St. Joseph Catholic School head football coach John Baker, the Delta Democrat-Times Football Coach of the Year, led the Fighting Irish to a 13-0 record and their third straight MAIS State Championship this season.
On Nov. 22, the Irish’s year culminated with a resounding 55-24 victory over Indianola Academy in the MAIS Class 3A State Championship Game.
“I cannot say enough about what these young men accomplished,” Coach Baker said. “What they achieved will not be soon forgotten.”
While the final game blowout may have turned into a coronation, making it to the finals was definitely not easy for Baker’s young men.
Despite having a target on their backs all year long, the Irish, to Baker’s credit, kept their poise in every big moment.
This was especially true in the Irish’s two biggest challenges of the season, a 50-41 victory against Pillow Academy on Oct. 11 and a 20-18 victory over Carroll Academy in the State Semifinals.
“It was the luck of the Irish,” Coach Baker said moments after St. Joe’s Mekhi Norris caught a key interception off a ricochet in the Pillow victory.
A little luck is something every championship needs, as well as a great coach.