Finally. The New Hope High School football team knew it would have to wait a week to kick off its 2010 season. Knowing didn't make the wait any easier. But at 7:30 tonight the Trojans will hit kick off one of the most anticipated football seasons in school history. The first step won't be easy. New Hope will take on Class 6A Tupelo five weeks after opening practice on July 26.
STARKVILLE -- Belief is an armor and Starkville Academy's painful loss to Ackerman has only strengthened the Volunteers' assurance they're a better team. Losing to the Indians on a fourth-down play was heartbreaking as was losing in overtime to a team that ran roughshod over the Volunteers on their home field the previous season. But there's no substitute for matching another team's intensity on the road in the first game of the season. For Starkville Academy coach Jeff Terrill that is exactly what he needed to see in his debut last week.
Chris Chambless and the West Point High School football team are eager to show the state of Florida they're up for the challenge. The Green Wave will be one of eight teams that will participate in The Gridiron Challenge, or what is being billed as a series of matchups pitting teams from Florida against teams from the rest of the United States. West Point, the Mississippi High School Activities Association defending Class 5A champion, will kick off the event at 7:30 tonight against Mainland (Fla.) High, the No. 8 team in Class 6A, according to the Associated Press' preseason poll of Florida teams.
The ping often gives it away. But home run hitters don't need to listen because they have a knack for hitting the ball on the sweet spot on the bat. When they do, a wonderful noise follows -- only for hitters -- that signals a ball is taking off and it won't be coming back. Jasmine Butler and Shanique Ousley discovered the beauty of that sound Thursday night and, in the process, joined the home run hitters club. Butler had a grand slam and five RBIs, while Ousley had a two-run home run to lead the Columbus High School slow-pitch softball team to a 19-3 victory against Starkville High in a Class 6A, Region 1 game.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Judy Green doesn't want any pageantry. The veteran University of Alabama volleyball coach would prefer to see her players bask in the glow of their achievements in her final season at the school. To do that, the Crimson Tide will have to erase the memory of a disappointing 2009 season. If they can, the players will send Green out in style. Green will begin her 15th and final season at Alabama at 7 tonight when her team plays Iowa at the Hawkeye Challenge. She announced in January she planned to retire at the end of the season.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen isn't releasing any details about his depth chart as his team gets closer to its season opener against the University of Memphis at 6 p.m. Sept. 4 (ESPNU). But there was one post-practice nugget Wednesday that shed some light into the team's most experienced group.
CRAWFORD -- Forgive East Oktibbeha County High School football coach Randy Brooks if he's still trying to catch up in Week 2 of the season. Officially, he has been on the job for only three weeks and he's calling plays on both sides of the ball.
Ray Weeks has heard the talk. But the veteran head coach would prefer to hear the conversations about his Hamilton High School football team in November.
STARKVILLE -- Ashley Newsome doesn't like the spotlight. The Mississippi State senior wouldn't mind if she is just another piece to the puzzle as long as her team wins.
STARKVILLE -- Danielle Kite has played just about everywhere in her Mississippi State career. As a senior, Kite will be the centerpiece in the Bulldogs' attack.
Lamar County High School football coach Ken Adams didn't get a scouting report from South Lamar High's jamboree against Pickens County like he wanted.
The 2010 Victory Christian football team will try to take ownership of the streak. The two-time defending Christian Football Association champions kick off the regular season at 7 p.m. Friday against Ellwood Christian Academy, which was known as Central Christian Academy last year, of Selma, Ala. Living up to back-to-back conference titles is one thing. Maintaining a 22-game winning streak that spans the past two seasons should add to the expectations the Eagles face this year.
The numbers should even out this week. This also should be one of the few weeks this season when the Immanuel Christian football team has more bodies on the sidelines than its opponent. That fact, coupled with the Rams' moving from 11- to eight-man, should make for intriguing storylines when they take on Central Academy at 7 p.m. Friday in Macon.
CALEDONIA -- A little emotion can go a long way. Inserted at the proper time in a match, that energy can help make for a very long evening or it can erase any surge of momentum. The Starkville High School volleyball team picked the right time Tuesday night to deliver a shock to the system. Sparked by an impromptu players-only scream-fest in front of coach Lauren Love, the Yellow Jackets rallied to score the final five points in game four to clinch the game and the match against Caledonia, 3-1. Game scores were 25-19, 25-12, 18-25, 25-20.
This time it counts. After playing a jamboree like a regular season game this past Thursday, the Sulligent Blue Devils tee it up for good this Thursday. Sulligent kicks off its regular season at home against the Hamilton Aggies after beating the Smithville Seminoles 27-18 in a jamboree. Sulligent (of Alabama) had to play the jamboree like a regular season game because Smithville (of Mississippi) scheduled it as its season opener. Alabama schools don't begin their season until this week whereas Mississippi schools started this past week.
STARKVILLE -- The first words Jessica Dickens delivered in her post-game interview were said with a sense of relief. "How about that hitting from Bailey Wofford?" the Starkville Academy head coach asked. Indeed, her most experienced player enjoyed an all-star caliber day against opening-day spoiler Hebron Christian, putting the team a game above .500 following two wins on the bounce.
SCOOBA -- Time is ticking away for the East Mississippi Community College football team. In nine days, the No. 7 Lions will try to build off the most successful season in the school's history when they travel to Perkinston on Sept. 2 to take on No. 5 Mississippi Gulf Coast C.C.
SCOOBA -- Working hard wasn't enough for Johnny Cockrell. Entering his sophomore season with the East Mississippi Community College football team, Cockrell realized he needed to do something to move up the depth chart.
MACON -- Cole Newman knows what it takes to be "The Man." A year ago, he watched teammates Hunter Campbell and Trevor Eaves do their best to lead the Central Academy football team's rushing attack. But when Campbell went down with a season-ending injury, Eaves assumed a bigger role and Newman earned an opportunity to contribute.