Tupelo’s athletic excellence continues

Meredith Beasley, Sports Editor, The Hi-Times

Tupelo has been in the business of producing talent for years. Many Tupelo High School athletes have graduated and are playing sports at the next level.

Charde Hannah plays soccer for the University of Southern Alabama. Hannah graduated from THS in 2013. The now sophomore forward was named the Sun Belt Conference preseason offensive player of the year and has 10 goals and five assists so far in the 2015 season. Last year, as a freshman, Hannah was named Sun Belt Conference Freshman and Offensive Player of the Year, Sun Belt Most Outstanding Player, SBC Offensive Player of the Week three times, and started 22 of 23 games.

Justin Clifton graduated in 2014 and is playing football at Arkansas State University. The freshman defensive back was a 3-star recruit by ESPN and ranked the No. 36 player in Mississippi. This season he’s played eight games and has one interception.

Zach Ellis, a two-sport athlete, graduated in 2015 and is now at Itawamba Community College playing soccer and football. The freshman is the kicker for the ICC Indians’ football team. This season he made a total of six of 10 field goals, his longest being 27 yards. Ellis is a midfielder on the soccer team and has started four games, has two goals and four assists.

Bailey Scott graduated in 2015 and is now on the swim team for the University of Alabama. Her freshman year, Scott swam for the school-record setting 200 freestyle relay at the NCAA Championship and competed in the 50 and 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke at the SEC Championship. She swam her career best 55.76 in the 100 backstroke at the SEC championship, ranking her 10th all time at Alabama. Her sophomore year she set the school record in the 50 freestyle as a lead off of the 200 freestyle relay and swam her career best in the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke at the SEC championships. This past summer at the USA Summer National Championships, Scott bettered her own school record in the 50-meter freestyle.

These are just a few of the many successful student-athletes to come through THS and go on to play sports at the next level. I guess it is true, that here, “Excellence is Tradition.”