Dan Mullen has heard the negative recruiting pitches against his football program. Wednesday was the Mississippi State University football coach's turn to respond.
STARKVILLE -- Across the country, hundreds of athletes will sign National Letters of Intent today in front of crowds that can't await to watch them play big-time college football. These 17- or 18-year-old student-athletes will be celebrated simply because they will sign a piece of paper.
STARKVILLE -- "One more win." As the wild postgame celebration ensued and Starkville High School boys soccer coach Brian Bennett received a Gatorade bath, he reminded his Yellow Jackets they had one more victory to get. Starkville moved one step of capturing the school's first state title in soccer after defeating Hernando 3-1 Tuesday in the Class 5A North State Class championship before a boisterous crowd at Yellow Jacket Stadium.
Consider Tuesday night a dress rehearsal. The performances that count will come Tuesday night. The New Hope High School basketball teams took positive steps toward third meetings against West Point with two victories in the Class 5A, Region 2, District 1 regular-season finale in Columbus.
STARKVILLE -- There is good news for the soccer fan who hasn't seen the Starkville Academy boys soccer team play: The Volunteers will close the regular season with six matches in eight days. The marathon sprint opened Tuesday afternoon with a 1-0 win against archrival Heritage Academy at the Starkville Sportsplex.
Senior Night was sweet for the Columbus High School basketball teams as they earned two victories Tuesday night. The girls dominated West Oktibbeha County High 71-18, while the boys edged the Timberwolves 49-43.
STARKVILLE -- Senior Night at Starkville High School on Tuesday night stirred a lot of emotions boys basketball coach Greg Carter knew his team would need to overcome. After a slow start, Starkville did just that in a 76-44 victory against Neshoba Central.
STARKVILLE -- Only one gift Tuesday night seemed appropriate for Starkville Academy girls basketball Glenn Schmidt to give her five seniors: a hug. After a round of a applause from the capacity crowd at Starkville Academy's gym, each of the seniors on the team taken out of the team's 67-32 victory against Heritage Academy.
STARKVILLE -- Danny Carlisle still feels the excitement as he prepares to kick off his 29th season as a high school baseball coach. "You always look forward to opening day," said Carlisle, who will lead the Starkville High School baseball team in practice today on the official start of the Mississippi High School Activities Association season. "The excitement is as great for this year and it was for my first year. The excitement is there. The enthusiasm is there. Whether it's the first practice or, later on, the first game, there is an anticipation for opening day like no other sport."
The Columbus United Soccer Club continues to grow and to help its players make inroads into the highest levels of soccer in the state of Mississippi. Ten Columbus United players recently validated that statement when they received invitations to the state's Olympic Development Training pool.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State University's football coaching staff is using its 2012 recruiting class to define a philosophy.
CALEDONIA -- Lindsey Burton and Nick May have shared a passion for soccer for many years. The Caledonia High School soccer standouts have used that love for the sport to push themselves each year closer and closer to their dreams. On Monday, they finally realized those goals when they signed scholarships to play soccer at Itawamba Community College.
STARKVILLE - Mississippi State men's basketball coach Rick Stansbury denied reports a decision has been made on the future of junior center Renardo Sidney. According to an SNY.tv unnamed source, Sidney will not return to MSU for his final year of eligibility and could pursue either a transfer or professional opportunities. Stansbury, who is in his 14th year season at MSU, said he has not had a conversation with the 6-foot-10 former McDonald's All-American selection out of high school.
STARKVILLE -- Starkville High sophomore Juan Salazar knows he has a couple of more chances to be on a state championship soccer team. However, for Salazar, now seems like as good a time as any to help bring the school its first-ever soccer state championship.
STARKVILLE -- Starkville High boys soccer coach Brian Bennett worked the phones Sunday afternoon trying to find out some information about Hernando. Bennett was thrilled to still have his down time filled with soccer.
STARKVILLE -- Statistics can be used to prove nearly every point. When it comes to the 2011-12 Mississippi State University women's basketball team, it's hard to ignore two statistical categories that have played significant roles through the first 20 games. Not only is MSU last in the Southeastern Conference in assists and assist-to-turnover ratio, but it also is 11th in rebounding margin. At first glance, the 41.6-41.5 total appears inconsequential. But when you consider only SEC games, the difference climbs to 44.1-36.4.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The safe bet was the University of Florida men's basketball team would be tired on the back half of a Thursday-Saturday turnaround. The common fan wouldn't have thought No. 14 Florida would have its legs after it rallied from a 16-point deficit to win at the University of Mississippi. All of those assumption were proved incorrect early and often Saturday as Florida dismantled No. 18 Mississippi State 69-57 for its 16th straight win in the O'Connell Center.
The Ridgeland High School girls soccer team didn't want any margin for error Saturday night. The Lady Titans made sure their season would continue with an onslaught that left the New Hope Lady Trojans with little room to do much of anything. Haley Britt and Shannon Locke each had three goals as Ridgeland rolled to a 10-0 victory against New Hope in a Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A North State second-round match.
OXFORD --Looking to avenge regular-season losses, the Oxford High School girls and the Starkville High boys soccer teams earned wins in the second round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A North State playoffs on Saturday. In the first of two games at Oxford's Bobby Holcomb Field, the Oxford girls controlled possession to upend Starkville 2-0. In the second game, the Starkville boys dominated the pace of play and smothered Oxford's attack in a 4-2 victory. Starkville's win allows it to play host to Hernando on Tuesday in the Class 5A North Half final, while the Oxford girls will hit the road to play Ridgeland.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The one perceived advantage the Mississippi State University men's basketball team had entering its game Saturday against the University of Florida was at power forward. That wasn't the case Saturday.
1. Lessons learned helped Coggin earn promotion COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Sykes' faith leads him to coach at Starkville Academy HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. Mangum wins SEC batting title COLLEGE SPORTS