Two coaches, two bloodline, one school, one goal

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - You don't have to wait until Super Bowl Sunday to see members of the same family chasing a championship. In fact, you need only look as far as Hattiesburg. For the first time in school history, both Sacred Heart High School soccer teams will play for state titles on Saturday morning.

And wouldn't you know it, with the "Harbaugh Bowl" looming on the same weekend, it's Joe Falla's Crusader boys, and his father "Papa's" Crusader girls.

"It's funny because somebody mentioned it several weeks ago after the Super Bowl had been decided-with the brothers-and somebody said, 'Man, how sweet would that be for a father-son going to the state championship at the same time,' recalled the younger Falla, with his father standing right next to him.

"I said we got a lot of road blocks to go through before that happens, and hey, what do you know. Here we are."

Joe Falla's team is playing in its fourth straight state title matchup, and is hoping to repeat as state champions. Papa's been coaching for over 25 years, and has seen his son mature since his days as a junior playing growing up in Louisiana.

"It's really not a surprise," he said, "Its just exciting to know that where he started and where he got the team to is just, to me, something to talk about." The Crusader girls are playing Pontotoc bright and early at 9:30 am in their first ever state championship, while his son's team will follow against Philadelphia at 11:30 am.

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