Brent Harris knew this season could be special for the Victory Christian Academy baseball team. After watching many of the team’s younger players take their lumps, Harris watched as an assistant coach as those players slowly matured and gained confidence. This season, in his first as the Eagles’ head coach, Harris thought things could come together provided the upperclassmen delivered solid leadership.
Lee Boyd left the quick hook in the dugout this time — if only for another batter. That’s about as much margin for error as Blake Roberts had remaining when Boyd sprinted to the mound for a discussion with his starting pitcher in the top of the second inning Monday night.
Richard Christopher didn’t want to relive history. A year after a shoulder injury helped prevent him from winning a state title, the Heritage Academy senior realized a goal Saturday when he won the AAA shot put title at the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Overall State Championship at Mississippi College.
OXFORD — New Hope High School’s Kelli Petty won the 100 and 200 meters and the high jump Monday at the Class 5A-Region 1 meet at Oxford High School.
M.C Miller believes the Noxubee County High School football program has its man. Tonight, that man, Tyrone Shorter, is expected to take Miller’s place and become the head football coach at Noxubee County. Shorter’s hiring is expected to be approved at the Noxubee County School District School Board meeting. Shorter worked the past 12 years as an assistant coach to Miller, who left Noxubee County to accept the head football coaching job at Harrison Central. He reconsidered that decision last month and was hired as the head football coach at Louisville High School.
CLINTON –– Heritage Academy’s Richard Christopher and Starkville Academy’s Joseph Macgown and Will Goodwin won individual titles Saturday at the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Overall State Championship at Mississippi College. Christopher won the AAA shot put with a mark of 46 feet, 7 1/2 inches. Macgown won the AAA 3,200 meters with a time of 10 minutes, 58.49 seconds, while Goodwin won the AAA triple jump with a mark of 42-11 1/2.
CORINTH — Former Mississippi State track and field standout Tiffany McWilliams Dudley ran a time of 38 minutes, 41 seconds Saturday to win the Corinth Coca Cola 10-Kilometer Classic. McWilliams Dudley, 27, finished 13th overall in the race that featured more than 800 competitors. Amory’s Stephen Otey was the next highest finisher among local competitors. He was ninth in the 15- to 19-year-old age division (36th overall) with a time of 43:55.
STARKVILLE — Middle inning madness and potent Ole Miss offense clinched its weekend Southeastern Conference series with Mississippi State following a 12-10 win Saturday at Dudy Noble Field. Ole Miss (32-13, 13-7 SEC) was powered by a nine-run spree that spanned the fifth and sixth innings, while Mississippi State (20-22, 5-15) took advantage of a shaky outing from Ole Miss No. 2 pitcher Aaron Barrett. The Bulldogs, however, were dealt with a two-run gap in the bottom of the ninth and for the second-straight game had its own miscues in the field contribute to its demise.
PHILADELPHIA — The Neshoba Central High School baseball program welcomed Lee Boyd back home Saturday night. The Rockets enjoyed Boyd’s stay so much they’ll make a return trip to Lowndes County to see him again Monday. Robert Greer pitched a complete-game six-hitter and Neshoba Central capitalized on a two-run error for a 3-2 victory in game two of its best-of-three Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A opening-round playoff series.
STARKVILLE — After his team lost by the mercy rule in its postseason opener, Starkville coach Danny Carlisle thought the Yellow Jackets would respond with elimination staring them in the face. Instead the Jackets managed just two hits Friday in an 11-1 loss to Madison Central to be eliminated from the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A state playoffs. The scrappiness that saw Starkville make a fourth-inning rally on Thursday wasn’t there Friday as the Jackets were baffled by Madisson Central pitcher L.J. Hollins.
HAMILTON –– Good coaches aren’t afraid to adjust their strategy when things aren’t going according to plan. So it wasn’t surprising to see Hamilton High School coach Jason Cobb try something different Friday afternoon in the second game of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 2A fast-pitch softball playoffs. Leading one game in a best-of-three series with East Union and locked in a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the sixth, Cobb elected to play small ball en route to a 7-3 win.
Joseph Webster finished first individually to help Monroe County Bassmasters win team honors at the Mississippi Bass Federation State Tournament on Saturday. Webster weighed in nine bass that weighed 26.42 pounds during the two-day tournament on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway that helped Monroe County Bassmasters win with 49 bass that weighed 117.7 pounds. Webster weighed in four bass at 11.34 pounds on Friday and five bass at 15.08 pounds on Saturday, while Monroe County Bassmasters had 23 fish for 55.16 pounds the first day and 26 for 62.58 pounds the second.
STARKVILLE –– Friday brought mixed news for the Mississippi State men’s basketball program. MSU confirmed junior forward Romero Osby will transfer from the school his father attended, which will put the team at 13 scholarship players for next season. Following Osby’s announcement, Mississippi State got its first 2011 verbal commitment from Jackson Callaway guard Marquavius “Deville” Smith.
The pieces are finally assembled. Now Sharon Fanning-Otis and the Mississippi State women’s basketball coaching staff have some time to formulate a plan for the new pieces to the 2010-11 puzzle. The Lady Bulldogs finalized their recruiting class Friday by announcing the signing of 6-foot forward Elyseia Dunn of Jefferson College (Mo.). Dunn is the fifth junior college player to join the program, and the ninth member of the 2010 signing class. She joins Jefferson College (Mo.) teammates Porsha Porter and Ashley Brown, whose signings were announced earlier this week.
The New Hope High School fast-pitch softball team cruised into the second round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A playoffs with a sweep of Clarksdale. The Lady Trojans earned a 15-0 victory in three innings and then won by the same score in game two Friday at Lady Trojans Field to advance to the next round. “I am just looking forward to the next round,” New Hope coach Tabitha Beard said.
JACKSON –– The Heritage Academy golf team participated in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Association Class AAA North State golf tournament at Deerfield Country Club and finished second to Pillow Academy. Heritage Academy tied for first place with Pillow Academy at the end of 18 holes and was edged ty two strokes in a sudden death playoff to finish second. Caleb Westmoreland, of Heritage, tied for medalist in regulation play with a 79, but lost in the playoff to Lou Adams, of Pillow Academy.
CALEDONIA — One bad shot or hole can spell disaster for a golfer. After parring the first hole at the Class 4A Division 3, District 4 Tournament at River Birch Golf Club on April 19 in Amory, Zac Taylor found himself at a turning point early in the day. The Caledonia High School senior hooked his tee shot on No. 2 left out of bounds. He hit his next shot in the woods in a hazard. He went on to shoot a triple bogy eight while the rest of the competitors birdied the hole.
CALEDONIA — Ricky Ford covets versatility. Ford’s Northeast Mississippi Community College women’s basketball program loves to use a full-court pressing style of play. To do that, the veteran coach needs players who can play a variety of roles and are equally comfortable facing and with their backs to the basket. Suriah Blanch fits that mold, which is why she will take her game to Booneville in the fall. On Friday, the Caledonia High School senior forward celebrated her decision to sign a national letter of intent to play basketball at NEMCC.
EL PASO, Texas — University of Texas at El Paso men’s basketball coach Tim Floyd continued Thursday to add to his first recruiting class at the school by announcing the signing of center Rashanti Harris. The 6-foot-8, 240-pound Harris is regarded as a four-star recruit by Rivals.com. He was rated the No. 15 player in the country by HoopScoop, No. 17 by Scout.com, No. 26 by Rivals.com, and No. 37 by ESPN following a dominant prep career at New Hope High School. Scout.com also regarded Harris as the No. 2 center in the Class of 2008. Harris averaged 19.7 points, 15 rebounds, and 4.5 blocked shots as a senior, shooting 65 percent from the field. He was named Mr. Basketball in the state of Mississippi after leading New Hope High School to the 2008 Class 4A state title.
STARKVILLE — With three chances lost at Alabama, the Mississippi State baseball team hopes to avoid another disappointing weekend against a division opponent and claw back into the race for a Southeastern Conference tournament spot. Last weekend’s rain-affected series against the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa, Ala., saw the Bulldogs squander leads with single-inning meltdowns. The Bulldogs had a seven-run lead evaporate in Game 2 before losing a 4-1 lead in Game 3. Mississippi State coach John Cohen admits the team is frustrated with the nature of the losses, but as he explained Thursday, the Bulldogs (20-20, 5-13 SEC) have gone through the growing pains of playing the most freshmen in the conference.
1. Davis finds success in middle of NHHS order being himself HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. New Hope finds stroke in victory against Columbus HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. MSU hasn't named starting pitcher for Ole Miss tonight COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Talented players have helped Caledonia's Wilson reach milestone HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. Rea, Collins power MSU past Ole Miss COLLEGE SPORTS