If there was any team that could dethrone three time defending 5A State Champion West Point, it was the Picayune Maroon Tide.
Rolling right into its final game under the direction of longtime Head Coach Dodd Lee with a perfect 14-0 record and the state’s leading rusher.
The storybook ending was supposed to write itself, but not if the Green Wave had something to say about it.
Tide and Wave capping off Championship Weekend at USM’s MM Roberts Stadium, trying to send Coach Lee off into the sunset with his third gold ball and looking for the program’s first state crown since 2013.
The final from Hattiesburg is Green Wave 38, Maroon Tide 26 and that’s a career for Coach Lee, shaking hands for the last time as the head man at Picayune after 24 long years, comes that close to going out on top, but it just wasn’t meant to be. Players heartbroken, but no reason to hang their heads, what a ride it’s been.
West Point gets the four-peat while Coach Lee hangs it up as the ninth-winningest coach of all time in Magnolia State history. Picayune Left/Defensive Tackle Timothy Mickle said, “It’s heartbreaking. I mean we worked all year for this ever since the spring and it’s heartbreaking. It really is.”
Coach Lee said, “Well, they beat us doing what we beat people doing. They did it better than we did it. I’ve got to give them credit. They were tough. I mean you can’t be mentally tough and a great competitor and win four straight state championships.” (“Coach, how are you always going to remember the way your guys fought for you in your final season here?”)”Oh, I couldn’t ask any more out of them. Bless their heart. To get a lot, you’ve got to ask a lot. And our coaching staff did a great job of that. They asked a lot of those kids. I ask a lot of them, and we got it from them.”
“It’s been an amazing ride with Coach Lee and all my friends and my family, really. It’s just, I loved it. Playing every game, every snap with them. It’s just been the best experience of my life and I’ll remember it for the rest of my life.”