Category Archives: Various

QUICK FACTS: No. 6 Tupelo (7-0, 3-0) at No. 2 South Panola (7-1, 3-0)

Tonight is easily the game of the season for the Golden Wave. Let’s take a look at some quick facts:

  • Tupelo has lost 11-straight meetings with the Tigers.
  • Tupelo’s last win versus South Panola was at Batesville in 2001 under Coach Phil Ferguson.
  • Since their playing history started in 1988, Tupelo is 7-19 overall against South Panola.
  • South Panola has outscored THS 769-384 over those 26 years.
  • South Panola finished 2001 with a losing season. Since then, they’ve won eight state titles while THS has won eight Clarion-Ledger All-Sports titles.
  • THS has had five coaches (Ferguson, Eric Collins, Lamar Aldridge [interim for three games in 2009], David Bradberry, Trent Hammond) since 2001. South Panola has had three (Ed Stanley, Ricky Woods, Lance Pogue) since ’01.
  • South Panola has won 20-straight games against Mississippi opponents. THS has won seven-straight.
  • Tupelo hasn’t scored more than 17 points on South Panola since 1999. South Panola has outscored THS 480-157 since time.

Lots of factors are different tonight. This is going to be one to remember, folks.

Be sure to watch the game LIVE at at 6:50.


Former Golden Wave coaches talk Tupelo football

Golden Wave football has always been tradition-rich. Many remember the coaches from the last 25+ years and how they impacted student athletes from year to year.

Here are quotes from a few former Tupelo football coaches about this season and this week’s upcoming opponent, South Panola.


Ricky Black (1980-1992): Black, who notched his 300th career win at Jackson Prep last season, recalled his 1990 team. That team started the year 8-0 and went to a state championship for the first time in Tupelo’s history. “We didn’t have a lot of senior talent. That sophomore class is what carried us for three years,” said Black. “It was a very good team that played with a lot of chemistry as the season stretched on.”

Black said this week at South Panola is big but a lot of football remains. “Establish yourself and prepare all week for the contest. When Friday comes, just play relaxed.”


James “Booty” Sloan (1992-1996): Sloan is the only football coach to win a state title at THS, but he remembers having a lot of talent around him during his tenure. “We just liked to practice. It says a lot that we won a championship but it really helps when you have athletic young men who wanted it every week.”

Sloan, who only lost to South Panola twice, said a lot of hype is put on the Tigers because they play with so much intensity. “People are going to wonder if Tupelo is ready for South Panola. Maybe folks should be wondering if South Panola is ready for Tupelo?”


Johnny Hill (1996-2000): Hill (pictured above with quarterback/son Stan), who’s currently coaching a top 10, undefeated Oxford team, says some games are won over weeks at a time. “You can’t prepare for a team overnight… you dance with the girl you carry to the dance. I’ve seen THS play on film. What Tupelo’s doing is effective… they’re tough and physical… they play like their pants are on fire. This isn’t powderpuff football. If you are passing, you better protect. If you are blocking, you better stay with your block.” He says Trent better prepare them for “a slugfest” in Batesville.

Hill loved the kids that played at Tupelo when he was coaching. “I never worried about kids not coming to practice. Players took coaching well and most knew they had a chance every time we snapped the football. A lot of teams were more athletic than us but our kids always fought… losing pride or quitting never happened on our watches.”


Phil Ferguson (2000-2004): The last time Tupelo defeated the Tigers was in 2001. Phil Ferguson remembers that 17-14 game at Batesville very well. “South Panola struggled a little bit that year but I can remember they ran it on us every play. We crowded the box on defense and we punted very well throughout the game.” Ferguson said former wide receiver and baseball standout Kevin Caldwell played an extremely good game. “He’s the one who put us in the position to win it at the end” said Ferguson.

