As a reserve outfielder on the Mississippi College baseball team, J’Marcus Brooks hasn’t gotten many opportunities to display his skills this season. But when the sophomore from Columbus has gotten to play, he’s made the most of his chances. The 5-foot-10, 173-pound fleet-footed Brooks has played in only 11 games this season for the Choctaws, but he’s produced when his name has been called.
STARKVILLE — The football building blocks are being laid at Starkville Academy. Jeff Terrill’s return to the prep ranks for the first time since 1993 brought him to a rebuilding project that has a dubious number hanging over the last two seasons. Fifteen straight losses and a winless 2009 campaign did more than evoke a coaching change — players defected.
Noxubee County School District Superintendent Kevin Jones said Tuesday that the district's school board accepted the resignation of former football coach M.C. Miller but didn't approve the hiring of a new football coach at its Monday meeting. Jones said the school board will meet two more times this month, with the next meeting scheduled for Monday. The hiring of Tyrone Shorter to replace Miller as Noxubee County High School football coach is expected to be on the agenda at one of those meetings. Shorter was an assistant coach for 12 or 13 years to Miller, who left Noxubee County High to take a job as head football coach at Harrison Central. Miller later reconsidered that opportunity and was hired to become the football coach at Louisville High School. He replaces Brad Peterson, who is the new football coach at Btrandon.
Landon Ellis struck out eight and allowed one hit in five innings Tuesday to lead the Victory Christian Academy baseball team to an 11-1 victory against Victory Baptist (Millbrook, Ala.) in the Alabama Christian Educators Association playoffs. The victory pushes Victory Christian (10-1) into the ACEA Final Four at 3 p.m. Friday at Northside in Dothan, Ala. The Eagles likely will play Northside. Victory Christian was forced to play Tuesday after it lost a coin flip with Tuscaloosa Christian. The teams split two regular-season meetings and were tied for the top spot in the region. The No. 1 seed received an automatic bid to the Final Four.
ITTA BENA — The Caledonia High School girls and the Noxubee County High School boys track and field teams won Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 4A Region 1 championships Tuesday at Mississippi Valley State University. The Lady Confederates scored 109 points to outdistance Amory (81 points) and Noxubee County (75). The Noxubee County boys had 119 points to run away from Caledonia, which was second with 80.
Lee Boyd hopes to see a little more fire from his team tonight. The first-year New Hope High School baseball coach opened his team’s game against Neshoba Central on Saturday night by asking his players to get him five runs in the fifth inning. Instead, the Trojans went scoreless in the first, had only six hits, and and scuffled through a 3-2 loss in game two of their best-of-three Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A opening-round playoff series.
Brent Harris knew this season could be special for the Victory Christian Academy baseball team. After watching many of the team’s younger players take their lumps, Harris watched as an assistant coach as those players slowly matured and gained confidence. This season, in his first as the Eagles’ head coach, Harris thought things could come together provided the upperclassmen delivered solid leadership.
Lee Boyd left the quick hook in the dugout this time — if only for another batter. That’s about as much margin for error as Blake Roberts had remaining when Boyd sprinted to the mound for a discussion with his starting pitcher in the top of the second inning Monday night.
Richard Christopher didn’t want to relive history. A year after a shoulder injury helped prevent him from winning a state title, the Heritage Academy senior realized a goal Saturday when he won the AAA shot put title at the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Overall State Championship at Mississippi College.
OXFORD — New Hope High School’s Kelli Petty won the 100 and 200 meters and the high jump Monday at the Class 5A-Region 1 meet at Oxford High School.
M.C Miller believes the Noxubee County High School football program has its man. Tonight, that man, Tyrone Shorter, is expected to take Miller’s place and become the head football coach at Noxubee County. Shorter’s hiring is expected to be approved at the Noxubee County School District School Board meeting. Shorter worked the past 12 years as an assistant coach to Miller, who left Noxubee County to accept the head football coaching job at Harrison Central. He reconsidered that decision last month and was hired as the head football coach at Louisville High School.
