The New Hope High School football team discovered how quickly a game can turn when turnovers create a shift in momentum.
For the Sulligent (Ala.) Blue Devils, the second-half surge happened for homestanding Lineville on Friday night. The Aggies scored 27 unanswered points to open the second half for a 43-23 third-round victory in the Alabama High School Athletic Association's Class 2A playoffs.
Belmont arrived in Aberdeen for Friday's Mississippi High School Activities Association's Class 3A quarterfinal matchup with a perfect 12-0 mark, a record crafted on the Cardinals' mastery of three phases of the game -- scoring defense, rushing and their ability to play mistake-free football.
ast Webster High School's football team entered Friday's third-round playoff game trying to escape the demons of its last trip to Calhoun City.
For a brief moment, Noxubee County's third-round Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 4A playoff game Friday night against Shannon reminded head coach Tyrone Shorter of the previous week. Just like against Center Hill, Noxubee fumbled the opening kickoff.
RIDGELAND -- The Ridgeland High School football team scored 20 unanswered points, including two touchdowns following turnovers, in the second half Friday night en route to a 34-27 victory against New Hope in the second round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A playoffs at Titan Field.
Seniors have played a key role in the evolution of the New Hope football program. Coach Michael Bradley speaks fondly of the seniors on his first two teams in 2006 and '07 who helped the transform the program from a one-win doormat to a playoff contender.
Chemistry is a key for every head coach. As important as it is to have players who buy into a vision or a philosophy, it is just as crucial to have assistant coaches who complement the person in charge and help set the direction for the program.
STARKVILLE -- One thing was clear to Mississippi State men's basketball coach Rick Stansbury following his team's season debut: His newcomers need to do more. The Bulldogs' 75-65 win against Tennessee State on Nov. 12 was due in large to the contributions of seniors Kodi Augustus and Ravern Johnson, who combined for 46 points. Augustus and Johnson were the only players to reach double figures.
WEST POINT -- Football coaches often find the smallest details to motivate their kids. When they reach championship status, those programs tend not to need much help re-focusing or getting pumped for a new matchup.
Cary Shepherd had plenty of players honored in her time as New Hope High School softball coach. The honors earned by her players often required her to accompany them to Jackson, where they would be recognized. On those trips, Shepherd and the players had time to roam the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum and look at all of the pictures of the greats who have helped shape the state's sports scene.
STARKVILLE -- Korakot Simsiriwong has loved the game of golf ever since she could remember. Growing up in Thailand, her father played the game and was a great fan, so it was only natural that Simsiriwong had a set of clubs as soon as she was able to swing.
ABERDEEN -- The mystery has been solved. Years ago, Brandon Smith's eyes earned him a special nickname from an uncle. Somehow, though, that nickname -- "Buck" -- turned into "Bucket," which is how the Aberdeen High School football coaches and players call out to Smith.
MABEN -- The next step in two teams' paths to a possible championship game will renew one of the state's brewing rivalries. Former Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 1A district rivals East Webster and Calhoun City have made a flawless transition to the 2A ranks since reclassification in 2009.
MABEN -- When Jimmy Carden arrived at East Webster High School, he had to transform an underdeveloped football program. His first order was building a new weight room. Next, Carden had to instill confidence in the Wolverines that they could not only be competitive and challenge for state titles.
STARKVILLE -- Having unlimited playmakers is a luxury not too many coaches can claim. But that's what Mississippi State defensive coordinator Manny Diaz sees when he watches the University of Arkansas' high-powered offense.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Confident, aggressive, and dangerous. It's only three games into the 2010-11 season, but the University of Alabama women's basketball team appears ready to deliver on its potential.
STARKVILLE -- Starkville Academy's season-opening soccer match Wednesday was a tale of two frustrating halves. Starkville Academy survived an early onslaught by Pillow Academy and appeared to be resigned to goalkeeper Davis Pigg bailing them out for countless field errors.
Every team is special to a coach, but some teams can be more special. For Ronnie Hubbert, this year's Sulligent High School football team has earned that distinction more than once. The Blue Devils carry a 10-2 record into their Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 2A third-round playoff game tonight against Lineville (9-3).
As Mississippi State's offense faces each new hurdle, the common theme in the learning curve is youth.
2. Harris, Heritage Academy will count on seniors to lead way HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Howland likes MSU's non-conference schedule COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Central Academy hopes to contend for state title HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. Walters column: Prep football season coming closer LOCAL COLUMNS