Buddy Stephens can’t find enough adjectives to describe how excited he is to begin the 2009 season. There apparently are plenty of people throughout the country who share Stephens’ excitement.
The 2008 season was just the first step for the Heritage Academy fast-pitch softball season. The Lady Patriots made history last season, advancing to the North South State Tournament for the first time. With many of the key players from that team back this season, Heritage Academy coach Ginny Lowery is confident Heritage Academy can build on last season and begin to build a tradition.
STARKVILLE — It has been a month since former Starkville High School sprinter Tavaris Tate participated at the United States Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore. The time off has served him well.
Mississippi State men’s associate head track and field coach Steve Dudley has been an interested spectator of prize recruit Tavaris Tate. Dudley, who works with the program’s sprinters, has followed Tate to all of his destinations this summer and hasn’t been surprised with the success of the former Starkville High School sprinter.
Starkville Academy softball coach Randy Haynes expects to have a stronger team on the field this season. There were signs in the summer league at the Starkville Sportsplex that the Lady Volunteers could be better than last year’s 18-17 record.
Donald Jackson, the attorney for the family of Mississippi State men’s basketball signee Renardo Sidney, said the recent comments by former University of Southern California coach Tim Floyd can only help his client’s case.
MACON — One title isn’t enough for the Central Academy softball program. In May, the Lady Vikings ended a drought when they defeated Kemper Academy to win the Class A Mississippi Private School Association slow-pitch state title.
Former Mississippi State pitcher Jared Wesson wasn’t sure the opportunity was going to come. After his name failed to come up one month after the Major League Baseball First-Player Draft, he began to wonder if any organization would take a chance on him.
WEST POINT — West Point High School offensive and defensive lineman Curtis Virges likes the direction coach Dan Mullen is taking the Mississippi State football program. Even though the Bulldogs haven’t taken the field this season, Virges has been impressed with how Mullen prepares the team.
Mississippi State is losing one of its pitchers to professional baseball. Right-hander Ricky Bowen will skip his senior season with the Bulldogs and has signed with the Cincinnati Reds. He reported to the Billings (Montana) Mustangs of the Pioneer League on Monday.
People will be talking this weekend about Tyrone Keys. But while the topic — football — will be the same, the memories from all of the teams Keys played on will be different.
CLEVELAND — Members of Swim Columbus and the Shockwave swimming teams delivered solid performances last weekend at the 2009 MSI Long Course State Championships at Delta State University.
The Columbus-Lowndes Recreation Authority is registering players for its youth tackle football leagues.
PHILADELPHIA — Starkville’s Kelly White was the top female finisher Saturday at the 30th annual Heart o’ Dixie triathlon. White, 30, finished the half-mile swim, the 27.5-mile run, and the seven-mile run in a time of 2 hours, 16 minutes and 55 seconds. Her finish was just one of many from area participants.
HOOVER, Ala. — Mississippi State linebacker Jamar Chaney didn’t return for his senior year to get preseason honors. After breaking his leg in MSU’s opening game of the 2008 season at Louisiana Tech, Chaney received a medical redshirt that gave him another year of eligibility.
STARKVILLE — The Starkville Baseball Association and the Park and Recreation Department wants to make sure the community shares the accomplishment of the Coach-Pitch 8-year-old Dizzy Dean All-Stars. The Dizzy Dean South State championship trophy and a team picture of the Starkville All-Stars have been on display at the Starkville Sportsplex since Starkville won its title July 13. Starkville coach Keith Lawrence said some parents of the players approached him about taking the trophy home, but he didn’t feel that was appropriate because the trophy belonged to the community.
STARKVILLE — Travis Outlaw looked around the Starkville Sportsplex on Wednesday afternoon and smiled. The Starkville native and member of the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers is proud the city has provided such a facility to the community. Outlaw and Ed LeBlanc, his personal coach, took advantage of the facility to focus on specific points of Outlaw’s game to help him prepare rejoin the Trail Blazers. Outlaw will leaves Starkville at the end of August to begin his sixth season in the NBA
HOOVER, Ala. — Nick Saban isn’t one to offer excuses. The University of Alabama coach praised quarterback Tim Tebow, coach Urban Meyer, and the rest of the Florida Gators for playing a great game in the 2008 Southeastern Conference Championship game. Saban didn’t blame his team’s loss to Utah in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2, 2009, to a “blinking light” otherwise known as offensive lineman Andre Smith. Instead, the third-year coach preferred Thursday to talk about how his “blue-collar team” was going to continue to try to “do the job” as best as possible to get back to Atlanta to win a SEC title and compete for a national championship.
HOOVER, Ala. — Remarkable is one way to describe the tone of Houston Nutt’s appearances the past two years at Southeastern Conference Media Days. The veteran coach, who led the University of Arkansas to three SEC Western Division titles and eight bowl games in 10 seasons, inherited an Ole Miss program that couldn’t go any lower. The Rebels won only three SEC games in three seasons under Ed Orgeron and were desperate to have something to care about in the fall. My how things changed last season.
If day one of the Southeastern Conference Media Days was an appetizer, the filet mignon served Thursday was a treat. Four of the SEC’s heavy hitters — Georgia’s Mark Richt, Alabama’s Nick Saban, Ole Miss’ Houston Nutt, and Florida’s Urban Meyer — were on hand to give their appraisals of the upcoming 2009 season. Each coach had a hot topic item to address, and the four programs should be the most interesting ones this season in the rough and tumble SEC.
2. New Hope's Davis excited about opportunity at South Alabama HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Winston Academy comes together to beat Starkville Academy HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS