By Bryan Davis
The West Point Green Wave football program certainly distinguished itself in 2010.
After beating Mainland High School, one of the top teams in the state of Florida, the Green Wave went on to win another district title, the North State title and of course their second consecutive state championship.
Those efforts were rewarded this week, when the 2010 list of top football teams in the nation was released. West Point ranked No. 80 in the country.
“It feels good,” said West Point head coach Chris Chambless. “You play football for a reason. You don’t just play to exist. You want to make it the best. That’s why we always preach being first class.”
West Point was one of four Mississippi high schools to make the ‘Rivals’ list which also included Meridian, Madison Central and South Panola, ranking No. 1 in the nation.
Finishing the season at 14-1, the Green Wave are hoping they do not stop with No. 80.
“We hope we’re not through,” Chambless said. “We hope we can keep climbing.”
West Point will have an opportunity to turn even more heads around the country next August, when they play host to South Panola on the first Saturday of the season. Chambless said he had the chance to go out of state again but could not pass up the opportunity to play the No. 1 team right here at home.
“What better thing to do than to play the national champs at your house,” Chambless said.
South Panola began its climb to the top by way of an historic winning streak that lasted until 2008, but a lot of their national attention came when they would play the top teams from other states with success.
“You’ve got to prove yourself,” Chambless said. “You’ve got to throw yourself out there.”
Chambless said that West Point has been blessed with the resources from its school district to be able to get more exposure around the country.
“We couldn’t do half of what we do without them giving us the resources to do it,” Chambless said. “The administration and the community are key ingredients. When the players see an administration and community that cares about them, they work harder, and they play harder.”
The Green Wave won in their final 12 games this season, including four decisive playoff victories.
The Green Wave snapped a 14-game winning streak during week three of the regular season.