OKOLONA — Despite a 24-0 lead, Aberdeen High School football team offensive coordinator Kris Pickle had a spirited meeting with his offense late in the third quarter Friday night. Unhappy with his offensive line in particular after three unproductive offensive possessions in the quarter, Pickle didn’t mince words with his charges.
WEST POINT — The Oak Hill Academy football team finally found someone it could push around, and it just happened to be the other private school in Clay County. After rain forced Oak Hill Academy to hold its homecoming ceremonies in its gym, the Raiders defeated Hebron Christian 14-0 Friday night in sopping conditions.
The defending Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 4A state champions have survived every test this season against teamss that are in higher classifications. The Noxubee County High School football team will get another chance to extend that streak at 7:30 tonight against Class 5A West Point High School. The Tigers (4-0) have swept Class 6A schools Starkville, Columbus, Jackson Murrah, and Greenville-Weston.
Coming off big wins last week, the Immanuel Christian and Victory Christian football teams will try to keep their momentum going tonight. Immanuel (1-3) will play host to Winona Christian, while Victory Christian (4-0) will play host to Victory Baptist. Both games will start at 7 p.m. Immanuel coach Shawn Gates, who earned his first career victory as a head coach last week, said everybody on the team, including the coaches, has been doing their part to try to help the team continue its winning ways.
Bobby Berry and Brad Butler had nights they would like to forget last Friday. The Philadelphia High School football team broke out to a 48-0 halftime lead en route to a 48-16 victory against West Lowndes, while the Lamar School used its passing attack to torch Heritage Academy 49-12. Both coaches will try to get their programs back on track tonight. The West Lowndes Panthers (3-1) will play host to Wheeler at 7:30, while the Heritage Academy Patriots travels to Madison Ridgeland Academy (7).
The New Hope High School football team will get back to work tonight against an opponent that is sure to get it primed for the start of district play. The Trojans (2-0) return from a bye week at 7:30 tonight looking to extend a winning streak when they take on county rival Caledonia (0-3). New Hope has won the past four meetings in the series. Caledonia’s 14-10 victory in 2004 is the program’s only victory in the series, dating back to 1995.
SULLIGENT, Ala. — Jimmy Lann delivered his best effort on one of the best nights to be a Lamar County Bulldog. The senior had a sack that led to a touchdown and two more key defensive plays in the final five minutes Friday night to help Lamar County defeat Sulligent 21-20 in a Class 2A, Region 7 matchup at Brown Stadium. The victory was the first for the Bulldogs (4-0) against the Blue Devils (2-2) since a 45-20 victory in 2005. It also marks the program’s best start in more than 15 years.
Kat Walsh is used to succeeding in soccer. Her ability as a scorer helped her earn Alabama Gatorade Player of the Year honors in 2004 and 2005 at Spain Park High School in Hoover, Ala. As a result, Walsh was a sought-after recruit who decided to take her skills to LSU. That’s when Walsh discovered the first choice might not always be the best choice.
SCOOBA –– East Mississippi Community College carried a No. 2 national ranking in the NJCAA/JCfootball.com poll and an undefeated record into Thursday night’s game against rival No. 13 ranked Mississippi Gulf Coast C.C. A soggy field and the threat of rain didn’t deter fans from filling EMCC’s Sullivan-Windham Field for the much-anticipated matchup. The Lions seemed to be in gear to continue their winning ways and offensive domination when All-America quarterback Randall Mackey hit wide receiver Lance Lewis in stride for an 80-yard opening play touchdown. With barely 18 seconds elapsed, EMCC led 7-0. But the lead was short lived as EMCC suffered a 43-26 loss.
Zach Smith knows about the potential of Vanderbilt quarterback Larry Smith. The Mississippi State junior safety became familiar with Larry Smith during preparation for the Alabama High School Athletic Association All-Star Game in 2005. They also spent time together attending high school football camps in Alabama and became friends. Zach played at Susan Moore High School in Altoona, Ala., while Larry Smith prepped at Prattville (Ala.) High.
The “preseason” is nearly over. That’s why Columbus High School football coach Bubba Davis is excited about his team’s matchup at 7:30 p.m. Friday against Class 4A Louisville High.
Mississippi State women’s basketball coach Sharon Fanning-Otis believes her program has the potential to make history this season. At least one national basketball publication believes in the Lady Bulldogs, too. Lindy’s College Basketball magazine has Mississippi State ranked No. 25 in its poll of the nation’s best teams.
Dan Mullen has a plan to build the Mississippi State football program into a winner. The first-year coach said successful recruiting will help the Bulldogs implement that plan and help them return to postseason bowl games, something they have done once (Liberty Bowl, 2007) in the past five years.
An abundance of playmakers has helped the East Mississippi Community College football team climb to No. 2 in the nation. The contributions are coming from the usual places — like All-America sophomore quarterback Randall Mackey — and plenty of unlikely sources, particularly a player with a broken hand.
Southeastern Conference teams know depth in the backfield is crucial. Vanderbilt University is glad to have it. With senior running back Jared Hawkins still unable to do very much in practice with a foot injury, freshmen Zac Stacy and Warren Norman and junior Kennard Reeves have emerged for the Commodores.
ABERDEEN — Fernando Davis has a good memory when it comes to football scores. Davis recalls plenty of results from his playing days at the University of Alabama. But Davis can go back even before that and show off an impressive ability to recall the smallest details from his career as a linebacker at Aberdeen High School.
STARKVILLE — Greg Byrne understands the importance of recruiting for his head coaches. That’s why the Mississippi State Athletic Director believes in keeping coaches’ financial contracts at four years. Byrne has recommended that the contracts of basketball coach Rick Stansbury and baseball coach John Cohen be extended through June 30, 2013. The item on the College Board of Education’s agenda this week still has Stansbury’s contract through June 30, 2012, but Byrne expects it to be extended.
University of North Texas football coach Todd Dodge doesn’t mind going after Mississippi junior college talent. Dodge intends to do plenty of more recruiting there if it means his program will get players like senior offensive guard Gabe Hollivay, who was a standout at Hamilton High School, and junior wide receiver Michael Outlaw, of Starkville. Hollivay transferred from Itawamba Community College, while Outlaw transferred from East Mississippi C.C.
While growing up in Amory, Chris Wilson was a football fan of the University of Mississippi football team. Wilson especially liked Ole Miss when Amory natives Rufus French (tight end, 1996-98) and Joe Gunn (running back, 1998-2001) starred for the Rebels. Wilson aspired to play for the Rebels and was recruited by former Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron. Wilson will be on the field Saturday when the Rebels play host Southeastern Louisiana, but he won’t be in an Ole Miss uniform.
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State appreciates Wade Bonner’s effort. The Bulldogs just want to make sure the sophomore doesn’t get overworked. Not only does Bonner back up Zach Smith at free safety, he also helps out on special teams. Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen likes Bonner’s versatility, but doesn’t want to use him too much.
1. MSU gets good grades for first four games COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Bulldogs ready to forget past, focus on Texas A&M COLLEGE SPORTS
3. Defense delivers dominating effort for Rebels COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Unbeaten MSU receives high marks on defense COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Ole Miss overlooks hype, readies for No. 1 Alabama COLLEGE SPORTS