CLINTON –– Heritage Academy’s Richard Christopher and Starkville Academy’s Joseph Macgown and Will Goodwin won individual titles Saturday at the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Overall State Championship at Mississippi College. Christopher won the AAA shot put with a mark of 46 feet, 7 1/2 inches. Macgown won the AAA 3,200 meters with a time of 10 minutes, 58.49 seconds, while Goodwin won the AAA triple jump with a mark of 42-11 1/2.
CORINTH — Former Mississippi State track and field standout Tiffany McWilliams Dudley ran a time of 38 minutes, 41 seconds Saturday to win the Corinth Coca Cola 10-Kilometer Classic. McWilliams Dudley, 27, finished 13th overall in the race that featured more than 800 competitors. Amory’s Stephen Otey was the next highest finisher among local competitors. He was ninth in the 15- to 19-year-old age division (36th overall) with a time of 43:55.
STARKVILLE — Middle inning madness and potent Ole Miss offense clinched its weekend Southeastern Conference series with Mississippi State following a 12-10 win Saturday at Dudy Noble Field. Ole Miss (32-13, 13-7 SEC) was powered by a nine-run spree that spanned the fifth and sixth innings, while Mississippi State (20-22, 5-15) took advantage of a shaky outing from Ole Miss No. 2 pitcher Aaron Barrett. The Bulldogs, however, were dealt with a two-run gap in the bottom of the ninth and for the second-straight game had its own miscues in the field contribute to its demise.
PHILADELPHIA — The Neshoba Central High School baseball program welcomed Lee Boyd back home Saturday night. The Rockets enjoyed Boyd’s stay so much they’ll make a return trip to Lowndes County to see him again Monday. Robert Greer pitched a complete-game six-hitter and Neshoba Central capitalized on a two-run error for a 3-2 victory in game two of its best-of-three Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A opening-round playoff series.
STARKVILLE — After his team lost by the mercy rule in its postseason opener, Starkville coach Danny Carlisle thought the Yellow Jackets would respond with elimination staring them in the face. Instead the Jackets managed just two hits Friday in an 11-1 loss to Madison Central to be eliminated from the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A state playoffs. The scrappiness that saw Starkville make a fourth-inning rally on Thursday wasn’t there Friday as the Jackets were baffled by Madisson Central pitcher L.J. Hollins.
HAMILTON –– Good coaches aren’t afraid to adjust their strategy when things aren’t going according to plan. So it wasn’t surprising to see Hamilton High School coach Jason Cobb try something different Friday afternoon in the second game of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 2A fast-pitch softball playoffs. Leading one game in a best-of-three series with East Union and locked in a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the sixth, Cobb elected to play small ball en route to a 7-3 win.
Joseph Webster finished first individually to help Monroe County Bassmasters win team honors at the Mississippi Bass Federation State Tournament on Saturday. Webster weighed in nine bass that weighed 26.42 pounds during the two-day tournament on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway that helped Monroe County Bassmasters win with 49 bass that weighed 117.7 pounds. Webster weighed in four bass at 11.34 pounds on Friday and five bass at 15.08 pounds on Saturday, while Monroe County Bassmasters had 23 fish for 55.16 pounds the first day and 26 for 62.58 pounds the second.
STARKVILLE –– Friday brought mixed news for the Mississippi State men’s basketball program. MSU confirmed junior forward Romero Osby will transfer from the school his father attended, which will put the team at 13 scholarship players for next season. Following Osby’s announcement, Mississippi State got its first 2011 verbal commitment from Jackson Callaway guard Marquavius “Deville” Smith.
The pieces are finally assembled. Now Sharon Fanning-Otis and the Mississippi State women’s basketball coaching staff have some time to formulate a plan for the new pieces to the 2010-11 puzzle. The Lady Bulldogs finalized their recruiting class Friday by announcing the signing of 6-foot forward Elyseia Dunn of Jefferson College (Mo.). Dunn is the fifth junior college player to join the program, and the ninth member of the 2010 signing class. She joins Jefferson College (Mo.) teammates Porsha Porter and Ashley Brown, whose signings were announced earlier this week.
2. Ole Miss earns NCAA bid; Southern Mississippi left out COLLEGE SPORTS