HSFT Stop #58 — Tupelo
Tupelo, Miss. (WCBI) — Tupelo high school football is loaded with returning players. Head Coach Ty Hardin views these players as coaches on the field.
“We aren’t young anymore,” Hardin said. “This senior class 12 of them started as sophomores, the junior class eight of them started as sophomores. We are a veteran team, returning a lot of guys, they kind of act like me more than the previous teams. We are excited about this group and their leadership.”
The players have grown up with Hardin and he has taken them under his wing on and off the field.
“He treats me like I’m his own son,” safety Zech Pratt said. “He’ll invite me over to eat with the family. I just feel like I’m his son, he treats us all like that, We’re just all family. It’s more than football, it’s business on the field but outside he makes it where we’re all family.”
Time spent together in all aspects of life has allowed for Hardin’s mentality to rub off on his players.
“I’ve had these guys since they were babies and they speak my lingo now,” Hardin said. “They act like we want to act, and we are just one step closer to where we want to be.”
The Golden Wave wants to be at the top of their tough division, they plan on making it their thanks to an explosive offense.
“For the offense I told coach Wood we got to score 35 every game,” wide receiver Daelyn Patton said. “No turnovers none of that, we are lighting up the score first play we trying to score every game.”
Missing the playoffs after starting 5-0 last season hurt, but the expectations for this season are much higher than just making the playoffs.
“A state championship, I tell my guys every time, undefeated,” Pratt said. “To the championship and win it. That’s what I expect and I don’t expect anything less.”
Tupelo will start that grind Friday against Lafayette.