STEENS -- B.J. Shirley remembers how close the Columbus Christian football team was last season.
One more play. That's all the Rams needed to secure the program's first district title in 11-man football. Unfortunately, Deer Creek Academy prevented that play from happening and held on for a 28-26 victory.
Odds are Shirley and his teammates will think about that play on the three-hour bus ride to Arcola today prior to Columbus Christian's game against Deer Creek Academy at 7 tonight. The play will be fresh on the minds of the Rams because a victory tonight will help them gain revenge and earn that first district title nearly one year to the day later.
Randal Montgomery's message has remained positive throughout the ups and downs of his first season as football coach at Columbus High School.
Montgomery has had to work to change the mind-set of a program that never has had consistent success amidst the expectations that his success at Class 3A Hazlehurst High -- where he led the program to three consecutive state title games, winning one -- led some to believe he would be able to have similar success immediately at Class 6A Columbus.
Kris Pickle and the New Hope High School football team have turned the page.
MACON -- Coaches worry about everything.
The smiles were back at Heritage Academy after a week's hiatus.
At 5-foot-9, 140 pounds, Sam Taylor's name on a roster won't catch your eye if you're looking for a physical specimen.
"Don't be in a rush."
Kayla McKinion didn't hear the advice offered to her by one of the fans of the Neshoba Central slow-pitch softball team on Tuesday night. You couldn't blame the junior outfielder for being locked in. After all, the bases were loaded and a short right-field porch at Lady Trojan Field beckoned. The only thing McKinion had to do was be patient, pick out her pitch, and let the hours of practice and training help her do the rest.
STARKVILLE -- Martha Alwal doesn't like to talk about herself.
That's why you won't hear the 6-foot-4 center discussing how she earned first-team All-Southeastern Conference honors from the league coaches and The Associated Press last season after leading the team in scoring (14.9 points per game).
You also won't hear Alwal bragging about how she was named to the SEC's All-Defensive team for the second-straight year or how she shared its defensive player of the year award after finishing third in the league in rebounding (8.8 per game) and first in blocked shots (2.7).
Chelsey Ray knows how deadly quicksand can be.
An error can lead to another mistake and all of a sudden every member of the New Hope High School slow-pitch softball team has her head down. From there, look out because the dominoes start to fall in all of the wrong ways and, before they know it, the Lady Trojans are wondering what hit them.
WEST POINT -- Drew Riley is persistent.
The Oak Hill Academy junior running back understands the notion you stick with something until a team adjusts or stops you. But nearly three days after one of his best rushing efforts of his career, even Riley admits he would have liked coach Tony Stanford to have called a different running play, if only to add a little variety to what had the feeling of a Bill Murray-flavored evening in West Point.
The New Hope High School slow-pitch softball team couldn't have allowed itself to sink in the quicksand Saturday.
After suffering a 10-run loss to Warren Central in Game 1 of the best-of-three Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A/6A North State playoff series, New Hope could have thought things weren't meant to be and started to look forward to a long nap on a four-hour bus ride back to Columbus.
OXFORD -- Will Golsan looks good in yellow.
OXFORD -- Kris Pickle was frank earlier this week when he said his New Hope High School football team has nothing to lose when it faced Oxford in a pivotal Class 5A, Region 1 game.
The playoffs are still within reach for the Columbus High School and the Heritage Academy football teams.
That's the message Columbus coach Randal Montgomery and Heritage Academy coach Barrett Donahoe want their teams to heed at 7 tonight as they prepare to face Greenville and Leake Academy, respectively, in Mississippi High School Activities Association and Mississippi Association of Independent Schools action.
George Irby always knew Elbert Drungo Jr. could make an impact without saying a word.
STARKVILLE -- Jerica James has appreciated the meaning of the word responsibility ever since she was a freshman.
Kris Pickle understands not many people would have predicted his New Hope High School football team to be undefeated entering the ninth week of the 2014 season.
MACON -- "Finish."
HAMILTON -- Sprinters have one goal in mind: Get to their destination as quickly as possible.
Sometimes, though, the quickest -- or easiest -- route to paydirt isn't a straight line. You often see that in football, when running backs, blessed with the speed to burn or to juke, stretch plays east and west in an effort to get to the corner. If they get there, all they need to do is hit the accelerator and dance down the sidelines to the end zone.
The game was there for the taking.
Despite allowing a back-breaking touchdown in the final minute of the second quarter that dropped it in a 21-point hole at halftime, the Heritage Academy football team found a spark in the third quarter.
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