By Brandon Speck
JACKSON – As if Bassfield needed any help in Friday’s Class 2A state championship game, Calhoun City will be without leading receiver and key defensive back, sophomore Brieton Sykes.
Sykes was ejected in the fourth quarter of last week’s win at Baldwyn after an altercation. Wildcats coach Perry Liles said he’s hoping that can change.
“Right now he’s not eligible to play,” Liles said in Monday’s MHSAA Gridiron Classic press conference. “We’re preparing to play without him.”
Sykes’ 689 yards leads the team. He has five receiving TDs and 29 tackles.
Lafayette beat Cleveland 42-19 Friday in the Class 4A North title game, without Ole Miss commit D.K. Buford. The running back/athlete hurt his ankle on the second play and did not return.
“He’ll work hard in rehab this week,” Lafayette coach Eric Robertson said. “It will be a game-time decision. It will be hard to keep him out of this game.”
All in the family
Class 2A South champ Bassfield has four DI commitments, LB Alvin Moore and QB Calvin Moore to Ole Miss and DB Curtis Mikell and CB Cornell Armstrong to Southern Miss. The four are cousins.
“We’ve been playing together since pee wee football,” Mikell said. “We call each other brothers, but we really are cousins.”
Calhoun City has its own family ties. Center Jordan England is the son of offensive coordinator Travis England. Linebacker Steele Liles is the son of Wildcats head coach Perry Liles.
Smithville head coach Bubba Tacker, who celebrates his birthday on Friday, has the chance to bring home the ultimate present – a state championship.
“Just being here is birthday present enough for me. If we won it, it would just be more icing on the cake,” Tacker said. “We just want to come down here and enjoy the experience. It’s all about the kids here and the chance for them to experience something that not a lot of kids across the state get a chance to enjoy.”
Flu bug bites Tupelo
Tupelo QB Daniel Bristow missed last week’s win against South Panola with the flu.
The bug wasn’t finished with the 6A North champ Golden Wave. Six players and two coaches are trying to overcome the illness before Friday’s title game against Oak Grove. Offensive coordinator John Keith and DL coach Matt Montgomery are the coaches.
“If you’ve seen our dressing room, it’s all the size of that table,” Tupelo coach Trent Hammond said. “So we might all have the flu by Friday.”
All games on MPB
Mississippi Public Broadcasting will against televise all six championship games: Friday, 1A, 11 a.m.; 2A, 3 p.m.; 6A, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 3A, 11 a.m.; 4A, 3 p.m.; 5A, 7:30 p.m.
D.K. Buford has always been known as D.K. His name, though, is Detarius Keonte. … Calhoun City coach Perry Liles credits offensive coordinator Travis England with calling all the plays, except the touchdowns plays. “I call those,” Liles said. … Lafayette coach Eric Robertson is thankful for more than just being in the 4A title game. “We’re thankful to be here, probably most thankful that (Louisville) coach (M.C.) Miller and those guys dropped down to 3A.”
Contributing: Melissa Meador, Monroe Journal