SCOOBA -- When the crowd drew quiet and the East Mississippi Community College football team was set to come out of a timeout to start a drive from its 1-yard line, one voice could be heard over any other at Sullivan-Windham Field. EMCC band director Steve Stringer used a megaphone to tell his band members to "cue the fight song." On this night, it was good to have a megaphone handy.
SCOOBA -- East Mississippi Community College ninth-year football coach Buddy Stephens made a phone call looking for closure earlier in the week. Last season, EMCC and Mississippi Delta C.C. had an ugly benches-clearing brawl in the final game of the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) regular season.
STARKVILLE -- Looking to build on the program's 11th Southeastern Conference championship in 2016, Mississippi State baseball coach John Cohen announced Thursday that his team will play 20 fall intrasquad scrimmages at Dudy Noble Field starting Thursday, Oct. 13. All scrimmages are free and open to the public.
OXFORD -- Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze has been paying attention to Memphis' hot start. The Tigers might have a new coach and new quarterback this season, but Freeze says the 16th-ranked Rebels (2-2) will be tested when Memphis (3-0) comes to town on Saturday night.
STARKVILLE -- Johnathan Calvin has been a defensive lineman for most of his football career. The Mississippi State senior played at that position at Provine High School and at Murray High, where he played as a junior and as a senior. He then played defensive end at Copiah-Lincoln Community College. Calvin signed with MSU in July 2014 and played in all 13 games last season, drawing one start (Belk Bowl against North Carolina State).
CALEDONIA -- "There is no going back." Caledonia football coach Andy Crotwell couldn't have said it better when asked if his team's game against Houston at 7 tonight was any different than the first five this season.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen understands why Auburn coach Gus Malzahn relinquished his play-calling duties. Malzahn, who admitted his play calling hadn't been very good in Auburn's two losses, handed the duties over to offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee before his team defeated LSU 18-13 on Saturday. Lashlee will call the plays the rest of the season. Mullen, who was an offensive coordinator at Florida from 2005-08, has been calling the plays the last couple of seasons for MSU. But he said it's "tricky" to call plays and to be in charge of the entire team.
"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.
Columbus High School football coach Randal Montgomery has talked about the process of helping his team learn how to win games. As Montgomery has put his stamp on the program, the Falcons have become one of the most competitive teams in Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 6A play.
The anticipation has been building for Friday night's Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 6A, Region 1 showdown between third-ranked Tupelo and Columbus. Columbus opened the season with some of the highest expectations in program history. At the midway mark of the schedule, the Falcons are at 3-2. Columbus easily could be 5-0. Its losses were to Noxubee County and West Point by a combined five points. Tupelo is undefeated and will provide Columbus one of its biggest challenges to date. Columbus is 3-0 on the road and 0-2 at home this season. While this is one the state's marquee matchups, there will be several other good games Friday night.
STARKVILLE -- Connor Reinike and Jakoby Jones didn't know what to expect when they joined the Starkville High School football team last season. Reinike had transferred from Starkville Academy and Jones was getting used to life away from East Oktibbeha County High School. Jones became a Yellow Jacket after the Oktibbeha County School District and Starkville School District consolidated in the fall of 2015.
OXFORD -- The No. 16 Ole Miss football team already has played three nationally ranked teams -- Florida State, Alabama, and Georgia -- during a difficult September that has been a huge test for the Rebels. This weekend's matchup against the Memphis Tigers might seem a little boring by comparison. Think again.
One doesn't need a calendar to know how important the prep football games are this weekend. When the temperatures start dropping, it's a safe bet that region play has begun. The quest for playoff berths heats up as the weather cools down. We are barreling toward October with several teams having a lot on the table. Let's look at the worksheet on some of our playoff hopefuls:
STARKVILLE -- After four-straight games without a break, the Mississippi State football team is getting a chance to catch its breath this week. The Bulldogs (2-2, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) are in the middle of their only bye week of the season. MSU will play host to Auburn (2-2, 1-1) at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 8 (SEC Network) at Davis Wade Stadium.
When the ball is in the air, East Mississippi Community College sophomore wide receiver Damion Willis feels a flutter in his heart. "There is still nothing more exciting than running the perfect route and seeing the ball headed your way," Willis said. "It never gets old. When you are a receiver, you are not directly involved on every play. That puts the pressure on. When the ball is headed your way, you have to make a play."
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Born and raised in Mississippi, and with stops at Auburn and Kentucky on his resume, Scott Stricklin has spent more than two decades in the Southeastern Conference. He knows the league inside and out, and has witnessed pretty much everything during his career, so he understands the daunting task of following Jeremy Foley. He also welcomes the opportunity.
Having played with fellow senior Kylin Hill for virtually all of his football career, Columbus High School senior quarterback C.J. Gholar knows when he is on the verge of seeing something special. A Mississippi State commitment, Hill has turned in many special performances on the way to being considered one of the state's best running backs.
Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze had been patiently waiting for a complete game. It finally came Saturday when then-No. 23 Ole Miss defeated then-No. 12 Georgia 45-14 in a Southeastern Conference game at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. With the mental hurdle of playing for four quarters cleared, No. 16 Ole Miss (2-2) will face another huge challenge at 6 p.m. Saturday when it plays host to Memphis (3-0) in its Homecoming game. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2 or SEC Network Alternate.
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.
1. EMCC, Mississippi Delta leave past behind them COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Mullen balances calling plays, running team COLLEGE SPORTS
3. Columbus awaits region showdown vs. No. 3 Tupelo HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. Shorter hopes Noxubee County can follow 2015 path HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. No. 9 EMCC routs Mississippi Delta COLLEGE SPORTS