TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - Despite losing players like Marcus Murphy, Chris Calvert and Jason Brownlee, West Point is once again among the favorites to win the Class 5A state championship.
The Green Wave won state titles in 2016 and 2017.
Jake Chambless, who missed most of last season with an injury, returns to play quarterback.
"I feel like I'm better than last year, way better. Being with this team and then when I was hurt watching Marcus Murphy take over the team, it was pretty cool cause he's a really good player and I just learned a lot," Chambless said. "I've got a great quarterback coach, coach Morgan. He was a quarterback at Mississippi State. He taught me a lot."
Meanwhile, South Pontotoc has posted back-to-back winning seasons, but the Cougars are seeking their first playoff victory.
South Pontotoc returns fifteen starters, all of them seniors, including all-state performers like running back Eddie Ivy and tight end Brett Riley.
"When they were in the ninth grade, they looked 14 years old, 15 years old, and we kind of looked like a JV team a little bit, but these guys have persevered, they've hung in there," said South Pontotoc head coach Michael Bradley. "The last couple of years, we've been able to have some success, and we're looking for a good year this year."