Lafayette football championship season to remember

Published 10:45 am Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Championships are worth more when you have to really work to get there.

Such was the case with the Lafayette Commodores 2016 football team.

In the beginning, it did not look like Lafayette would win a Class 4A title this year. The Commodores had a new head coach in Michael Fair and the team began the season with two losses, albeit against solid teams.

Email newsletter signup

But everything changed in Game 3, against Class 5A Oxford, Lafayette’s crosstown rival. Fittingly, perhaps, since Lafayette had not beaten Oxford since 2011, the Commodores surprised more than a few with a convincing 23-3 win over the Chargers.

Lafayette found a relentless running game, strengthened by opportunistic passing. Players like running back Jamarcus Quarles (269 yards in the Crosstown Classic) and quarterback Will Ard found a rhythm that matched well with a solid defense to lead the Commodores.

Once the team won against Oxford they would not lose again, marching through the rest of the schedule including the playoffs and the Class 4A title game against Poplarville.

“It’s hard to explain,” Lafayette head coach Michael Fair said. “We knew we were going to have a good team. We didn’t know how good. I thought we could scratch out some wins…”

Lafayette did more than that, proving by the end of the season to be one of Mississippi’s best teams in all classifications. Games against Senatobia (a 17-14 win) and Pontotoc (a 21-14 win in the playoffs semifinals) were nail-biters, but many of the games were never even in doubt.

The poised Commodores simply took care of business, as a team of destiny on a mission, as school spirit developed behind the team and Lafayette found unstoppable momentum.

“It’s just been a heck of a ride,” Ard said.

A heck of a ride indeed, since the win over Poplarville in the season’s finale earned Lafayette the Class 4A football championship of 2016.

Football championships have a way of engaging an entire school since, from the hot days of summer, everybody including cheerleaders to band members are working hard to perform at their very best.

And this season resulted in just that for Lafayette, delivering pride with the first win over Oxford and culminating in a championship shared by many.

We take a moment today to celebrate Lafayette’s Class 4A championship season, congratulating all who had a part in this memorable season.

David Magee is Publisher of The Oxford Eagle. You can contact him at