WEST POINT -- Leroy Gregg is a hugger. It's not something many men let slip easily, but if you know Gregg, it's understandable the 35-year coaching veteran would say that about himself.
Anna Holley thought her athletic career was going to take a turn. After signing a scholarship to play soccer at Itawamba Community College and having her senior softball season at New Hope High School end without a trip to the Class 5A State title series, Holley wondered if her softball career was over.
Haley Tutor didn't know what to expect Wednesday night. Surrounded by some of the state's best senior athletes from 23 sports, Tutor knew she belonged, but she wasn't sure if she was good enough to win the PopStar Award, which goes to the state's top athlete, for slow-pitch softball.
MABEN -- It's comforting to know you can play a bad game and still win, especially in the playoffs. The East Webster High School softball team has been playing with motivation spawned from a late-April tornado that ripped through its school and community.
So long purple and gold. Nice to meet you, red and white. Those are the new colors Columbus High School's Nick Durrah will sport on the diamond the next two years.
The look could have meant trouble. But faced with the loss of a key member of his boys track and field team, Noxubee County High School coach Tyrone Shorter had to make a move.
STARKVILLE -- Shareda Brown never saw the offer coming. After all, the Starkville High School fast-pitch softball player batted just .191 and had a .296 on-base percentage this season.
Coach Brad Butler watched a group of Heritage Academy Patriots move through a defensive drill on a recent Wednesday afternoon.
Kashaeyla Brooks felt queasy Saturday after placing second in Class 6A in the 300-meter hurdles at the Mississippi High School Activities Association State track meet. Nerves? Maybe. Perhaps it was something she ate?
Backup quarterback Preston Davis was pressed into action during the Trojans' scrimmages against Northeast Lauderdale and Southeast Lauderdale. Davis took over for starter E.J. Jenkins, who suffered a mild concussion when he hit his head on the turf in the first quarter of the opening game, coach Michael Bradley said.
STARKVILLE -- "Mr. Clutch" is coming to a college baseball field near you. Starkville Academy baseball coach Neal Henry gave shortstop Kyle Henson the nickname after coaching him the past two seasons. Henson's ability to deliver key hits and plays will be welcomed at East Central Community College next season.
Columbus High School's football team had 23 starters back from last year's team. Starkville High lost all of its starting skill-position players and three starting offensive linemen. On paper, the Falcons should have been the more experienced and more polished club Thursday in their home scrimmage against the Yellow Jackets.
Mercedes Mattix talks about track and field like she has been competing for years. Mattix's matter-of-fact approach to her success stems from the fact the New Hope High School loves competition. Her desire to reach her best explains why hard work has been the foundation of a successful season.
Sitting at a lunchroom table at West Lowndes High School, talking to the state-bound boys track relay teams. So, who's the fastest?
HAMILTON -- The fate of Hamilton High School baseball team's bid to win what has proved to be an elusive state baseball championship might rest tonight on the arm of Austin Earnest. Earnest is scheduled to start Game 2 of Hamilton's Class 2A North State title playoff series against Mantachie, one day after being a part of sloppy infield play that led to a 9-7 loss in eight innings -- not the way coach Lewis Earnest wanted to open this best-of-three series at home.
MILLPORT, Ala. -- Imagine getting a second chance, of sorts.
At Heritage Academy, they call Brandon Bell "The Beast." Heritage Academy football coach Brad Butler compares his rising senior to a bull, which is fitting because of his 6-foot-1, 230-pound frame.
The trip turned out to be a homecoming for Tyquan Lucious.
MABEN -- There was a point in the season when Katie Gordon couldn't connect with a softball and keep from popping out.
STARKVILLE -- As Jalan Catledge approached the finish line in the 400-meter dash last week at the Class 6A North State meet, he counted all seven opponents ahead
1. Player of Week: Rogers helps fuel success for Columbus Lady Falcons HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. New Hope rolls past West Point to complete region play HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. MSU begins homestand by facing Arkansas COLLEGE SPORTS