STARKVILLE -- It's scary to think how good Chinwe Okorie can be if she is growing every day.
Sammy Smith knows the expectations are there this season for the Columbus High School boys basketball team.
Part of the anticipation for the Falcons revolves around the fact Smith has a long, athletic team with plenty of size. Those physical qualities make Smith excited for his team, too.
STARKVILLE -- Savannah Carter looks ready for business.
Decked out in her home white jersey, Carter's arms are crossed across her chest and her gaze is fixed forward in the picture that adorns the cover of the Mississippi State women's basketball team's 2014-15 media guide.
Cameron Whittle and Michael Ledbetter don't have to consult each other or rack their brains to find the answer.
When Whittle and Ledbetter are asked to remember the last time the Heritage Academy boys soccer team started a season 4-0, both players don't recall a time when it has happened. In fact, Whittle said he doesn't think it has happened -- until this season.
Victories against Washington School, Magnolia Heights, Starkville Academy, and Hillcrest Christian have Heritage Academy in unchartered waters as it prepares for the holiday break. Heritage Academy capped the opening month of the season Friday by scoring four goals in the second half to beat Hillcrest Christian 4-1.
STARKVILLE -- The frustration was evident in Vic Schaefer's voice and in his body language.
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State women's basketball team needs Dominique Dillingham on the court.
At 5-foot-9, Dillingham is far from the biggest Bulldog. She probably also wouldn't win a competition for the fastest or the quickest player on the team.
STARKVILLE -- Jerica James learned accountability as a sophomore.
STARKVILLE -- Tyrone Shorter was frustrated.
The Noxubee County High School football coach couldn't help think his team had let one slip away from a rival. After all, Noxubee County led West Point 19-14 at halftime and appeared to be positioned for a victory in one of its biggest games of the year.
OXFORD -- Nina Davis smiled and shook her head.
The Baylor sophomore forward never imagined she could have this much fun on a basketball court. It made it even more satisfying that a career-best effort came on her 20th birthday nearly 90 minutes from home and with plenty of friends and family on hand to watch.
Davis scored a career-high 43 points and grabbed nine rebounds Sunday to lead No. 11 Baylor to a 96-54 victory against Ole Miss before a crowd of 2,338 at Tad Smith Coliseum.
Kim Mulkey's resume includes nearly everything any player and/or coach could want.
Mulkey won two national championships as a player at Louisiana Tech (1981, 1982) and won gold medals as a member of the United States' team in the 1983 Pan American Games and at the 1984 Olympics.
CALEDONIA -- Robert Mims set it all in motion.
By the time it officially ended Friday morning, Northwest Mississippi Community College had gained four members of the Caledonia High School soccer program.
CALEDONIA -- Hope Burton and Zoe Saraiva are different soccer players than their sisters.
Caledonia High School girls soccer coach Jason Forrester is confident of that. In fact, he laughed when he was told Burton and Saraiva probably would like that their coach said that about them.
Chris Chain didn't even consider checking the qualifying times for the Speedo Winter Junior National Championships.
Ladd Chain was just like his father. Instead of looking at the short-course (yards) standards for the winter meet, Ladd first examined the long-course (meters) times and saw he had just missed qualifying for the meet.
STARKVILLE -- Timorrius Conner heard the talk all week.
The Noxubee County High School junior quarterback couldn't avoid it. After all, St. Stanislaus, the opponent in the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 4A state title game, had scored 651 points and had eclipsed the 40-point mark 11 times. Sophomore quarterback Myles Brennan led the high-scoring attack with 5,502 passing yards and 61 touchdowns.
Conner shrugged all of those numbers off. Coming off a sophomore season in which he threw four touchdowns and had 12 interceptions, Conner never was one to dwell on numbers.
Just like the famous Van Morrison song said, Matt Insell knew his team would have days like the one it had Thursday night.
The Ole Miss women's basketball team shot 24.3 percent in the first half and trailed Western Kentucky by 24 points. The Rebels played much better in the second half, but the first 20 minutes helped set the stage for a 98-69 loss at E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
MACON -- Tyrone Shorter has been a part of plenty of Noxubee County High School football teams that have been able to produce fireworks.
Cayden Upton has noticed the difference in practice this week.
STARKVILLE -- It hasn't long for LaKaris Salter to gain the support of the fans at Humphrey Coliseum.
Whether it has been spin moves, deft passes, or potential layups of breakaways, the freshman has dazzled Mississippi State women's basketball fans with her offensive skills.
MACON -- Timorrius Conner knows he has come a long way.
More than a feeling, all the Noxubee County High School junior quarterback has to do is compare the statistics from his sophomore season to his junior campaign.
There is no comparison.
Michael Lotief's job is to identify potential.
In 12 seasons as co-head coach or coach of the University of Louisiana Lafayette softball program, Lotief has advanced to the NCAA tournament every year. In the process, Lotief has compiled a 596-147-1 (.801) record, so he's accustomed to identifying elite prospects and developing their skills at Division I's highest level.
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