Phil Atkins couldn't have been prouder. Seeing your son accomplish a first is one thing, but watching him handle the moment with the class and dignity of a sportsman is another.
STARKVILLE -- Brooke McKee didn't have time to signal to the sideline for direction. The Mississippi State junior forward also wasn't able to communicate with teammate Mallory Eubanks before she moved to the far flag to take a corner kick.
The last week has been a whirlwind for Justin Atkins. Between being surprised at home by friends and doing a handful of radio and newspaper interviews, Atkins finally is getting time to savor the reality that he is a champion.
STARKVILLE -- A chance at redemption provided motivation for the Starkville Academy football team. The Lamar School's 40-0 victory against Starkville Academy last season ended the Volunteers' three-game winning streak to start the year and gave the players plenty to remember for the 2017 season.
Brent Harris has seen some of the best athletes Victory Christian Academy has had to offer in the last decade. From Landon Ellis, Tyler Jones, Marcus Sims, Anthony Sharp, or any others, Harris has had a unique vantage point as a supporter of the school, its boys basketball and baseball coach, and as a football official. On Friday, Harris experienced a first at a Victory Christian sporting event.
STARKVILLE -- MaKayla Waldner received an early birthday present Friday night. Well, the sophomore forward actually had a little work to do after receiving a pass from freshman forward A.K. Ward, but she didn't waste any time delivering the game-winning goal to lift the Mississippi State women's soccer team to a 1-0 victory against Stephen F. Austin in the season opener for both teams.
STARKVILLE -- In between seasons at Holmes Community College, Traver Jung went home to Greenville to be with Virginia Jung, his great-grandmother and the woman who raised him. On that day -- March 7, 2014 -- she was lying on the couch and asked Traver to grab the newspaper for her.
MACON -- Rodrigues Clark's 194-pound body might be better suited for 3-yard gains than 30-yard bursts. It doesn't matter to Clark because he is willing to take the short gains and collect first downs as long as it takes. He knows the big play is coming. The big plays came twice Friday night.
STEENS -- Everything that could have gone wrong for the Columbus Christian Academy football team in its season opener did Friday night. Big hits, cramps, turnovers, and confusion boiled over into sideline frustration against Porter's Chapel Academy, a program that had won just one game in the last two years.
The West Lowndes High School football team already had delivered a dominating defensive performance when junior cornerback Tray Lucious took things one step further. Lucious' interception capped West Lowndes' 14-0 victory against county rival Caledonia in the season opener for both teams Friday night at Panther Field.
MACON -- Losses are sometimes for the best, even if they get out of hand. After a 43-3 defeat to Starkville on Friday night, Noxubee County High School football coach Tyrone Shorter wanted his players, coaches, and fans to remember recent history.
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State women's basketball team will play nine games at Humphrey Coliseum and another game at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson as part of its 2017-18 non-conference schedule. The 15-game, pre-Southeastern Conference slate includes nine teams that earned postseason berths last season. Four of those teams advanced to the NCAA tournament, including an Oregon squad that will visit Starkville on Dec. 13. The Ducks advanced to the Elite Eight.
GRENADA -- Senior running back Dontae Gray topped the 200-yard mark with three touchdowns as the Heritage Academy football team beat Kirk Academy 46-20 in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools (MAIS) season opener Friday night.
Kris Pickle has a picture in his head that is going to take time to develop. The New Hope High School football coach doesn't have all of the pieces to the puzzle to complete that picture, but he believes it has the potential to be a powerful vision once it is finished.
WEST POINT -- West Point High School senior Chris Calvert plans to make the most of his final opportunity. Undervalued as one of the state's best running backs, Calvert missed more than half of last season recovering from concussion-like symptoms.
Ricky Kendrick is ready for round two. Kendrick will kick off his second stint as Caledonia High School football coach at 7 tonight when his team takes on West Lowndes in a battle of Lowndes County programs.
Chris LeBrun loves competition. When LeBrun started running 10 years ago, he immediately found something he loved. He soon found himself competing in longer and longer events, like the Boston Marathon and ultra marathons, which refer to any footrace longer than 26.2 miles.
STARKVILLE -- The demolition at Dudy Noble Field/Polk-DeMent Stadium is complete. The next phase will feature the construction of additions to Mississippi State's historic baseball venue.
WEST POINT -- Antrayvious Brownlee dreamed of the feeling ever since seventh grade.
1. MSU's Jung wears No. 3 to honor great-grandmother COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Victory Christian shows it has potential to have dominating D line HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Starkville Academy earns redemption against Lamar School HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. Gray leds Heritage Academy past Kirk Academy HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. Starkville's ground game too much for Noxubee County HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS