Hammond stresses chemistry

By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal

First-year Tupelo High football coach Trent Hammond has added some familiar faces to his Golden Wave coaching staff in John Keith and Mike Davis.
“One of the biggest things in coaching is having chemistry,” Hammond said. “You have to have guys who fit together and can work together.”
Keith, a Mooreville native and former Ole Miss player, was Hammond’s offensive coordinator during his three-year tenure in Amory. He will remain in that role at Tupelo.
“John was a graduate assistant for David Cutcliffe at Ole Miss,” Hammond said. “He has a tremendous knowledge of the passing game. He was instrumental in us changing from a traditional offense to a quick-tempo offense the last few years.”
Davis, who coached on Hammond’s staff at Lawrence County, will join his former boss as defensive backs and special teams coach.
“Mike replaced me in 2004 as head coach at Lawrence County,” Hammond said. “He’s extremely organized and very good at finding ways to do things better and make us more efficient.”
Hammond is looking to fill two more positions on his staff. Lamar Aldridge, Fred Hadley and Brian Jones will return next season from former coach David Bradberry’s staff.
Tupelo kicks off it first spring practice under Hammond on April 24. The team will practice 15 days and have an intrasquad scrimmage May 10.
TENNIS PLAYOFFS
Tupelo hosts Warren Central on Monday at Rob Leake City Park courts in the first round of the MHSAA Class 6A team tennis playoffs.
Other first-round matchups in 6A North are: Northwest Rankin at DeSoto Central, Grenada at Clinton and Southaven at Madison Central
In Class 5A, Saltillo plays at Starkville and Neshoba Central visits defending state champion Oxford.
The North qualifiers, according to the updated brackets on the MHSAA website for the state team competition in 3A are: Alcorn Central, South Pontotoc, Belmont and Kossuth.
In 4A, only New Albany is listed. The Bulldogs host Greenwood on Tuesday.
The state finals are scheduled for May 1 at Ridgeland Tennis Center (1A, 3A, 5A) and Bridges Tennis Center (2A, 4A, 6A).
The individual state championships are scheduled for May 2-3 at the same sites.
HOULKA FUNDRAISERS
Houlka High School has plans to build a football stadium on a lot behind the school’s baseball field. The Wildcats have played their home games in recent years at Okolona High School’s field.
Houlka coach Rob Allen says the team’s booster club is holding two fundraisers to help with the effort: May 4 – Spaghetti supper; May 25 – Pro wrestling show.
Contact the school for more information.