West Point, Chambless erase frustrating six years

Collin Brister
Sports Writer

West Point has always been a powerhouse football program within the state of Mississippi. They’ve always competed for, and won, state championships no matter what classification they played in.
They won back to back state championships in 2009 and 2010, but the Green Wave didn’t return to the state championship game for the next five years.
They returned on Friday night, marking their fifth state championship appearance since 2002. Like their last three state championship appearances, they came out with another gold ball.
It was frustrating for West Point head coach Chris Chambless the past five years, falling short of the state championship game. He saw division rival Oxford play for three, and West Point couldn’t quite get over the hump.
“It’s been frustrating at times because we’ve had good football teams,” Chambless said Saturday night. “We had a great player in Aeris Williams come through and we didn’t get it done when we faced a good Oxford team. It’s been frustrating the last six years.”
That frustration was likely relieved when Marcus Murphy gave the Green Wave a two-touchdown lead late in the third quarter on Saturday night.
The senior punched it in on fourth-and-one from Laurel’s one-yard line to give the Green Wave the score that essentially ended any Laurel hope of winning their second state championship in the last three years.
“Marcus is a great leader for other people to follow,” Chambless said. “Even when he doesn’t think that he’s leading, he’s leading by the way that he works, and the way that he carries himself.”
Bud Bowen has seen the past six years. He’s seen 34-years before that as West Point’s radio announcer. He’s seen state championship wins. He’s seen state championship losses. Bowen admitted that Saturday night at Davis-Wade stadium was special for West Point.
“It means a lot to the whole community,” Bowen said. “The West Point Green Wave football team is what we check our pulse with. Everybody that supports us deserves a part of this. Our kids never quit. Coaches do their job. Kids do their jobs, and the fans are the greatest.”
Terence Cherry led West Point in tackles on Saturday night with five, including three sacks of Laurel quarterback Tyquan Ulmer.
“This means so much to all of us,” Cherry said. “With all the summer workouts and everything that we’ve gone through, this means a lot to us.”
Chambless will lead a junior oriented team next year in search of the school’s ninth state championship, and his fourth, but on Saturday night as the rain fell on Davis Wade stadium the coach that has made this program one of the biggest power houses in the state was jubilant with what he and his team had just accomplished.
“We did this for the community,” Chambless said. “We did it for the school. That’s what we’re going to continue to try to keep doing.”