Hartfield Academy Triumphs in Historic Victory: Claims First-Ever 6A State Football Championship

History was made on November 18, 2023, as Hartfield Academy's football team secured its first-ever 6A State Championship, solidifying an undefeated season with a flawless 14-0 record. The championship game, against rival Jackson Prep, unfolded at Mississippi College, marking a significant milestone in the school's athletic history.
Under the leadership of Head Coach, Craig Bowman, who took leadership in July 2020, the team displayed exceptional skill, teamwork, and resilience throughout the season. Coach Bowman's record of 41 wins and 9 losses since joining the program attests to his dedication and the transformative impact he has had on the team. Let’s review a few stats that truly make this team the best of the best:

In talking with Coach Bowman after the win, he shared his favorite memories and reflections on the team's journey. Take a minute to read his responses and reflect on this incredible season:

1. Favorite Season Memory: Team Bonding
"Early in the season, we set aside a time for the team to swim, eat, and go fishing together. It was a time away from practice and season preparation that we could all just be together. I remember sitting in a rocking chair watching them all interact with each other, and I thought that this team has an opportunity to be really special. I have known since January that this team had talent, but in order to accomplish the goals we set, we had to love each other and trust each other."

2. Enjoyed Seeing Maturity Through Adversity:
"I am so proud of this team’s maturity. We define maturity as when doing what you have to do becomes doing what you want to do. This was most evident in the amount of adversity this team faced. Each time adversity hit, this team got closer to each other. No one wants to face tough times, but when it came, we looked to each other and trusted each other to get through it. We also had several players either make a decision to follow Christ or get baptized. This is why we do what we do as a coaching staff. We use football as a way to help put our players on the path of fulfilling their God-given purpose."

3. Message to Team, Fans, and Community:
"I took over this program in July of 2020, and from that moment, there were several things I wanted our players to understand and embrace. The first thing was our 'ALL IN' theme. We have a very specific order to be 'ALL IN.' First, we want them to be all in with their faith. Second, to be all in with their family. Then their academics, and finally with football. Championships are fun and bring a lot of excitement, but we are unwilling to compromise the message of Jesus Christ for the trophy given at the end of a season."

"The second thing I want our players to understand is that when you play for Hartfield, you are playing for a community of people. I believe we have one of the best game night atmospheres in the country. Our school may only be twelve years old, but it means so much to so many people. From the men and women that helped start our school, to the men and women that help set up tents on Friday, to all the elementary kids and parents that tailgate, and all the fans that watch and follow us on the livestream."

"I am so grateful for all the Hartfield football fans that got behind this team this year. Thank you for your prayers and all the texts and emails in support of us from the beginning to the end of the season. This is a historic year that will not be forgotten. I truly feel blessed to be able to lead this program, and it is a Championship for our entire community to feel a part of."

The Hartfield Academy community, players, and fans alike are celebrating this historic win, cherishing the memories of a season that will be remembered for years to come, leaving a mark on Hartfield’s legacy.
Hartfield Academy is fully accredited by both the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the MidSouth Association of Independent Schools (MAIS), the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and the Southern Association of independent Schools (SAIS).