Sam Westmoreland’s impact on Tupelo football
Trent Hammond remembers Sam Westmoreland as a player full of joy. He was just a sophomore during Hammond’s final 2020 season as Tupelo football coach.
Westmoreland’s infectious smile continued as he became a benchmark for the Golden Wave.
Tupelo coach Ty Hardin viewed Westmoreland as a leader full of positivity.
Westmoreland continued his football career and brought his spark to Mississippi State.
Westmoreland’s infectious smile continued as he became a benchmark for the Golden Wave. Tupelo coach Ty Hardin viewed Westmoreland as a leader full of positivity. Westmoreland continued his football career and brought his spark to Mississippi State.
Westmoreland, a first-year offensive lineman for the Bulldogs, died Wednesday. He was 18 years old.
“Our hearts break today with the passing of Sam Westmoreland,” Hardin said in a statement. “Sam was a fantastic young man, a brother and a teammate. He was a leader and his positivity was like no other. His teammates and coaches saw Sam as a ray of sunshine with an infectious smile. He was even elected team captain his senior year.. His leadership and impact on our program will continue forever.
Capt. Brett Watson of the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Office told the Clarion Ledger that officials responded to a call at 11 a.m. Wednesday. Westmoreland was found dead upon arrival outside Blackjack Missionary Baptist Church, located about four miles from the MSU campus. No criminal act is suspected. No further details were provided due to an ongoing investigation.
“One of my memories of Sam is that he was always smiling,” Hammond said. “No matter what was happening in training or what. When he showed up at the stadium, he was always with a smile. He greeted you with a smile every day.
“It’s a tough day for Tupelo and for Mississippi State.”
Westmoreland helped the Golden Wave to back-to-back playoff appearances in 2019-20. He was also selected to the Northeast Mississippi Football Coaches Association All-Star Game as a senior, as well as MHSAA Class 6-Region 2 honors.