JACKSON — Tabitha Beard was concerned. After watching her New Hope High School slow-pitch softball team blitz Brookhaven 10-0 in game one of its Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A state title series, Beard and the Lady Trojans had to wait 50 minutes before the start of game two. Beard grew a little more anxious as she watched New Hope struggle at the plate and fall behind by three runs midway through the second game. While Beard’s concern was justified, it proved to be unnecessary.
ABERDEEN — The dreams come a little slower to Don Loftis these days. The landscape around town has changed some, too, but the memories remain. It’s easy to recall many of them when Loftis thinks about former Aberdeen High School football coach Thomas Pierce’s name affixed to the wall of the football team’s dressing room/weight room.
One week isn’t enough to satisfy Michael Bradley. Yes, the New Hope High School coach was pleased that the Trojans blocked better Saturday in a 32-21 Class 5A Region 1 victory at Lake Cormorant. Bradley also enjoyed watching his team overcome less than ideal playing conditions to execute a game plan that helped the Trojans improve to 5-1 and 2-1 in the region. But Bradley has been fond of saying this year that “no win is more important than another.”
Bubba Davis knows the time is coming. Unfortunately, the Columbus High School football coach can’t give his players and all of the school’s fans the exact date. The “date” in this instance is when the Columbus High football program will reverse its fortunes. The Falcons’ losing streak stretched to six last week with a 53-7 loss to South Panola. The loss generated a little more negativity on Internet chat rooms from people who don’t think the Columbus High football program is on the right track.
HAMILTON — While the Hamilton High School slow-pitch softball team was gleefully chanting “Going to the ’ship, going to the ’ship” after its impressive sweep Thursday in the Class 2A North State, championship series, Baldwyn softball coach Jessica Taylor and her Lady Bearcats couldn’t help but wonder why the Lady Lions have proven to be such a formidable roadblock in their quest to reach the state championship series in Jackson. Hamilton took the series with 12-3 and 12-1 victories.
STARKVILLE — No one can convince Starkville High School senior linebacker Craig Armstead the offseason doesn’t make a difference. It wasn’t always that way. Starkville High’s coaches pushed Armstead to get better, but he wasn’t always open to their suggestions. Frustrated he wasn’t getting the playing time he wanted, Armstead decided to do something about it. He dedicated himself to football in January and he has become the strong arm of the Starkville High defense.
ABERDEEN — All Aaron Andrews hears now is applause. It wasn’t always that way for the Aberdeen High School senior quarterback. After suffering an ankle injury in the Bulldogs’ season-opening loss to Columbus High, Andrews jumped right back into the fray against Pontotoc in week three of the season. A 21-14 loss to Class 4A Pontotoc didn’t sit well with the people of Aberdeen, who had dreamed in the preseason of a possible undefeated run and a march to a Class 3A state title.
Greg Watkins isn’t going to hide the truth from his players. Instead, the Hebron Christian football coach has been upfront with the Eagles and told them they have to beat Immanuel Christian at 7:30 tonight in a Mississippi Association of Independent Schools A District 3 game if they want to make the playoffs. The Eagles’ job still wouldn’t be done if they accomplish that goal. Hebron Christian (2-5, 0-1) then would have to beat Winona Christian, which is 2-0 in the district, to force a possible three-way tie atop the district with Central Holmes.
The New Hope High School slow-pitch softball team has picked the right time of the season to break out the big bats. Now the Lady Trojans have to find a way to keep it going for two more series.
The Lamar County Bulldogs can do their part at 7 p.m. Friday to set up a showdown for the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 2A, Region 7 championship when they play host to the Oakman Wildcats.
The season isn’t over for the Heritage Academy football team. A five-game losing streak has erased a lot of the optimism from the Patriots’ 3-0 start, but coach Brad Butler doesn’t want his players to pack up the gear just yet.
LOUISVILLE — Even before the season kicked off, Louisville High School head football coach Brad Peterson said his team was looking for its identity, especially on defense. Now, nine weeks into the season, the 6-2 Wildcats may finally be finding themselves. “We knew we were gong to have a young defense,” Peterson said. “We only had three true starters coming back and a lot of those guys back there are so young.”
STARKVILLE — Jaquez Johnson knew the Starkville High School football team’s first four games this season were going to be a challenge. Johnson never imagined, though, that he and the Yellow Jackets would be as frustrated as they were after losses to Noxubee County, Louisville, Meridian, and West Point.
MACON — Overconfidence never has been a problem for the Noxubee County High School football team. Instead of talking about what they’re going to do, the Tigers rely on a swarming defense that is lightning quick and an offense that can strike from anywhere at anytime to produce results. The return of senior wide receiver/quarterback Vincent Sanders from a broken jaw last week figures to give the Tigers the missing piece that could help them defend their Class 4A state title.
MACON — The Noxubee County High School football team used its speed on defense Saturday night to post another shutout. Noxubee County registered its third consecutive shutout, and sixth of the season, in a 30-0 victory against Amory in a Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 4A, Region 4, District 4 game.
REFORM, Ala. — No one wanted Dominique Jones to go down. But a hush came over G.S. Spruill Stadium when the Pickens County High School senior running back/wide receiver went down with a hip pointer in the second quarter against American Christian Academy.
CALEDONIA — The building process continues for Buz Boyer. The good thing about playing in Class 4A, Region 4, District 4 is Boyer, the Houston High School football coach, can test his Hilltoppers against some of the state’s premier programs.
HAMILTON — The Lady Lions love the long ball. Buoyed by an eight-home run evening, the Hamilton High School slow-pitch softball team defeated East Union 15-8 and 14-5 in a best-of-three Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 2A North Half State playoff series.
It starts with a special mark in the dirt. Anna McCrary’s bat touches the earth and draws the sign of a cross. She then touches the center of it to remind herself of her bond with God. She also remembers her father.
LAKE CORMORANT — Raymond Walters intercepted two passes in the fourth quarter to help the New Hope High School football team hold off Lake Cormorant 32-21 in a Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A, Region 1, District 2 game on Saturday.
1. Mullen's 2014 squad has homegrown flavor COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Walters, Oswalt back together to play catch HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Pigg, McKell will lead Starkville Academy girls soccer HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. Tapley excited about new season for Hebron Christian HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS