a walk to begin the frame. Following a sacrifice bunt by Clayton, pinch runner Mickey Sesin came across to score on a single by William Ikerd to center, with the ball glancing off the diving attempt of Mordecai.

“We’re up 1-0, but it doesn’t change how we’re going to approach Game 2,” Enis said. “We’re going to put the ball in Carter Clayton’s hands.”

Thanks to David Wheeler for the post. Read his specials in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal and follow him on Twitter at @OldManDavid.

Tupelo baseball opens playoffs with rival Madison Central

The Tupelo Golden Wave will soon be welcomed to the 2014 baseball playoffs. And greeting the Wave will be a school that always brings a high level of tradition and intensity when the two meet – the Madison Central Jaguars.

In first round action of the Class 6A playoffs, Tupelo and Madison Central will meet for a best of three series beginning today.

Tupelo will host Game 1 with a 6 p.m. starting time today at Golden Wave Field. Game 2 moves to Madison Central Friday, also a 6 p.m. start. If needed, Game 3 would be back in Tupelo Saturday at 2 p.m.

“This is a big one for our school, for our students,” Tupelo head baseball coach Gary Enis said. “Any sport we play, it seems we have to go through Madison Central. I’m looking forward to the series.”

Tupelo (20-8) got to this point by winning the regular season title in Division 2-6A, earning a bye. Madison Central (13-12) finished third in 3-6A, starting 0-5 in league play before finishing on a 3-1 run. In the play-in round last week, Madison Central took care of Horn Lake in three games.

Also for the first time ever, the two played during the regular season, with the Jaguars winning both games. At Madison, Tupelo lost 6-4 on March 29. And in April 18, the home-standing Wave lost 8-7, leaving the tying run at third base in the bottom of the seventh.

“Those games gave us an idea what kind of offense they have,” Enis said. “In those two games, they put the ball in play. We’ll have to play solid defensively.”

Both Tupelo and Madison Central did not throw their top pitchers in the two regular season meetings. Enis expects to throw senior Hudson Roy (4-1) today, then senior Carter Clayton (7-1) on the road Friday.

In the April 18 meeting, the Jaguars had 11 hits while the Wave had 10, including a grand slam by junior catcher William Ikerd, and three hits by Ty Wheeler. Roy currently leads Tupelo with a .351 batting average, followed by Wheeler at .341, while senior centerfielder Michael Ray paces Tupelo with 22 RBI.

“Every team member needs to step up and be ready to contribute,” Enis said. “Right now we need to be mentally sharp.”
In the bottom half of the North 6A bracket, the Tupelo-Madison Central winner will face the winner of Clinton-Columbus.

Thanks to David Wheeler for the post. Read his specials in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal and follow him on Twitter at @OldManDavid.

Review, Preview, and Blankets of the Week (April 27)

BASEBALL:  Tupelo (20-8) defeated Southaven and Louisville last week to finish the regular season. THS will host Madison Central in the 2nd Round of 6A playoffs Thursday at 6 p.m. They’ll travel to MC Friday for a 6 p.m. tip, and return to THS, if necessary, Saturday at 2 p.m. All games will stream LIVE at

FAST-PITCH SOFTBALL: THS (8-18, 0-6) finished their season with a loss to Hernando last Tuesday.

TENNIS: Tupelo (12-4) lost in 6A North Half to Madison Central last Tuesday. THS will send 11 out of 12 courts to individuals in Jackson Thursday and Friday.

GOLF: Girls state will be Monday-Tuesday at Clear Creek in Vicksburg; boys is Thursday-Friday at Lake Caroline in Madison.

TRACK: Both boys and girls track and field won Regionals at THS yesterday. Tupelo will travel to Madison Central Saturday for North Half.



  • Track standouts Mika Takahashi, Braxton Thomas, Reagan Cook, Asia Partlow, Christina Daniels, Heston Lollar, Rodney McIntosh, Jeremy Hinds, and Maalik Coleman all had impressive showings at last week’s track and field Regionals.


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

Bottom of the seventh fireworks defeat defending 6A champions

TUPELO – On the whole, Tuesday was not the playoff warmup the Tupelo Golden Wave head baseball coach Gary Enis was looking for.

But the effort in the bottom of the seventh inning will do as a start.

Run-scoring hits by seniors Michael Ray and Ty Wheeler, and a hard ground ball to short by junior Woody Goss helped the Wave come from behind to edge the Southaven Chargers 7-6.\

“Nothing is coming easy for us,” Enis said. “On the positive side, this was a good comeback win.”

Tupelo, now 19-8, was trailing 6-4 entering the bottom of the seventh. Senior Hudson Roy started the rebound with a perfectly placed bunt for a hit, and advanced to second on a wild pitch. With one out, Ray singled to center, scoring Roy.

Ray also advanced to second on a wild pitch, which was followed by a walk to William Ikerd. Then with two out, Wheeler placed a single into left to score Ray and tie the score at 6-6. That brought Goss to the plate, who laced a ground ball that the Chargers shortstop could not handle, scoring pinch runner Garrett Hill with the winning run.

“This was our first walk off win of the season, and we’ve had plenty of opportunities for those,” Enis said. “Our mentality needs to improve. We’re not possessing that mental edge right now.”

Tupelo has one more opportunity to gain some positive playoff momentum Friday, when they travel to Louisville for a 4 p.m. contest. Louisville won an 8-4 contest against Tupelo the second game of the season for the Wave. 

Both Tupelo and Louisville won their respective divisions, allowing them to matchup this weekend, while second and third place teams in every division and in every class square off in the playin round of the postseason. Tupelo will begin its playoffs May 1 in a best of three series against the winner of Horn Lake-Madison Central.

Tupelo began its effort Tuesday by grabbing a 3-0 lead through three innings. In the first inning, Roy struck out, but reached because of a wild pitch, eventually scoring on the Chargers third wild pitch of the inning. Then in the third, Matthew Miley doubled, scored on a Roy hit, and Roy scored on a Ray hit.

Southaven then scored a pair of runs in each of the fourth and fifth innings to take a 4-3 lead. Tupelo knotted the score in the sixth as Luke Weeden walked, advanced on a Will Buse bunt and Goss single, and scored on a wild pitch. The Charger took a 6-4 lead in the top of the seventh on a hit batter, two hits, and an error.

Roy started the contest on the mound for the Wave, and pitched into the fifth inning. Buse came on in relief, eventually leaving in the seventh after facing one batter. Sophomore Drew Hurst got the final three outs.

Thanks to David Wheeler for the post. Read his specials in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal and follow him on Twitter at @OldManDavid.

Review, Preview, and Blankets of the Week (April 20)

BASEBALL:  No. 11 Tupelo (18-8, 6-3) won their 23rd division title since 1990 Wednesday. With the win, they will host the Madison Central-Horn Lake winner in the 1st Round May 1st. This week, THS hosts Southaven Tuesday at 4 p.m. and TBD opponent Friday or Saturday. All games will stream LIVE at

FAST-PITCH SOFTBALL: THS (8-17, 0-5) defeated IAHS last week. They’ll host Hernando in the regular season finale Tuesday at 5 and 6:30.

TENNIS: Tupelo (11-3, 3-0) hosts Clinton Tuesday, April 22nd at Rob Leake Park at 2 p.m. If they win, THS will travel to Madison Central Wednesday for the 6A North title at 4 p.m. Team finals are April 30th, individuals are May 1-2.

GOLF: THS girls won last week’s division tournament over Starkville. The boys placed 2nd. Boys will travel to Greenville CC to battle Pillow Academy tomorrow. Girls state will be April 29-30, boys is May 1-2.

ARCHERY: THS placed 3rd in 6A last week in Jackson.

TRACK: Both boys and girls track and field won division at THS last week. THS will host regionals this Saturday.

FOOTBALL: THS will begin spring practice Tuesday. They’ll have 21 days to get in 15 practices.

#THS100: Tupelo High School will celebrate 100 years of Saturday, April 26th on the campus. Here’s more on the Centennial Celebration:



  • Senior Reagan Aldridge and Abby Stafford are commended for their season leadership this season.
  • Golfers Michaela Bryan and Miles Johnson had strong showings at last week’s division tournaments.

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


Jaguar talent bests Tupelo baseball

TUPELO – DeSoto Central came, they saw Tupelo and Madison Central Saturday, and they won.

The Clarion Ledgers’ No. 2 team in the state was able to cruise through a doubleheader at Golden Wave field, dispatching the Wave 7-0, and get past Madison Central 11-3.

“We had just two bad innings,” Tupelo head coach Gary Enis said. “It was good to play two playoff teams this weekend, and see how we match up.”

The Tupelo offense had to match up against DeSoto starter and Mississippi State signee Keegan James threw five innings against the Wave, limiting the home team to just two singles by Ty Wheeler and Carter Clayton.

DeSoto scored all of its runs in just two innings, beginning in the second. Ole Miss signee Kyle Watson led off with a double, as the visitors used two walks, a hit batter, a single, and a wild pitch to score four runs.

