Big plays have been the theme during West Lowndes' surprising run to a 3-0 start in Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 1A, Region 1 play.
CLARKSDALE -- New Hope High School came up on the short end of a hard-fought Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A, Region 1 prep football matchup Friday night.
SULLIGENT, Ala. -- Sulligent High School racked up 440 yards of total offense to knock off Lamar County 56-24 in a Alabama High School Activities Association non-region prep football matchup played Friday night.
Friday's Mississippi Prep Football Scores
Friday's Alabama Prep Football Scores
Chris Taylor kicked a 36-yard field goal with 2 minutes, 44 seconds remaining to lift the Columbus High School football team to a 23-21 victory against DeSoto Central in the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A, Region 1 opener for both teams Friday night at Falcon Field. Taylor kicked three field goals - 35, 36, and 36 yards. A sophomore, Taylor joined the team this fall after already playing for the school's boys soccer team.
In elementary school, when Keyon Higgins was losing a backyard wrestling match to older brother Stanley, he would remember his mother's advice.
CALEDONIA -- It's time to move on. That's a sentiment shared by Caledonia High School football coach Andy Crotwell and Heritage Academy football coach Barrett Donahoe after their teams suffered loses in week five last week. As disappointing as the losses to New Hope and Pisgah were, though, Crotwell and Donahoe don't want the effects to linger because both squads have all of their goals still in front of them.
All Gary Harris wants is an opportunity. It concerned him Thursday that he wasn't able to get much of a scouting report for the Heritage Academy fast-pitch softball team's opponent in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA North State tournament. Harris also had to dismiss the complications that his team would have to face the host team on its home field if it won its first game. To make matters worse, Harris couldn't help worry that senior catcher Macy Walters' sprained ankle was going to bother her this weekend and affect her ability to handle senior pitcher Kaitlyn Oswalt.
Nick Clark can't help use the word "great" when describing the baseball exploits of Syd. L. Thweatt Jr. But as talented a hitter and infielder as Thweatt Jr. was at Stephen D. Lee High School in Columbus and East Mississippi Junior College in Scooba, Clark said there is another quality about his longtime friend that has left a bigger impression on him.
STARKVILLE -- Kelly White knew she could make a difference for the Mississippi State athletic department. While working at Oktibbeha County Hospital Regional Center, White already had a working relationship with MSU Director of Sports Medicine Mary McLendon, and many Bulldog athletes came to see White at the hospital. As a result, White talked to different MSU teams on campus about eating right, but she wanted more involvement, so she met with different people in the athletic department and laid out a plan as to why it needed a dietitian for all sports on campus.
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State football team is looking for consecutive victories against Auburn for the first time since it won four straight in the series from 1997-2000. Last season, MSU won 38-23 in Starkville, so the stage is set for MSU (2-1, 0-1 Southeastern Conference) to accomplish that goal when it takes on Auburn (2-1, 0-1) at 6:30 p.m. Saturday (ESPN2) in Auburn, Alabama.
Before Lee Ray's first Street Stock race at Jackson this year, he faced a dilemma: He didn't know how to set up his car for the track. He was new to running the track as part of the Mississippi Street Stock Series, a series in which he'd never competed. Ray usually stuck close to the Golden Triangle, racing at Magnolia Motor Speedway and Columbus Speedway, so he leaned on the advice of Tony Bright, a close friend and fellow Street Stock driver, who advised him on what gears to run at the track. The two have relied on each other in one way or another this season, as both have competed on the 10-race state series and in the Golden Triangle. Bright is second in points, while Ray is third.
OXFORD -- Robert Nkemdiche's eyes light up when talking about the transformation that's made him one of college football's most dominant players. But the gigantic defensive tackle -- who at 6-foot-4 and nearly 300 pounds anchors No. 3 Ole Miss' defense -- doesn't mention anything about work in the weight room, speed training or a greater understanding of football. Instead he talks about Zen and centering himself.
Columbus High School senior linebacker Damonta Kidd never has had a laugh he wouldn't share with a friend. With a mischievous smile commonplace, Kidd always knows how to have a good time. It is a large part of the reason why he fits in so well on the Falcons' defense.
STARKVILLE -- Make no mistake, Kennadi Carbin didn't play basketball in high school. But don't let the Mississippi State 5-foot-11 freshman fool you because she knows a little something about posting people up. In soccer, though, the technique of positioning your body in front of a defender and keeping possession usually is called holding the ball. The skill is designed to give an individual on the attacking team time to scan the field and spot an open teammate. Judging from Carbin's performance late in MSU's match against Arkansas on Sunday, she has been listening to coach Aaron Gordon's words of encouragement.
STARKVILLE -- Ego isn't part of the equation for Chase Nicholson. The Starkville Academy first-year football coach admits he doesn't have all of the answers. He also knows he isn't the most experienced member of the team's coaching staff.
STARKVILLE -- Jamal Peters and Mark McLaurin were certain they were going to be redshirted this season. The Mississippi State freshman safeties entered the week of the season opener against Southern Mississippi pessimistic about their chances to earn playing time. But it was all in their heads, as Peters played against the Golden Eagles and McLaurin played in the team's second game against LSU.
STARKVILLE -- Craig Sword believes he and Fred Thomas are the most important pieces entering this season. The senior guards have been through all the highs and lows with the Mississippi State men's basketball program in the past three seasons. Sword has led the Bulldogs in scoring the last three years, while Thomas has been one of the team's top defensive players. MSU first-year head coach Ben Howland brought in a talented freshman class with Malik Newman and Quinndary Weatherspoon at the guard positions, but Sword and Thomas will play vital roles this season.
STARKVILLE -- Starkville High School senior quarterback Montario Montgomery doesn't care what the Yellow Jackets did in the first four games of the season. The Yellow Jackets are 3-1 after five weeks, but the real season will start at Friday. That's when Starkville travel to Jackson to take on Callaway (4-1) at 7 p.m. Newell Field in a Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A, Region 2 game. "We know we've got to focus now. We know we've got to practice harder every day to get better because these are the games that count," Montgomery said. "Despite the game we loss and despite the games we won, they don't matter because these seven games are all that matter."
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