The Tupelo Golden Wave went through something last season that no team wants to go through, injuries. One key injury was to their quarterback at the time, senior Stephan Mcglaun. However, through all the injuries, Coach Trent Hammond and the Golden Wave found a way to secure a winning record and find themselves in the playoffs. Tupelo experienced a first-round exit after a loss to Northwest Rankin, and now their sights are on this season and getting back to the 6A powerhouse that they believe they are.
When Mcglaun went down last year, Peyton Puckett was the guy who got the call to fill the role. Puckett, who usually lined up at receiver, had some great help from senior RB Jaquerrious Williams. Williams ran over 1800 yards for and had more than 20 TDs last season. Besides Williams, the Golden Wave’s leading rusher was David Hayes, who is expected to gain most of the carries for Coach Hammond and the Wave this season. When it comes to the receivers, the leading wideout for Tupelo last season, Jordan Jernigan, graduated and signed to play at Ole Miss. Other than Puckett, senior Tripp Wilson had 139 yards of receiving last season which makes him the leading returner in receiving yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, senior John Louis Friloux and senior Jaycob Horn both return for the Golden Wave. Each of these student athletes had over 40 tackles last season and Friloux also had three TFL. Since Tupelo lost a good number of seniors on defense, Coach Hammond is going to need some guys to step up this season and with one final season ahead of them, Friloux and Horn need to be ready to take on a good bit of the workload this season.
Tupelo never lacks talent and the same goes for this team, however, playing a 6A schedule is extremely difficult. The Golden Wave are scheduled to play four Top 25 teams this season including reigning 5A state champion the West Point Green Wave, Corinth Warriors, Olive Branch Conquistadors, and the Oxford Chargers. Coach Hammond and his team knows what they have in front of them, but I can assure you that the Golden Wave are determined and ready to get back where they know they belong, the top.