#HSFT18 Stop No. 32 — Houston Hilltoppers

Aug 17 Pontotoc Away
Aug 24 Calhoun City Home
Aug 31 New Hope Home
Sept 7 Itawamba AHS Home
Sept 14 OPEN
Sept 21 Amory Away
Sept 28 Choctaw County* Home
Oct 5 Hatley* Away
Oct 12 South Pontotoc* Away
Oct 19 Aberdeen* Home
Oct 26 Nettleton* Away
*District games


HOUSTON, Miss. (WCBI) — When it comes to Houston, Mississippi, hard work is a part of your DNA.

In the sweltering summer heat, the motto is “Topp Tough”, preparing for the grind of football season.

But it’s a new era in Houston. For the first time ever, the Hilltoppers get to grind under the cool breeze of air conditioning.

“I’d say that’s my greatest accomplishment as the head football coach here,” head coach Ty Hardin said with a laugh.

“We’ve never had A.C. in this building, and so these kids, they always burn up. We’re privileged, a church donated a bunch of units for us. We’re excited. There’s a lot of good things going for Houston, Mississippi, and we’re really excited about the things we have going on with our program and our community.”

One thing opponents this fall will struggle with is cooling off the Toppers’ speed.

Hardin said his team may be faster and deeper than ever before.

Houston will have to replace more than 4,800 total yards of offense between Urriah Shephard and Quenton May, but these Toppers believe its time for new faces to show Mississippi what they’re made of.

“We have people that didn’t get to shine as much because they were here and I think now, people will able to show what they really got,” senior right tackle Anthony Brinker said.

“We have this winning mentality. We’re not satisfied with losing, so we’re going to come together, ” senior linebacker and tight end Kevin Diaz said , “Urriah and Quenton were both very good athletes, but I think with all the hard work we’ve put in this summer, we can be just as good or even better.”

The expectations are high in Houston, and after falling out of the postseason in the third round for the second time in three seasons, the Toppers are tired of falling short.

“I think…we can do better. We all know we can get farther. This year, we’re going to go for a state title and, third round ain’t good enough no more,” Diaz said.

“We’re going all the way…that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re gritting and grinding, we’re not going to quit. That’s what Houston is made of. is toughness, and not ever quitting,” senior right guard Kyler Spencer said.

“I like how these kids work, we’re in a lot better shape, we’re stronger, we’re faster. We’re more experienced,” Hardin said.

“What I like about it too, we’ll get done with these workouts here and these kids will be up here for two to three more hours, not just hanging out, but trying to get extra work.”

The Hilltoppers start the season at the Hollow for a non-conference test at Pontotoc.

Categories: 60 in 60 2018, High School Sports, Local Sports