Matt Sykes looks like a goalkeeper With a red bandana, fluorescent lime green jersey -- stained through from plenty of dives on the sopping turf, and a hyperactive ability to move from post to post, the sophomore maneuvers unlike someone who has started only seven varsity matches.
STARKVILLE -- Heritage Academy's boys soccer team needed to avenge a loss against Starkville Academy to qualify for the postseason. History wasn't on the Patriots' side, as they'd never made it to the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools playoffs.
MABEN -- Josh Poe isn't chasing his brother's career. The similarities between Josh and older sibling, Gabe, tell a different story. Both players were standouts in football at West Oktibbeha High School. Gabe, a linebacker at the University of West Alabama, started his career at East Mississippi Community College, where Josh will begin his college career in the fall.
WEST POINT -- Stan Hughey is having fun this season. The Oak Hill Academy girls basketball coach typically enjoys himself when he is on the court. But this season has been particularly pleasurable because the Lady Raiders have a blend of talents that fits extremely well together.
STEENS -- Three was a magical number Thursday for the Immanuel Christian football program. Fresh off the momentum from one of the best seasons in school history, Justin James, Wesley Lake, and Dustin White signed to play football at East Mississippi Community College.
Wednesday was a good day to be a Trojan. Michael Bradley and his New Hope High School football program celebrated National Signing Day in style with the announcement that six players would continue their football careers in college.
Chris Wolfe's mother taught him he needed to be the best at whatever he wanted to do. With five older brothers and sisters, Wolfe missed out on a lot of the friendly competitions that usually exist between siblings. But the valuable lessons Wolfe learned from his mother, brothers, and sisters paid off Wednesday when the Columbus High School football senior signed a scholarship to play football at Itawamba Community College.
CALEDONIA -- Running always has been fun for Jessica Comer. Four years ago, Comer didn't realize she could run and compete in a sport at the same time Caledonia High School. Since then, Comer has logged hundreds and hundreds of miles and has had fun winning her share of races and state titles.
STARKVILLE -- After a resurgent season under first-year coach Jamie Mitchell, Starkville High School followed Wednesday with a banner signing class. Headlined by defensive end Chris Prater signing with Louisiana-Lafayette, the Yellow Jackets had seven players sign college scholarships.
WEST POINT -- Wednesday was a big day for the Class 5A champs. The West Point High School football program saw nine players from its 2010 Mississippi High School Activities Association state championship team sign to play football in college level. The signings included three to Division I schools.
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.
1. Offensive line plays key role for Starkville Academy HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. Injury to Market means Bryant will play bigger role COLLEGE SPORTS
3. Confidence will help Nevitt make her mark COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Central Academy's Robbins has no trouble in clutch HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS