The Junior Sunbelt Classic will honor one of its founding fathers in June when former New Hope High School baseball coach Stacy Hester is inducted to the National Sunbelt Classic Hall of Fame.
OXFORD -- Less than a week ago after a particularly disappointing practice, Mississippi linebacker D.T. Shackelford was among the team's most outspoken players, pushing his teammates to raise their performance. The coaches weren't surprised. Houston Nutt called him one of the unquestioned team leaders. Defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix marveled at how a still relatively young player could command so much respect. But now that leadership almost certainly will be lost for the upcoming season. Shackelford, a 6-foot-1, 244-pound junior, has a torn ACL in his right knee and will be out six to eight months.
STARKVILLE -- Changes are on the horizon for the Mississippi State baseball team's pitching rotation. MSU coach John Cohen has been encouraged by the solid innings junior Nick Routt has provided since sliding into the Sunday role, but ultra-talented junior Devin Jones has faltered as the Friday starter in league play. Cohen said Monday he and his staff have discussed the possibility of bumping Routt to Saturday and current Saturday starter Chris Stratton to Friday. The moves are being contemplated in an effort to protect the bullpen, which is lauded as the strength of the team.
Taylor Stafford leads the New Hope High School baseball team this season with a .397 batting average. New Hope coach Lee Boyd said Stafford's work in center field is equally impressive. The freshman (4-2, four saves) also has excelled on the mound and shown an ability to protect leads. Good job, Taylor. Now go get the balls.
Relentless is great way for a coach to describe a player. Tyler Aldridge has earned that moniker from East Mississippi Community College baseball coach because he is living up to standards higher than he set for himself.
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State baseball team's struggles with runners in scoring position continued Sunday in a 3-1 loss to the No. 4 University of Florida in the final game of a three-game Southeastern Conference series. MSU (21-11, 5-7 SEC) was 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position Sunday, and 3-for-21 for the weekend.
It's not easy to be patient when you're the center of attention. But Nashedra Barry wanted to make a change, so she knew she needed to take things slowly.
STARKVILLE -- The name says it all. Dylan Favre spent his first season as a Mississippi State quarterback tucked behind Chris Relf and Tyler Russell.
STARKVILLE -- For the second straight day, a team's leading pitcher in the Mississippi State-Florida series was chased far earlier than expected.
This time, New Hope High School senior Zac Nagy meant to swing. One day after his bloop single drove in two runs against Saltillo, Nagy helped seal a 17-7 non-district win against Columbus High on Saturday afternoon with his first home run of the season.
CALEDONIA -- Brandon Fikes is far from intimidating on the mound. His stature more closely resembles a pinch runner than a starting pitcher for one of the state's perennial baseball powers. Then he throws his fastball -- far from the fastest, but it gets where it needs to be.
The Mississippi State football team's freshmen are are eager for their first appearance at Davis Wade Stadium this Saturday during the Maroon-White Spring Game.
STARKVILLE -- John Cohen knows his Mississippi State baseball team will face a challenge at 6:30 tonight when it kicks off a three-game weekend series against the University of Florida
STARKVILLE -- It's a good sign when a team has its best performance of the season in the heart of division play. Columbus High School fast-pitch softball coach Rusty Greene left Starkville a happy man after watching the Lady Falcons beat Starkville High 7-0 on Thursday.
STARKVILLE -- Through the largest private gift in the history of Mississippi State University athletics, the football team will take a major step forward in its ability to compete in the country's top conference. On Wednesday, MSU announced a $12 million gift from the Seal Family Foundation of Gulfport to help fund a football facility that will house a new weight room, coaches' offices, and treatment rooms. The facility will be adjacent to MSU's practice fields on campus.
Change is a big part of being a professional athlete. The ones who best adapt to new situations and adjust their temperaments to fit new or bigger roles often can carve out long careers. Jarvis Gunter hopes he is on the path to realizing that goal.
STARKVILLE -- With the No. 4 University of Florida baseball team coming to town for Super Bulldog Weekend, it helps to have some momentum. Mississippi State overcame a two-run deficit to defeat No. 14 Southern Miss 5-4 on Tuesday in Pearl. The victory helped ease the sting of a lost weekend at Georgia in which MSU was swept in a three-game Southeastern Conference series for the first time this season.
STARKVILLE -- Alvaro Pichardo's college recruitment officially ended Wednesday when the Starkville High striker signed a scholarship with the University of Mobile. The decision put to rest any chance he'd sign with any of the schools that had hoped to secure his services.
STARKVILLE -- Garrett Batson had no idea he'd have an opportunity to play college soccer. The 6-foot-3 Starkville High School right back had yet to have a season in which he'd "put it all together."
STARKVILLE -- The tag "athlete" is common for high school football recruits. While there's value in a player who can help in multiple areas -- most play several positions in high school -- sooner or later he's going to have to settle in at one position.
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