• John Macon Gillespie

SES Reflections: Daniel Bristow

Things will certainly look different for the Tupelo Golden Wave football team next Fall when big number three doesn’t line up behind center. That would be Daniel Bristow, who wrapped up his career a few weeks ago when Tupelo was defeated by Warren Central in the first round of the 6A playoffs.

After earning the starting job prior to the start of his 10th grade season, he never looked back. He guided the Wave to the 6A state championship that first year as a starter and led them to the playoffs each year as a starter. He leaves behind a void that stretches beyond his abilities. His presence and demeanor in the huddle and leadership will be missed next season and beyond.

After seeing Bristow play multiple times over the course of his three seasons as the starter, there was marked improvement even in the areas he was good at from the start such as his serene nature. He saw improvements during that time span, as well.

“I definitely had more confidence this year than two years ago. Getting to know the offense and being able to see plays develop sophomore and junior year really helped me this year,” He said.

More specifically, this season, he saw those leadership abilities I mentioned develop to where they are now. Mostly, he credits that to the teammates around him, who he also saw make improvements.

“I feel like my improvement in this year from last year is being more of a leader. A lot of the young guys had to step up and fill key roles on the team and I found myself being a guy that they would look up to,” He stated.

“I saw a lot of the young guys that got playing time improve at the beginning of division play after they had four games under their belts and knew what to expect. That’s when our team began to play to our potential,” Bristow continued.

Many of Tupelo’s young players emerged in a two-game span when Bristow missed action. Following his return he matched their hot play with some stellar performances of his own to make the Wave a tough out down the stretch. Bristow used the time he missed as learning experience.

“It was tough not being with them for the two games probably due to the fact that everything happened so suddenly. I can remember coach (John)Keith telling me before the Desoto Central game that not many times in life you get a second chance so make the most of it. That kind of hit home and stuck with me those last couple of games,” He explained.

Desoto Central was his first game back and he led his team to a come-from-behind victory in that game, as well as against Olive Branch down the stretch.

Football carries so many life lessons that can be learned by those who participate. For Bristow it taught him something he feels will carry on into his adult life.

“The one thing that I have learned from football is discipline. If I screwed up outside of football I knew that I’d be held accountable for my actions and I feel that learning that at a young age is valuable as you get older and get a job and have a family,” He said.

It’s hard for him to decide when reflecting on his many positive memories from his career, as you could imagine.

“The 2013 season is one I’ll never forget,” He states. “But if I had to choose a certain game it would be senior night against Olive Branch. Our playoff hopes depended on that game. Win and we were in. We kind of fell into a hole towards the third quarter and we made a 22-point comeback to win and go to playoffs.”

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