STARKVILLE — Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen took the first step to rebuilding a depleted backfield Wednesday by signing Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College running back Vick Ballard. The Bulldogs also added Ballard’s Mississippi Gulf Coast teammate James Carmon, a 6-foot-7, 370-pound defensive tackle, Wednesday, the first day that junior college players could sign with four-year schools.
The 13th annual Joe Horne Columbus Christmas Invitational won’t be all about the boys. Not only will the field include talented local teams from Columbus, East Oktibbeha, Noxubee County, and Starkville, but Raymond and Greenville-Weston also will add even more star power. Raymond, which is ranked No. 1 in The Clarion Ledger’s Super 10, will face Columbus at 5:40 p.m. Friday. It then will take on Greenville-Weston, which is No. 2, are scheduled to play at 5:20 p.m. Saturday in the tail end of what figures to be a jam-packed holiday present of basketball.
STARKVILLE — Barry Stewart has a continuous motor. It was in high gear Wednesday night for the Mississippi State men’s basketball team. Not only did Stewart have to chase Wright State guard Troy Tabler around the court, but he also saved enough energy to lead the Bulldogs with a season-high 21 points in an 80-69 victory in front of a crowd of 4,721 at Humphrey Coliseum.
STARKVILLE — On one hand, the Mississippi State women’s basketball team will offer its first five games. Included in those victories was a 29-point drubbing of perennial power Maryland. On the other hand, the Lady Bulldogs would like to forget a three-game winless streak last month in the Virgin Islands. The three-day trip saw MSU lose to Texas, Rutgers, and Southern California, teams that will mirror the level of competition it will face in the Southeastern Conference starting Jan. 3. On Wednesday, coach Sharon Fanning-Otis’ team was somewhere in the middle.
STARKVILLE — Starkville Academy introduced Jeff Terrill as its next football coach at the school this morning. Terrill replaces Brian Sims, who resigned in November after two years as the Volunteers’ football coach.
Cam Newton is keeping his options open. The quarterback from Blinn (Junior) College in Texas has decided to delay his decision until early next week about where he’ll play his last two years of college football. Newton had scheduled a press conference for Tuesday to announce which four-year school he planned to attend, but those plans changed.
STARKVILLE — John Riek’s heavy accent can make him a little difficult to understand. But Mississippi State’s 7-foot-1 freshman center from Khartoum, Sudan, hopes his play on the basketball court tonight speaks clearly.
STARKVILLE — Armelie Lumanu can pack a stat sheet. Whether it is points, rebounds, assists, steals, or blocked shots, Lumanu has a variety of ways she can affect a game.
Torrance Beard has fond memories of Columbus High School. The former CHS boys basketball player played for current coach Sammy Smith as a senior for 1995-96. Back then, at 6-foot-2, 145 pounds, Beard played wherever Smith needed him, primarily at guard and forward.
STARKVILLE — The search didn’t last a month, but it appears Starkville Academy has found its man to lead the football program. Jeff Terrill, who has experience coaching on the junior college level, is expected to be introduced as the Volunteers’ new coach at 11 a.m. Thursday.
Sammy Smith loves a challenge. That’s part of the reason why he and the rest of the Columbus High School basketball coaches enjoy all of the details that go into playing host to one of the state’s best holiday tournaments.
The University of Kansas introduced Turner Gill as its new football coach Monday. Gill then introduced his two coordinators. One of them — Carl Torbush — couldn’t be there because he hadn’t arrived.
STARKVILLE — Ravern Johnson is picking up his game. The Mississippi State junior guard’s improved play is helping him earn awards. Johnson learned by text message Monday he had been named Southeastern Conference Player of the Week after his performances against DePaul and UCLA.
STARKVILLE — The game was well in hand, but Diamber Johnson knew there was still work to be done. The Mississippi State sophomore point guard handled the basketball as she moved to her left and motioned with her off hand for a teammate to set a screen at the left elbow, foul-line extended.
CARROLLTON, Ala. — Catherine Johnson had double the motivation. First, the 5-foot-7 senior point guard wanted to erase the memory of a 4-of-11 shooting effort from the free-throw line against Central Academy on Friday night.
It appears Carl Torbush’s stint as the defensive coordinator for the Mississippi State football team is over after only one season.
Consider it a lesson learned. Mississippi State women’s basketball coach Sharon Fanning-Otis believes that’s an ideal way to describe her team’s 72-68 victory Saturday at Louisiana Tech.
OXFORD — Jim Foster didn’t have an elaborate explanation. Late in the second half Sunday, the veteran Ohio State women’s basketball coach almost looked resigned to that fact that the University of Mississippi was going to upset his No. 9 Buckeyes. Then something unexpected happened.
STARKVILLE — Dan Mullen believes the foundation has been laid for Mississippi State football program. The former assistant coach at the University of Florida saw many positive signs in his first year as head coach of the Bulldogs, and he plans to build on them in the coming months. Record crowds at Davis Wade Stadium, the accomplishments of senior running back Anthony Dixon, the emergence of young players, and MSU’s season-ending 41-27 victory against the University of Mississippi encouraged Mullen.
CRAWFORD -- East Oktibbeha High School girls basketball coach Randy Brooks has accepted it will be a learning process for his team this season. That’s why a win like the one the Lady Titans got Saturday night put a smile on his face. It was almost not a happy situation. After jumping out to a 20-point lead in the first half of its game against rival West Oktibbeha High School, East Oktibbeha held on for a 52-51 victory.
1. Mullen's 2014 squad has homegrown flavor COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Walters, Oswalt back together to play catch HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Pigg, McKell will lead Starkville Academy girls soccer HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. New Hope's Davis excited about opportunity at South Alabama HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS