Local catfish anglers will have an opportunity this weekend to show their prowess and to make a little money at the same time. The Cabela’s King Kat Tournament Trail will visit Columbus for the first time Saturday for a qualifier that will send the top 20 teams to the Classic on Nov. 12-13 in Columbus. Anglers will fish the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway in Columbus in a team event that is open to anyone. Teams can be made up of one or two individuals, with one exception. A third person can accompany a team provided he or she is under 16 years of age or older than 65 years of age. There is a $200 entry fee per team.
STARKVILLE — The Mississippi State Athletic Strength and Conditioning Department will hold its first clinic March 12 to educate coaches and trainers on technological advancements and new methods of building better athletes.
Baseball fans in the state of Mississippi should have a new gold mine of information available to them very soon. Gene Swindoll, whose Web site, Gene’s Page, has been covering Mississippi State athletics, including recruiting, since 1996, hopes to bring Mississippi Hardball on line at the end of this week. The site, www.MississippiHardball.com, will focus on junior college, high school, and travel teams and players in and from the state of Mississippi. Swindoll said there will be some carryover of coverage of senior colleges, particularly when it comes to MSU baseball recruiting news, but he said the site will concentrate its efforts on recruiting.
Swim Columbus will send 20 athletes to the 2010 Mississippi Swimming, Inc., Short Course State Championships on Friday through Sunday at the Laurel Natatorium in Laurel. The meet will feature the state’s top age-group swimmers, and will begin Friday with the senior girls 200-yard freestyle relay. The meet will conclude Sunday with the boys 15 and older 1,650 free.
Stacy Hester began the year as the head coach of one of the state’s most noted high school baseball programs. By the middle of 2009, Hester was out at New Hope High School.
Still feeling the pain of losing his mother, Kent Willis has decided to postpone his Straight Path Baseball Camp for a year. The minor league pitching coordinator for the Atlanta Braves organization canceled the camp after his mother, Willie Mae Willis, of Columbus, passed away Nov. 12. She was 76.
Bat and ball sports have been a part of E.T. Colvin’s life ever since he can remember. Baseball was his sport at Lee High School in Columbus, and he was good enough to earn a scholarship to play the sport for three years at the University of Alabama. When Colvin realized he never was going to earn a living playing baseball, he turned to the next best thing: Softball.
Jackie Sherrill finds ways to be around the sport of football. Since retiring as Mississippi State’s all-time winningest coach, Sherrill has tried to stay close to the game by working in television and radio and with his sports nutrition company. There might be another way Sherrill will be able to satisfy his football desire: The United Football League.
Latavious Williams’ road to the NBA will begin tonight. The former Starkville High School standout will tip off his professional basketball career at 7 tonight when his NBA D-League Tulsa 66ers play host to the Utah Flash. Williams was the first of eight players Tulsa selected Nov. 5 in the D-League draft. He went through training camp and scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds in a preseason loss to the Iowa Energy and is ready to take his first step toward realizing a dream.
Jamayel Smith’s situation in the United Football League is unique. Sure, the former Mississippi State wide receiver believes he belongs there, but as a player with the New York Sentinels in the first-year league, he feels a little out of place.
The soccer options offered by the Columbus-Lowndes Recreation Authority continue to grow. The success of the CLRA’s Columbus United, a competitive Division II soccer club, has motivated the authority to introduce an Under-8 Developmental Program that will help prepare players for the transition to U-10 play. The primary goal of the program is to offer players enhanced skill training and challenging conditioning to help prepare them for the move to the next level.
Joey Pounders usually is prepared for anything when he is out on the water. But Pounders was lounging Monday with his feet propped up on his 20-foot pontoon boat enjoying a relaxing afternoon. A tug on the line of his seven-foot pole changed that.
The Golden Triangle was well represented Sunday at the 40th edition of the New York City Marathon. Six local athletes competed and finished the 26.2-mile event that featured a field of nearly 44,000 competitors that ran through New York’s five boroughs — Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Manhattan. Columbus’ Brad Atkins and his wife, Melissa, posted the best finishes of any local runners. Brad finished 807th with a time of 2 hours, 58.01 seconds, while Melissa had a personal-best time of 3:56.15.
Practice for the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series Southeast Regional Championship in Columbus started Monday to prepare the anglers for the two-day tournament, which begins Friday.
STARKVILLE — It didn’t take long for Randall Bradberry to discover James “Cubby” Harris’ talent. When Bradberry became the football coach at what was known then as East Mississippi Junior College in 1976, he didn’t know much about the recruits who were coming in for the fall season. Bradberry arrived at Scooba from Delta State and admitted he was “out of the loop.”
STARKVILLE — Registration for the Starkville Soccer Association season has just concluded and president Richard Stubbs said participants and sponsorships are down this year. Stubbs believes parents are feeling the pain of a struggling economy despite possible signs of improvement. He said cutting back on physical fitness, especially with children, is the wrong thing to do.
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.
John Dixson is a pioneer. Dixson, 43, can remember the “dark” days when nearly anything went in Mixed Martial Arts. Bare knuckles, groin shots, elbows, no time-limit matches — you name it and Dixson probably has seen it and dished it out in more than 13 years of competition around the world. Looking back to the origins of MMA, Dixson is surprised the sport has grown so quickly in a relatively short amount of time.
SAN FRANCISCO — Former Mississippi State pitcher Brandon Medders of the San Francisco Giants enjoys it when an opposing team has a player from his alma mater and he gets a chance to reminisce about old times. Medders was afforded such an opportunity this past week when the Giants played host to the Pittsburgh Pirates at AT&T Park.