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Aberdeen's Duncan preaches, follows the word

Posted 12/23/2011 in High School Sports

ABERDEEN -- Chris Duncan has fully served his year -- and then some. What began as a one-year commitment to coach the Aberdeen High School football team has turned into a five-year gig. In that time, Duncan has helped re-build a program that won one game in the two previous seasons and has elevated it into a perennial state title contender.



Smith matures as quarterback for West Oktibbeha

Posted 12/23/2011 in High School Sports

MABEN -- Von Smith thought he could handle playing quarterback. It was just a matter of proving to others he could to the job. So after starting his youth football career as a wide receiver, Smith graduated to quarterback when he moved up to middle school ball. It didn't take him long to find his niche.



Ward plays variety of roles for Aberdeen

Posted 12/23/2011 in High School Sports

ABERDEEN -- Channing Ward is used to the attention. Ever since Ward arrived at Aberdeen High School, he attracted the interest of numerous colleges that fell in love with his potential at a variety of positions. This season, Ward played expanded roles on offense and defense in an attempt to help the Bulldogs make a run at a third-straight trip to Jackson, the site of the state title games.



Swedenburg excels on, off field for MSU

Posted 12/22/2011 in College Sports

STARKVILLE -- Baker Swedenburg earned a title this month that is a source of pride. It isn't All-American, All-Southeastern Conference or starting Division I punter. Swedenburg, a third-year sophomore punter, is a graduate of Mississippi State. He was one of eight members of the MSU football team who recently received his bachelor's degree.



MSU men will try to win again in Jackson

Posted 12/22/2011 in College Sports

STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State men's basketball team's annual contest in the state's capital will be a homecoming for three players. No. 18 MSU (11-1) will hope to win its ninth straight game at Memorial Coliseum under coach Rick Stansbury when it takes on Northwestern State (7-5) at 7 tonight.



Plott elevates Tornadoes in return home

Posted 12/22/2011 in High School Sports

REFORM, Ala. -- Pickens County High School football coach Patrick Plott hopes he is home for good. In his first season in his second stint as coach of the PCHS football team, Plott led the Tornadoes to an 11-2 record and a second-place finish in Class 1A, Region 4. The season ended with a 38-36 loss at defending state champion Sweet Water in the third round of the playoffs.



Pickens County's Hall made most of second chance

Posted 12/22/2011 in High School Sports

REFORM, Ala. -- Time away from the sport taught Pickens County High School senior running back De'Marko Hall how much the game of football means to him. After missing his ninth and 10th grade years due to discipline issues, Hall returned to the field with a vengeance. This season, Hall ran for more than 1,400 yards, topped 1,200 yards receiving, and scored 43 all-purpose touchdowns. The touchdown total was 15 better than the previous school record.



Mayhew emerged as leader for Aliceville

Posted 12/22/2011 in High School Sports

ALICEVILLE, Ala. -- Aliceville High School senior middle linebacker Terry Mayhew admits he once was "an angry person." Mayhew credits new Aliceville coach Charles Moody with being the influence that helped him channel his emotion and energy and mature into a fine young man.



Russell begins practice with injury

Posted 12/21/2011 in College Sports

STARKVILLE -- Tyler Russell is learning how to play with pain in preparation for the 2011 Music City Bowl. Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen confirmed Monday that Russell has a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee and is expected to play against Wake Forest at 5:40 p.m. Dec. 30 (ESPN) in Nashville, Tenn.



Richardson juggles roles for Starkville

Posted 12/21/2011 in High School Sports

STARKVILLE -- A year ago, Wheeler Richardson found her voice as a leader of the Starkville High School volleyball team. Richardson also continued her do-everything role for the Lady Yellow Jackets, moving from setting to digging to hitting without missing a beat. But what Richardson did last season was easy compared to the responsibilities she had to juggle this season.



