/Calhoun City finally wins big one for Tripp

Calhoun City finally wins big one for Tripp

Then, there was another medal. It was a special one. It was draped over Tripp Macon’s jersey number68 as the Wildcats posed for a team photo after their win against the Bay Springs Bulldogs 22-8. There’s more to it than you might think. Macon was a sophomore in the 2014 Calhoun City football squad that lost the state championship to Bassfield on the same Scott Field turf. Perry Liles, Wildcats’ head coach, recalled the post-game ceremony. Liles stated, “We were lined up in order to congratulate Bassfield.” “Tripp came up and said to me, ‘Don’t worry Coach, we’ll get that trophy when you play here as seniors.'” Macon was 16 years old when he was killed in an automobile accident less than two months later. Liles stated, “You know that turned to be the last football game Tripp ever participated in.” Every day, I drive past the spot where he was murdered. It is a constant reminder that a great young man was there. This was him. He stated that he would get it as a senior, and so the kids went out tonight to do just that. “I’m so happy to them and Tripp’s families.” Taylor Lyles (6’4″, 275-pound senior player) was one of those who held Macon’s jersey up for an earlier photo. Lyles stated, “This was for Tripp.” He was our heartbeat this season. We all wear his number 68 helmets. This is all because of him. I’ll never forget him. We worked out together every day so that we could one day accomplish this.” Coach Liles and the people of Calhoun City wondered if such a thing would ever happen. Since 1989’s title game, the Wildcats have lost seven of their state championship games. Calhoun City had been 0-9 in title games prior to Friday night. Lyles was a coach in five state championship games, winning as many as me and you. Lyles stated, “I’m so proud of the players and my coach who have worked really, very hard to make it happen.” “It’s going to feel really good to have ‘State Champions” up on our dressing-room wall,” Lyles said. Bay Springs led 8-0 midway through the quarter on Jaylin’s five-yard run and Cederius Lee’s two-point conversion run. Calhoun City tied the game in the second quarter with Jadarius Parker scoring on a four yard run followed by the two-point conversion. The Wildcats won 15-1. Bay Springs was blanked in the second half. A swarming defense kept the Bulldogs down to 71 yards in the second half. Calhoun City only threw three passes, but all of them were completed, and one was a touchdown. You don’t have to throw passes when you play defense like Calhoun City. *** Rick Cleveland will be writing a column about the Pearl-Clinton State 6A championship game tonight.