CRAWFORD -- Chris Hunter is seeing a clearer picture of what will work on the football field. Even though he has only a year of experience playing quarterback at the varsity level, Hunter showed Friday he is learning how to play the position and that he is maturing as a leader.
HAMILTON -- The Hamilton High School slow-pitch softball is right on schedule. Challenged earlier in the year not to be the first team in 17 years to fail to advance to the playoffs, the Lady Lions are now one step away from playing for another state title.
The number 75 remains special to Ricky Byrd.
Mississippi State's 47-24 win over Houston only strengthened its identity since head coach Dan Mullen took over last season.
Steve Holeman's return to the state he called home for 15 years wasn't a scoreless endeavor.
HATTIESBURG -- The East Carolina University football team did a lot of things wrong Saturday night, falling behind by 20 points in the first quarter and committing four turnovers on the road. But with just enough clutch plays, the Pirates emerged with a 44-43 victory over Southern Miss at Roberts Stadium, breaking the Golden Eagles' 11-game home winning streak in a Conference USA showdown.
HOUSTON, Texas -- The Mississippi State football team's offensive line made Vick Ballard's night pretty simple against Houston. The junior running back rushed for a career-high 134 yards and three touchdowns, and the Bulldogs gained 409 yards on the ground in a 47-24 win over the Cougars on Saturday.
Games usually don't turn on one play. Typically, a handful of ingredients work together to lift one team past another. Franklin Richardson Jr. made sure that formula didn't apply Friday night.
HORN LAKE -- All things considered, the Starkville High School football team's trip to Horn Lake went as planned. Devin Mitchell rushed for 116 yards and had three touchdowns, and Jaquez Johnson threw for three more scores in Starkville's 49-19 victory in the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A, Region 1 game.
WEST POINT -- A game that appeared to be well in hand for the West Point High School football team on Friday night very nearly swerved out of control. But West Point tightened up at the end of its Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A, Region 1 game against Oxford to earn a 22-20 victory.
STARKVILLE -- Now that Mississippi State's men's basketball team knows when its suspended players will return to the court, the Bulldogs now must find a way back to the NCAA tournament. Sophomore forward Renardo Sidney will miss the team's first nine games, while junior point guard Dee Bost won't return until the team's first league game in January.
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- After delivering the University of South Carolina football team's biggest win ever, all coach Steve Spurrier could do was smile. "I think that this game was meant to be," he said. The way the Gamecocks played, it sure seemed like it.
BATESVILLE -- Qyen Griffin returned the opening kickoff for an 81-yard touchdown Friday night to lead the top-ranked and Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A defending state champion South Panola High School football team to a 44-0 victory against Columbus.
ACKERMAN -- Timakis Bell rushed for two touchdowns and Ledrick Patterson rushed for one score and threw for another Friday night to lead the East Webster High School football team to a 41-14 victory against Ackerman in a Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 2A, Region 2 game.
CARROLLTON, Ala. -- The Pickens Academy football team will carry a lot of momentum into a playoff-deciding game next week. Jacob Acker rushed for two scores, threw for anther, and returned an interception for a touchdown Friday night to lead Pickens Academy to a 47-0 victory against Flint Hill Christian in an Alabama Independent School Association Class AA, Region I game.
ABERDEEN -- More times than not, bad practices tend to have disastrous results come game time. But that wasn't the case here Friday when another Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 3A, Region 2 pretender bit the dust, as Aberdeen posted a come-from-behind 35-14 win against Water Valley.
The Starkville High School fotball team improved its position for a playoff spot out of Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A, Region 1 on Friday night with a 49-19 victory against Horn Lake.
One win can work wonders. A week ago, the Caledonia High School football team was mired in a losing streak that spanned two coaches and dated to 2008. This week, the community, school, and Confederates are buzzing about the team's chance to do something that hasn't happened since 2005: reaching the playoffs.
STARKVILLE -- Five games remain on the Starkville High School football team's schedule, but it isn't too early to talk about the playoffs. After winning consecutive Class 6A, Region 1 wins and taking four of their last five games, the Yellow Jackets are treating tonight's road game against Horn Lake as a must win.
Maturation is a key component of championship formulas. As the years change, coaches hope younger players notice the habits and tendencies of the older ones and come to make them their own.
2. Walters column: Prep football season coming closer LOCAL COLUMNS