VERNON, Ala. — The Lamar County High School football team will have a chance to make history at 7 p.m. Friday. Lamar County can set a school record for most wins in a season when it travels to Ashland, Ala., to play Clay County in the semifinals of the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 2A state playoffs.
REFORM, Ala. — Quinton Sturdivant tries to do his job the right way every time. It might sound simple, but with so many things to juggle from his strong-side linebacker position, Sturdivant makes it look easy.
RIDGELAND — Maybe now the haters will believe. All week, the New Hope High School football team heard how its season was going to end Friday at Ridgeland. The talk was that the Trojans weren’t going to be able to stop the Titans’ high-powered offense. Some people probably wondered whether New Hope should even make the two-and-a-half hour trip south to suffer such a disheartening loss.
WEST POINT — For the first time in weeks, it looked like the West Point High School football team would have had a game on its hands. Zach McKee’s 1-yard touchdown run on Pearl’s first possession Friday night helped give the Pirates a 7-0 lead. The lead didn’t last long. West Point responded by steamrolling Pearl 34-7 in their Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A North Half State playoff game at Hamblin Stadium.
FULTON — Noxubee County High School football player Vincent Sanders was hurting Friday night. It had a little bit to do with the pain from a sore hamstring, but more to do with his performance on the field. While playing quarterback for the Tigers, Sanders was 3 of 7 for 49 yards with an interception against Itawamba Agricultural High School. He carried the football once for a loss of 5 yards and didn’t have a catch.
ABERDEEN — The expression “revenge is a dish best served cold” suggests that if something bad happens, it is better if the payback comes at a later date, and might be more satisfying if it is not inflicted immediately. That would be the case for the Charleston High School Tigers, who still have bitter memories of a 33-20 season-ending setback at Tiger Stadium last November in the first round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 3A playoffs in which Aberdeen racked up almost 400 yards passing.
MABEN — Shawn Stricklin overcame three first-half fumbles with a 9-yard touchdown run in the closing minute Friday night to lead the Ackerman High School football team to a 14-12 victory against East Webster in the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 2A North Half State playoffs. The victory helped Ackerman (13-0) earn a spot in the North Half State championship game against top-ranked West Bolivar, who defeated defending state champion Baldwyn 13-12, next week.
VERNON, Ala. — Eric “Turbo” Hudson knew it when he saw it. Ider High School quarterback James Blevins’ pass was off and Hudson knew he was in the right spot to get the interception and take the football 78 yards for the touchdown. Hudson’s interception return for a score was just one of the big plays the Lamar County defense made in the fourth quarter Friday night to help it earn a 35-13 victory in the quarterfinals of the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 2A playoffs at George Bell Stadium.
LEROY, Ala. –– The Pickens County football team did something Friday night that no other team had accomplished since 2000. Pickens County handed Leroy its first home playoff loss in nine years by dethroning the defending three-time state champion with a 19-12 victory in the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 2A state playoffs. Pickens County (12-1) advances to play at Reeltown in the semifinals, while Leroy (10-3) had its season end with a loss for just the second time in the past five years.
Rachel Hollivay scored 12 points Saturday night to lead the New Hope High School girls basketball team past Aliceville 59-36. Kelli Petty scored nine points for New Hope (2-2). New Hope plays Tishomingo County at 7 p.m. Monday in the Tishomingo County Classic
The New Hope High School football team has 11 players in it to win it on defense. Other teams might have faster players or better individual talent, but the Trojans would argue their team chemistry and camaraderie on defense has helped them have one of the best seasons in school history. Seniors Anthony Nelson and Marquise Coleman are two examples of the kind of mentality New Hope has on defense.
Things get tougher for the Noxubee County football team each time it faces Itawamba Agricultural High School. The Tigers’ job gets tougher because each victory extends the team’s streak. Noxubee County has eliminated Itawamba AHS from the playoffs the past two seasons and has won the last four meetings, dating back to 1994.
MABEN — Ledrick Patterson knew it wasn’t going to be easy taking over for Johnthan Banks at quarterback for the East Webster High School football team. What made it especially tough for Patterson was he had never played the position. He wasn’t even listed as a quarterback on the preseason roster.
ABERDEEN — Perry Liles knows the football programs at Charleston and Aberdeen high schools have plenty of similarities. As a former coach at both schools, Liles had plenty of talented players on both teams. He also grew to be accustomed to a hard-charging style of play at each school. Given Charleston and Aberdeen have so many things in common, don’t ask Liles to tell you which team will win at 7 tonight when they meet in a Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 3A North Half state semifinal at Lester Miley Stadium.
WEST POINT — Noxubee County and Aberdeen should feel special. The 2009 edition of Mississippi Sports Magazine singled out the Tigers in Class 4A and the Bulldogs in Class 3A as top teams in each classification in its preseason issue. In Class 5A, Pearl and Oxford join Wayne County, West Jones, D’Iberville, and Brookhaven, a team to keep an eye on, were listed as the state’s top teams.
If things go according to plan for Sammy Smith, Michael Hall will play a key role this season in helping the Columbus High School boys basketball team come together. Hall showed again Tuesday night how he can be a ring leader, scoring a game-high 22 points in a 71-44 victory against East Oktibbeha. Chy Cunningham earned game-high scoring honors with 26 points to lead the Columbus High girls to a 62-48 victory against East Oktibbeha.
STARKVILLE -- Raevonne Shoemaker takes her role as goalkeeper seriously. The Starkville High School junior knows she has to be focused on a match at all times and has to know what her teammates are doing on the field. “(Goalkeepers) have to be the strong foundation,” Shoemaker said. Shoemaker has only allowed one goal this season for the Lady Yellow Jackets and has recorded three shutouts, including Tuesday’s 2-0 home victory against New Hope High School.
ABERDEEN — The smile on Jameika Hoskins’ face Tuesday equaled relief. Hoskins wasn’t as relaxed last Thursday, and Aberdeen High School girls basketball coach Latorrence Bivens could see it in her eyes. After Hoskins scored 22 points in a victory against Baldwyn, she admitted to Bivens she “had purple and gold on her mind.” Those colors helped spell relief five days later.
ABERDEEN — One, two, three — Release. It sounds simple, and it doesn’t always go according to plan, but Aaron Andrews is all about being on time. When you’re the quarterback of a high-scoring offense like the Aberdeen High School football team, you have to be precise with your movements and read and deliver the football at the right times.
RIPLEY — All season long, Aberdeen High School football coach Chris Duncan has been looking for a “complete” game from his Bulldogs. Although his team had compiled an impressive 10-2 mark heading into Friday’s 3A playoff matchup at Ripley, the Bulldogs, according to Duncan, had failed to click on all cylinders through their first 12 outings.
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