STARKVILLE — Some folks might differ about the talent in the state of Mississippi, but that suits Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen just fine. Even though rival Ole Miss and MSU virtually split the state’s top 10 recruits, Mullen stepped to the podium Wednesday at the Bryan Athletic Building and repeated what he said at this time last year. “For the second year in a row we’ve recruited 16 high school players from the state of Mississippi, which is more than Southern Miss and the school up north (Ole Miss) combined this year,” Mullen said. “That’s the foundation of our program, recruiting high school players from the state of Mississippi.”
STARKVILLE –– The next step in the Renardo Sidney case is in Mississippi State’s court. Thursday, Sidney attorney Don Jackson forwarded the AMA’s analysis of the NCAA’s Fact Finding Committee’s conclusion. Though most of the findings resulted in what Jackson estimated to be “less than $1,000,” his concern over his client being pegged with a violation of NCAA Bylaw 10.1-(d) was evident when reached Thursday for comment.
STARKVILLE — Some nights you just have to try something else. As shooters go, Alexis Rack has the right mind-set. She takes the court with a swagger and hands at ready to launch daggers from any spot on the court. Usually, the Mississippi State senior prefers to fire away from 3-point range, and those attempts often spark the Lady Bulldogs. But nights like Thursday — when even the easiest look at the basket proves frustrating — have come few and far between this season.
WINONA –– The Immanuel Christian girls basketball team made school history Thursday night. The Lady Rams earned a berth in the championship game of the MAIS Class A, District 3 Tournament for the first time by upsetting No. 1-seed Kemper Academy 55-53 in overtime. Immanuel (17-11) outscored Kemper Academy 7-5 in overtime to claim the victory. The Lady Rams will play Hebron Christian in the championship game at 7 p.m. Saturday.
A chance to make history was too much to pass up for Khiry Karriem. That’s why the Itawamba Community College standout decided Wednesday to sign a National Letter of Intent to play football for Georgia State. The Panthers, under the leadership of former University of Alabama, Georgia Tech, and Kentucky coach and ESPN analyst Bill Curry, will kick off their inaugural season later this year. The team will play its home games in the Georgia Dome, the home of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons.
Billy Autrey knew he was going to have to make a decision. Unfortunately, that choice was going to spell the end for one sport and the continuation of another. Autrey’s decision Wednesday to sign a National Letter of Intent to play football at the University of Alabama at Birmingham signified the realization of a dream. Following a strong freshman season on the offensive line at East Mississippi Community College, the former Columbus High standout will have an opportunity to realize his goal of competing at the Division I level.
STARKVILLE –– Dudy Gras just keeps getting bigger, and Mississippi State baseball John Cohen is enjoying every minute of it. The annual parade celebrates the start of MSU’s baseball season, but organizers have taken it to a new level for this year’s edition. In addition to the annual parade that’s marched through Starkville and to Left Field Lounge at Dudy Noble Field, there will be a first-ever Dudy Gras Ball at the conclusion of “Eight Days of Dudy Gras” at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 12 at the Hilton Garden Inn.
STARKVILLE — With a core group of All-Americans, the Mississippi State men’s track team is all about exposure these days. After a nationally televised 4x400-meter relay win (3 minutes, 19.44 seconds) at the Millrose Games on Jan. 29, the Bulldogs made a statement for the upcoming Southeastern Conference season. With a potential Top 10 team and six All-Americans, though, MSU coach Al Schmidt is thinking on a grander scale.
STARKVILLE — A National Signing Day surge saw the Mississippi State University football team land the state’s top offensive lineman and snag two more from other programs.
Three student-athletes who are familiar with success in high school will try to reach similar levels in college. Ryan Hollivay, Kelli Petty, and Blake Roberts signed scholarships Wednesday to continue their athletic careers at the next level.
When Bubba Davis has established the Columbus High School football program as a winner, he can look back on the 2009 season and thank Chris Jackson and Rickey Knox.
WEST POINT — Dressed in maroon sweatshirts, West Point High School seniors Michael Carr and Curtis Virges honored their verbal commitments and signed scholarships Wednesday to play football at Mississippi State.
MACON — Vincent Sanders is set to join a fellow Noxubee County High School playmaker in Oxford, while seven of his teammates are headed to junior college power East Mississippi Community College.
STARKVILLE — The Itawamba Community College football program landed two Starkville High Yellow Jackets on National Signing Day, as wideouts Perez Young and Justin Rogers signed to become members of new coach Jon Williams’ first recruiting class.
Brandon Hill is ready to take the next step. If Hill would have had a pair of pads and clearance Wednesday, he would have hit the Mississippi State football practice fields to begin his career as a Bulldogs.
ABERDEEN — It would difficult to imagine any coach beaming brighter than Chris Duncan did Wednesday. Duncan’s delight in seeing six of his players sign scholarships to play football in college stems from how far the Aberdeen High School football program has come in a short amount of time.
STARKVILLE — The connection will continue. Mike Sullivan hopes the bond that Roy Miles and Will Goodwin pays equally valuable dividends for his Itawamba Community College men’s soccer team as it has for the Starkville Academy team.
STARKVILLE — Results mean more than the name of the opponents in February. Mississippi State women’s basketball coach Sharon Fanning-Otis has stressed to her players that it takes communication, focus, and determination to achieve those results.
ALICEVILLE, Ala. — After visiting Alabama State last weekend, Derrick Billups believes it’s the right place for him.
The Pickens Academy girls basketball team has won all 12 of its region games this season. Pickens County, of Carrollton, Ala., will attempt to continue that success this weekend when it plays in the Alabama Independent School Association Class AA, Region 2 Tournament at Marion, Ala.
1. West Virginia also enjoying fast start COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Smith enjoys banner season for MSU defense COLLEGE SPORTS
4. New Hope hopes to hammer its way past Pearl HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. Noxubee County faces surprising foe Cleveland in the playoffs HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS