"Good football teams find a way to bounce back and get back on track, and that's what we're going to do. We have a good football team. It showed in the first two ballgames. The last two games we just kind of fell apart, but there is no quit in this team."
-- Noxubee County High School football coach Tyrone Shorter talking about his team on Sept. 15, 2015, as it entered Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 4A,
Region 4 play with a 2-4 record.
One game doesn't make a district season.
That's why Heritage Academy football coach Sean Harrison allowed his players to enjoy their victory against Starkville Academy last week for a few days before he asked his players to re-focus for their next game.
Playing against another team from Lowndes County should help the Patriots get back to work.
Mickey Allen finally can exhale.
Thanks to some timely assistance from the Columbus-Lowndes Recreation Authority (CLRA), Allen and Heritage Academy were able to pull off the 12-team, two-day Mississippi Association of Independent Schools North Class AAA tournament. The event started Saturday with 18 games at the Redbird A, B, and C fields at Propst Park and wrapped up Monday at Heritage Academy. Leake Academy beat Bayou Academy 10-0 to win the championship. Those two schools and North Delta Academy and Kirk Academy were the last four teams standing, so they will advance to the Overall Class AAA State tournament, which will be this weekend at Shiloh Park in Brandon.
Gas up the recreational vehicle.
Check to see which credit card is giving out free airline miles and sign up.
If you already have one of those credit cards, get ready to accumulate some frequent flier miles into free tickets.
You better be ready because those are some of the things you're going to have to do in November and December if you want to see the Mississippi State women's basketball team.
MACON -- Tyrone Shorter didn't want to be in this position again.
A year ago, Shorter could rely on an experienced group of players that was primed to play at the next level. With talented leaders like Jeffery Simmons, Qendarrion Barnett, Timorrius Conner, Deveon Ball, Bobby May and Ladaveon Smith, Shorter had confidence the Noxubee County football team could erase a 2-4 start and defend its Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 4A State title.
Kris Pickle is eager to start sorting things out.
Tyrone Shorter feels the same sense of urgency, but he has another week before games really start to count.
At 7 tonight, Pickle's New Hope High School football team will play host to Clarksdale in the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 5A, Region 1 opener. In Macon, Shorter's Noxubee County High Tigers will play host to Class 3A rival Kemper County in their final non-district match.
STARKVILLE -- Rivalry games typically don't need any added drama to make them more appealing.
That might be the case for the Heritage Academy-Starkville Academy matchup at 7 p.m. Friday in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools (MAIS) Class AAA, District 2 opener at J.E. Logan Field. But the Patriots' high-powered offense and the Volunteers' typically stingy defense adds a little spice to a rivalry that has seen the teams split the last 10 meetings.
STARKVILLE -- There was no question in Chase Nicholson's mind that the Starkville Academy football team was going to respond.
The only thing Nicholson didn't know was how Starkville Academy planned to bounce back following a 40-0 loss to Lamar School on Sept. 9.
David McFatrich is all about creating new habits.
In his first year as Mississippi State volleyball coach, McFatrich guided the Bulldogs to a 17-15 finish and their first winning record since 2006.
MSU capped its 2015 season with a victory against Ole Miss that gave the program its first back-to-back victories against the Rebels since 2009. The win heightened optimism that 2016 could be MSU's year to take the next step, to entertain thoughts of moving into the upper echelon of the Southeastern Conference, and to compete for its first bid to the NCAA tournament.
The next step for athletics at Mississippi University for Women is coming soon.
Being one of the best in the world has its perks.
For West Point's John Burris, the hard work that went into helping the United States' 35+ Water Ski Team win the gold medal at the 4th 35+ Water Ski World Championships this past weekend at the Sesena Water Ski & Wakeboard Complex in Toledo, Spain, gave him an opportunity few people realize.
In baseball, hitters are "seeing the ball well" when they're in a groove.
In basketball, shooters are "in the zone" when that feeling comes over them that they can't miss.
The Heritage Academy offensive linemen showed Friday night that even big boys up front in the trenches can get into a rhythm that makes an entire group feel like it can't do anything wrong.
Judging by the numbers, the Patriots came pretty close to realizing that goal.
CALEDONIA -- It's not the shoes.
STARKVILLE -- Sydney Passons isn't good at disguising her emotions.
That's because the Starkville Academy senior often is her worst critic on the soccer field. If she is a touch off on a pass or doesn't hit a shot just right, Passons is apt to show her frustration in a variety of ways. In addition to contorted facial countenances, Passons has a habit of using her hands to show her displeasure.
CALEDONIA -- Andy Crotwell and Kris Pickle have used bye weeks early in the 2016 season to gauge where their teams can improve.
At 7 tonight, the Caledonia and New Hope high school football coaches will get a chance to put what they have learned to the test when the Lowndes County rivals square off in Caledonia. WJEC-FM (106.5) will broadcast the game live.
STEENS -- The sight of another football player limping around the hallways at Columbus Christian Academy isn't a good sign.
But there RJ DeLoach was Wednesday, wearing a Tennessee Volunteers warmup jacket/top and moving slowly to class.
With starting quarterback Dawson Shaw already out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee, the thought of playing without DeLoach, an experienced two-way contributor, was a sobering thought for coach Greg Watkins, especially with the team's Mississippi Association of Independent Schools (MAIS) Class A-AA, District 2 opener against Winona Christian set for 7 p.m. Friday in Steens.
MACON -- Tyrone Shorter knows how this story plays out.
Regardless of classification, the Noxubee County High School football team hasn't shied away from playing the state's best teams. Since he replaced M.C. Miller as the head coach in 2010, Shorter has taken that notion to the next degree by filling the Tigers' schedule with local rivals -- West Point, Starkville, Columbus, New Hope -- that play in higher classifications in the Mississippi High School Activities Association -- as well as state powers like Meridian and Kemper County and regional powers from the states of Alabama and Texas.
WEST POINT -- Chris Craven doesn't have any problem leaving the fate of his football team in the hands of a kicker.
The confidence Craven has in Grayson Easterling is magnified because the 5-foot-11, 140-pound sophomore is in only his second year with the Oak Hill Academy varsity football team. Prior to Friday night, Easterling had attempted only one game-winning field goal. But Easterling's inexperience in last-second situations didn't factor into Craven's decision to send his sophomore into the game to attempt the game-winner against West Memphis Christian.
PHEBA -- Michael Dawkins and the Central Academy football team needed this one.
After falling victim to bigger and faster teams and a fair share of self-inflicted mistakes in their first three games, Dawkins and the Vikings hoped Friday night to establish some positive momentum against Hebron Christian in their Mississippi Association of Independent Schools (MAIS) Eight-Man, District 2 matchup.
STARKVILLE -- Mallory Eubanks and Tanya de Souza like what the Mississippi State women's soccer team has accomplished through six games.
While some might be surprised by the team's 4-2 start to the season, Eubanks, a junior forward, and de Souza, a junior goalkeeper, believe the results are a sign of bigger and better things to come for the Bulldogs.
Eubanks and de Souza hope the next positive step comes at 7 tonight when MSU plays host to No. 25 Arkansas in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams at the MSU Soccer Field.
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