If Junior Noel was stunned to learn the East Mississippi Community College soccer programs he coached were going to be suspended, imagine the surprise of the freshmen on the teams when they heard the news. Former Starkville High School forward Eduardo Fumo, who was a freshman on the EMCC men's soccer team in the fall, said he first learned of the school's decision to suspend the men's and women's soccer programs in a phone call from Brian Bennett, his former coach at Starkville High.
The East Mississippi Community College Board of Trustees' decision Monday to suspend the school's men's and women's soccer programs has surprised and confused many coaches and followers of the teams. The surprise is understandable given that EMCC coach Junior Noel, who coached the men's team for the past three years and the women's team the past two years, had no idea a move like that was going to be made until Tuesday morning, when he also was informed his contract would not be renewed.
Scott Stricklin's introduction as Mississippi State University's 16th athletics director had the feeling of a family reunion or an Easter Sunday gathering.
It's not a good time to be a rookie trying to earn a roster spot in the WNBA.
Former Mississippi State women's basketball standout Armelie Lumanu has learned that fact, and former teammates Chanel Mokango and Alexis Rack hope they don't suffer the same fate.
But Boris Lelchitski, the agent for all three players, said Mokango (with the Atlanta Dream) and Rack (with the San Antonio Silver Stars) are doing well and remain in competition for roster spots.
HAMILTON -- Support comes in all varieties.
In baseball, teammates can back their pitchers with solid defense, timely hitting, and a selfless approach.
The Hamilton High School baseball team is fortunate because it has five seniors who provide that support in every facet of the game.
Left-handed pitcher Dylan Earnest and outfielder Kevin McCartney probably are the two of Hamilton's most recognized players, but designated hitter Devin Hopper, shortstop Nathan Cockerham, and outfielder Cole Johnson have played integral roles in the Lions' success this season.
Survive and advance.
It sounds simple, but nothing is easy in high school athletics.
Even the most "outmanned" teams can give an opponent a test to remember.
Neshoba Central reminded the New Hope High School baseball team of that fact in the first round. The Rockets used stingy pitching and stout defense to stretch the Division 2, District 1 champions to three games before Blake Roberts' complete-game effort pushed the Trojans to the second round.
EUPORA -- Ten runs usually is enough for any fast-pitch softball team to win comfortably.
The way the Hamilton High School Lady Lions have been playing, scoring double-digit runs virtually guarantees a victory.
"If you would have told me we were going to score 10 runs I would have thought we would have won," Hamilton coach Jason Cobb said.
But funny things happen at playoff time.
Tony Montgomery loves East Mississippi Community College.
The former New Hope High School baseball standout played the sport at EMCC, spent eight years as an assistant baseball coach to head coach Bill Baldner, and the past four seasons as the Lions' head baseball coach.
Montgomery doesn't know why, but he said there is something about Scooba he enjoys.
STARKVILLE -- A familiar season-ending situation faces the Mississippi State softball team this weekend against national championship favorite Alabama.
Mississippi State (26-26, 7-15 Southeastern Conference) hopes to force its way into the SEC and NCAA tournaments, but can't afford repeat of last weekend's doubleheader loss to Florida.
Tournament scenarios for the SEC include MSU having to finish better than Ole Miss and Auburn, both of which are vying for the eighth and final spot. MSU holds the tiebreaker against Auburn, while Ole Miss holds the tiebreaker against MSU. However, Auburn is a half-game ahead of MSU entering the weekend.
Mississippi State will introduce Scott Stricklin as its 16th director of athletics at 2 p.m. today, capping the university's month-and-a-half long search to replace Greg Byrne.
Anna Holley does everything at game speed.
Whether she's hustling to second base to take infield grounders or she's catching her pitcher and popping the ball back to the circle, Holley helps set the tone for the New Hope High School fast-pitch softball team.
HAMILTON -- The pieces usually come together at this time of the season for the Hamilton High School fast-pitch softball team.
Led by seniors Katie Beth Dahlem, Lyndsey Williams, Shelby Savage, and Chauncia Willis, the Lady Lions are focused on adding another title to the slow-pitch crown they won in the fall.
Two pitchers have helped the South Lamar High School softball team keep opponents off stride at the plate.
The Lady Stallions hope the trend continues when they play in the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class A North-Central Regional Tournament.
Reclassification meant opportunity for the Noxubee County High School boys track and field team.
Coach Tyrone Shorter knew the Mississippi High School Activities Association's decision to add a sixth classification and the subsequent moves of Oxford and Pearl high schools from Class 4A to Class 5A would favor his program.
WEST POINT -- A program six years in the making finalized its first recruiting class Wednesday as East Mississippi Community College signed nine area student-athletes to rodeo scholarships.
When EMCC President Dr. Rick Young started in 2004, he envisioned a scholarship-based rodeo program that would lead to an equestrian program.
STARKVILLE — Clay Stringer can feel it. But Starkville Academy’s golfers must avoid another late hiccup to win a state championship. Today’s Mississippi Association of Independent School Class AAA state tournament at Jackson Country Club will tell if Stringer’s senior-driven squad can close on a championship level after finishing four points from the top at North State. Last week at Colonial Country Club’s Deerfield course, the Volunteers missed out on a chance for a second-straight North State championship.
Starkville Academy’s golfers must avoid another late hiccup to win a state championship. Today’s Mississippi Association of Independent School Class AAA state tournament at Jackson Country Club will tell if Stringer’s senior-driven squad can close on a championship level after finishing four points from the top at North State.
As a reserve outfielder on the Mississippi College baseball team, J’Marcus Brooks hasn’t gotten many opportunities to display his skills this season. But when the sophomore from Columbus has gotten to play, he’s made the most of his chances. The 5-foot-10, 173-pound fleet-footed Brooks has played in only 11 games this season for the Choctaws, but he’s produced when his name has been called.
STARKVILLE — The football building blocks are being laid at Starkville Academy. Jeff Terrill’s return to the prep ranks for the first time since 1993 brought him to a rebuilding project that has a dubious number hanging over the last two seasons. Fifteen straight losses and a winless 2009 campaign did more than evoke a coaching change — players defected.
Noxubee County School District Superintendent Kevin Jones said Tuesday that the district's school board accepted the resignation of former football coach M.C. Miller but didn't approve the hiring of a new football coach at its Monday meeting. Jones said the school board will meet two more times this month, with the next meeting scheduled for Monday. The hiring of Tyrone Shorter to replace Miller as Noxubee County High School football coach is expected to be on the agenda at one of those meetings. Shorter was an assistant coach for 12 or 13 years to Miller, who left Noxubee County High to take a job as head football coach at Harrison Central. Miller later reconsidered that opportunity and was hired to become the football coach at Louisville High School. He replaces Brad Peterson, who is the new football coach at Btrandon.
1. It's official: EMCC is No. 1 COLLEGE SPORTS
2. New Hope takes basketball pair from Caledonia HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Cowbells will be allowed in Liberty Bowl COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Jackson leads MSU's AP All-SEC picks COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Columbus basketball teams sweep Kemper County HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS