Chemistry is a key for every head coach. As important as it is to have players who buy into a vision or a philosophy, it is just as crucial to have assistant coaches who complement the person in charge and help set the direction for the program.
WEST POINT -- Football coaches often find the smallest details to motivate their kids. When they reach championship status, those programs tend not to need much help re-focusing or getting pumped for a new matchup.
STARKVILLE -- Korakot Simsiriwong has loved the game of golf ever since she could remember. Growing up in Thailand, her father played the game and was a great fan, so it was only natural that Simsiriwong had a set of clubs as soon as she was able to swing.
ABERDEEN -- The mystery has been solved. Years ago, Brandon Smith's eyes earned him a special nickname from an uncle. Somehow, though, that nickname -- "Buck" -- turned into "Bucket," which is how the Aberdeen High School football coaches and players call out to Smith.
MABEN -- The next step in two teams' paths to a possible championship game will renew one of the state's brewing rivalries. Former Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 1A district rivals East Webster and Calhoun City have made a flawless transition to the 2A ranks since reclassification in 2009.
MABEN -- When Jimmy Carden arrived at East Webster High School, he had to transform an underdeveloped football program. His first order was building a new weight room. Next, Carden had to instill confidence in the Wolverines that they could not only be competitive and challenge for state titles.
STARKVILLE -- Starkville Academy's season-opening soccer match Wednesday was a tale of two frustrating halves. Starkville Academy survived an early onslaught by Pillow Academy and appeared to be resigned to goalkeeper Davis Pigg bailing them out for countless field errors.
Every team is special to a coach, but some teams can be more special. For Ronnie Hubbert, this year's Sulligent High School football team has earned that distinction more than once. The Blue Devils carry a 10-2 record into their Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 2A third-round playoff game tonight against Lineville (9-3).
The orderly state of affairs comes naturally to Tyrone Shorter. If you needed any proof, you need only look at the success of the Noxubee County High School football program this season.
Ishamel Riggins knows how to find the holes. Between rushing and protecting the quarterback, the Sulligent High School senior knows all of the tricks of the trade used by offensive and defensive linemen.
Defense wins championships. While exceptional offenses bring home trophies too, that is the rule Noxubee County High School football coach Tyrone Shorter lives by. His words rang true Friday night as his Tigers moved one step closer to realizing that goal with a 12-6 win against Center Hill in the second round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 4A playoffs.
Zak Thrasher threw for 308 yards and three touchdowns to lead the New Hope High School football team to a 46-22 victory against Jackson Callaway in the first round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A playoffs.
East Webster intercepted three passes and hung 27 points in the second half to post a 38-12 win over John F. Kennedy.
The West Point High School football team kicked off the postseason in grand fashion Friday night with a 36-14 whipping of Provine in the first round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A playoffs.
Sulligent's "family" approach helped it score 40 unanswered points en route to a 40-19 victory against Huntsville Westminster Christian in the second round of the Alabama High School Activities Association Class 2A playoffs.
Zak Thrasher threw three touchdown passes Friday night to lead the New Hope High School football team to a 46-22 victory against Jackson Callaway in the first round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A playoffs.
Some players are blessed with the speed of a gazelle or the size of a behemoth. Others get by on guile or will power. If you know football, you know what category 5-foot-7, 210-pound defensive lineman Dalton Hodges belongs in.
MABEN -- Shamia Robinson made history Thursday. The 5-foot-8 senior basketball player became the first female to earn a scholarship to a Division I school when she signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball at Mississippi State. Robinson averaged 18.8 points, 9 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.4 blocked shots, and 1.9 steals per game last season. She also had scholarship offers from Georgia, the University of Mississippi, Southern Miss, and others.
JACKSON -- Curiosity turned to wonder and then slipped into belief. There was no way one team that suffered a 54-point loss two weeks earlier could turn around and beat that same team on the state's biggest stage in the rematch. Right?
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