Hammond hits milestone in Wave’s victory



By David Wheeler

Special to the Journal

The Tupelo Golden Wave scored another victory Friday with its 27-15 playoff win against the Madison Central Jaguars.

In the process, it scored some more believers in the Golden Wave as a good football team.

Also scored a berth in this week’s Class 6A semifinals, where the Wave will host the South Panola Tigers.

And scored first-year Tupelo head coach Treat Hammond his 100th career win as a head coach.

“This just means I have been in it a long time,” said Hammond, whose Wave are 12-1 this season. “I’ve been fortunate to coach some good players and with some really good coaches.

“If anybody stays in it long enough, you’ll get it.”

Hammond is in his 13th season as a head coach, with stops at Lawrence County, Franklin County, Amory and now Tupelo.

Most Northeast Mississippi high school football fans would initially remember his 2011 season at Amory, where the Panthers passed for more than 5,000 yards, notching an 11-4 record in the process.

‘Really good’ win

Now in 2013, the Golden Wave might become the reference point for Hammond in this corner of the state.

“I was 2-8 one season, and that was probably my best coaching job ever,” Hammond said. “But it was one of the teams I enjoyed coaching the most.

“It was really good to get that marker (100) against one of the best programs in the state (Madison Central), and on their field.”

Hammond can start working on his second 100 wins Friday when his team hosts South Panola (13-1). But what a way to start that count, playing the defending Class 6A state champions, who also boast 10 total state titles starting in 1993.

“South Panola is on a roll right now,” Hammond said. “They are the heavyweight champion of the world in Mississippi football.

“This group of kids this season is special. Normally, seniors don’t buy in to a new head coach.

“I know it took a couple of years in Amory. But this group listened from Day 1.”

Tupelo lost to South Panola 14-8 on Oct. 18.