Wave looks to young swimmers for success

Tupelo High swimmers have captured an MHSAA team state championship – five girls, three boys – every year since 2002.
However, this year’s younger squads will be challenged to claim an eight consecutive title in the pool.
“We lost some good swimmers, but we still have a pretty good team,” coach Lucas Smith said. “We’re going to be a lot younger than we have been on both sides.
“We’re going to need some underclassmen to step up.”
Tupelo’s boys team has won back-to-back state titles while the girls program won five consecutive seasons, ending with a 2006 championship.
Oxford’s girls have won the last two state titles.
Hannah Wilson, who has won 14 individual state championships, returns for her senior season. She won the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle state titles last year.
“What she’s done is impressive,” Smith said.
The Golden Wave, which opened practice this week, swims its first meet Sept. 12 at Ole Miss. The North Mississippi meet is scheduled for Oct. 17 in Clinton while the state meet is Oct. 24 in Biloxi.

Cross country
– Katherine Steinman says she “has no clue” why the Lady Wave’s so successful year after year in cross country. Tupelo will be bidding for its ninth consecutive state championship this season.
“Everybody in the state trains hard,” the junior said. “We do push each other really hard. We train double days sometimes. I think that’s a key for us, our mileage.”
The boys program, led this season by two-time state champion Max Holman, has also won nine consecutive state titles.
The team opens its regular season Aug. 29 at the Brooks Invitational in Florence, Ala.

Volleyball
– The Lady Wave opened its season Tuesday with a 3-0 road win against Oxford.
The team’s first six matches will be played on the road while workers are re-finishing the floor in the THS gym. The first home game is scheduled for Sept. 10 against South Panola.

Football
– The season opener at New Hope is still a week away, Aug. 28. Tupelo elected not to play an MHSAA Classic game this week.

Softball
– The home opener is scheduled for 5 p.m. today against Myrtle at Lady Wave Field.

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

Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal