NEWNAN, Ga. –– The Pickens Academy Pirates scored their most points in a game in three seasons to make Sam Pearson a winner in his debut Friday as the team’s coach. Pickens Academy turned a defensive first half into a rout, defeating the Heritage School 56-36.
OXFORD — Each season brings a new sense of energy for Steve Holeman. This season, though, will be unique for the University of Mississippi women’s soccer coach. The Lady Rebels will rely on the experience of 11 returning players, but they also will count on contributions from 15 freshmen who are part of a class of 18 newcomers. The group of newcomers is the largest since Holeman was hired as the program’s first and only coach in 1994.
CALEDONIA — Shaina Cruse feels like she is part of history. With each practice and match she plays, the senior setter grows a little more comfortable with her Caledonia High School volleyball teammates. Cruse, who also plays goalkeeper on the school’s girls soccer team, has been playing volleyball for only two years, but she dives on the floor to keep loose balls alive with the same hustle she throws her body at soccer balls. To watch Cruse play volleyball, you wouldn’t know she is a newcomer to the sport.
STARKVILLE — It wasn’t really all about winning Saturday at the Starkville Sportsplex softball fields. Although scores were kept, the main purpose of the sixth-annual College Exposure Tournament was to showcase the talent of the 14 Mississippi Association of Independent School teams participating. The tournament was directed by the Delta State softball team, and it gave coach Kasey Charles and her staff a front-row seat to watch potential recruits.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State basketball team spokesman Gregg Ellis confirmed Saturday morning that sophomore backup point guard Twany Beckham plans to have hip surgery and will be out for the season. “He’s got bone spurs in both hips and will have surgery in a couple of weeks,” Ellis said. Beckham, who was experiencing chronic pain because of the condition, will have surgery on one side, then undergo several months of rehabilitation before having the same procedure done on the other side.
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State junior wide receiver Kyle Roberts likes to be in game-like situations in scrimmages. That’s because it gives the former East Oktibbeha and East Mississippi Community College player more chances to impress his coaches. Roberts believes he continues to make strides since walking on to the program in the spring. He said he hopes to continue to take advantage of every opportunity afforded to him.
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen didn’t let a little bit of rain Thursday night chase his Bulldogs inside the Palmeiro Center. The rain didn’t become a factor. A heavy afternoon downpour turned into a steady rain by evening an then all but ended before practice began.
So much for scheduling a cream puff in your season opener. Columbus High School’s Bubba Davis, West Point High’s Chris Chambless, and Noxubee County’s M.C. Miller all have high hopes for their football teams this season. They agree there is no better way to put those hopes to the test than to schedule a difficult opponent in the first game of the season. Each coach will get to do that tonight when Columbus plays host to Aberdeen, West Point travels to Shannon, and Noxubee County plays host to Starkville.
High school football programs are looking for ways to deal with the struggling economy. So when teams can schedule non-conference games close to home that’s what they’re going to do. That’s the main reason Immanuel Christian of Columbus will play host to Hatley High School, while Ackerman High School will travel to Starkville Academy.
The duathlon last Saturday at Lake Lowndes State Park was just a warmup for Brad Atkins. The feature presentation will take place Saturday morning when Atkins, Delynn Burkhalter, Alex Woodard, and Randy McCalip participate in the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championship in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The event will bring together the nation’s top age-group triathletes from ages 18 to 80 and over.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — When you’re building a program, consistency often is the first ingredient to ensuring success. University of Alabama women’s soccer coach Todd Bramble hopes the Crimson Tide took a step toward establishing that foundation last season.
A judge’s ruling Thursday that NCAA documents in an infractions case against Florida State are public records under state law could impact the investigation into Mississippi State basketball signee Renardo Sidney.
A capsule preview look at the Oak Hill Acadademy-Heritage Academy, West Lowndes-West Oktibbeha, and Hatley-Immanuel games.
One coaches at a private school, and the other coaches at a public school. One coaches at an academy that has a student body that is nearly all white, while the other works at a predominately black school. But when it comes to coaching high school football, the coaches face similar situations.
SCOOBA — One week from today the East Mississippi Community College football team will begin its 2009 season with a non-division matchup against Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Wesson. EMCC coach Buddy Stephens’ Lions enjoyed record-setting success last season en route to a Mississippi Association of Community and Junior College North Division title, the school’s first playoff berth since 1984, and a No. 10 national ranking in the final NJCAA / JC Football.com poll. The top-10 ranking was the first since 1963.
STARKVILLE — The installation of the spread offense is complete at Mississippi State. Now, the cleaning process begins.
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State center Jarvis Varnado and his family have agreed to pay his way for his senior season of basketball. By giving up his scholarship, Varnado makes it easier for the Bulldogs to fit 14 players into the 13 scholarship limit mandated by the NCAA.
The Nettleton High School and the Amory High football teams hope to use a rivalry game to start the season with a victory. Nettleton coach Jack Clark and Amory coach Pat Byrd believe the rivalry will be good for their boys. “(The rivalry) has a positive impact for our kids. We’ve played each other 15 times in the last 20 years,” Clark said. “They have probably won 13 of those games, but even though it is one-sided it is always a competitive game.”
STEENS — Just about everything will be new for the Immanuel Christian girls soccer program in 2009. The hope for this season is that all of the new players who have joined the program will help the Lady Rams make a return trip to the playoffs. Fifth-year coach Ray Campbell and the Lady Rams will kick off the season at 4 p.m. today when they play host to Indianola.
Consider the apology accepted. Krisi Boren is only in her second year as girls soccer coach at Heritage Academy, but she has been around soccer and student-athletes long enough to have seen plenty of things. Boren faced something after her team’s season-opening victory against Marshall Academy she didn’t expect. After the game, freshman forward Tori Fields apologized to Boren for not giving her best effort. The apology was unsolicited and caught Boren off guard.
1. Kelly has Caledonia in position to earn playoff berth HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. Redshirt sophomore guard Allen leaves MSU COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Moorhead speaks as MSU prepares for trip to LSU COLLEGE SPORTS
5. No. 22 Bulldogs know what to expect from No. 5 Tigers COLLEGE SPORTS