Mary Virginia "Gigi" Fields has been playing tennis for only three years. But it takes only a few seconds before the Heritage Academy rising freshman offers an important qualifier. "(It has been) two years seriously," Fields said. That's not a lot of time in any sport, but Fields' use of "seriously" shows how her thinking toward the sport changed following a conversation with Heritage Academy tennis coach Billy Clark. The talk came prior to Fields' seventh-grade year, which was her first season on the team.
STARKVILLE -- Everything about Rhianwedd Price is calculated. Price, a sophomore distance runner for Mississippi State's track and field team, works out at the same time each day. She runs the same distance every time. She wears the same color socks for each race. She has a well-rehearsed plan of attack in each race, and knows when to be patient, when to attack, and when to make her move. So how did someone as collected and organized as Price make the most important decision of her life? Blindly, of course.
Morgan Turpen competed in six sprint car races before reaching what many would consider a crossroads. During a race at Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, Arkansas, in 2009, Turpen wrecked and was hospitalized for 18 days after busting a carotid artery in her neck. She was only 16. She'd started racing go-karts when she was 11 years old after watching her brother, Colt, race them several years prior. Racing was in her blood. She didn't want to do anything else, so she returned to her car.
DESTIN, Fla. -- Vanderbilt men's basketball coach Kevin Stallings immediately noticed four new faces when he first stepped into the Southeastern Conference meeting room this week. Stallings also noticed one familiar face was missing. With longtime Florida coach Billy Donovan leaving college for the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder earlier this month, Stallings is the new dean of SEC basketball coaches.
STARKVILLE -- Officially, Tuesday morning's event at Starkville High School was listed as an introductory news conference for the Yellow Jackets' new athletic director and football coach. For Milton Smith, it was a homecoming. Smith, a 1986 graduate of Starkville High who spent 13 seasons as football coach at Laurel High, was welcomed back as Starkville High's athletic director. He was introduced with Ricky Woods, the school's new football coach.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Clint Myers has swiftly fulfilled his promise to take the Auburn softball team to the Women's College World Series, while Alabama and Patrick Murphy are making a return trip. The rivals -- one a fast-rising program and other a more traditional power -- will make up a quarter of the eight-team field at the World Series, which will begin Thursday in Oklahoma City. No. 4 seed Auburn (54-9) and sixth-seeded Alabama (47-13) are on opposite sides of the bracket and wouldn't meet before the championship game.
STARKVILLE -- New Starkville High School football coach Ricky Woods sees his latest career stop ending in one of two ways. "They will either fire me or retire me," Woods said. While the comment was made in jest, Woods used his introductory news conference at the Starkville Athletic Center to bring home the point that this would be the last job of his highly decorated coaching career.
DESTIN, Fla. -- The Southeastern Conference wants a level playing field. The league that boasts seven consecutive football national championships, resides in some of the country's most fertile recruiting grounds, and has loads of history and fan support is complaining about being at a competitive disadvantage.
NEW YORK -- Former Mississippi State standout Jacob Lindgren made history Monday in his debut with the New York Yankees. When Lindgren relieved Nathan Eovaldi in the eighth inning of New York's 14-1 victory against the Kansas City Royals, the left-hander became one of only two Yankees to make their Major League Baseball debut within a year of being drafted. Hall of Fame football player Deion Sanders (1989) is the other.
OXFORD -- For the 20th time in program history, the Ole Miss baseball team has earned a berth in the NCAA tournament, the organization's selection committee announced Monday.
STARKVILLE -- It's now official.
STARKVILLE -- For Mississippi State's baseball team, the questions about next season's team started before MSU's disappointing 2014 season ended.
It's hard to be patient when you're traveling trying to find the right fit.
MILLPORT, Ala. -- Like a high-level ball player, Limited Late Model driver Jeremy Shaw was getting by on ability.
HOOVER, Ala. -- Will Haynie's leadoff homer in the bottom of the seventh inning helped Alabama beat Missouri 4-3 Thursday in a Southeastern Conference tournament elimination game.
Eric Crawford II had worked too hard in pursuit of his dream to play college baseball not to continue to believe.
STARKVILLE -- The transformation of Mississippi State's basketball program under new coach Ben Howland continues.
STARKVILLE -- Around the Starkville High School football program, the news traveled fast Thursday afternoon.
The Columbus Municipal School District is moving ahead with plans to fill several coaching vacancies at Columbus High School.
1. Starkville High's Carter gets offer from Mississippi State HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. Woolbright excited to coach volleyball at New Hope HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Howland leads strong group of new coaches in SEC COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Starkville Academy names Parks its new baseball coach HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. Daily grind has purpose for New Hope's Thomas HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS