STARKVILLE -- Waiting to see how NCAA selection committees set national tournament brackets can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if your team is on the bubble. Mississippi State's 20th-ranked men's tennis team doesn't have to worry about making the tournament, but the Bulldogs hope the committee doesn't tax them for losing to the University of Florida in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament.
STARKVILLE -- The football offseason brought nothing but good news for Starkville Academy. The Volunteers gained 10 more players and will open spring practice Monday with 37 players. The addition of former Columbus High head coach Bubba Davis bolstered the conditioning program and gives Starkville Academy an experienced and successful defensive coach.
STARKVILLE -- Harrison Warren went 4-5 as the No. 1 singles player on Starkville Academy's tennis team this season. Even though he made tremendous strides as a player and won more matches in a single season than he had before, he was shocked when Meridian Community College offered him a scholarship.
STARKVILLE -- Ask any pitcher on Mississippi State's roster who has had the greatest impact on their success this season, and they'll all point to catcher Wes Thigpen.
Austin Braddock wasn't perfect on the mound Thursday afternoon in the Heritage Academy baseball team's 9-1 win against Jackson Academy. The senior right-hander gave up hits to start his first few innings. Yet it's how Braddock handled his pitches after those hits that made his performance a memorable one for Patriots fans at Trip Carson Field. Three days after his baseball team lost 10-0 at Jackson Academy, he returned the favor at home, scattering seven hits in six innings to help Heritage Academy secure the top seed in Class AAA, Division II by winning the first game of a doubleheader.
Landon Boyd grew up at Trojan Field. Not only did the future New Hope High School baseball player learn the ins and outs of the sport watching his brothers Lee and Russ at the park, he also enjoyed countless rides on the "gator," or the mower coaches used to drag the infield before and after games. Peyton Lee gleaned the same tradition-rich habits watching former Trojans, including his brother, Davis, who was a senior on the 2010 New Hope High baseball team.
Brandi Brantley and Anna Holley have spent their high school careers immersed in tradition. Their senior softball season started the same way: with another state title. The New Hope High School slow-pitch team won its fourth championship in a row, and second in a row in Class 5A, in October, closing an illustrious chapter in their career.
STARKVILLE -- Meridian Community College women's basketball coach Hilary Allen describes his team's fast-paced playing tempo as "chaotic." He feels he added two ideal fits for that system Thursday when Starkville High School seniors Courtney Moore and Chelsey Johnson-Weaver signed with MCC.
NEW YORK - The University of Alabama had a school-record four players selected in the first round of the 2011 NFL draft at Radio City Music Hall on Thursday evening. Junior Marcell Dareus was taken by the Buffalo Bills with the No. 3 overall pick, while junior wide receiver Julio Jones went to the Atlanta Falcons at No. 6. Senior offensive lineman James Carpenter went No. 25 to the Seattle Seahawks, and junior running back Mark Ingram was selected with the 28th pick of the first round by the New Orleans Saints.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- University of Alabama long snapper Carson Tinker was injured in the storms that bombarded Tuscaloosa and other parts of the state, forcing Auburn's national championship football team to reschedule a trip to the White House. The weather also led to cancellations of high school and college sporting events.
STARKVILLE -- Derek Sherrod had to wait until the final pick of the first round of the NFL Draft to hear is name called. Boy was it worth it.
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State's football program could reach significant milestones in this year's NFL draft. Four Bulldogs are projected to be drafted in the three-day event that starts at 7 tonight (ESPN), including All-America left tackle Derek Sherrod, who many analysts predict will be selected in the first round.
STARKVILLE -- Experience and knowledge of the game won't be a problem for Starkville Academy's new softball coach Kayla Mosley. The former University of Mississippi outfielder was announced Wednesday as Starkville Academy's varsity softball coach and assistant girls basketball coach.
WEST POINT -- Two weeks before the West Point High School baseball team earned its first playoff berth in a decade, coach Buddy Wyers watched his team continue to make mental errors that threatened to transform another promising season into just another losing campaign.
HAMILTON -- Parker Rye has tried to gain weight. He really has. Rye increased his eating habits, including a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before bedtime. During the fall, he lifted weights with his father at the local wellness center. Still, his metabolism is winning this competition, keeping his 5-foot-5 frame around 140 pounds
STARKVILLE -- Five members of the Mississippi State men's tennis team received All-Southeastern Conference honors, and coach Per Nilsson was named SEC Coach of the Year on Wednesday. Malte Stropp also was named SEC Freshman of the Year.
Money is usually on the mind of a professional football prospect who has a chance to be a first-round draft pick. The farther you slide down, the more money you could lose on your first contract. None of that fazes Mississippi State offensive tackle Derek Sherrod.
Jeffrey Cook didn't think the idea was crazy. After all, Hunter Mullis had just delivered a performance beyond his wildest expectations to help keep the Columbus High School baseball team's season alive.
About 21 years ago, Louis Sherrod looked at his son, Derek, and noticed something very different from other children. "He was an average-sized baby, but his chest was so big," Louis said. "It was like he had already been doing pushups or something."
Now the real fun begins. Judging from its performance Monday, the New Hope High School baseball team appears ready to make some noise. Taylor Stafford and Kameron Bryan hit home runs to back the pitching of Dillon Hawkins in a 16-1 victory against Jackson Lanier in game two of the opening-round Class 5A North State playoff series at Trojan Field.
1. New Hope baseball team repeats as state champion HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. The Dispatch's Large Schools All-Area Football team HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Shorter stresses team mentality with coaches, players HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. Simmons delivers dominating performance for Tigers HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. Mayberry provides exclamation point in New Hope sweep HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS