South Panola @ Tupelo: Tickets on sale early for big game

TUPELO – Fans attending Friday’s Cellular South “Y’all vs. Us” regionally televised high school football game between top-ranked South Panola and host Tupelo will get plenty of “bang” for their buck.
So will the fans watching at home.
A $6 ticket will get you a seat in the stands – hopefully – to see the state’s top-ranked team, powerful South Panola, play an improved Tupelo team in a key Division 1-6A matchup.
THS officials are selling advance tickets this week to avoid long lines at the ticket booths the day of the game. The school is also offering a shuttle service for those fans opting to park at nearby Harrisburg Baptist Church.
The visiting Tigers are 7-0 overall and 3-0 in league play while the Golden Wave is 5-1 overall and 2-1 in the division.
That’s on the field.
The game will also include pregame and in-game pyrotechnics – “Not just a few pops,” said Matt Wyatt, who will handle the color commentary for the TV broadcast – and a jumbotron, which will feature a live feed throughout the game and replays.
“It’s wild,” added Wyatt, who’s the director of sport development for the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau. “People will love it.”
Wyatt, a former quarterback for Mississippi State, will be joined in the broadcast booth by veteran play-by-play announcer Dave Armstrong, whose long list of credits include calling Kansas Jayhawks basketball, the Colorado Rockies and Kansas City Royals. The sideline reporter is Russ Robinson, who handles TV play-by-play for the Mississippi’s state championship football games.
“It’s a full production,” said Wyatt, who has worked seven “Y’all vs. Us” games the last two seasons. “I’ve done color for colleges and pay-per-view and the production value here will be as good as any college broadcast.”
Tupelo first-year coach David Bradberry was involved with an “Y’all vs. Us” game last year – Madison Central-Clinton – while he was working for the Mississippi High School Activities Association.
“I got an outside view of what’s going on,” he said this summer when Tupelo’s game was selected. “It’s a professionally done deal from start to finish. It’s something our kids will remember for a long time.”
The first two “Y’all vs. Us” games this season featured Brandon at Pearl and Jackson Academy at Jackson Prep. The two remaining games will feature out-of-state matchups – Memphis foes Memphis University School vs. Christian Brothers and two Mobile, Ala., rivals Murphy vs. McGill-Toolen.
“We’ve had two great games this year and we had five great games last year,” Wyatt said.

Contact Gene Phelps at 678-1593 or gene.phelps@djournal.com.

Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal