Winona High School Tigers

WINONA, Miss. (WCBI) — Putting the “Win” back in Winona is the goal in 2015.

The Tigers were an up and down team a season ago, but head coach Joey Tompkins is beginning to see his team turn the corner.

CLASS 2A | REGION 4
HEAD COACH: JOEY TOMPKINS
Aug 21 Montgomery Co home
Aug 28 Choctaw Co away
Sept 4 French Camp home
Sept 11 J Z George away
Sept 18 West lauderdale home
Sept 25 Water Valley home
Oct 2 Bruce* away
Oct 9 East Webster home
Oct 16 Eupora home
Oct 23 Okolona* away
Oct 30 Calhoun City away
*District games

“We’re starting our second year here. I think we’re getting to where I want to be as a team,” Tompkins said. “We’ll be more mentally tough this year and we have some older guys that played a lot last year that are coming back. They know what to expect from me and I know what to expect from them.”

A 3-9 record last season shouldn’t be much of an intimidation factor for the Winona Tigers going into 2015, but you would be wrong.

That record signals the potential of what could be this season for head coach Joey Tompkins and the Tigers, as they drop down from 3A into the rugged Region 4-2A this season.

“It will be a challenge for us. We’re familiar with every one of the teams except Okolona,” coach Tompkins said. “Coaching all those years at Eupora, I’m familiar with all the other teams. This is probably the best division in 2A top to bottom. It’s going to be strong from top to bottom and it will be a challenge each and every week.”

Winona has flown under the radar during the preseason, which could be bad news for the rest of Class 2A.

Last season, the Tigers had speed and quickness at all the skill positions with an improving group in the trenches.

This year, that script has flipped but the Tigers don’t anticipate a drop off on offense…and they expect a rise to the postseason. And coach Tompkins looks to a former mentor’s philosophy for what to expect in 2015.

“I got this from Junior Graham a long time ago. It doesn’t matter what we do, we’re going to try to play 15-16 games and win the last one,” Tompkins said. “It’s not trying to win every game, I want to play as many games and win the last one. We’re going to take it one game at a time. We won’t look forward to the first division game. We’re going to try and get better each and every game and let the chips fall where they may.”

Winona will begin the season at home versus Montgomery County then visit Choctaw County the following week.