REFORM, Ala. -- When the final seconds ticked off in last season's third-round playoff loss to Sweet Water, the Pickens County High School players vowed to return.
STARKVILLE -- Carnecia Williams aims to please. After playing in only 69 minutes in her first two seasons at Mississippi State University, the 6-foot-3 redshirt sophomore forward plans to make every second count.
STARKVILLE -- Jamie Mitchell heard from people he trusted why he shouldn't take the job as head football coach at Starkville High School.
REFORM, Ala. -- When the season began, Pickens County High School football coach Patrick Plott knew Marion County would be the measuring stick for the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 1A ranks this season. Plott was dead on with that prediction.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- That running back duo in the Southeastern Conference championship game has been punishingly effective all season.
JACKSON -- Power of persuasion has a special meaning to David Fair Jr. It's not surprising considering how much Fair Jr. loves the game of football. After suffering his third knee injury and facing the possibility of having to give up the something that is such a big part of his life, Fair Jr. turned on the charm.
JACKSON -- Someone always is watching. Darrell Robinson knew his teammates were counting on him. His senior season was still months away, but Robinson wasn't going to waste any time. He knew backfield mate Ladarrell Hunt was on his way to Itawamba Community College, so he was going to have to shoulder an even bigger role in 2012 for the Noxubee County High School football team.
STARKVILLE -- For Aaron Gordon, transforming the Mississippi State University women's soccer program must seem like a been-there, done-that proposition. Gordon's experience revamping programs is one reason MSU selected the 43-year-old associate head coach from Texas Tech University to be its new women's soccer coach. Gordon's charge is to revive a program that has never won a Southeastern Conference tournament game or qualified for the NCAA tournament in its 17-year history.
STARKVILLE -- The opposite effect occurred once the Mississippi State University men's basketball program arrived home after losing three games at the Maui Invitational. Instead of being intimidated against a high-power program on a big stage, MSU returned to Starkville determined to be more aggressive against a state rival. The results was much more to coach Rick Ray's liking.
JACKSON -- Jamie Mitchell believes adversity can be a positive. That's a philosophy the Starkville High School football coach has had to espouse over and over and over again this season.
JACKSON -- Dylan Bradley knows the importance of team chemistry. As one of 23 seniors on the Noxubee County High School football team, Bradley has dreamed of playing an integral role in the Tigers' march to a state championship.
STARKVILLE -- Typically, there wouldn't be a lot of building blocks to take from losing three games in three days thousands of miles from home. Things are different for the 2012-13 Mississippi State women's basketball team.
ATHENS, Ga. -- The University of Alabama football team lost a bunch of stars to the NFL, yet it's hard to tell much difference. The Crimson Tide still has the nation's top-ranked defense.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The University of Alabama men's basketball team might have gotten an unintentional spark from a visiting coach named Knight. Rodney Cooper had 17 points and eight rebounds to lead short-handed Alabama to a 75-47 victory against Lamar University on Tuesday night, when the Crimson Tide followed one eruption from the bench with another on the court.
The University of Southern Mississippi fired football coach Ellis Johnson after one disastrous season that saw the program plummet from Conference USA champion to the worst record in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
JACKSON -- Bo Wallace was the backup quarterback at Arkansas State two years ago. Now he has been honored as the best college football player in Mississippi.
STARKVILLE -- Think before you act. This is the message Mississippi State University men's basketball coach Rick Ray is trying to impose on his young basketball team after what he called a "disappointing" winless experience last week at the Maui Invitational.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- No. 2 University of Alabama's once-deep receiving corps has been hit by its third big injury.
Starkville High School football coach Jamie Mitchell knew the ball was in the right place late in Friday night's North State Class 5A championship game.
STARKVILLE -- The differential diagnosis of the defense with the Mississippi State University football program isn't too complicated.
1. Injuries hit MSU's secondary hard COLLEGE SPORTS
2. New Hope's Crosson has successful summer on links HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Columbus will try to beat Noxubee County to go 2-0 HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. Clayburn will be at center of MSU's line COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Top teams face off in Week 2 LOCAL COLUMNS