Tyrone Shorter was as proud Wednesday as any of the parents and family members in attendance for the Noxubee County High School football team's National Signing Day ceremonies. The first-year coach was enjoying the morning so much because seven players he first coached in seventh and spent the past six years helping to mold into young men realized their dreams when they signed to play football in college.
Landon Ellis realized Wednesday the reward of an offseason filled with sweat, aches, and pain. After working hard to get stronger in preparation for his senior season on the Victory Christian football team, Ellis used the momentum from a standout season to sign to play football at East Mississippi Community College.
ABERDEEN -- There is no substitute for hard work. When you're part of a program that has had some success, you need players who are going to adopt that mind-set and build on it to push future teams to even greater heights.
WEST POINT -- A lot can change in a week. After consecutive victories last week against West Point and Oxford, New Hope High School boys basketball coach Drew McBrayer thought his team was primed to complete a trifecta that would have helped it wrap up the top seed for the district tournament. Coach Brad Cox and the West Point High Green Wave had other plans.
MACON -- Leaders do what their teams need. Daquarius Mallard knew entering his senior basketball season at Noxubee County High School that he would play a key role in making the 2010-11 campaign one to remember.
Possession soccer works best when you can provide the exclamation point. The Ridgeland High School girls soccer team's ability to turn its pressure into goals is one reason why the program has won five state titles in the past six years.
STARKVILLE -- The Starkville High School boys soccer team's first trip to the second round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A playoffs stalled at home Saturday against a tenacious Madison Central team. The Jaguars (19-2-3) outhustled the Yellow Jackets (16-2-1) to a goal in each half and weathered Starkville's attempts to creep back into the game to earn a 2-0 victory.
CALEDONIA -- For much of Caledonia High School boys soccer team's playoff match against New Albany on Saturday, the offsides trap worked to perfection. New Albany failed to finish the handful of times it beat the trap.
Erica Shepherd had plenty of possible outs.
One Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science soccer team might have a little more motivation than the other Thursday night in their Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 1A-2A-3A playoff openers. But both teams played with equal amounts of intensity, which is why they earned the right to keep their seasons alive.
The combination of Alex Ramos and Christian Silva proved to be a little too much for the New Hope High School boys soccer team to contain Thursday night. Silva had two goals, while Ramos had a goal and two assists to lift Hernando to a 3-2 victory in the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A North State playoff game.
STARKVILLE -- Unlike most of his senior teammates, Jaquez Johnson's college football future remains uncertain. The Starkville High School quarterback has seen his college recruitment move at a slower pace than expected following a breakout year in which he scored 31 touchdowns.
STARKVILLE -- Soccer teams from Laurel to DeSoto and from Vicksburg to Columbus will join local teams at the Sportsplex at Lynn Lane on Saturday and Sunday for the Third Annual Frostbite Challenge Tournament for Division II teams in the state of Mississippi.
OXFORD -- Effie Morrison helped the New Hope High School girls soccer team keep its season alive -- and make history. Morrison's goal in the third minute of the first 10-minute overtime period Wednesday night lifted New Hope to a 3-2 victory against Oxford in the first round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A North State playoffs.
Kye Van Someren feels the Caledonia High School boys soccer team is ready. The Confederates are rested after rain forced their Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 4A North State playoff game to be postponed. They also have motivation after letting a two-goal lead against district rival Amory slip away last week. The team's 4-2 loss cost it a chance at a district title and an opportunity to play host to a first-round playoff match. But a clean slate awaits at 6 tonight when Caledonia (13-5) will play at West Lauderdale in its postseason opener.
Kelsei Ewings is a hard to contain. The West Point High School senior has a smooth handle with either handle and shooting range that extends beyond the 3-point arc. The 5-foot-4 guard also isn't afraid to throw her body into the fray for rebounds against bigger bodies.
The New Hope High School boys basketball team hasn't had the biggest or the fastest or the most talented array of players the past two seasons. But the Trojans have made up for what they have lacked in those areas with a gritty, never-say-die mentality that has fueled their success. On Tuesday, New Hope coach Drew McBrayer saw signs that his latest team might have found that same mentality.
WEST POINT -- It was just a matter of time Tuesday before the Rachel Hollivay effect wore down Oak Hill Academy's girls basketball team. The Heritage Academy center made just 3 of 13 shots in the first half and saw her team trail 17-14 at halftime. What the Lady Patriots had failed to do in their four previous games, including a 19-point loss to the Lady Raiders, was effectively close games. At the center of Heritage Academy's attack, Hollivay had triple double and scored the go-ahead basket Tuesday night in a 40-38 overtime win against Oak Hill.
Rain Monday night and today wiped out the slate of local Mississippi High School Activities Association playoff soccer games.
STARKVILLE -- Prior to Monday, Anna Albritton had one soccer player sign a college scholarship in her time as Starkville High School's girls soccer coach. She considers her second to be her first. Not many coaches get to see one of their standout players develop from grade school, but Albritton realized that feat Monday morning when goalkeeper Raevonne Shoemaker signed a scholarship to play soccer at Itawamba Community College.
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