The appetizer was delicious. Now bring on the main course. In five days, Dan Mullen's Mississippi State football team will get to show another ESPN audience if his team is up to the challenge. On Saturday, the Bulldogs delivered a building block -- 49-7 victory against the University of Memphis at Davis Wade Stadium -- that at least makes you stop and go hmmm.
The timing was perfect. On Thursday, Lowndes County Schools Superintendent Mike Halford was at New Hope High School to catch some of the action between the Columbus and New Hope High School slow-pitch softball teams. Softball is one of the few sports that the two Lowndes County schools compete against each other. In the past few years, the schools haven't played each other in football and boys basketball due to problems that fans attending the matchups might have created.
Expectations can be difficult for student-athletes and parents to handle. As another high school sports scene begins its first official full week today, all teams still have an optimistic glow about them. Most Mississippi Association of Independent Schools fast-pitch softball teams began their seasons Friday and Saturday, while some MAIS football teams -- including Starkville Academy -- will scrimmages later this week.
The University of Mississippi has the papers. Is Houston Nutt thinking clearly enough to say no? That question could be answered very soon, as the Ole Miss football coach decides what to do about former University of Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli.
HOOVER, Ala. -- Expectations did their best to crush the University of Mississippi football team's season in 2009. Imagine coach Houston Nutt's horror last year when he was asked if his team could have a successful season if it didn't go to Atlanta, the site of the Southeastern Conference Championship game.
HOOVER, Ala. -- It's all about the swagger for Nick Saban and Dan Mullen. The methods used at the University of Alabama and at Mississippi State to instill that mind-set are as different as the coaches who lead the young men.
There's always something at the Southeastern Conference Media Days. Whether it's the aura of Tim Tebow -- and the awkward question about his virginity -- or former University of Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer getting served a subpoena in a libel suit, the event is an extravaganza of like no other.
Let the hype begin. The recruiting season is nice, as are spring games. But college football officially gears up Wednesday when the Southeastern Conference holds its annual football media days.
"The Decision" will come today. That's what ESPN is calling the latest made-for-TV event. We'll have to see if Jay-Z will provide the music that will accompany LeBron James' announcement of which NBA team he will play for in the 2010-11 season.
The right gear is just one part of a committed lifestyle. But double-barreled backpacks, wheeled coolers filled with caffeinated and clear beverages, bags of Cheez-Its to Cheetos to chewy fruit snacks, a rainbow's array of hair ribbons, or eye-black configurations that would make an artist jealous don't win games. They only make persevering through a day's worth of travel softball a little easier for players and parents. The reward for all of that preparation, which is an integral sidekick of commitment, comes from the chemistry players deliver after playing as many as three to five games in a day.
You have to admire the tenacity of the fans, parents and supporters of the Bruce High School baseball team. If the coaching staff or athletic administrators had exhibited similar diligence in pursuing a clarification of a rule neither the Bruce nor the Hamilton High School baseball teams would be in this quagmire. The situation involving the Mississippi High School Activities Association's ruling to withdraw Bruce from the Class 2A state championship series due to a violation of a pitching restriction took another turn Friday when a motion was filed in Hinds County Chancery Court to get the team reinstated.
Ignorance of the law is not an excuse. If you have been stopped by a police officer and asked, "Do you know how fast you were going?", you likely discovered that fact after being penalized for going a little too quickly.
Mission accomplished. Even though the Mississippi State womenís basketball teamís season ended Sunday with a 74-71 loss to Florida State in the Sweep 16 of the NCAA tournament, the Lady Bulldogs took the next step.
Wow. That was the reaction many people had Nov. 22, 2009, when the Mississippi State womenís basketball team rolled past the University of Maryland 84-55 at Humphrey Coliseum.
Having watched the Starkville High School boys basketball team provide the best prep basketball entertainment Iíve witnessed in my three years as a reporter and editor, I know the magnitude of todayís work and the storylines that have made this yearís team what it is. Two games away from erasing the state championship frustrations, the Yellow Jacketsí best approach to making history is to forget what happened in the past. Nevermind what youíve heard. Itís the only way. Your opponent will do the same.
Most water sports men and women you see wear sunglasses.† Anglers wear them to see better while fishing.† With polarized lenses, you are able to see underwater stumps and other cover that will likely hold a fish or two.†During bedding season, anglers that bed fish wear polarized sunglasses to spot fish while they are on the bed. Pleasure boats are filled with men, women and children and most of them are wearing sunglasses for a number of reasons. Some wear them because of having to squint in the sunlight.†Others wear them to look stylish.
With the hunting season coming to a close, I am seeing more boats on the water lately.† Anglers are beginning to feel the itch to start fishing. If they are slow and methodical with their lures and casts, they will find some good fishing.
In our area, winter time normally gives us passing cold fronts and slow-biting bass.† Air temperatures and water temperatures rise and fall like a roller-coaster so the fish you caught on Saturday are not cooperating on Sunday afternoon. A good friend of mine and I were able to fish for a couple of hours one Saturday and were on the water by 2 p.m.†The fish werenít biting at first, but they seemed to wake up and it turned into a good time of fishing.†The best fish were caught on a jig, but the majority of the fish were caught on soft plastics.
Sometimes the coaching carousel in college football can spin out of control. In just one week, the University of Tennessee lost head coach Lane Kiffin, was turned down twice, and hired Derek Dooley. The Volunteers found an abrupt change can make for a very uncomfortable situation.
Weekend anglers can get caught up in the all the sales hype when it comes to buying fishing line. Each manufacturer has many different types, colors and sizes of line.†Most are designed for a specific purpose and a few, in my opinion, I consider hype. Fishing line was first made in the early 1900s out of a combination of linen, cotton and silk.†In reading I found out that the line had to be un-spooled and laid out on a flat surface to dry or it would rot.
2. Harris, Heritage Academy will count on seniors to lead way HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Howland likes MSU's non-conference schedule COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Central Academy hopes to contend for state title HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. Walters column: Prep football season coming closer LOCAL COLUMNS