BATESVILLE – It has been an exciting time for the South Panola team and fans as the Tigers prepare for the 5A State Championship game tonight in Jackson.
South Panola will be the home team when it takes on the War Eagles of Wayne County at 7:15 p.m. in Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium.
The undefeated Tigers earned its fifth berth to a state championship game by defeating Southaven in a rematch last Friday night, 21-10. Wayne County (13-1) earned its first ever trip with a rematch win over Oak Grove 28-21.
South Panola’s last trek to the state championship was in 1998 when the Tigers went 14-1 and downed Hattiesburg 45-17. Incidently, Wayne County’s only loss this season was to Hattiesburg, Oct. 25, 42-21.
Wayne County built on last year’s 9-3 season. The War Eagles entered the season No. 10 in the preseason polls and top of the 3-5A polls.
Wayne County slowly moved up the polls after teams before them fell by the wayside, except for South Panola. Wayne County jumped over South Panola into the No. 1 spot, September 10, after Brandon and Provine lost some games.
South Panola jumped into the No. 1 spot Oct. 29 after Wayne County’s one and only loss and remained there throughout the season. After Oct. 25, South Panola remained the only 5A team with an undefeated record. But rumors had already started to circulate about a South Panola/ Wayne County state championship matchup.
Wayne County High School, located in Waynesboro, is located just a few miles off the Alabama line in southeast Mississippi. War Eagles fan will travel approximately two hours to get to the game.
While writing up some plays and working on his game plan, South Panola head coach Ricky Woods took some time out of a very busy schedule and in a Wednesday morning interview spoke about the upcoming game.
Woods said, "It’s going to be a fantastic game. We will have to have our best effort."