For most football teams, leadership is expected immediately from the quarterback. For Aberdeen High School, the dynamics made that even more important. With as many as six sophomores starting some games on offense, the Bulldogs had to rely on the savvy veteran leadership of Josh Williams almost every snap.
For New Hope High School girls basketball coach Laura Lee Holman, the switch came on at practice about two weeks ago. "The girls are buying in," Holman said. "They know what we can do. A couple of weeks ago, a couple of older players were showing the younger players what to do. There was a buy-in. You could see they were beginning to believe. Once you get the belief, that is a huge step forward." For the Lady Trojans, the next step is learning how to win.
STARKVILLE -- "The grind starts now."
PASADENA, Calif. -- Marcus Mariota and Oregon turned an avalanche of Florida State mistakes into a mountain of points and the Ducks rolled past the defending national champions 59-20 Thursday to turn the first College Football Playoff semifinal into a Rose Bowl rout.
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Mississippi State had lots of yards and too many missed chances in the Orange Bowl.
ATLANTA -- Bo Wallace spent far too much of his final game on his back, courtesy of the TCU pass rush.
STARKVILLE - Mississippi State's men's basketball team is in desperate need of a break.
STARKVILLE - Mississippi State's men's basketball team was looking for a tiny step forward. Instead, the Bulldogs took a gigantic leap backward.
Glenn Schmidt knows a little about what motivated Stan Hughey. Over the years, Schmidt's Starkville Academy girls basketball teams tangled many times with Hughey's Oak Hill Academy squads. Every time, Schmidt found Hughey's Lady Raiders well prepared, tenacious, and hungry for a win -- just like their coach. After the games, Schmidt and Hughey didn't need to talk for hours to catch up or to exchange stories because they took comfort in the fact that they shared a special bond only coaches can appreciate. That's why Schmidt was just one of the people saddened Sunday to learn of Hughey's death.
STARKVILLE -- The name-your-score portion of the Mississippi State women's basketball team's 2014-15 schedule is over. But that wasn't why coach Vic Schaefer looked forlorn following his No. 17 MSU's 83-26 victory against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Monday night before a crowd of 2,955 at Humphrey Coliseum.
List of Top 10 MSU Sports Stories for 2014
STARKVILLE -- For the first time in more than a month, Mississippi State's basketball team has a chance to establish a winning streak. A 70-47 victory against Jacksonville on Dec. 23 gave MSU (6-5) a chance to continue its winning ways at 7 tonight when it plays host to McNeese State.
STARKVILLE -- When it comes to selecting the top moment for Mississippi State sports in 2014, it could only be the time the football team spent ranked No. 1.
STARKVILLE -- Starkville High School sophomore center Kelsey Jones has always enjoyed scoring points. Now Jones is drawing the same sense of satisfaction from rebounds, blocking out, and getting assists. As Jones adds more dimensions to her game, the Lady Jackets are quickly becoming a complete team.
NEW ORLEANS -- Lane Kiffin was modest in his goals and complimentary about the team he'll be facing in the Sugar Bowl. He went on and on about how much he's learned from Nick Saban, while insisting it's no big deal when his boss yells at him. Very un-Kiffin-like, you might say.
NEW ORLEANS -- Alabama football coach Nick Saban and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart have fielded some of the most formidable, suffocating defenses modern college football has seen since the pair arrived in Tuscaloosa together in 2007. The 2014 Crimson Tide defense won't likely be remembered among them. There have already been too many blown coverages and too many yards piled up by opponents. Yet Smart still likes the way his unit has responded when its margin for error was thinnest.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Ricky Tarrant was hot in the first half when nobody else was. Tarrant outscored the UCLA men's basketball team before halftime and finished with a season-high 24 points to lead Alabama to a 56-50 victory Sunday night. He had 18 points at the half, one more than UCLA.
The Mississippi State softball team had made significant strides in Vann Stuedeman's first two seasons as head coach. The Bulldogs had made back-to-back NCAA regional appearances with a scattering of signature wins along the way. MSU then took its biggest stride to date April 13 when it defeated then-No. 2 Alabama 4-3 in a 10-inning Southeastern Conference thriller at the MSU Softball Field.
Top Local Sports Events for 2014
1. Westburg powers MSU past North Carolina COLLEGE SPORTS
3. Berkery adds former MLB pitcher Oswalt to staff at Starkville Academy HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS