Billy Thomas didn't know Terry Walters had retired from coaching when he called him earlier this summer. Thomas, the school board president at Columbus Christian School in Steens, called Walters to see if he would be interested in bringing his Hatley High School girls basketball team to a basketball camp in Steens. When Thomas discovered Walters no longer was coaching at Hatley High, the wheels started turning.
Wells Davis admits he didn't know anything about the South Alabama baseball program in June.
STARKVILLE -- For Winston Academy softball players, peace and harmony came when it was finally time to play a game. After a couple of difficult weeks of practice, Winston Academy earned a 15-11 victory against Starkville Academy Tuesday afternoon.
STARKVILLE -- Jay Hughes had to be there. He had to be there for his teammates, for his team, and for himself.
PHEBA -- Hebron Christian School fast-pitch softball coach Cass Tapley could only smile. Oak Hill Academy coach Nathan Ellis just shook his head. That's the difference between winning and losing.
WEST POINT -- Macy Walters didn't look like someone who was playing catcher for the first time Monday. Maybe it was muscle memory that helped the Heritage Academy junior recall when she and Kaitlyn Oswalt were in elementary school and they would play catch. Back then, Oswalt didn't throw nearly as hard as she does now as a junior on the Heritage Academy fast-pitch softball team. But the speed or the movement of Oswalt's arsenal didn't appear to faze Walters, as she framed and blocked pitches and moved like a veteran behind the plate in Heritage Academy's 8-5 victory against Oak Hill Academy in its season opener.
STARKVILLE -- Anna McKell and Janiece Pigg are ready for new perspectives. A year ago, a shoulder injury forced Pigg, a longtime goalkeeper, to the sidelines and pushed McKell, a forward, into an emergency replacement. This season, it's easy to read the smile on McKell's face as a sign Pigg is healthy and ready to play goalkeeper again for the Starkville Academy girls soccer team.
It's easy to recognize the excitement in Cass Tapley's voice. The start of a new season typically rekindles the enthusiasm and anticipation in every coach and player, but it is different for Tapley. In his second season back as coach of the Hebron Christian fast-pitch softball team, Tapley sees signs of potential in this year's team that resemble some of the school's best squads in recent memory.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen has been true to his word. From the moment he accepted the Mississippi State job nearly six years ago, Mullen has stressed the importance of building a championship program with in-state talent.
STARKVILLE -- Flying under the radar is nothing new to Benardrick McKinney. A two-star recruit from Rosa Fort High School in Tunica, McKinney had the size, speed, and athletic ability to play at any Division I school. But when only one came calling, McKinney took it in stride.
Softball practice at Heritage Academy is an all ages event.
After waiting several months for the Mississippi High School Activities Association to change venues for its high school football state championships, the move has been met with mixed reviews from area coaches.
Big money brings out the big guns.
For the eighth time in less than a week, Mississippi State has added another member to its prospective 2015 signing class.
Noxubee County High School football coach Tyrone Shorter will never be accused of taking shortcuts.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State coach Rick Ray doubled his win total in non-conference games during his second season in Starkville, improving from 5-7 in non-league games in 2012-13 to 10 non-conference wins in 2013-14.
WEST POINT -- When asked about his team's record a season ago, Oak Hill Academy softball coach Nathan Ellis just grins and shakes his head.
MACON -- Coach Sammy Lindsey hit a bunch of ground balls to a giddy group of sixth graders Wednesday afternoon.
Former New Hope High School basketball player D.J. Sanders remembers her ninth grade year.
STARKVILLE - Blair Schaefer feels like she got an ample amount of coaching during her two seasons as point guard for the Starkville High School girls basketball team.
1. Mullen's 2014 squad has homegrown flavor COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Walters, Oswalt back together to play catch HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. Pigg, McKell will lead Starkville Academy girls soccer HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS