HSFT Stop #39 — TCPS Eagles
Tupleo, Miss (WCBI) — The TCPS Eagles have had a tough couple of months.
“We had a few problems go on during the offseason, but I feel like we’re going to come back,” senior Jenkins Wells said.
First, the MHSAA came down on the program for recruiting violations. Then the school parted ways with the head coach and athletic director.
The MHSAA determined the Eagles could still have a season — they just wouldn’t be eligible to make the playoffs.
“We had our principal and headmaster come down and really talk to us about what happened,” Wells said. “I’m just glad that we’re able to have a season this year and at least get 10 games to really show what we can do.”
Tupelo Christian went more than a month without a head coach. So the players took charge themselves.
“Me and my friends had been coming out here — even when we didn’t have coaches at the time — working on stuff, throwing around, running routes and kicking. So, we’ve gotten better,” junior Stuart Long said.
Then the Eagles finally got their new head coach in July: Brad Kimberlin.
“I’ve been out of coaching for about seven years and the opportunity opened up,” Kimberlin said.
The Eagles had a handful of players transfer out of the program and some new faces come in, including their new quarterback from Nashville.
And Long is holding it down as the kicker while also getting attention at the next level.
“This offseason, I went to a lot of camps and did pretty good and got ranked like a four and a half star and second in my class at this camp I went to,” Long said.
It may be difficult to find something to play for when playoffs aren’t an option — but not for Kimberlin’s kids. They’re just excited to play football.
“We’re looking for a good season with my friends,” Long said. “We don’t have a chance to make playoffs this year. But we’re still going to try to do the best we can and have a good winning record this season.”
The Eagles will kick things off on Aug. 26 against North Pontotoc.