STARKVILLE -- For the first time since arriving back at his alma mater, Mississippi State baseball coach John Cohen begins fall practice with confident veteran pitchers. That pitching experience will bring higher expectations to a program that was six outs away from a College World Series berth last season. MSU begins its road to Omaha, Neb., the site of the CWS, at 4 p.m. today with an intra-squad scrimmage at Dudy Noble Field that is open to the public.
SCOOBA -- East Mississippi Community College sophomore wide receiver Hamp Glover says "The sky is the limit" for his team's offense. While No. 4 EMCC may have unlimited potential on offense, its effort Thursday night will work for now.
STARKVILLE -- This is the point in the season where the Starkville High School football team will know little to nothing about its opponents. Since the Mississippi High School Athletic Association reclassified schools for the 2011-12 school year and dropped Starkville from Class 6A to 5A, coach Jamie Mitchell knew his program would learn about its new region as it went through the 2011 campaign.
A second season couldn't have come at a better time for the West Point High School football team. The two-time defending Class 5A state champions haven't had a typical start to the 2011 season. Checking in at 1-3, West Point will begin a string of seven straight Class 5A, Region 1 games at 7:30 tonight when it travels to Lake Cormorant.
An off week came at an opportune time for the West Lowndes High School football team. Now the Panthers are primed to take care of their next piece to business.
Chris Hamm knows the feeling. Hamm has had plenty of players who could change a game with one touch of the ball in his time as coach of the Victory Christian football team.
Brad Butler knows the Heritage Academy football team has left itself very little room for error. Last week, Butler didn't want to call his team's matchup against Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA, Division II, District I rival Lee Academy a must win, but he knew a victory would make things easier for the Patriots.
Michael Bradley hopes one drive will help bring his team into focus. Last week, the Trojans executed what Bradley called "probably the best drive of the season" with about four minutes remaining to seal a 28-0 victory against Caledonia.
Ricky Kendrick knew his team was in for a challenge. Even though the New Hope High School football team lost to Noxubee County and Columbus, Kendrick knew his improved Caledonia Confederates still faced a tall order if they were going to knock off their Lowndes County rival.
Tyrone Shorter doesn't want to talk about letdowns. As far as the Noxubee County High School football is concerned he is ready for his Tigers to hit their stride and to set a course for Jackson, the site of the Mississippi High School Activities Association state title games.
There is sweet and then there is sweet. Central Academy football coach Ronnie Sciple knows any win against archrival Kemper Academy is a good one. But coming off two big losses to Kemper Academy last season, including one in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Eight-Man title game, Sciple and the Vikings were looking for any piece of satisfaction they could get to keep their season rolling.
STARKVILLE -- Dillon Day was figuratively thrown into the deep end of the pool and told to swim.
STARKVILLE -- Johnthan Banks feels the Mississippi State football team's first three games have helped him prepare for his next assignment against the high octane passing game of Louisiana Tech (6 p.m., Saturday, ESPNU).
STARKVILLE -- Warm weather is a recruiting tool for indoor sports, too. Lainey Wyman sat down with her parents one evening to map out what was important in her college choice. In the living room of their suburban Chicago home, Matt and Kathy Wyman realized that map needed to include the southern United States.
The Pickens County High School football team will put its unbeaten record on the line Friday night when it plays host to Aliceville at G.S. Spruill Stadium in Reform.
The road to the playoffs will go through Tupelo. That's the sentiment Columbus High School football coach Tony Stanford has shared with his players ever since they started preparations for the 2011 season.
STARKVILLE - "Chris Relf is our starter." Those five words were all Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen needed to dismiss a quarterback controversy. Looking for what he called "a spark" to an offense that had 16 yards in the second half, Mullen pulled Relf and inserted Tyler Russell for the final 10 minutes of MSU's 19-6 loss to No. 3 LSU on Thursday night.
STARKVILLE -- The message from Mississippi State receivers coach Angelo Mirando is consistent: His players have work to do. Entering the fourth week of the season, tailbacks Vick Ballard and LaDarius Perkins lead the Bulldogs in receptions. "Let's get this straight, everybody needs to continue to work," Mirando said. "We got a lot of work to do, but that's everywhere. If we're satisfied with whatever we've done the first three weeks then we need to get our heads checked."
STARKVILLE -- A school-record seven of the Mississippi State men's basketball team's non-conference games will be televised this season, including three of the first five outings on the ESPN family of networks.
STARKVILLE -- The University of Mississippi and the Mississippi State baseball programs had recruiting classes ranked in the top 20 nationally according to the annual survey by Collegiate Baseball newspaper.
1. Erby makes big play despite hearing voice in his head HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. Prescott making quick impression in Cowboys' camp LOCAL SPORTS
3. Noxubee County takes positives from season-opening loss HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. Former Starkville High standout Davis suffers knee injury COLLEGE SPORTS