Ferguson said this week is a big game but “the Tigers play 11 guys like everyone else.” “Coach Hammond is doing things really well. Yes, it’s South Panola but it boils down to blocking, tackling, and good special teams. Lamar (Aldridge) is someone I would want on my team every Friday. The Blue and Gold are underdogs but that will add some motivation.”


Really appreciate these great men taking time out of their week to help give feedback on this season’s team.


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

VOLLEYBALL: Last week, THS lost 3-0 to DeSoto Central, and cancelled their match with Lake Cormorant Thursday. Coach Bishop’s teams will finish their seasons this week… Senior Night will be Tuesday as they host Lewisburg, and Thursday at Hernando.

S-P SOFTBALL: The new season begins Tuesday. Coach Hegwood’s girls will host Columbus Tuesday in a best-of-3 series at 4 p.m. All first round games will be played at THS. Tuesday’s contest will broadcast LIVE at

FOOTBALL: No. 9 THS improved to 7-0 for the first time since 1990 last Friday with a big 26-13 division win over Southaven. The Golden Wave will now look ahead to No. 2 South Panola. Tupelo’s lost 12-straight games to the Tigers. As usual, Friday’s contest in Batesville will broadcast LIVE at

XC: Here’s the XC recap from yesterday’s meet at South Pontotoc. Both squads will travel to Clinton Saturday.

SWIM: Both teams were off last week. Coach Smith’s squads will participate in North Half finals Saturday in Jackson.

CHEERLEADING: Kama Alford’s coed cheerleaders placed 1st in their division at today’s State Fair competition in Jackson.

BAND: Varsity band received all Superiors in band, percussion, guard, and drum major at yesterday’s Tupelo Band Festival. This now qualifies them for state competition November 2nd.



  • Senior middle blocker Kerrigan Buck notched seven aces and five kills against DeSoto Central.
  • Junior Rachel Rooney had two hits and two runs against Myrtle. The defense also had five putouts, seven assists, and zero errors in the 5-1 win last week.
  • Senior DB Antonio Clifton had two INTs (one for a pick-6), six tackles, and two pass breakups in Tupelo’s (7-0, 3-0) 26-13 win over Southaven last Friday.
  • The middle school crew, who only had the minimum of five boy runners on the starting line, managed to win their race by 13 points Saturday. Those guys were Sam Sliman, Landon Long, Nick Whitenton, Kyle Wigginton, and Morgan Beasley. For the girls, 7th grader Leanna Long won the junior high race by 25 seconds with a two-mile time of 14:04.


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.



Tupelo football moves to 7-0, best start since 1990

Trent Hammond told his players after Friday night’s 26-13 win over Southaven, “7-0 means nothing if you don’t finish.”

Tupelo will need to finish every play this upcoming week when they travel to Batesville to face more-than-likely Mississippi’s new No. 1 team in the AP poll, South Panola. THS hasn’t beaten the Tigers since Coach Phil Ferguson’s first season in 2001. The Golden Wave defeated the Tigers in Batesville, 17-14, that year. Since then, Tupelo has lost the last 12 contests.

But speaking of Tupelo’s best start since 1990, let’s take a quick look at that memorable football season.

  • THS went 12-2 under Ricky Black, now head coach at Jackson Prep, in 1990. Meridian defeated THS, 36-22, in the school’s first state championship football appearance.
  • 1990 was Black’s final season at THS before taking a job with first-year MSU coach Jackie Sherrill at Mississippi State University.
  • Coach Black was assisted that season by Bob Monroe (DB coach), Chris Coleman (OLB), Fred Davis (WR), Larry Harmon (RB), Pete McMurrary (OL), and Jimmy Mitchell (ILB).
  • Coach Black was recognized in September 2012 for winning his 300th career football game. He won 93 at Tupelo.
  • Kirk Presley, former 1st round MLB draft pick for the Mets, was the punter. Senior Adam Paxton, son of Mississippi Senator and THS alum Nancy Collins, was the quarterback. Mayor Jason Shelton was a freshman.
  • Tupelo had three D1 signees: WR Chris Jones (Mississippi State), LB Marcus Gary (Memphis State), and Mond Wilson (Clemson).
  • Tupelo won nine-straight in 1990 before losing to Starkville, 19-16, at Robbins Field in the final game of the regular season.
  • THS defeated Greenwood twice; 17-0, in Week 7 and in the 2nd round playoffs, 18-3. Greenwood was coached by David Bradberry, who coached the Golden Wave from 2009-2012.

Big thanks to former THS assistant coach Bob Monroe for the detailed information.


Review, Preview, and Blankets of the Week (October 6)

VOLLEYBALL: Lady Wave volleyball (12-13, 2-3) lost two matches last week (Olive Branch and Southaven). The losses will put Coach Bishop’s team on the outside looking in when 2013 playoffs begin October 22nd. Tupelo hosts DeSoto Central Tuesday and travels to Lake Cormorant Thursday.

S-P SOFTBALL: Coach Hegwood’s team (12-5-1, 5-1) defeated Mooreville at THS Tuesday, 7-4, and Kossuth at KHS Thursday, 22-7, in four innings. The Lady Wave has won six of the last seven games. THS will host Kossuth Tuesday and Myrtle Thursday.

FOOTBALL: 6-0. When was the last time THS football started undefeated? Not sure, but we will do our homework. Trent Hammond and his team are making “Waves” this season. Last Friday, No. 10 THS (6-0, 2-0) defeated 1-6A rival Grenada (5-1, 1-1), 34-7. Tupelo will host the Southaven Chargers (5-2, 1-1) for Homecoming Friday at 7 p.m. The game will broadcast LIVE at

XC: Coach Sloan and Coach B’s teams competed at the Fayetteville, Arkansas Chili Pepper Festival race yesterday. They take this week off and travel to Clinton next week to run in the annual Choctaw Invitational.

SWIM: Lucas Smith and his teams competed at Rob Leake Park last Tuesday. Both teams are done until the North Half meet on October 19th.



  • Seniors Reagan Aldridge and Abby Stafford went 10 for 13 with 7 RBIs and 8 for 15 with 10 RBIs against Mooreville and Kossuth last week.
  • Sophomore quarterback Daniel Bristow went 13 of 15 passing for 258 yards and three TDs in Friday’s 34-7 win over 1-6A Grenada. Through six games, Bristow is 58 of 86 for 790 yards (.674 completion % and 131.7 YPG) with five TDs and one interception. He’s also rushed 32 times for 149 yards.


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.


Buckley chooses the University of Missouri for golf

Senior Hayden Buckley had a tough decision in front of him Tuesday.

University of Missouri or Rice University? Tigers or Owls? SEC or C-USA?

“Honestly, Missouri’s facilities were what got me ,” said Buckley. “I felt a lot more at home at Columbia, and I just went with my heart. I had a few other interests… LA Tech, Middle Tennessee, and Southern Miss, but I just couldn’t get away from the SEC.”

Buckley’s head coach, Mark Enis, was positive of Hayden’s constant habits on the course. “He’s one of the hardest workers we’ve ever had,” said Enis. “He has passion for the game and that makes his teammates better players.” Under Enis, Tupelo boys golf has won six-straight Class II titles.

Tupelo High will begin golf practice February 3rd, and the first match will be in March. “Our team’s goals haven’t changed since the day I got here,” said Buckley. “Obviously, we want to win a state championship this season, but we’d also like to win every match, too. It’s difficult, but I know we have the team to do it.”

FUN FACT: Hayden won a car… yes, a CAR, after being randomly chosen to compete in a punt, pass, and kick contest during halftime of a THS football game last season. Very cool.



Review, Preview, and Blankets of the Week (September 29)

VOLLEYBALL: Lady Wave volleyball (12-11, 2-1) had an extremely busy week. They lost at Starkville, 3-1, defeated Columbus, 3-0, and went 1-3 at the Clinton Invitational at Mississippi College yesterday. Laurie Bishop’s team will host Olive Branch Tuesday and travel to Southaven Thursday.

S-P SOFTBALL: Lady Wave softball (10-5-1, 5-1) won Division 1-5A/6A Thursday night with a big win over Saltillo. They also defeated Saltillo earlier that week at THS. Josh Hegwood’s team hosts Mooreville Tuesday and travels to Kossuth Thursday.

FOOTBALL: No. 10 Tupelo football (5-0, 1-0) cleaned shop Friday night at Hernando with an impressive Division 1-6A 41-7 win. Coach Trent Hammond and his staff put together a nice showing after a bye-week. This was the second-straight week Tupelo had faced a team for the first time in their history (Saltillo, Hernando). Since Week 1, Tupelo’s defense has only given up a total of 20 points. Check out David Wheeler’s review and recap. Polls should be out Monday (AP), Tuesday (Mississippi Public Broadcasting), and Wednesday (Mississippi Gridiron). The Golden Wave return home for the first time since August 23rd to host a red-hot, undefeated Grenada Charger team. Friday’s game will start at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast LIVE at at 6:50.

XC: Both teams experienced off-weeks. They now look to fully prep for Fayetteville, Arkansas’ Chili Pepper Pepper race. Lots of stiff bordering-state competition will be on tap.

SWIM: THS swim swept competition at their nine-team meet yesterday at Rob Leake City Park. Both squads showed impressive times despite having “no rest” according to Coach Lucas Smith. Be sure to read Gene Phelps’ recap here. THS hosts another meet with area schools swimming Tuesday at Rob Leake at 4 p.m.



  • Senior middle-blocker Kerrigan Buck racked up a total of 32 kills, 11 aces, and one block in matches against Starkville, Columbus, Madison-St. Joe’s, Germantown, Northwest Rankin, and Clinton last week.
  • Lady Wave S-P softball’s defense committed ZERO errors in their 6-0 division-clinching win over Saltillo Thursday.
  • Junior outside linebacker Justin Clifton had ten tackles, seven solo, and two tackles for a loss against Hernando.


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.


Review, Preview, and Blankets of the Week (September 22)

VOLLEYBALL: Lady Wave volleyball (10-7, 1-0) dropped their fourth-straight match last Tuesday at DeSoto Central. THS will travel to Starkville (13-7, 2-1) Tuesday, host Columbus (0-3, 0-3) Thursday, and travel to Mississippi College in Clinton Saturday to participate in the CHS Invitational Tournament. Tournament opponents include Northwest Rankin, Ripley, Clinton, Jackson Academy, Madison Central, Madison-St. Joe’s, and Germantown.

S-P SOFTBALL: Lady Wave softball (8-5-1, 3-1) defeated Oxford 17-3 last Monday, South Panola 23-5 in Game 1 of their double-header Thursday, and lost to SP 11-9 in Game 2. Tupelo’s Saturday game against IAHS was rained-out. Coach Hegwood’s team will host Saltillo tomorrow 6 and travel to the Lady Tigers Thursday. Monday’s game will broadcast LIVE at at 5:50.

FOOTBALL: After a bye week, THS football (4-0) will focus on the newly-6A Hernando Tigers (3-1). This will be the first division game of the season for both squads. The Golden Wave is currently ranked in three different polls: AP (No. 10), Mississippi Gridiron (No. 20), and Mississippi Public Broadcasting (No. 11). Last week, senior LB James Gilleylan was chosen at MLM Player of the Week and Farm Bureau Defensive Player of the Week with his performance against Saltillo. Craig Horton, Todd Jordan, and WTHS will broadcast Friday’s game LIVE at at 6:50 p.m.

XC: Tupelo produced yet another dominate performance at the Saltillo Invitational yesterday. Check out David Wheeler’s recap here. Both teams now look to prepare for a week off before traveling to Fayetteville’s (AR) Chili Pepper meet Oct. 5th.

