Two years ago, Justin Verner was a self-proclaimed "chubby" kid who was trying to master powerlifting techniques. Only a sophomore, Verner knew he had the potential to accomplish big things in the sport. His strategy for realizing those goals was simple: He was going to listen to his coaches and work as hard as he could.
Peyton Lee wasn't sure what his role was going to be on the 2012 New Hope High School baseball team. Coming off a junior season that left him wanting more, Lee was focused on having an impact in his final season as a Trojan.
The piece of paper doesn't jangle in the breeze like the medals around the necks of his student-athletes.
Tiacara McCoy didn't let cancer stop her.
The Starkville Academy girls basketball team used a group approach all the way through a historic season.
CALEDONIA -- West Point High School baseball coach Buddy Myers saw his team simply going through the motions.
On senior night at Sammy Fletcher Field, Columbus High left-handed pitcher Tyler Blevins took the baseball and completely shut down a confident Caledonia High lineup.
With just a week left until the start of the postseason, Caledonia High School softball coach Robin Elmore was eager for a crisp performance at the New Hope High School tournament.
At 6-foot-5, 300 pounds, Jake Thomas is a quarterback's best friend anywhere on the offensive line. But Thomas figures to become an even more imposing presence in a number of areas for the Columbus High School Falcons as he continues to mature into his body.
WEST POINT -- Wilma Davis watched, learned, and waited as a junior. With a point guard like Kelsei Ewings, sometimes you only need to make sure you were running to get open looks at the basket.
CALEDONIA -- Caledonia High School fast-pitch softball coach Robin Elmore was pleased with almost every aspect of her team's game Thursday night. Elmore enjoyed everything except the final score.
At first, winning big baseball games came as a surprise to Columbus High. Now, a youthful Falcons squad is basking in such a position. Tyler Blevin's two-run double sparked a three-run sixth inning Tuesday as Columbus turned back Grenada 3-2 in a Class 6A, Region 2 matchup at Sammy Fletcher Field.
STARKVILLE -- One of the best shooters in Mississippi high school basketball has been assured the same offensive freedom at his next stop on the hardwood.
New Hope High has been on the search for offensive consistency throughout the fast-pitch softball season. The Lady Trojans found lots of it Tuesday night, as New Hope pounded out 13 hits in a 17-0 rout of Columbus.
HAMILTON -- Ethan Earnest was looking forward to big things at the beginning of the season. After working through shoulder surgery and back spasms that kept him from throwing a lot of innings in the past two seasons, Earnest wanted to make a mark in his senior season with the Hamilton High School baseball team. But sometimes bad luck follows you.
CALEDONIA -- Ashley Langford understood what her father, Michael, meant when he told her years ago someone always would be watching when she was on the softball field. But the Caledonia High School senior catcher didn't fully appreciate those words of advice until earlier this year when she kept receiving emails from Mississippi Delta Community College softball coach Vanessa Farrell.
Todd Stanley didn't want to have any regrets.
STARKVILLE -- In the seventh inning Thursday night, New Hope found much-needed separation in in fast-pitch prep softball game with Starkville and in the Class 5A, Region 3 race.
The power of performance is a big motivator for Justin Verner.
New Hope High School fast-pitch softball coach Tabitha Beard can be difficult to please. Tuesday night was not one of those nights.
1. Second-quarter defensive surge lifts No. 4 MSU COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Vivians finds rhythm in second quarter for Bulldogs COLLEGE SPORTS