Josh Harper credits Rusty Funk with helping him advance through the ranks to become a head football coach. Harper was an assistant to Funk at Columbus High School and at South Lamar High School in Millport, Ala. Harper will get a chance Friday to show his mentor what he learned when he coaches against Funk. Harper, who replaced Funk as the coach at South Lamar, will coach against his mentor at 7 p.m. Friday when the Stallions travel to Marion County in Guin, Ala., for an Alabama High School Athletic Association Class A, Region 7 game.
Region championships will be at stake Friday night when the Lamar County Bulldogs and Pickens County Tornadoes take the field. Lamar County will claim the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 2A, Region 7 championship and Pickens County will capture the Class 2A, Region 4 title with victories. Both have the task of trying to win region championships on the road, with Lamar County playing at Winston County and Pickens County traveling to Fultondale.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State offensive line coach John Hevesy said going against the University of Florida will be different for him. When Hevesy left Florida to join Dan Mullen’s staff at Mississippi State he knew it meant one day having to see the players he helped recruit at Florida. That’s something he has never experienced. MSU plays host to Florida at 6:30 p.m. Saturday (ESPN) and Hevesy admits it will be a little strange.
University of Florida head football coach Urban Meyer can tell when his players, assistant coaches and support staff are feeling the pressure. When a program has won two out of the last three national championships and has been highly ranked over that span, it’s only natural to have an overwhelming desire to hold on to that standing. That’s the challenge No. 2 Florida (6-0, 4-0 Southeastern Conference) has once again as the Gators travel to play Mississippi State at 6:30 p.m. Saturday (ESPN).
Quartney Cox and Avis Shelton are inseparable. The two offensive linemen have been side by side during their football careers at West Point High School and East Mississippi Community College in Scooba. They are even roommates at EMCC. “Everyone thinks we follow each other around,” Shelton said. With Scooba only being a 40-minute drive from West Point, Shelton and Cox have been able to enjoy their junior college careers and stay close to home.
MABEN — Numbers don’t tell the whole story at East and West Oktibbeha high schools. If they did, the schools’ football teams would be doomed for failure.
There is shared optimism about the Mississippi State women’s basketball team. Members of the Southeastern Conference and national media picked MSU to finish fifth in the Southeastern Conference this season and selected senior guard Alexis Rack as a member of the All-SEC preseason first team on Tuesday.
Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen and University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow share a special bond. What began as a relationship between a quarterback and his position coach has become a valued friendship.
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State senior quarterback Tyson Lee, of Columbus, said it will be “an extreme honor” to step onto the same field as University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow.
When David Dale signed a scholarship to play football at Millsaps College, Pat Byrd thought it was a good choice. Time has proven the Amory High School coach to be right about his former player.
There’s only one thing better than winning a North State championship. The Hamilton and New Hope High School slow-pitch softball teams experienced that feeling Saturday at the V.A. Fields in Jackson when they won the Class 2A and Class 5A championships, respectively.
STARKVILLE — It has made for interesting talk around the football locker room at Mississippi State. There has been a running debate among the Bulldogs about which state, Mississippi or Florida, has the better high school talent.
Damian Baker hoped he could make an impact. A year ago, Baker was a go-to player on the Columbus High School freshman team. But the step up to the varsity level requires a faster step and a stronger step.
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State men’s basketball coach Rick Stansbury likes his team better now than he did at this time last year. With the return of five starters from a team that reached the NCAA tournament for the second season in a row, Stansbury is more comfortable this preseason.
WEST POINT — The West Point High School football team new Class 5A, Region 1 rival Lake Cormorant played their game Friday in ankle-deep mud. And the Gators were positively stuck in it.
PHEBA — Effective running back tandems should have nicknames. Hebron Christian’s Ryan Pinnix and Marques Robinson are no different. You likely could add J.D. Edwards to the mix and create a three-headed monster that is even more dangerous.
The West Lowndes High School football team made several mistakes in the first half Friday night errors that allowed Ackerman to leave Panther Field undefeated. Ackerman (9-0) capitalized on poor execution by West Lowndes to gain the momentum early and keep it in a dominating 27-0 victory.
STARKVILLE — Senior running back Devyn Shing had 166 yards and three touchdowns Friday night to lead the Clarksdale-Lee Academy football team to a 33-14 victory against Starkville Academy.
MABEN — The mud that collected on the back of Hamilton High School senior receiver Kevin McCartney might have obscured the jersey number so it couldn’t be seen. That didn’t keep sophomore quarterback Austin Welch from finding McCartney at a critical part of Friday night’s 12-6 victory against East Webster.
ABERDEEN — A tradition that dates back nearly a century, homecoming is an annual event designed to be a joyous occasion that brings a town or community together as they welcome back friends and former students.
2. Ole Miss opens season tonight against Boise State COLLEGE SPORTS
3. Bulldogs will rely on Prescott COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Columbus faces Noxubee County in season opener HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. MSU on guard for Southern Miss passing game COLLEGE SPORTS