Glenn Akins and Stance Henderson haven't had to talk about last season to get motivated for tonight's game. Aside from a three-game losing streak to open the season, the 2009 campaign was marked by disappointment and an inability to live up to the potential the Patriots saw in their team. Three games into the 2010 season, Akins and Henderson promise they won't let the same thing happen in their senior season.
STARKVILLE -- When a team lives on the edge long enough, a fall is imminent. Starkville Academy's soccer team was reminded Thursday what can happen to a team that lives nearly 60 minutes in its own half. The Lady Vols clung to a 1-0 lead for nearly the entire second half against Pillow Academy before conceding an 78th minute equalizer and a pair of extra-time goals in a 3-1 loss.
Timing has worked out in West Point High School's football team the past two seasons. The Green Wave used an early bye week last season to help refocus after a surprising loss to Shannon. This year's bye week has been about recovery.
On his way to becoming a head coach, Josh Harper learned a lot about football from Rusty Funk. Harper will get a second chance at 7 p.m. Friday to show what he learned when his South Lamar Stallions play host to Funk's Marion County Red Raiders in an Alabama High School Athletic Association Class A, Region 5 game.
The lessons were there Tuesday night to be absorbed. The Columbus High School volleyball team only had to watch the tenacity at the net of Annalisha Harris and Mattie Scarbrough to see how they were supposed to do things. On the other hand, the Aberdeen High girls had something to learn from Columbus. Even though they won the first two games, the Lady Bulldogs played inconsistently against the steadier Lady Falcons. Columbus' even-keeled approach helped it win game three and recapture the momentum before Aberdeen regrouped for a 3-1 victory.
Von Smith didn't think he was ready. After all, he was only a freshman and he couldn't be trusted to run a varsity offense, right? It was natural last season for Smith, then only a freshman, to experience some doubts about his readiness to take over at quarterback for the West Oktibbeha High School football team.
Bobby Berry never doubted his players. Even though the West Lowndes High School football team trailed Caledonia by one point in the second quarter, Berry knew his team's big-play potential gave it the ability to turn the momentum in a hurry. Having Antonio Wilson and Brandon Clark as weapons makes things a little easier.
AMORY -- Sometimes a slap in the face is just what a team needs. The New Hope High School football team responded from the season-opening blow with a two hits to the chin strap Friday night that helped set the tone and get it back on track. Terrance Dentry rushed for 146 yards, including an 88-yard scoring run, four other players had touchdowns, and Terrence Payne added some defensive line play with attitude in New Hope's 37-6 victory against Amory at Longenecker Field.
STARKVILLE -- The Heritage Academy Patriots took control early on the road and never looked back Friday night en route to a 22-7 victory against Starkville Academy. "They (Starkville Academy) caused us a ton of problems with their defense," Heritage Academy second-year head coach Brad Butler said. "In the second half they never gave up and stuck with it, and their quarterback (Kyle Henson) was a great athlete for them tonight."
ABERDEEN -- Shock was the operative word Friday following the Aberdeen High School football team's 34-0 victory against the previously undefeated Pontotoc Warriors. "I'm shocked by the outcome," Pontotoc High veteran head coach Charlie Dampeer said. "Nobody has challenged us at the line of scrimmage like Aberdeen did, and I don't remember getting whipped this bad in a long, long time.
CRAWFORD -- With the exception of a spirited third-quarter push from the home team, Friday's West Oktibbeha-East Oktibbeha rivalry game was all Timberwolves. West Oktibbeha's receiving corps quickly introduced itself to East Oktibbeha's secondary on the third play of the team's first drive with an 80-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Von Smith to junior receiver Dwight Quinn. The relationship proved fruitful, as Smith racked up 370 yards and four touchdowns to help West Oktibbeha earn a 29-20 victory.
REFORM, Ala. -- Sometimes football games are over long before the final horn sounds. Seventh-ranked Pickens County scored 34 points in the first quarter Friday night en route to a 48-7 victory against Shades Mountain Christian. The Tornadoes (2-0) ran only 22 offensive plays in the first half to amass their point total. Pickens County finished with 353 yards offense, including 261 rushing yards.
MILLBROOK, Ala. -- Landon Ellis scored all four of his team's touchdowns Friday night to lead the Victory Christian football team past New Life Christian 27-6. Ellis scored on a 10-yard run and caught touchdown passes of 81 and 43 yards from Marcus Sims in the first quarter. He scored on a 23-yard run in the second quarter. Ellis rushed for 112 yards on 11 carries and caught three passes for 148 yards.
AMORY -- Terrance Dentry rushed for 146 yards, including an 88-yard touchdown run in the second half, Friday night to lead the New Hope High School football team to a 37-6 victory against Amory at Longenecker Field.
CALEDONIA -- Ball control versus big plays is a simplistic way to promote tonight's Lowndes County matchup between Caledonia and West Lowndes. A better way to examine the matchup at 7:30 tonight at West Lowndes featuring the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 4A Confederates (0-2) and the Class 2A Panthers (1-1) would be to say that both teams are still working to establish their identities.
Sometimes, the desire to teach the basics trumps the rush of coaching at a higher level. Known as "moving down the ladder," coaches who leave the college game to work with high school athletes often rediscover the joy of developing a player from scratch. They're taken back to a time when they were slightly older than their pupils, teaching the game while still in their own coaching infancy.
Michael Bradley hopes he sees a different group tonight. It has been one week since Bradley and his New Hope High School football team stumbled in a season-opening loss to Tupelo. The loss sapped some of the optimism to the start of a season many consider could be even better than the Trojans' Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A North Half runner-up finish in 2009.
Brad Butler has coached at enough levels to know football is football. Through the differences in size, strength and speed. Butler has seen in his time coaching in high school and in college and at the professional level that football is basically the same. The objective for all coaches is to find a way to get the maximum effort and focus from their players every day so they can give their best effort on game day.
STARKVILLE -- Starkville High School's volleyball team had one hiccup in its 3-1 win against Caledonia in Thursday's rematch -- an all too familiar one. After cruising to a commanding 2-0 lead, the Lady Jackets stumbled in a third-set loss that nixed a straight-sets win, but more importantly drew critical analysis from their head coach. Starkville coach Lauren Love was happy to see her team extend its home unbeaten streak to five games, but bemoaned a lapse in focus and poor court organization in the third set. Starkville nearly lost the first set after Caledonia (10-7) went on a 9-0 tear to tie the set at 20
STARKVILLE -- Through two weeks, the Starkville High School football team's defense has been dominant. Now comes a championship-caliber test against No. 2-ranked Meridian.
1. Kelly will start at QB for EMCC COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Roberson relishes chance to build on tradition at Pickens County HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Perfect record on trip helps MSU women build chemistry COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Noxubee County looking for leaders HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. Caledonia needs offensive line for success HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS