Rachel Baucom is accustomed to winning when it comes to playing softball. She played on six state championship teams at New Hope High School and back-to-back state championship teams at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville, Ala. Baucom isn’t on a team that good this season, but she’s helping revive the softball program at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Ark.
Chris Stratton used a little help from Uncle Charlie on Tuesday night to make things look easy. The Mississippi State signee struck out 10 in five innings to lead the Tupelo High School baseball team to a 15-0 victory against Columbus in a Class 5A, Division 2, District 4 game at Sammy Fletcher Field. The victory coupled with South Panola’s 15-5 victory against Starkville on Tuesday helped put Tupelo (19-5, 6-2 division) in the driver’s seat for the district title. A victory at South Panola at 7 p.m. Thursday would give the Golden Wave the district championship.
The Starkville High School baseball team didn’t find anything magical at the end of the rainbow Monday night, only another victory. After the clouds that brought a late-inning shower moved south, a rainbow formed just as Starkville third baseman Todd Phillips ran toward it to catch the baseball for the game’s final out in a 16-6 victory against West Lowndes.
Kelli Petty doesn’t want any debate. As much success as she and the New Hope High School softball program have on the diamond, the junior standout says track and field is her No. 1 sport.
It has almost been 20 years since Mississippi State baseball coach John Cohen has competed as a player against the University of Mississippi. During his playing career with the Bulldogs (1988-90), Cohen remembers the rivalry with the Rebels wasn’t as intense as it is today.
The appearance of former Mississippi State football coach Jackie Sherrill at spring football practice last week has caused quite a stir. Sherrill’s possible interaction with the Bulldogs at Friday’s workout might have violated an NCAA bylaw regarding the limitation of coaches taking part in on-the-field teaching.
Will McReynolds doesn’t want his senior season to end with a whimper. On Thursday, he had two doubles and scored two runs against Donnie Tabb and did everything he could to get his teammates pumped up. Unfortunately, the New Hope High School baseball team lost to Neshoba Central and dropped to third place in Class 4A, Region 4, District 4. On Saturday, McReynolds added two hits in the first three innings to help propel New Hope to an 11-5 victory against Columbus on Senior Day at Trojan Field.
Jessica Moore admits she had butterflies. The sophomore outfielder arrived Saturday morning at Lady Trojan Field to discover teammate and starting right fielder Haley Tutor was suffering from an ulcer in her right eye and wouldn’t be able to play against Hernando. Moore accepted the news with concern for her teammate and excitement that she would get a chance to play.
MABEN -- Senior Jacob Harris showed what four years of hard work could do as a powerlifter at East Webster High School, and sophomore Timakis Bell is following the same path. Harris and Bell both won Class A state powerlifting championships in their weight class and gave East Webster quite a lift. Bell said it was the effort and support of the entire team that made individual success possible.
STARKVILLE — The Mississippi State football team was hard at work early Thursday, but it had nothing to do with spring football practice. The Bulldogs helped children from the T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability in Starkville participate in an Easter Egg hunt inside the Palmeiro Center. It was an opportunity to meet some of the children in the community and to have fun between classes.
STARKVILLE — The Mississippi State baseball team needs to make up some ground in a hurry if it is to avoid the fate it endured last season. Ever since John Cohen took over for Ron Polk, his goal has been to avoid a repeat of last season, when the Bulldogs finished 22-33 and 9-21 in the Southeastern Conference. MSU (18-15, 4-8 SEC) showed some signs of life this week in victories against the University of Alabama-Birmingham (10-0) and Southern Miss (7-6). It will try to build on that momentum this weekend at Tennessee (13-20, 1-11).
Paul Henry is going home to realize a dream. The Columbus High School athletic director and assistant principal was hired Monday night to be the principal at New Site High School in Prentiss County. Henry will start June 1 at the Class 2A school that has a little less than 300 students.
The Neshoba Central High School baseball team could be hitting its stride at the perfect time. New Hope High School coach Stacy Hester hopes he will be able to say the same for his team. Unfortunately, the Trojans will have to go on the road next week to play the deciding games of their first-round playoff series on the road. New Hope’s 5-2 loss to Neshoba Central on Thursday night at Trojan Field cost it a chance to clinch second place in Class 4A, Region 4, District 4.
Throughout the year, the Special Olympics organizes events that motivate and provide hope to people with intellectual disabilities. The events give those athletes an opportunity to compete and to showcase their physical skills. Deanie Forbes, the director of Area 6 (Chickasaw, Monroe, Clay, Oktibbeha, Lowndes, and Webster counties) in Mississippi helps make all of these things possible. Forbes, who is a special education teacher, first got involved with the Special Olympics 20 years ago. She has been the Area 6 director for six years.
Once upon a time, Brach White didn’t like it when Central Academy lost a baseball game. It was a different story Tuesday. White didn’t mind when Central Academy lost to Pickens Academy (Ala.) 12-1.
STARKVILLE — Starkville High School’s Tay Odneal and Kierra Jones kept it within the family when it came to choosing their basketball future. As cousins, the Lady Yellow Jackets wanted to go down the same path together. They joined coaches, family members, and friends in the school library Wednesday afternoon in a ceremony in which they signed national letters of intent to play basketball at Meridian Community College.
CALEDONIA — It’s all in the pacing for Jessica Comer. As a freshman last year, the Caledonia High School distance runner learned about heartbreak when she was nudged out at the tape in the 800 meters at the Class 4A state meet. This season, Comer is using that third-place finish as motivation as she builds toward another run at a state title.
Perseverance and commitment are words Cole Vaughan lives by every day. Through family tragedies, injuries, and life-changing diseases, Vaughan has used sports as an escape and a way to reinvigorate himself to face the challenges that life has thrown at him.
There is no substitute for hard work. That might sound like a cliché coaches and players trot out in an effort to explain their success. But that mentality has served Nashedra Barry and Natalie Tate well for the past four years, so they don’t see any reason to stop now.
STARKVILLE — Whether it’s coaching in the Ivy League or in the Southeastern Conference, football is played the same way. Scott Sallach is finding that out as a member of Dan Mullen’s coaching staff at Mississippi State.
3. Starkville Academy softball ready for season opener HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. Central Academy softball looks for return to state tournament HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS