REFORM, Ala. -- De'Marko Hall didn't have an illusions of grandeur Friday night. But the Pickens County High School standout believed he could find a way to help the Tornadoes upset preseason No. 2 American Christian Academy in Tuscaloosa, Ala., despite being at less than 100 percent and missing a preseason scrimmage because of a left shoulder injury.
BRANDON -- The Starkville High School swimming team opened its season Saturday with several strong finishes at the Brandon Relays. Due to a computer scoring glitch, no official team finishes were available. However, Starkville coach Angela Hobart believes her squad was in a position to finish second in the boys and girls competition.
HOOVER, Ala. -- The Noxubee County High School football team couldn't make a halftime lead stand up Saturday night in a 24-20 loss to Spain Park (Ala.). "We simply made too many mistakes," Noxubee County coach Tyrone Shorter said. "We had three turnovers -- all in the second half. Three times, we drive inside the 20-yard-line and can't score. Against a good team, you have to take advantage of your chances and not make mistakes."
Drew Pellum showed Friday night that the Starkville Academy football team is more than just a fullback and dive-driven team. The junior quarterback rushed for 95 yards and three touchdowns to lead Starkville Academy to a 33-7 victory against Heritage Academy at C.L. Mitchell Field.
CALEDONIA -- Onterrio Lowery kneeled on the home turf following the Caledonia High School football team's 29-15 victory against West Lowndes on Friday night. With his No. 20 jersey pulled over his shoulder pads at his side, he made an imaginary dash between the numbers and said, "Put a dash right here and it makes us 2 and 0."
STARKVILLE -- Friday was a difficult day for Starkville High School football coach Jamie Mitchell. But the night got a little better with a home-opening victory against a powerhouse Class 6A program. After visiting all day with his mother, who is suffering with cancer in a Memphis, Tenn., hospital, Mitchell drove back to Starkville to lead the Yellow Jackets to a 16-14 victory.
VERNON, Ala. -- The Lamar County High School football team needed one big offensive play Friday night. Freshman tailback Alex Wheeler provided it. Wheeler's 1-yard touchdown run with 10 minutes, 40 seconds left in regulation helped Lamar County knock off arch-rival South Lamar 6-0 before a standing-room-only crowd at George Bell Stadium in the season opener for both teams.
ABERDEEN -- The Aberdeen High School football team was humbled in its Week 1 loss to Columbus. Shannon High caught the wrath Friday night. Aberdeen held Shannon to 45 yards of offense, forced four fumbles and scored a touchdown in a 22-14 win.
MACON -- The Central Academy football team capitalized on a key turnover and scored on a broken play to take the lead and hold on for a 24-22 victory against Calhoun Academy on Friday night in its home opener.
MABEN -- The West Oktibbeha County High School football team scored 42 points in the first half en route to a 50-30 victory against Montgomery County on Friday night.
STARKVILLE -- The Heritage Academy and Starkville Academy football programs are working their way back to 2005.
CALEDONIA -- Dare to stop the Confederates. Ricky Kendrick doesn't hide the fact that his Caledonia High School football team is going to run the football. To Kendrick, it comes down to simple math: Get 3.3 yards per carry and hold on to the football and the Confederates will be able to dictate the tempo of the game.
STARKVILLE -- Jamie Mitchell still has that feeling no head coach wants.
STARKVILLE -- Wheeler Richardson isn't one to stand in one spot on a volleyball court. If you aren't watching the ball, you better be ready to move because the Starkville High School senior will run through you to keep it from hitting the floor.
Bragging rights can be on the line on opening night. Such will be the case when the South Lamar and Lamar County High School football team renew acquaintances in the season opener at 7 p.m. at George Bell Stadium in Vernon, Ala.
STARKVILLE -- Columbus High School slow-pitch softball player Shaquera Wilson is enjoying her team's four-game winning streak.
MACON -- You'll have to excuse Ronnie Sciple if he prefers to discuss how his team finished its season opener. The Central Academy football coach didn't care very much for the first three quarters of the Vikings' game against Calvary Christian last week.
STARKVILLE -- Thursday marked the final 5:30 a.m. preseason practice session for the Starkville High School swim team. When Starkville hits the water Saturday at the Brandon Invitational, a potentially outstanding season finally will be under way.
The East Oktibbeha County and West Oktibbeha County high school football teams play games Friday that won't affect their postseason chances. Even though region play is still a few weeks away, one can't underestimate the importance for both programs to start the season 2-0. They can achieve that mark when East Oktibbeha plays host to McAdams and West Oktibbeha plays host Montgomery County. Each game starts at 7:30 p.m.
HAMILTON -- Ray Weeks has a valuable lesson for his Hamilton High School football team: One week is just a start.
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