Now that all of the high school football state championships have been played and everybody around the state has closed out their 2012 season, I wanted to look back at how well the young men of Clay County faired this past football season. All three Clay County schools (West Point, Oak Hill, and Hebron Christian) combined for a 25-11 record on the season, with two teams making the playoffs. The football teams in Clay County had grit and determination throughout the year. Taking on tough opponents, Clay County usually came away the victors.
Starting with the Green Wave (11-3; 7-0), Head Coach Chris Chambless and his ball club may not have ended their season down in Jackson with their eighth title like all the West Point faithful would have liked, but there really is not too much to hang their heads about. West Point’s schedule was chalked chock-full of tough opponents, especially teams such as South Panola, Noxubee County, and Starkville. Though the Green Wave’s blemishes on the record were to those three teams, all three claimed state titles this past weekend in their respective classifications ( 4-A, 5-A, 6-A). The Wave only lost to these teams by an average deficit of 3 points and fought all the way to the end of each game. West Point was circled on everybody’s schedule and maybe even feared by some of their opponents. The Wave could do it all; offense, defense, and special teams, all contributed to the success of West Point’s season. Not too many programs can pick up 11 wins on the season, but the Wave will definitely be hungry for next fall and an eighth title to add to their already illustrious collection.
Over at Oak Hill Academy, first year Head Coach Daniel Merchant took the reins for the Raiders this season. The Raiders (6-6; 2-3) had a turn-around season as the team erased the memory of the 2011 winless season. Coach Merchant led a talented young group who overcame a tough stretch of losses to win the final three games and clinch a MAIS AA playoff berth. The Oak Hill Raiders are looking forward to next season as many of their starters will return in the fall. The Raiders will be a tough team to beat and a force to be reckoned with in the years to come.
Hebron Christian also put in a great Eight-Man football season. The Eagles (8-2) played as a football independent under the MAIS and were ineligible for the postseason. Though the playoffs were out of reach, Hebron played every game like a round of the playoffs. The Eagles’ perfect run was ended by the Eight-man runner-up Calhoun Academy. It might have been a tough pill to swallow, but the Senior-laden Hebron Eagles put in a historic season and routed many of their opponents throughout the fall. Hebron finished their season ranked #5 in the state on the eight-man poll.
Clay County had a strong year in football and hopes to continue that success down the road. Everybody should buckle their seatbelt as the 2013 football season will soon be upon us.