Sometimes things just come together. That's the best way veteran high school football coach Jack French knows how to explain Starkville Academy's 2005 Mississippi Private Schools Association Class AAA, Division II state championship.
Starkville Academy senior fullback Ryan Mann admits neither he nor his teammates have played in a state championship football game. However, the Volunteers have been dreaming about and preparing for this moment most of their lives.
Things didn't happen the way Dylan Earnest planned, but he is going to get an opportunity to play Division I baseball sooner rather than later. The former Hamilton High School standout, who missed most of his freshman season at Itawamba Community College due to injury, gave a verbal commitment Monday to play baseball for Samford University in Birmingham, Ala. He made it official Wednesday when he signed a National Letter-of-Intent.
STARKVILLE -- Starkville High School forward Gavin Ware finalized his destination of choice Wednesday when he signed a National Letter-of-Intent to play basketball for Mississippi State. "It's a big step forward that gets me closer to my future and where I want to be in life," Ware said. "It's close to home and gives me endless opportunities to be somebody."
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The Southeastern Conference unveiled its eighth annual men's basketball coaches preseason All-SEC first and second teams Wednesday. Thirty-two players received votes for the teams, and the University of Alabama, the University of Florida, the University of Kentucky and Vanderbilt University led all schools with three selections each, while Mississippi State had two selections. Nine schools are represented on the preseason squads.
STARKVILLE -- Wednesday's upset is exactly why the executives of the 2K Classic made this an invitational event and not a traditional tournament. The University of Akron men's basketball team's 68-58 victory against an out-of-sync Mississippi State team in front of a stunned 6,897 fans at Humphrey Coliseum didn't earn the Zips at trip to Madison Square Garden next week, but it gave them a season-opening victory against a major program.
STARKVILLE -- Kendra Grant is ready to go. The Richland High School standout selected Mississippi State because she knew she would have a chance to make key contributions as a freshman.
Dan Olson considers Sherise Williams to be "a sleeper." The Mississippi State women's basketball team hopes Williams lives up to that potential.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- JaMychal Green knows he has to stay on the floor and out of trouble for the No. 19 University of Alabama men's basketball team.
Good goal scorers know where they get their passes. It took Sarah Hern a split second to mention teammate Ashley Martian when she was asked about her goal in stoppage time that helped the New Hope High School girls soccer team edge Columbus 3-2.
STARKVILLE -- Chris Wilson has an easy answer to the average Joe who wonders why the Mississippi State football team won't line up 10 guys at the line of scrimmage to stop the University of Alabama's running game.
The University of Mississippi will move forward together without Houston Nutt. It remains to be seen if any of Nutt's assistant coaches will stay in Oxford at the end of a season that has the Rebels 2-7 with three games remaining, but Ole Miss will pay a hefty price to end its association with Nutt after only four years.
STARKVILLE -- It's possible to reverse history and imagine Tyler Russell on the opposite sideline Saturday for the Mississippi State football team's game against the University of Alabama. Three years ago, the Parade All-American quarterback's college decision was down to a pair of schools less than 85 miles apart on Highway 82.
OXFORD -- It was apparent quite quickly that this wasn't a normal University of Mississippi football team practice. As players slowly made their way up the stairs and onto the practice field, employees loaded boxes into a car in the parking lot, the first signs that the beginning of the end of Houston Nutt's tenure is here.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State men's basketball coach Rick Stansbury never has been shy about touting the skills of his team's next opponent days before a game.
Even though it didn't play, Tuesday was still a big day for the East Mississippi Community College football team. The undefeated Lions moved to No. 2 in the latest NJCAA top 20 released Tuesday. EMCC (10-0) trails No. 1 Arizona Western College (10-0) by five points (137-132). Arizona Western secured four of seven first-place votes. EMCC had one, as did No. 3 Butler C.C. (9-1) and No. 4 Grand Rapids C.C. (10-0).
STARKVILLE -- Cross country coaches dream for teams filled with rabbits. To take a term from track and field, rabbits refer to athletes who take the lead and set the pace for the rest of the field before dropping out.
Columbus High School boys basketball coach Sammy Smith promises patience with a young squad. For the Falcons, that patience may be needed early and often. However, two lengthy scoring runs lifted the Falcons to a victory in their season opener Tuesday night. Columbus enjoyed a 16-1 first-half spurt and a 17-2 second-half spurt to dispatch West Lowndes 81-57.
Fifth-year East Mississippi Community College men's basketball coach Mark White says there is nothing mystical about his program's rise to the top of the food chain in the state of Mississippi. "It's real simple," White said. "Hard work. Nothing is going to ever going to replace hard work."
In seven years as women's soccer coach at Clemson University, Todd Bramble never located a mole in the NCAA who would tip him off with inside information.
1. Sykes' faith leads him to coach at Starkville Academy HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. Lessons learned helped Coggin earn promotion COLLEGE SPORTS
3. Mangum wins SEC batting title COLLEGE SPORTS