Regardless of Thursday’s outcome, Mississippi Gulf Coast has eight local players that have already accomplished something in college they were never able to in high school by winning a state championship.
All part of MGCCC’s road to the national title game, paved with redemption for players like Austin Bolton, who played for the 4A crown with Poplarville back in 2016 and Brandon Tartavoulle who played for the like with St. Stanislaus in both 2014 and 2015 and still came up short. There’s also Moss Point alum Omni Wells who never got the chance to hoist up a gold ball despite hailing from a program that’s done it five times which is more than any other school on the Gulf Coast.
Now they all get the chance to up the ante with a natty. “The national championship, it’s the ultimate goal. For not just Mississippi Gulf Coast, but for every junior college in the country. And we have the chance to play for it, and it means a lot. So hopefully we can go out there and bring it on home to add what – that would be five – to this school,” said Wells.
Tartavoulle said, “Back in high school losing those two championships really left – when we lost the first one we thought yeah, we knew we were going to come back and go to the next one. But losing two of them in a row was just something nobody wants to do, nobody wants to go through. And it makes you feel like what could we have done more and what could we have done. But finally coming here, expecting to win a state championship and going to a national championship kind of like fills up my soul a little bit and takes away the black marks.”
The complete list of local schools represented on MGCCC’s state championship roster is Moss Point, Ocean Springs, Picayune, Poplarville, Stone, and St. Stanislaus.