No. 3 Tupelo Golden Wave
Head Coach: Trent Hammond
2017 Record: 11-1 (Class 6A First Round)
Starters Returning: Offense: 6 Defense: 3
Players to Watch: QB Stephon McGlaun; RB Jaquerrious Williams; WR Jordan Jernigan; WR Peyton Puckett; WR Fabian Perry; DB Tavarrio Standifer (injured); LB Keaton Cager; DL Jacques White.
Coach Speak: “It’ll be like it has always been since I’ve been here on offense. We’ll have a lot skill guys that can make plays, but we will struggle linemen. Defensively, we will not be as big as we were, but we will be faster. We’ve been focusing on running to the ball and being physical. A big key for us is we got to stay healthy throughout the season,” Hammond said.
Outlook: Golden Wave was bit by the injury bug late in the season and have already been bit by a key injury before the season has started. Ole Miss commit and strong safety Tavario Standifer will miss the season with a torn Achilles he suffered in a practice drill. Offensively the Wave put up points last season averaging 35.3 points per game and has majority of their playmakers back. Quarterback Stephon McGlaun is back after tossing for 1,630 yards with 12 touchdowns and also rushed for 811 yards with nine touchdowns. Jaquerrious Williams is back at running back after rushing for 1,470 yards with 22 touchdowns and two of Tupelo’s top receivers are back in Jordan Jernigan (525 yards receiving, 4 touchdowns) and Peyton Puckett (255 yards, 2 touchdowns). Defensively the Wave will have to feel the holes left by Jett Johnson and Peter Gray but will have a lot of overall speed on that side of the ball led by linebacker Keaton Cager and defensive lineman Jacques White.
Season Opener: Aug. 17 at Meridian