SCOOBA -- On the strength of back-to-back national tournament appearances, the East Mississippi Community College men's basketball team has earned a No. 7 ranking in the 2011-12 NJCAA Preseason Top 20 national poll, as announced Thursday.
Ray Weeks is counting on two hours of hard work to erase a decade of bad memories tonight. That's when Weeks hopes his Hamilton High School football team will be able to secure a home playoff game with a victory at East Webster.
Sometimes it's about survival. Entering the season with a freshman quarterback and five sophomore starters on offense, Aberdeen High School football coach Chris Duncan felt his Bulldogs would have a chance to play for a league championship if they could just make it to the Class 3A, Region 2 portion of their schedule.
The show must go on for the Aliceville High School football team. Aliceville will play with heavy hearts at 7 tonight when it takes on Northside at Memorial Stadium in a Class 3A, Region 4 game.
CLINTON -- The "main event" will kick off at 7 tonight with a bang. Instead of downplaying the importance of their C Spire Wireless "Bright Lights Football" matchup, Louisville and Noxubee County head coaches M.C. Miller and Tyrone Shorter admit what everyone has been thinking for nearly the past year: It is a big game.
When it comes to Class 5A, Region 1 football, West Point High School knows how to be real defensive. Not only has West Point won back-to-back Class 5A state championships, it also has won all 18 region games it has played in Class 5A since reclassification moved the school up from Class 4A in the fall of 2009.
STARKVILLE -- This is the atmosphere and moment Skylar Rosson came to Mississippi State to create. The stakes for the women's soccer team regular-season finale against the University of Kentucky at 7 tonight also have kept her motivated through two knee surgeries.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State University lost one of its favorite graduates Tuesday when former football letterman and National Football League veteran Kent Hull died Tuesday afternoon. School officials announced Hull's death, but the cause wasn't known. Funeral arrangements haven't been announced.
CLINTON -- Legend isn't a word that is used casually. It carries a history with it that evokes exceptional moments and years spent toiling to build something memorable. It also earns anyone lucky enough to earn that distinction special favors, like rides to news conferences to talk about football. At first glance Monday, it might have been unusual to see Noxubee County High School football coach Tyrone Shorter and Louisville High coach M.C. Miller riding in the same car to a gathering at the Mississippi High School Activities Association office to discuss their C Spire Wireless "Bright Lights Football" game at 7 p.m. Thursday in Macon.
The stakes are always high when West Oktibbeha County and East Oktibbeha County high schools clash in athletics. The annual battle for bragging rights and the Superintendent's Cup at 7 p.m. Friday in Maben will have added playoff significance in the Class 1A, Region 3 race.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen said Monday the play of his quarterbacks in practice will dictate who will start in games. In a radio interview with WHBQ in Memphis, Mullen refused to name his starter at quarterback for MSU's game at 6 p.m. Oct. 29 at the University of Kentucky.
CLINTON -- Maybe now people in Noxubee County will believe Deloria Stewart. If not, the Noxubee County High School athletic director might have to sprinkle some pixie dust through Macon, Brooksville, and Shuqualak to convince them their small town is about to be invaded.
Anthony Sharp wasn't convinced. After all, Bryer Bolton scored a touchdown so he had to be OK. Right?
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State baseball team now has verbal commitments from two of the state's best high school juniors. Tri-County Academy right-handed pitcher Derek Martin confirmed to The Dispatch on Sunday afternoon he called MSU coach John Cohen to give a verbal commitment to M
OXFORD -- The astonishing free fall of the University of Mississippi's football program is reaching historic levels. If the Rebels (2-4, 0-3 Southeastern Conference) can't figure out a way to upset No. 10 Arkansas (5-1, 1-1) on Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, they'll extend their SEC losing streak to 10 games. That has never happened in the program's 79 years in the league.
Mississippi defensive end Wayne Dorsey and cornerback Marcus Temple are out for the season after getting injured in Saturday's 52-7 loss to No. 2 Alabama.
STARKVILLE -- Goalkeepers remember crooked numbers. Charged with keeping as clean a sheet as possible, goalkeepers take it a little more personally when an opponent scores more than one or two goals in a match.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen preaches to his team every day to fight for that inch. MSU's 14-12 loss to the No. 15 University of South Carolina on Saturday was a matter of six inches -- the height difference between wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey and MSU defensive back Corey Broomfield.
STARKVILLE -- For the first time this season, Mississippi State defensive tackle tandem Fletcher Cox and Josh Boyd dominated the line of scrimmage. Cox and Boyd, who had been nominated as Southeastern Conference second-team selections, combined for 13 tackles, two and a half sacks, and four and a half tackles for loss Saturday in a 14-12 loss to the No. 15 University of South Carolina.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State sophomore quarterback Tyler Russell provided a spark Saturday afternoon. However, the spark wasn't enough to put the Bulldogs in the win column for the first time this season in the Southeastern Conference. MSU couldn't make a fourth-quarter lead hold up, falling 14-12 to No. 15 South Carolina at Davis Wade Stadium.
2. Howland likes MSU's non-conference schedule COLLEGE SPORTS
3. Walters column: Prep football season coming closer LOCAL COLUMNS