Sammy Smith knows the expectations are there this season for the Columbus High School boys basketball team. Part of the anticipation for the Falcons revolves around the fact Smith has a long, athletic team with plenty of size. Those physical qualities make Smith excited for his team, too.
STARKVILLE - Chase Nicholson has seen the Starkville Academy football program at its worst and at its best.
STARKVILLE -- Chase Nicholson has seen the Starkville Academy football program at its worst and at its best. Fortunately for Nicholson, the best times have happened recently. Now it's his job to make sure that trend continues.
Cameron Whittle and Michael Ledbetter don't have to consult each other or rack their brains to find the answer. When Whittle and Ledbetter are asked to remember the last time the Heritage Academy boys soccer team started a season 4-0, both players don't recall a time when it has happened. In fact, Whittle said he doesn't think it has happened -- until this season. Victories against Washington School, Magnolia Heights, Starkville Academy, and Hillcrest Christian have Heritage Academy in unchartered waters as it prepares for the holiday break. Heritage Academy capped the opening month of the season Friday by scoring four goals in the second half to beat Hillcrest Christian 4-1.
STARKVILLE -- Jeff Terrill has seen a little bit of it all in more than three decades as a high school and community college football coach. Now Terrill is ready to explore another side of life.
CALEDONIA -- Every time he rises up to throw a dunk down, Shemar Johnson feels the energy rise around him. "It gets our team going, gets me going," said Johnson, New Hope's 6-foot-5 senior guard who has become accustomed to delivering momentum-swinging slams. "It's a great feeling." It's a feeling Johnson felt plenty Tuesday night.
STARKVILLE -- Tyrone Shorter was frustrated. The Noxubee County High School football coach couldn't help think his team had let one slip away from a rival. After all, Noxubee County led West Point 19-14 at halftime and appeared to be positioned for a victory in one of its biggest games of the year.
CALEDONIA -- Robert Mims set it all in motion. By the time it officially ended Friday morning, Northwest Mississippi Community College had gained four members of the Caledonia High School soccer program.
CALEDONIA -- Hope Burton and Zoe Saraiva are different soccer players than their sisters. Caledonia High School girls soccer coach Jason Forrester is confident of that. In fact, he laughed when he was told Burton and Saraiva probably would like that their coach said that about them.
STARKVILLE -- Timorrius Conner heard the talk all week. The Noxubee County High School junior quarterback couldn't avoid it. After all, St. Stanislaus, the opponent in the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 4A state title game, had scored 651 points and had eclipsed the 40-point mark 11 times. Sophomore quarterback Myles Brennan led the high-scoring attack with 5,502 passing yards and 61 touchdowns. Conner shrugged all of those numbers off. Coming off a sophomore season in which he threw four touchdowns and had 12 interceptions, Conner never was one to dwell on numbers.
STARKVILLE -- It was a classic Columbus High School-Starkville High showdown. With big play after big play, clutch shot after clutch shot, Friday night's Class 6A, Region 3 opener between the schools was intense, and it was back-and-forth.
STARKVILLE -- Kristie Williams liked what she saw. Entering her team's Class 6A, Region 3 opener against Columbus, the Starkville High School girls basketball coach was curious to see how her young team would handle what was sure to be an intense, physical battle.
When news first broke this summer that the state championship games were moving to Mississippi State University and Davis Wade Stadium for the 2014 season, a smile broke out.
MACON -- Tyrone Shorter has been a part of plenty of Noxubee County High School football teams that have been able to produce fireworks.
Cayden Upton has noticed the difference in practice this week.
STARKVILLE - After months of preparation, show time has arrived for the Mississippi High School Activities Association.
MACON -- Timorrius Conner knows he has come a long way. More than a feeling, all the Noxubee County High School junior quarterback has to do is compare the statistics from his sophomore season to his junior campaign. There is no comparison.
Rick Michaels didn't have time to be nervous. Encouraged to use his experience as a local youth soccer coach to guide the first Columbus Christian Academy boys soccer team, Michaels only had time for one practice prior to his new team's first match Monday against Indianola Academy. It wasn't until game day that Michaels realized the significance -- and pressure -- associated with his debut.
MACON -- Leader. It's a word a lot of athletes use to signify their status on their teams as someone who sets the pace that others follow. In August, Jeffery Simmons recognized the opportunity he had to be that player this season for the Noxubee County High School football team. Instead of shying away from it and allowing some of his senior teammates to shoulder that responsibility, Simmons seized it and established himself as one of the team leaders in preseason workouts and in the weight room.
June Dampier is being modest when she said she "did what she could do" with the West Lowndes High School girls basketball team. As coach of the Lady Panthers from 2000-03, Dampier admits things always didn't go smoothly as she tried to establish her style of play and implement the rules players would have to follow to commit to her program. The goal was simple: Win a state championship.
1. Collins leaves MSU to take same position at Florida COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Nicholson takes over for Terrill at Starkville Academy HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. MSU football team adds players for 2015 COLLEGE SPORTS