STARKVILLE -- Walker Mattox has always set big goals. The ability to set them and always to achieve more opened the door Thursday afternoon for the Starkville High School senior to sign a cross country scholarship with the University of North Alabama.
JACKSON -- The Oak Forest Academy (La.) football team's dream season started on opening night. "We beat a team we lost to opening night the year before," Oak Forest senior linebacker Collin Kent said. "For the seniors, we knew that meant the season was going to be different. We had worked so hard during the offseason. We saw that hard work pay off and everybody was excited."
STARKVILLE -- Starkville High School football coach Jamie Mitchell was happy to see the return of the Yellow Jackets defense last week. Thanks to a smash-mouth defense that left other teams helpless in its path, Starkville became the state's top-ranked team earlier this season. In the final two weeks of the regular season, though, Starkville had to overcome defensive deficiencies to beat Warren Central and Clinton to win the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A, Region 2 crown.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Levi Randolph scored 23 points, Ricky Tarrant added 18 and Shannon Hale finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds to lead Alabama to an 81-67 win against Southern Mississippi on Thursday night.
STARKVILLE - To hear Mississippi State defensive end Ryan Brown tell it, 2014 could go down as the Year of Preston Smith.
Recruiting is all about finding the right fit.
STARKVILLE -- Vic Schaefer knew the Mississippi State women's basketball team was going to have an adjustment period this season with five freshmen and a sophomore seeing her first action.
Kris Pickle needed something to help his team re-focus after a loss to Saltillo in the regular-season finale.
MACON -- You'll have to excuse the Noxubee County High School football team for having Lafayette on the brain last week.
So much for the nerves. Wells Davis and Hunter Sykes took care of those butterflies months ago when they made their verbal commitments to play baseball at South Alabama and Mississippi College, respectively. That's why Tuesday was a day to leave the anxiousness behind and to celebrate with the New Hope High School and Heritage Academy baseball standouts as they held signing ceremonies with friends and families to mark the next step in their athletic careers.
STARKVILLE -- Brian Boyer has had plenty of success against Southeastern Conference opponents in his time as women's basketball coach at Arkansas State.
STARKVILLE -- Ben Beckwith didn't know what to expect. A walk-on offensive lineman entering his junior season, Beckwith was going through his daily workout at Mississippi State's football facility one spring day in 2013. During the workout, though, Beckwith was told to report to MSU coach Dan Mullen's office. "I didn't know what it could be," Beckwith said. "It really caught me off guard. I wasn't expecting it. I didn't know if it was good news or bad news."
STARKVILLE -- Moments after the Mississippi State football team suffered its first loss of the season at Alabama, tailback Josh Robinson was asked if the Bulldogs still belonged in the top four of the College Football Playoff Committee's weekly rankings. "Definitely we do," Robinson said. "We slipped up today, but we should still be in the top four." Robinson was right.
Mississippi State offensive keys vs. Vanderbilt
Jeff Terrill is having a good time. After some minor health issues last season, Terrill is back in the full swing of things. He will lead Starkville Academy in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA, Division II state championship game Saturday against Oak Forest (La.) Academy.
WEST POINT -- With 16 football players working to transition to another season, the Oak Hill Academy boys basketball team has been looking for an offensive flow. The flow came in the nick of time Tuesday night.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Levi Randolph scored 19 points and Ricky Tarrant had 18 Monday night to help the Alabama men's basketball team hang on to beat Western Carolina 80-74 in the second round of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic at Coleman Coliseum. Jimmie Taylor added 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Shannon Hale had 10 points for Alabama (2-0).
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama football coach Nick Saban is enjoying this team for more reasons than big wins, talent and depth. He also likes the second-ranked Crimson Tide because they don't have so-called "energy vampires" sucking time away from the coaches and perhaps affecting the team's focus or chemistry.
STARKVILLE -- For the first time this season, the Mississippi State football team must respond to a loss. Nearly two days after a 25-20 loss at Alabama, MSU coach Dan Mullen was asked about his team's ability to bounce back after surrendering the No. 1 ranking in the country it held for more than a month.
STARKVILLE -- It was a tale of two halves. Mississippi State men's basketball coach Rick Ray loved the first half of his team's game against Mississippi Valley State on Monday night. Ray watched his Bulldogs shoot 69 percent from the field and score 58 points -- the most in his three-year tenure at the school. But Ray didn't like the second half in which MSU committed 19 of a season-high 26 turnovers.
1. Insell family readies for father-son matchup in Oxford COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Ole Miss shut out at Arkansas COLLEGE SPORTS
3. Starkville Academy falls in state championship game HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. MSU Notebook: Holmes making habit of finding end zone COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Starkville defense swarms all over Southaven HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS