Aubrey Boren is the new football coach at Tupelo Christian, which is entering its second season as a full varsity program. Boren, a Mantachie native and Bruce graduate, previously coached at Memphis’ Evangelical Christian School, where he was an assistant for 12 years.
I talked with Boren on Tuesday about public schools playing private schools. That wall came down in Mississippi this past year.
BL: What’s the level of competition like between public and private schools in Tennessee? Are private schools able to hold their own?
AB: Yes, sir. They compete well against public institutions. There are some very strong public institutions in the (Memphis) area. … The public institutions have a lot of numbers, so you’re competing against guys who have a lot to draw from.
BL: What were the advantages of getting to play schools like that?
AB: Any time you play stronger competition, it makes you stronger, and it gives you some credibility as a private institution sometimes. Someone might question whether your (state) championship was legitimate, and we’d always play teams like East High School, with a program that no one questions, and it establishes good credibility for your program.
BL: Talk about doing it here now. You’re going to play a couple of local public schools that are getting their programs going (Houlka and Wheeler). How much do you want to try to go up against that competition here?
AB: Down the road, I’d love to be able to compete against all the schools in the area that are close to our size. I’m familiar with the Mantachie program, I grew up there and went to elementary school at Mantachie. I know the coach at Mooreville (Kevin Austin), and I’d like to play some of those schools like that and just see where we stand for No. 1, to test ourselves, and then again to further the relationship.
One of the things I would love is to know we’re all about the same purpose – growing young men and educating. We just have a little niche in saying that we’re specializing in a Biblical world view over here, but we’re not in competition against a public institution at all.