STARKVILLE -- Last season, Swayze Hollenhead made a difficult position switch she knew was coming. For the first two years of her high school career at East Webster, she starred at third base and helped lead the Lady Wolverines to a pair of Class 1A state titles.
GREENWOOD -- The Heritage Academy golf team was up for the challenge. Stalled by rain and soggy conditions Tuesday at Greenwood Country Club, the Patriots fought off the elements and the hunters en route to a score of 318 that was good enough to win the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools AAA championship.
Pitchers often are put on a pedestal. Right-handers can be referred to a left-handers, and lefties have a special way of doing things that makes them unique. Those qualities are magnified in fast-pitch softball, especially at the elite levels of Division I, where pitchers usually are asked to do one thing: Pitch. Lauren Holifield and D.J. Sanders are breaking that mold.
Every team needs glue. Squads also need leaders who pick teammates up and help keep spirits elevated in trying times. Tyler Farnham is all of that in one player.
Sometime Saturday before the Class 6A North State track meet, Sammy Doughty will retrieve a bottle of green alcohol and Epsom salt from his bathroom closet. He will pour the contents in a foot tub, add hot water, and sit back on his bed and watch television.
STARKVILLE -- Not many eighth-graders have a shot at winning a state title, much less in Class 6A, the state's highest classification. But anyone who knows Starkville High School's Walker Mattox could see her rise to the top of the distance running chain coming from the longest straightaway.
Football always has fascinated Gerald "Tri" Nason III.
Beware of the curveball. It's a tricky, temperamental pitch that coupled with a few fastballs could help the Heritage Academy baseball team advance through the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA, Division II playoffs.
Parker Dunaway is a state champion triple jumper without a regulation-sized pit to practice in. Imagine a basketball player with half a court, or a rim and no net, a quarterback with a football and only 30 yards to play on, or a forward in hockey or soccer without a court or field.
OXFORD -- The New Hope High School girls track and field team placed second Saturday at the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A, Region 1 meet at Oxford High School.
Please excuse Josh Grimes' heroic moment Saturday night in the New Hope High School baseball team's 11-1 win against Lake Cormorant.
WEST POINT -- Ben Boykin wasn't comfortable. Between fidgets and an inability to get his breaking ball over consistently, the Ridgeland High School starting pitcher was searching for his groove. It's comforting how a bunch of runs can help someone settle in.
Brittany Brantley has spent most of her senior year on the bench for New Hope High School's fast-pitch softball team. But Saturday afternoon's Senior Day -- albeit in Game 2 of the Lady Trojans' first-round playoff series -- gave Brantley a chance not only to start, but also to make a contribution as the program continued its latest journey to earn what has become an elusive fast-pitch state title.
Parker Dunaway spent Thursday night playing left field for Heritage Academy's baseball team, which hosted a doubleheader to end the regular season.
BLUE SPRINGS -- The Hamilton High School baseball team pounded out 19 hits Saturday in a 15-2 victory against East Union in game two of their best-of-three Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 2A North State playoff series.
STARKVILLE -- The football offseason brought nothing but good news for Starkville Academy. The Volunteers gained 10 more players and will open spring practice Monday with 37 players. The addition of former Columbus High head coach Bubba Davis bolstered the conditioning program and gives Starkville Academy an experienced and successful defensive coach.
STARKVILLE -- Harrison Warren went 4-5 as the No. 1 singles player on Starkville Academy's tennis team this season. Even though he made tremendous strides as a player and won more matches in a single season than he had before, he was shocked when Meridian Community College offered him a scholarship.
Austin Braddock wasn't perfect on the mound Thursday afternoon in the Heritage Academy baseball team's 9-1 win against Jackson Academy. The senior right-hander gave up hits to start his first few innings. Yet it's how Braddock handled his pitches after those hits that made his performance a memorable one for Patriots fans at Trip Carson Field. Three days after his baseball team lost 10-0 at Jackson Academy, he returned the favor at home, scattering seven hits in six innings to help Heritage Academy secure the top seed in Class AAA, Division II by winning the first game of a doubleheader.
Landon Boyd grew up at Trojan Field. Not only did the future New Hope High School baseball player learn the ins and outs of the sport watching his brothers Lee and Russ at the park, he also enjoyed countless rides on the "gator," or the mower coaches used to drag the infield before and after games. Peyton Lee gleaned the same tradition-rich habits watching former Trojans, including his brother, Davis, who was a senior on the 2010 New Hope High baseball team.
Brandi Brantley and Anna Holley have spent their high school careers immersed in tradition. Their senior softball season started the same way: with another state title. The New Hope High School slow-pitch team won its fourth championship in a row, and second in a row in Class 5A, in October, closing an illustrious chapter in their career.
1. Seniors Richardson, Chapel poised to play key roles COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Leadership will be key for MSU women LOCAL COLUMNS
3. Noxubee County isn't looking past Caledonia HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. Caledonia volleyball team loses to Lewisburg HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. Playoff fates will be on line in Week 10 LOCAL COLUMNS