Only one goal allowed this season.
A number one spot in the state soccer rankings.
But the Tupelo Golden Wave boys soccer team realizes there is much more to be accomplished.
The Tupelo Golden Wave boys' soccer team is riding high this season. They are currently undefeated (and untied) and ranked #1 in the state. But they are focusing on one end goal that keeps pushing their players....to bring home the state title. Coach Mark Enis has experienced winning state titles with the Tupelo soccer program while coaching the Lady Wave. And now his team, with nine seniors, is ready to bring one home for the boys' team.
The season has been a fun one so far for the Golden Wave. Reaching 18-0 at this point is a feat to be proud of. But they realize there's still work to be done.
In looking at the current Top Ten for boys soccer in the state of Mississippi, Tupelo sits atop the list. But the rest of the list is compiled of teams from either central or south Mississippi. They are all about three hours or further from Tupelo. It's clear that the concentration of quality soccer is not in the upper third of the state.
The Golden Wave has faced lots criticism because of their schedule. But it is a matter of geography and travel time/expenses, not choice. This year Tupelo will make three trips to the Jackson area in order to play Metro teams. Coach Mark Enis says, "The Jackson area teams have it made in the fact that they don't have to travel that far." Quality competition can be found on a weekly basis with ease for the Metro teams.
Six of the Top Ten are Metro teams w/ Vicksburg being a 7th that is only about 40 minutes away. But Enis points out that close to half of their wins are over central and south Mississippi teams because of two tournaments. "It's definitely something we struggle with," said Enis. Next weekend they return to the Jackson area to play Clinton, Madison Central, and Ridgeland over a two-day span.
The team looks at the 2001 Golden Wave squad that only allowed a Tupelo record six goals on the season. The current team has only one goal against them so far and hopes to break that record. But the 2001 Wave team also won the state title. But Enis acknowledges that while a record would be nice, "that if a state championship doesn't go along with it," then it's not really satisfying at all.
The Tupelo Lady Wave has experienced much success over the years and this year as well. But Enis says that there is good relationship between the two programs and Coach Enis and Coach Shelley Miller support each other's program as much as possible. And at times in the season the boys JV team will scrimmage the girls team to allow them a speedier competition. Coach Enis and Miller coached together when he was the Lady Wave coach a few years ago.
Enis credits excellent parental support as of the keys to the Tupelo program. "I have to think we have the best booster club in Mississippi. It's kind of like a college team in a way." And it goes without saying that Tupelo has a great park and recreation department that is heavily involved in soccer. "It provides us with a great feeder program," Enis says. He also recognizes the select soccer as a contributing factor with the extra training and competition. But Enis says that most of the credit has to go to the boys and their dedication to playing and winning as a team.
The Golden Wave has their road marked out for them, and they are looking forward to chasing their dream of a state championship. And this weekend should be very telling as they rematch the Clinton Arrows on Friday. Clinton put Tupelo out in the playoffs last year. In their previous meeting this season the Golden Wave won 2-1 in a tight game with spirited play. Both teams have the rematch circled on their schedules and it looks to be nothing less than intense.
If you are in the Metro area you will have three chances this weekend to see the Tupelo Boys Soccer Team in action.
Tupelo Golden Wave Soccer Team Riding High
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