In the fourth inning, DeSoto needed only three hits to score three runs. Brant Blaylock led off with a double and scored on MSU signee Autsin Riley’s single. Ole Miss signee Clay Casey followed with a towering home run to left for all the runs DeSoto would need.

“Not only did they have good hitters, they threw good pitchers against us,” Enis said. “We had some good at bats, we swung too early at times, but this was part of a learning experience.”

Ole Miss signee Dallas Woolfork closed out the Wave in the seventh inning, with Tupelo facing two of DeSoto’s top three pitchers. Tupelo did threaten in the second inning as Luke Weeden walked, and Wheeler hit his hit. In the fourth, Hudson Roy walked and Clayton got his hit for Tupelo’s two biggest threats.

Sophomore Jason Garrett pitched the first four innings for the Wave, and junior Will Buse threw the final three frames.

In the first contest of the day, DeSoto stung Madison Central for eight runs in the bottom of the first. DeSoto out hit Madison Central 10-4.

Next up for Tupelo is its last scheduled home game against Southaven Tuesday.  It will senior-night for the Wave. Tupelo is scheduled to play at Belmont Friday, but that date is the middle of the play in round of the playoffs, and Belmont can finish no better than second place in 1-3A. Enis indicates Tupelo will look to play another division winner, perhaps Louisville, over the weekend.

The 2-6A champ, Tupelo will begin its playoffs May 1 against the winner of the Madison Central-Horn Lake series.

Thanks to David Wheeler for the post. Read his specials in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal and follow him on Twitter at @OldManDavid.

6A Rival Jags sweep Golden Wave

TUPELO – The spirit of the Tupelo Golden Wave-Madison Central Jaguars rivalry was basically at full speed Friday in a rare regular season baseball game between the schools.
Round 2 in 2014 goes to Madison Central.

In front of a nice home crowd on the last weekend prior to the post-season, Madison Central was the team that survived a back-and-forth affair for an 8-7 victory.

“This is part of the reason we scheduled them, to get that playoff intensity,” Tupelo head coach Gary Enis said. “We can learn from our mistakes.”

Both the Wave (18-7) and the Jaguars (11-10) entered the contest with a spot in the playoffs ensured, and a potential matchup down the line. And Saturday was a good playoff prequel.
Central edged it’s way to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning after a leadoff double by Blake Morton, followed by a bunt and a sacrifice fly. That first inning double was the first of five two-baggers for the Jaguars.

After getting runners in scoring position the first two innings, the Wave exploded onto the scoreboard in the third. With one out, two walks and a hit loaded the bases, bringing catcher William Ikerd to the plate. The junior connected on a pitch, sending the ball over the left field wall for a grand slam and a 4-1 Tupelo lead. This was Ikerd’s second home run of the season.

But it was not the last of the offensive fireworks for this contest. Madison Central responded with three runs in the fourth, initially loading the bases with no outs. Two singles and a fielder’s choice plated the runs to tie the game at 4-4.

Tupelo forged back ahead in the bottom of the fourth. Woody Goss lead off with a single, later scoring on a Hudson Roy double. Madison Central made its decisive move in the fifth. The Jaguars had five hits in the frame, including three doubles, that scored four as the visitors grabbed an 8-5 advantage.

The Wave dented that margin in the fifth. Tupelo loaded the bases with one out, but only scored one on a Goss bunt. Tupelo also scored once in its last at bat on a sacrifice fly by Jason Garrett, and had the tying run on third when the game ended.

Sophomore Drew Hurst was the starter for this contest, pitching into the fourth inning. Senior Luke Weeden came on in the fourth after two batters, and senior Ty Wheeler came on in the fifth after two batters. Wheeler also had three hits on the evening.

“We had better contact hitting throughout the lineup, but we didn’t get the clutch hits,” Enis said. “We’re going to come out Saturday and watch two good teams battle, then we’re going to out and play.”

Good matchups of Class 6A team continue Saturday/today at Golden Wave Field as Madison Central will face the Clarion Ledger No. 2 team in the state – DeSoto Central – at noon. Tupelo will then face DeSoto Central at approximately 3 p.m.

This might not be the final matchup between Tupelo and Madison Central. The Jaguars will face Horn Lake in the play-in round next weekend, with the winner facing the Wave in the first round of the playoffs. Madison Central won a March contest against Tupelo 6-4.

Thanks to David Wheeler for the post. Read his specials in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal and follow him on Twitter at @OldManDavid.

BREAKING: Board officially approves Tupelo High School blue turf

It’s official. Blue is the new Golden Wave.

blue turf

Tupelo Public School District’s Board has officially approved summer construction to replace and resurface the Tupelo High School track and football field.