SWIMMING: THS swim recorded nice showings in Starkville last Thursday when they swept the Starkville Invitational at the Sanderson Center on the campus of Mississippi State University. They’ll host Madison Central, Oxford, and Starkville at Rob Leake City Park this Saturday.



  • Senior volleyball outside hitter Crystal Coleman had five digs and five kills against DeSoto Central.
  • Senior softballers Abby Stafford and Paige Cox had eight hits, four RBIs six runs, and seven hits, five RBIs, and three runs respectively versus Oxford and South Panola
  • Senior Andrew White and junior Darnell Collier placed 1st and 2nd for the second-straight week, switching places from last week. In fact, the only Mississippians they’ve lost to in the last four races have been each other (twice each).


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.


Tupelo football in the polls

One thing that comes with success is the confusing nature of different polls. Tupelo football (4-0) is in the middle of three major polls in the state. Let’s break them down, shall we?

THS continues their third-straight week in the Mississippi Public Broadcasting poll, this week at No. 12. They’ve risen each week since entering No. 24 in week 2. Since then, they’ve been No. 23 in week 3 and No. 16 in week 4. Views the entire list here (via @RobbyDonoho at WCBI).

A panel of Associated Press state sports writers released the selections of the top high school football teams in the state yesterday. THS entered for the first time at No. 10. They received votes in the Class 6A rankings, too. View the entire list here. (via Northeast Mississippi’s Daily Journal)

The Mississippi Gridiron introduced THS at No. 20 this week‘s MHSAA Top 20. This is Tupelo’s first ranking in the 2013 poll. They also feature them at No. 10 in 6A. Learn more about Chris Brooks and the Mississippi Gridiron here.

The Golden Wave also remain at No. 2 in the Daily Journal’s 5A/6A poll via Brandon Speck.


Review, Preview, and Blankets of the Week (September 15)

VOLLEYBALL: Coach Bishop’s team fell to 10-6 on the season after losses to Ripley, 3-2, Tuesday and Southaven, 3-0, Thursday. They will travel to DeSoto Central Tuesday for a non-division contest.

S-P SOFTBALL: Coach Hegwood’s team (6-4-1, 1-0) lost a hard-fought scuffle with Mooreville, 10-5, Thursday. The Lady Wave will travel to Oxford Monday and South Panola Thursday. Both will be pivotal division contests.

FOOTBALL: They win in Lee County again. Coach Hammond’s 16th-ranked group, now 4-0, defeated Saltillo, 29-10, Friday evening. This was the first time both teams had ever faced one another. Relive the night’s tweets here. Be sure to read David Wheeler’s recap here and here. THS will have a week off before returning to action next week when they open division at newly 6A opponent Hernando.

XC: Coach Sloan and Coach Begnauds’ teams took 1st place finishes at Saturday’s Pontotoc Invitational. The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal and David recapped it here. The squads now prepare to travel to Saltillo Saturday.

SWIMMING: Both boys and girls teams competed in Oxford and both took 1st place finishes. Teams competing included Hernando, Oxford, and Cleveland. THS swim will travel to Starkville Thursday and will compete in Mississippi State University’s Sanderson Center complex.



  • Junior middle blocker Georgeanna Bowen collected three aces, 11 kills, four blocks, and one dig against Ripley and Southaven.
  • Seniors Abby Cox and Abby Stafford had three and two hits respectively against Mooreville.
  • Senior linebacker and University of Tennessee-Martin commit James Gilleylen had three tackles, one sack, four assists, one tackle for a loss, one pass deflection, two blocked punts, and one touchdown off a blocked punt against Saltillo.
  • Junior girls runner Mika Takahashi placed 2nd overall and ran a personal best of 15:22 to lead THS in the Pontotoc Invitational Saturday. For the boys, senior Michael Robinson finished 7th overall and ran 16:55.


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.