Noxubee County, New Hope split basketball doubleheader

Posted 12/21/2011 in High School Sports

The New Hope High School girls basketball team will carry a lot of momentum into its Christmas holiday break. However, the Lady Trojans won't carry a winning streak with them. Behind a 30-point night from senior guard Tynesha Mickens, Noxubee County erased a six-point fourth-quarter deficit to earn a 48-44 victory Tuesday night and hand New Hope its first defeat of the season. In the nightcap, New Hope salvaged the split as the boys posted a 64-60 victory.



Former West Lowndes coach excited about new opportunity in Starkville

Posted 12/21/2011 in Local Sports

STARKVILLE -- Former West Lowndes High School basketball coach Herman Peters is excited about his new vocation. Peters assumed his duties as sports program coordinator for the city of Starkville Parks and Recreation Department earlier this month. He is pleased because of the unique opportunity this new job allows to embrace his passion of basketball.



Brewer leaves Ole Miss

Posted 12/21/2011 in College Sports

OXFORD -- Despite an offer to remain at the University of Mississippi, associate head coach Gunter Brewer has decided to leave the school and to try to get a job as coach at another school.



NCAA explains ruling in Zeidaks' case

Posted 12/20/2011 in College Sports

STARKVILLE -- Despite strong objections by Mississippi State, the NCAA released the rationale for its suspension of forward Kristers Zeidaks for this season and 11 games next season. NCAA Eligibility Center ruled Nov. 3, Zeidaks, who is from Latvia, will be suspended for this season and 11 games next season for participating in a league that saw him play with and against professional players in his home country.



SEC baseball tournament expands to 10 teams

Posted 12/20/2011 in College Sports

STARKVILLE -- Every Southeastern Conference baseball coach had the same question earlier this year when the NCAA tournament selection show ended: "Where's LSU?" LSU finished 36-20 (13-17 in the SEC) and 26th in the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), but didn't receive an invitation in large part for failing to make the conference tournament.



Freeze tackles reviving Ole Miss

Posted 12/20/2011 in College Sports

OXFORD -- Hugh Freeze has spent his first weeks as the University of Mississippi's football coach playing catch-up, constantly on the road or on the phone trying to convince prospects to give the Rebels a chance. He said it has been encouraging experience. It also has been a humbling one.



Brown, MSU women earn easy victory

Posted 12/20/2011 in College Sports

STARKVILLE -- Ashley Brown has earned a reputation as a rebounder. In her second year with the program, the 5-foot-11 transfer from Jefferson College (Mo.) has shown a nose for the ball and a willingness to mix it up in the paint like no other member of the Mississippi State women's basketball team. When given a chance, Brown also can make an impact in the scoring column.



Hebron Christian's Tapley player of year

Posted 12/20/2011 in High School Sports

It's one thing to be poised when you have an experienced group of teammates behind you. A pitcher can relax a little be more and trust her teammates are going to make the plays behind her and get the team out of sticky situations. It's another thing to maintain a even keel when your team has lost three All-Area players.



Patterson, Proffitt lead Columbus girls

Posted 12/20/2011 in High School Sports

Kiandria Patterson and Maggie Proffitt don't care how the Columbus High School girls basketball team beats you. The Lady Falcons can go outside-inside, or they can attack you inside and then kick the basketball back outside. The strategies may change game to game, but the Columbus High juniors likely will be the ones leading the charge. Patterson and Proffitt showed last weekend at the 15th annual Joe Horne Christmas Classic they and the Lady Falcons may have all of the pieces they will need to make a run at a state title.



CHS girls win; CHS boys lose; Starkville boys lose

Posted 12/17/2011 in High School Sports

After going without a field goal in the opening minutes Saturday night, the Columbus High School girls basketball team found its rhythm at the free-throw line. Eleven of the Lady Falcons' first 19 points came at the charity stripe before guard Kiandria Patterson took over to lead Columbus to a 64-38 victory against Lawrence County on Saturday on the second day of the 15th annual Joe Horne Christmas Classic.



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