“Throughout the process, Coach (Trent) Hammond and I have had the opportunity to speak with our community about being involved in this, and we have had great responses,” said first-year THS athletic director Andy Schoggin. “We’ve set a target goal for sponsorships and we are now at 80% of that goal.”

According to Schoggin at today’s TPSD Work Session, track and field will host regionals and demolition will begin shortly after Saturday, April 26th. It is expected to be completed “late July or early August” in anticipation of Tupelo’s first home football game against Center Hill Friday, August 22nd. Tupelo will open the 2014 season at Lafayette County, which also has artificial turf, Friday, August, 15th

“Our timeline is really urgent,” said Schoggin.

Hellas Construction out of Austin, Texas will be fully responsible for the demolition and construction of the entire project. According to Assistant Superintendent Dr. Matthew Dillon, Hellas provided the lowest and best bid which was a little less than $1.3 million. Bids were submitted March 27th.

Special thanks to

Their impressive reputation is known all over the county. From their website profile

Hellas is a nationwide sports contractor with a strong reputation for delivering premium-quality sports construction projects across the United States. In addition, Hellas has the ability to custom-manufacture and install proprietary brands of synthetic surfaces for sports fields, running tracks, and tennis courts, by controlling all related operations. In addition to a headquarters in Austin, Texas, Hellas operates several US-based offices.
Clients include the NFL Experience, AT&T Stadium, Baylor University, University of California, Berkeley, Idaho State University, the Alamodome, Northern Arizona University, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, University of San Diego, University of Georgia and various other prominent high schools, collegiate institutions and stadiums.

In late 2013, Tupelo was granted approval from Boise State University to use their patented turf. Since 2009, Rachael Bickerton, BSU’s director of trademark licensing and enforcement at Boise State, has issued approximately 30 non-green playing surfaces – some retroactivity, because they were installed before she came on the job. Licenses are free. Of the licenses issues, 17 have been to elementary or high schools for blue or navy fields. This information is credited Chadd Cripe at the Bronco Beat of the Idaho Statesman.

The new track and football field will also serves purposes for band, soccer, various year-round practices, and third-party involvement such as the Southeast Selection Mississippi Combine run by Scott Robertson of FoxSports and

Special thanks to Chris Kieffer, Education Reporter at the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal in Tupelo for contributing immensely to this post. Follow him at @chriskieffer.


Review, Preview, and Blankets of the Week (April 13)

BASEBALL:  THS (17-5, 5-2) won at South Panola but dropped their second division game to Grenada at home Friday. The Golden Wave swept IAHS and Belmont yesterday. Big week ahead. Tupelo can clinch Division 2-6A with a win at Hernando tomorrow or at home Tuesday. They’ll host Madison Central Friday and No. 1 DeSoto Central Saturday. All games will stream LIVE at

FAST-PITCH SOFTBALL: THS (7-15, 0-4) lost games to Grenada and Mooreville last week. They’ll travel to Tish County Tuesday, host South Panola Thursday, and travel to Fulton Saturday.

TENNIS: THS (11-3, 3-0) defeated Olive Branch in the 1st Round of 6A playoffs Tuesday. They’ll host Clinton next Tuesday, April 22nd at Rob Leake Park at 4 p.m. THS also the hosted individual division tournament last Friday and advanced players to state competition in every court except girls singles.

GOLF: THS hosted a multiple team scramble at TCC last Thursday. The boys placed 1st while the girls took 2nd. Tupelo will participate in the Region Tournament Wednesday at Tupelo Country Club.

ARCHERY: THS will travel to Jackson Wednesday to compete in the state competition at the Kirk Fordice Equine Center. Shooting time are at 3 and 4 p.m. Scores for all teams and individuals can be found at

TRACK: Track and field will host division Tuesday and Thursday. Region will take place at THS Saturday, April 26th.



  • Seniors Carter Clayton, Luke Weeden, and Ty Wheeler all pitched complete game wins last week.
  • Senior Kyle Holliman is a tennis team leader who leads by example and does any and everything for his team. Kyle won his 1st Round match against OB, 6-1, 6-0, with partner Sarah Lambert Hollingsworth. Senior Robert Thompson won his match against OB, 6-0, 6-1, with partner Joel Baldwin. He also won against South Panola and Hernando to win the Mixed Doubles district championship with partner Emily Carter.
  • Junior Kirk Reeder and freshman Michaela Bryan recognized for their outstanding play in last week’s THS scramble at TCC. 

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