CALEDONIA — Kara Von Kanel and Sunnie Rushing wondered if all of the work was worth it. Through the start of preseason in the summer and a season filled with long practices and work on fundamentals, the members of the Caledonia High School volleyball never really considered the payoff that would result from all of their hard work. But when the Lady Confederates started having fun and piling up the victories, they soon discovered why coach Samantha Brooks had put them through the paces earlier in the season.
STARKVILLE — Some high school football teams hate to practice in the rain. But the poor weather last week motivated the Starkville High School football team. Junior linebacker D.J. Jordan said it was hard to explain, but when it started raining the Yellow Jackets worked harder. “It hyped us up,” Jordan said. “We knew it was going to be wet on Friday, so we just went out and got the job done.”
Each step is a learning process for the Columbus High School football team. Last week, the Falcons experienced an especially painful lesson in a 10-6 home loss to Tupelo in their Class 6A, Region 1, District 2 season opener. Columbus coach Bubba Davis said the loss hurt his players so much because he felt they went into the game thinking they were good enough to win and that they should win. Things didn’t turn out that way.
The “thug” life was the life for Jeremy Wells. As a freshman at New Hope High School, trouble found Wells much too often. Without his brother, Jonquez, a running back on the New Hope High football team, around to help look after him, Jeremy admitted to falling in with the wrong group. It wasn’t until his sophomore year when Wells discovered he was academically ineligible to play football that he realized he needed to change.
Mississippi State linebacker Jamar Chaney watched helplessly in Starkville last season as Georgia Tech’s triple-option offense dominated the Bulldogs. Chaney was recovering from a broken leg and didn’t make the trip to Atlanta for MSU’s 38-7 loss. Things got so bad for the Bulldogs, who surrendered 438 yards rushing, that Chaney turned off the television at halftime.
Georgia Tech doesn’t have a monopoly on the option offense. There are times when Mississippi State uses the scheme in its spread offense.
It’s not all about the option game for Georgia Tech quarterback Josh Nesbitt. Although he’s a key in what the Yellow Jackets try to do running the triple option primarily out of the wishbone, opponents also know Nesbitt can throw the football.
WEST POINT — West Point High School has what senior running back Xavier Hogan calls the three-headed monster. “You stop one head and you still have the other two to deal with,” Hogan said. “It is really hard to stop that.”
HAMILTON — Chase Reeves didn’t have a plan in mind last weekend. The Hamilton High School junior was content to visit Mississippi State and the University of Mississippi and to listen to what the coaches had to say about their schools and their baseball programs. But after shaking off the initial surprise of receiving a scholarship offer, Reeves’ plan changed immediately.
Robin Tyra’s goal as coach of the Aliceville High School football team is to win region and state championships. Aliceville can take a step toward winning the Alabama High School Activities Association Class 3A, Region 4 championship Friday when it travels to Cordova.
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State senior quarterback Tyson Lee is glad junior wide receiver Leon Berry joined the Bulldogs. On the field, Berry is a go-to player in coach Dan Mullen’s spread offense. Berry is equally valuable off the field because he can grill a pretty good steak. Lee has dined at Berry’s house and said his steaks are the best he has had in a while.
CLEVELAND — It took nearly 12 hours and five consecutive games, but the Central Academy fast-pitch softball team earned a spot in the Mississippi Association of Independent School Class AA State tournament. Central Academy rebounded from a loss in its second game of the North Half State tournament Tuesday to win three games in a row before losing 8-0 to Bayou Academy. That game ended shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday, nearly 12 hours before the Lady Vikings took the field against Tri-County for their first game of the day at 10:30 a.m.
Donald Jackson, the attorney for Mississippi State men’s basketball signee Renardo Sidney, has taken his fight to Capitol Hill. In an attempt to get his client eligible to play for the Bulldogs, Jackson has requested intervention from the United State’s House of Representatives and Senate to investigate a pattern of racially selective conduct by the NCAA Enforcement Staff and Eligibility Center. Those concerns have been raised as Jackson attempts to clear up Sidney’s status as an amateur athlete.
Through four games this seasson, the only direction the Kentucky Wesleyan football team can go is up. That’s because the Panthers have lost their first four games by a combined score of 177-58. But Kentucky Wesleyan senior linebacker Kevin Baldwin isn’t letting his team’s slow start get him down. Baldwin, a 2006 graduate of Columbus High School and a transfer from Itawamba Community College in Fulton, believes the Panthers are capable of salvaging what’s left of the season.
STARKVILLE — The timing was perfect for Todd Bramble. Facing the prospect of playing three matches in six days, the University of Alabama women’s soccer coach wanted to substitute liberally Tuesday night against Mississippi State. The return of junior forward Kelly King from a high ankle sprain couldn’t have come at a better time. In her first game of the 2009 season, King proved her timing was pretty good, too.
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen is still trying to get his team’s passing game where it needs to be after four games. Through spring practice, offseason workouts, preseason drills and four regular-season games in Mullen’s spread offense, the Bulldogs have yet to click on all cylinders.
STARKVILLE — Slower was better for Lyndsey Haynes. The Starkville Academy senior pitcher’s use of the changeup nearly helped make Monday an all-day affair for the Lady Volunteers. As it turned out, Haynes almost pitched Starkville Academy out of the losers’ bracket and into a berth in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools AAA state tournament.
MABEN — Ledrick Patterson is a fast learner. Even though Patterson has been a member of the East Webster High School varsity football program for four years, he never played quarterback before this season.
STARKVILLE -- There’s no silver-lining in a loss for Dan Mullen. Mississippi State’s football coach didn’t see anything as a positive coming out of Saturday’s 30-26 loss to seventh-ranked LSU. “We didn’t win the game and the most important thing is to win the game for us in the end,” Mullen said on his Sunday teleconference. “We’ve preached competition since the first day, but there’s a winner and a loser. There’s really good things that happen to winners and nothing good happens when you don’t win.”
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State was six inches away from scoring a go-ahead touchdown against the No. 7 team in the country. With 1 minute, 8 seconds left in Saturday’s game against the LSU Tigers, the Bulldogs were turned away.
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
4. Tapley excited about new season for Hebron Christian HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS