STARKVILLE — Lyndsey Haynes doesn’t miss softball yet. The Starkville Academy pitcher admits she has reflected on her senior season and thought about what could have been after the Lady Volunteers finished third at the North Half State tournament. A change in the playoff format this season meant that showing wasn’t good enough by one place to push Starkville Academy into the overall Mississippi Association of Independent Schools AAA state tournament.
Neither one can truly be labeled a “power hitter.” But that term is so limiting because Caitlyn Atkins and Haley Tutor can do so much more for their teams. The Class 5A and Class 3A Mississippi High School Activities Association state titles New Hope and Hamilton high schools won this season are the final reward for all of their hard work and everything they contributed to their squads on and off the field. For their accomplishments this season, Atkins and Tutor are The Commercial Dispatch Slow-pitch All-Area co-Players of the Year.
Kevin McGuff and Sharon Fanning-Otis sound like there teams are at similar points in the season. On Wednesday, Fanning-Otis said the Lady Bulldogs are “nowhere near where we need to be to win a conference championship or to compete for a conference championship.” She made that comment after a 35-point victory against Mississippi Valley State. McGuff can empathize with Fanning-Otis’ feelings. The No. 12 Xavier women’s basketball team lost to Michigan 72-71 on Monday. The loss was the second in a row for the Musketeers (7-2).
It’s never too early to start looking at numbers. When you start the season with dreams of 64 and 16, those numbers can be pretty important, even though the season is only 11 games old. But the Mississippi State women’s basketball team’s body of work deserves examination as it prepares for its next-to-last non-conference game against No. 12 Xavier at 1 p.m. today.
By Adam Minichino email@example.com The spirit of giving and the holiday season is alive and well with the Columbus High School boys basketball program. In conjunction with the 13th annual Joe Horne Columbus Christmas Invitational, members of the Columbus High School boys basketball program Thursday handed out $200 worth of gift certificates for groceries at the Food Giant supermarket on Alabama Street in Columbus.
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State’s men’s basketball team knows there will be times it doesn’t shoot well from beyond the 3-point line. Even though the Bulldogs enjoy shooting a Southeastern Conference-best 42 percent (104 of 248) from 3-point range, they understand it will be difficult to keep up that pace.
Greg Carter is anxious for this weekend. The Starkville High School boys basketball coach knows his team is off to an impressive 8-0 start and is ranked with the best teams in the state.
Members of the East Mississippi Community College football team are reaping the rewards from a record-breaking season. Sophomores Pat Shed (University of Alabama at Birmingham), John Rice (Western Michigan), Alvin Ellis and Gabe Poe (West Alabama) signed scholarships earlier this week to continue their football careers.
STARKVILLE —Jeff Terrill believes it will take more than just a coaching change to reverse the fortunes of the Starkville Academy football program. He said it also is going to take a change in attitude.
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen took the first step to rebuilding a depleted backfield Wednesday by signing Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College running back Vick Ballard. The Bulldogs also added Ballard’s Mississippi Gulf Coast teammate James Carmon, a 6-foot-7, 370-pound defensive tackle, Wednesday, the first day that junior college players could sign with four-year schools.
The 13th annual Joe Horne Columbus Christmas Invitational won’t be all about the boys. Not only will the field include talented local teams from Columbus, East Oktibbeha, Noxubee County, and Starkville, but Raymond and Greenville-Weston also will add even more star power. Raymond, which is ranked No. 1 in The Clarion Ledger’s Super 10, will face Columbus at 5:40 p.m. Friday. It then will take on Greenville-Weston, which is No. 2, are scheduled to play at 5:20 p.m. Saturday in the tail end of what figures to be a jam-packed holiday present of basketball.
STARKVILLE — Barry Stewart has a continuous motor. It was in high gear Wednesday night for the Mississippi State men’s basketball team. Not only did Stewart have to chase Wright State guard Troy Tabler around the court, but he also saved enough energy to lead the Bulldogs with a season-high 21 points in an 80-69 victory in front of a crowd of 4,721 at Humphrey Coliseum.
STARKVILLE — On one hand, the Mississippi State women’s basketball team will offer its first five games. Included in those victories was a 29-point drubbing of perennial power Maryland. On the other hand, the Lady Bulldogs would like to forget a three-game winless streak last month in the Virgin Islands. The three-day trip saw MSU lose to Texas, Rutgers, and Southern California, teams that will mirror the level of competition it will face in the Southeastern Conference starting Jan. 3. On Wednesday, coach Sharon Fanning-Otis’ team was somewhere in the middle.
STARKVILLE — Starkville Academy introduced Jeff Terrill as its next football coach at the school this morning. Terrill replaces Brian Sims, who resigned in November after two years as the Volunteers’ football coach.
Cam Newton is keeping his options open. The quarterback from Blinn (Junior) College in Texas has decided to delay his decision until early next week about where he’ll play his last two years of college football. Newton had scheduled a press conference for Tuesday to announce which four-year school he planned to attend, but those plans changed.
STARKVILLE — John Riek’s heavy accent can make him a little difficult to understand. But Mississippi State’s 7-foot-1 freshman center from Khartoum, Sudan, hopes his play on the basketball court tonight speaks clearly.
STARKVILLE — Armelie Lumanu can pack a stat sheet. Whether it is points, rebounds, assists, steals, or blocked shots, Lumanu has a variety of ways she can affect a game.
Torrance Beard has fond memories of Columbus High School. The former CHS boys basketball player played for current coach Sammy Smith as a senior for 1995-96. Back then, at 6-foot-2, 145 pounds, Beard played wherever Smith needed him, primarily at guard and forward.
STARKVILLE — The search didn’t last a month, but it appears Starkville Academy has found its man to lead the football program. Jeff Terrill, who has experience coaching on the junior college level, is expected to be introduced as the Volunteers’ new coach at 11 a.m. Thursday.
Sammy Smith loves a challenge. That’s part of the reason why he and the rest of the Columbus High School basketball coaches enjoy all of the details that go into playing host to one of the state’s best holiday tournaments.
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