By David Wheeler/Special to the Journal
The Tupelo Christian Eagles are entering the 2013 season with high expectations.
A season ago, they were a series away from playing for a state championship in Class 1A. Of note, the Eagles did not graduate a single player from that squad.
And the Eagles open their home schedule today at 3:30 p.m. against North Delta Academy. A normal situation for most high schools, but this will be the very first home game on TCPS’ new on-campus field.
“We’re going to keep the ceremony with this game simple,” TCPS coach Will Lowrey said. “And we are thankful for the Tupelo Park and Recreation for letting us use one of their fields.”
The Eagles had been using a field at City Park in central Tupelo for its home games. Lowrey likes the elimination of the drive through Tupelo for baseball.
And a bonus for the TCPS program, it now has a junior high program which Lowrey reports has 28 players this year.
Whereever the Eagles play, there is the expectations that come from being so close to a state title last season.
“We have a strong group of seniors,” Lowrey said. “With the leadership factor, we expect a lot of things out of this team.
“It’s an old cliché, but we’re taking it one day at a time. We’re just trying to do everything to the best of our ability, and let the outcome be what it is.”
TCPS has begun the season 3-1, including a 10-1 win over Class 6A Columbus.
Two key seniors for Lowery are Drew Carter, who has signed with ICC, and Stephen Sexton, who has signed with Northwest.
“Carter is a solid two-way player,” Lowrey said. “Sexton is one of the best power hitters in the state.”
Both Carter and Sexton are expected to anchor the Eagles pitching rotation, along with seniors Tyler Beard and Zachary Bridges.
Lowrey expects stiff competition from area schools like Ingomar, Smithville, Thrasher, West Union, and Myrtle. And the school that eliminated the Eagles from the playoffs last season, St. Joe from Greenville, returns three of its best players.
“We expect to get after it all season long,” Lowrey said. “And hopefully, we’ll have a shot at a state championship.”