STARKVILLE -- Chase Nicholson won't be in a hurry today.
The Starkville Academy football coach will begin his Thursday like every other day. He'll drink plenty of coffee and sweet tea to start the day. Nicholson will have lunch with some of the other coaches at the school and then he will prepare for another practice that will include a lot of the same things the Volunteers do every week.
CALEDONIA -- Samantha Brooks has to think for a few seconds.
Now in her 11th season as coach of the Caledonia High School volleyball team, Brooks needs a moment to reflect back on her first season as coach at the school. Brooks said earlier this year she had "some of the best times of my life" when she played volleyball at the Mississippi University for Women from 1996-2000, so she understands the role coaches can play in creating lifelong memories and opportunities for their student-athletes.
WEST POINT -- Chris Calvert isn't into bragging rights.
That doesn't mean the West Point High School senior running back doesn't enjoy a little friendly competition with backfield mates and classmates Marcus Murphy and Nate Montgomery.
CALEDONIA -- It's OK. Go ahead.
If members of the Caledonia High School volleyball team can say they're short and their overall height leaves a little be desired, what's stopping you from joining in and calling the Lady Confederates short, too?
Variety is Kenny Collier's specialty.
Believe the hype.
Anthony Carlyle is accustomed to the noise that accompanies events like Purple Madness, the season-opening spectacle for the Columbus High School basketball teams.
The Mississippi State women's basketball team will make history today before it plays a minute in the 2017-18 season.
That news shouldn't be surprising given MSU advanced to the national title game last season in its first appearance in the Final Four of the NCAA tournament.
Kyree Fields hoped Friday was the night.
After limping off the field after making a catch against Caledonia on Sept. 22, Fields did everything he could in the next two weeks to rehabilitate his sprained left ankle. Still, he wasn't sure if he would be at 100 percent last week against Leake Central.
Noah Methvin walked toward the Heritage Academy sideline and shook his head.
The Starkville Academy quarterback could have screamed in frustration. Methvin could have put his head down. Instead, the senior told himself he needed to do better after short-hopping a throw to Brady Richardson on second down, regrouped, and headed back to the huddle.
STARKVILLE -- Nicknames are a part of nearly every team.
Whether it's the players of the coaches that come up with them, the playful names often stick and become another part of someone's given name.
If Dontae Gray isn't careful, he is going to come up with a new statistic to chart on Friday nights.
In addition to quarterback hurries, pass breakups, and third-down conversions, high school football coaches routinely keep track of pancake blocks. The eye-catching maneuvers usually are reserved for offensive linemen, who often receive limited glory for their work in the trenches.
WEST POINT -- Re-focusing is something the West Point High School football team is used to doing.
This week, West Point and Oak Hill Academy will need to raise their intensity levels to meet similar challenges.
This one has been circled on the calendar since February.
The Starkville Academy and Heritage Academy football teams have recognized the importance of Friday, Oct. 13, for a long time. But neither squad has allowed the potential ramifications of that date to distract it from its business, which is why both teams enter their Mississippi Association of Independent Schools (MAIS) Class AAA, District 2 game at 7 p.m. Friday at C.L. Mitchell Field with a chance to win a district title.
Nate Parker admits he wasn't used to getting as hit as much as he did in the Columbus Christian Academy football team's first five games.
Eric Thornton doesn't anticipate his Columbus High School slow-pitch softball team to be fazed by the prospects of facing five-time state champion Neshoba Central at 5 p.m. today in the second round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class III State tournament.
STARKVILLE -- Sybil Roberson is used to attracting attention.
Roberson's speed and technical ability usually mean she sees multiple defenders trying to mark her or slow her down when she is attacking the goal.
The Starkville Academy girls soccer team learned Monday defending Roberson is quite a challenge.
MACON -- Kyziah Pruitt didn't mind the extra duty Friday night.
STARKVILLE -- Chase Nicholson senses something is hanging over the Starkville Academy football team.
As much as he tries to ignore it, Nicholson admits it is too big to dismiss. But Starkville Academy's game against archrival Heritage Academy on Friday, Oct. 13, won't have the same significance if his team doesn't take care of its business at 7 tonight when it goes on the road to take on Canton Academy in a Mississippi Association of Independent Schools (MAIS) Class AAA, District 2 game.
WEST POINT -- Chris Chambless has been a part of his fair share of blowouts through the years.
A year ago, the West Point High School football team won 10 games by three touchdowns or more en route to a Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 5A State title.
WEST POINT -- Shared enthusiasm and spirit has the Oak Hill Academy in position to create special memories.
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