By Gene Phelps
At the risk of sounding cliche, senior midfielder Forrest Timmons has a simple answer for Tupelo High School’s possible road to success this season.
“I think we’re going to play more as a team this year and not individuals,” he said. “This is a strong team with some good players.”
Last year’s Golden Wave soccer team finished with an 11-3-2 record and lost a heartbreaking 1-0 match to rival Madison Central in the second round of the MHSAA Class 6A state playoffs.
Timmons is one of the players coach Harris Faucette is counting on this season, along with junior midfielder Zach Ellis, junior defender Bryce Hunt, senior goalkeeper John Nabors and senior forward K.J. Armstrong, the team’s top scorer last year.
“We have six or seven guys who played a lot last season,” Faucette said. “Our backline’s pretty strong. We should be good on defense.”
Offensively, Faucette will count on his midfielders, Timmons and Ellis, to get the ball to the scorers and control the middle of the field. Timmons led the team in assists last season.
“We need to win the ball on defense and in transition on offense,” Ellis said. “I think we’re strong on both sides, offense and defense. We’ve got a lot of returning players.”
Faucette will know more about his team once the football players join following their season. Until that time, he’ll use the early part of the season to teach and give the younger players an opportunity to learn.
“I want to see how our young players will fit in with the others,” he said. “We want to give a lot of players the chance to play.
“You know, we’re missing so many players right now, it’s hard to say what our strengths will be. I know we want to put pressure on our opponent and keep possession, keep pressure on their defense.”