STARKVILLE -- One of Starkville's native sons will spread holiday cheer - basketball style - this week. The Travis Outlaw Slam Dunk at The Hump, hosted by Starkville High, tips off with four games set for today in the Humphrey Coliseum on the Mississippi State University campus.
STARKVILLE -- Neither Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury nor Baylor coach Scott Drew have a guarantee about what the result will be when their teams meet tonight in Dallas. They do know it'll be fun however.
STARKVILLE - Mississippi State began what it's calling phase three of its Music City Bowl preparation Monday with its first practice in Nashville on the campus of Vanderbilt University.
STARKVILLE - Mississippi State University officials said Monday evening that junior center Renardo Sidney is being listed as "day to day" following the first practice back together since the Christmas holiday.
At football camps and combines, Columbus High School running back Damian Baker and Noxubee County wide receiver Terrence Barron have never worried about looking good on a scale or for a tape measure. For The Dispatch co-Offensive Players of the Year, it is about producing on the field and making opponents regret dismissing them at first glance.
STARKVILLE -- Fans will have trouble finding freshmen on the depth charts for the 2011 Music City Bowl. The leaders of the Mississippi State and Wake Forest University football teams refer to their programs as "developmental" entities that encourage 18- and 19-year-olds to begin their college careers doing something they might not have done: Stand on the sideline and watch.
STARKVILLE -- Jamie Mitchell and Jeff Terrill are responsible for putting high school football in the city of Starkville at the front of the line in the state of Mississippi.
Eric Rogers will remember a lot about his final football season at Starkville High School. His favorite moment was Monday mornings at school after a victory. It was a unique feeling he had been waiting three years to experience.
Billy Thomas and Immanuel Christian did such a good job organizing the school's first Christmas basketball tournament that this year's event came together quickly.
The smile lights up the gym. Marcus Sims dribbles the basketball to the corner of the court and launches a 3-pointer. He moves to greet a visitor before returning to the court to join Anthony Sharp in an impromptu game of one-on-one.
JACKSON -- The Mississippi State men's basketball team proved Thursday night in the state capital that size matters. Against a scrappy opponent in its annual trip to the Mississippi Coliseum, No. 18 MSU used its significant height and physical advantage to cruise to a 82-67 victory against Northwestern State.
ABERDEEN -- Chris Duncan has fully served his year -- and then some. What began as a one-year commitment to coach the Aberdeen High School football team has turned into a five-year gig. In that time, Duncan has helped re-build a program that won one game in the two previous seasons and has elevated it into a perennial state title contender.
MABEN -- Von Smith thought he could handle playing quarterback. It was just a matter of proving to others he could to the job. So after starting his youth football career as a wide receiver, Smith graduated to quarterback when he moved up to middle school ball. It didn't take him long to find his niche.
ABERDEEN -- Channing Ward is used to the attention. Ever since Ward arrived at Aberdeen High School, he attracted the interest of numerous colleges that fell in love with his potential at a variety of positions. This season, Ward played expanded roles on offense and defense in an attempt to help the Bulldogs make a run at a third-straight trip to Jackson, the site of the state title games.
STARKVILLE -- Baker Swedenburg earned a title this month that is a source of pride. It isn't All-American, All-Southeastern Conference or starting Division I punter. Swedenburg, a third-year sophomore punter, is a graduate of Mississippi State. He was one of eight members of the MSU football team who recently received his bachelor's degree.
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State men's basketball team's annual contest in the state's capital will be a homecoming for three players. No. 18 MSU (11-1) will hope to win its ninth straight game at Memorial Coliseum under coach Rick Stansbury when it takes on Northwestern State (7-5) at 7 tonight.
REFORM, Ala. -- Pickens County High School football coach Patrick Plott hopes he is home for good. In his first season in his second stint as coach of the PCHS football team, Plott led the Tornadoes to an 11-2 record and a second-place finish in Class 1A, Region 4. The season ended with a 38-36 loss at defending state champion Sweet Water in the third round of the playoffs.
REFORM, Ala. -- Time away from the sport taught Pickens County High School senior running back De'Marko Hall how much the game of football means to him. After missing his ninth and 10th grade years due to discipline issues, Hall returned to the field with a vengeance. This season, Hall ran for more than 1,400 yards, topped 1,200 yards receiving, and scored 43 all-purpose touchdowns. The touchdown total was 15 better than the previous school record.
ALICEVILLE, Ala. -- Aliceville High School senior middle linebacker Terry Mayhew admits he once was "an angry person." Mayhew credits new Aliceville coach Charles Moody with being the influence that helped him channel his emotion and energy and mature into a fine young man.
STARKVILLE -- Tyler Russell is learning how to play with pain in preparation for the 2011 Music City Bowl. Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen confirmed Monday that Russell has a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee and is expected to play against Wake Forest at 5:40 p.m. Dec. 30 (ESPN) in Nashville, Tenn.
2. Howland likes MSU's non-conference schedule COLLEGE SPORTS
3. Walters column: Prep football season coming closer LOCAL COLUMNS