SCOOBA -- After last season's disappointing ending, players and coaches at East Mississippi Community College have talked about the anticipation for a new season. That excitement rose a notch Monday when the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) ranked EMCC No. 1 in the nation in its preseason poll.
Game week finally has arrived for the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) and the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools (MAIS). All of the predictions are out and coaches are putting together game plans for their openers. As the countdown to kickoff winds down, let's look at the games that will help define this season.
Chase Washington has raced in half of the races at Magnolia Motor Speedway this season. But when he shows up, there's a 50 percent chance he'll win the NeSmith Crate Late Model feature race. After Washington started fifth in the Highway 45 Crate Late Model Throwdown on Saturday at Magnolia, he passed Jeremy Shaw for the lead on lap nine to win his third race at the track this season.
Marcus Wood might have used another hour to rave about Wyatt Roberts if given the opportunity. The East Mississippi Community College football offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach saw Roberts develop into a playmaker at quarterback the last two seasons. Although overshadowed by talented teammates at the position and not being as highly recruited as others, Roberts never gave in. That's why he was elated Sunday when he learned Roberts, who played at Louisville High School, joined the Mississippi State football team Sunday. A MSU team spokesperson confirmed the move.
STARKVILLE -- Johanna Hamblett admits the quizzical looks had an effect on her. Although she felt confident about her decision to travel more than 8,100 miles from New Zealand to Mississippi, Hamblett couldn't help notice the way friends reacted when she told them she was going to the United States to play soccer.
Noxubee County High School football coach Tyrone Shorter hasn't won three Mississippi High School Activities Association state championships by taking short cuts. When his team is down, Shorter finds a way to lift it up. When his players are up, Shorter reminds them nothing has been accomplished and that they are capable of much more.
STARKVILLE -- Kris Pickle didn't get to see everything he wanted in a two-quarter exhibition game. But the New Hope High School football coach saw a few promising things in a 29-8 victory against Morton High on Friday night in the New Hope Fall Jamboree at Davis Wade Stadium that give him hope.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen feels like there is a lot of work to do following his team's first scrimmage Thursday night at Davis Wade Stadium.
STARKVILLE -- Maurice Smitherman was approached with an opportunity in the summer when he arrived at Mississippi State. The redshirt freshman thought he was going to be used as a cornerback. But first-year defensive coordinator Peter Sirmon asked Smitherman if he would like to play cornerback and safety? Smitherman liked the idea and started to adjust to his new position.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen wasn't shocked. Before training camp started, Mullen said he wouldn't be surprised if one of his four quarterbacks decided to transfer. On Friday, that became a reality when Mullen announced sophomore Elijah Staley will transfer.
If it weren't for family members, many dirt track racers wouldn't compete each weekend. From funding to helping in the pits, it takes a lot of want-to from brothers, cousins, wives, and parents to make a team go. Family and friends often are the first ones drivers mention when they're asked about their accomplishments.
STARKVILLE -- In Dan Mullen's seven seasons leading the Mississippi State football program, 30 Bulldogs have played as freshmen. Some have played because of a lack of depth, while others have played because of their talent. The ability of Mullen and his coaching staff to develop talent has helped raise the profile of the program and pushed it to the fastest ascent from unranked to No. 1 in college football history, the winningest two-year stretch at the school, and a school-record six-straight bowl appearances.
MACON -- Tyrone Shorter had to run players away from the Noxubee County High School field house in the summer. That's a good sign for a coach who suffered key graduation losses from a group that helped the program win its first back-to-back state championships.
Veteran football coaches may downplay expectations for a standout player. Columbus High School football coach Randal Montgomery goes the other way with senior cornerback/strong safety Derrick Beckom.
Columbus High School senior Kylin Hill feels good about his future after giving a verbal commitment to Mississippi State earlier this summer.
STARKVILLE -- With an entirely new defensive staff, questions about how the Mississippi State football defense will perform this season is one of the most asked by Bulldog fans.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen did not call the police on former MSU running back Josh Robinson, according to a team spokesperson and MSU campus police.
Starkville Little League knew what to expect in their return trip to Waco, Texas, for the Southwest Regional of the Little League World Series.
Well, it's finally show time.
After the second game of the season, Columbus High School held an impromptu team meeting.
1. Erby makes big play despite hearing voice in his head HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. Prescott making quick impression in Cowboys' camp LOCAL SPORTS
3. Former Starkville High standout Davis suffers knee injury COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Noxubee County takes positives from season-opening loss HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS