JACKSON -- Mackenzie Harvey couldn't escape the butterflies. As an eighth-grader, she had imagined what it would be like to start for the New Hope High School varsity slow-pitch softball team in a state title series, but she didn't realize it would feel like this when she finally earned her chance. She also didn't know her nerves would make even the simplest things -- like catching an underhanded toss from pitcher Anna McCrary -- so difficult. But Harvey and the rest of the Lady Trojans showed Saturday they were up for the challenge and then some.
JACKSON -- Anna McCrary and Kasey Stanfield operate well in stealth mode. It didn't matter they were lugging a blue cooler filled with ice that rustled as they tried to crouch down and avoid being seen by their coach.
The New Hope High School football team's defense spent much of Friday night on the field, and the offense struggled to get in a groove. That combination spelled doom for New Hope in a 15-12 loss to Lake Cormorant in a Class 5A, Region 1 game at Trojan Field.
The New Hope High School slow-pitch softball team will take the final step today. Thirteen times previously, the Lady Trojans have celebrated that last step with a championship. At 11 a.m. today, New Hope (23-7) will take on Picayune in the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A best-of-three state title series for a chance to win the 14th state championship, and fifth in a row, in program history. The past two championships have come in Class 5A.
STARKVILLE -- The Starkville High School football team recovered four Canton fumbles, and running back Preston Baker scored two touchdowns to lead the Yellow Jackets to a 45-8 win Friday night. The blowout win keeps the Jackets (6-2, 4-0) undefeated in the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A, Region 2 standings and clinches a playoff berth.
At 6-foot-3, Michael Graise is an imposing sight at defensive end. Graise is even more dominating on the basketball court. His leaping ability gives him the ups to touch the top of the box on the backboard. Fortunately, Graise knows when to jump for the sky and when to hold a little something back.
LOUISVILLE -- The Louisville High School football team scored on its first play from scrimmage The Caledonia Confederates committed a turnover on their first play. It was that kind of night as the Wildcats were dominant in a 42-0 shutout Friday night. Louisville built a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back.
WEST POINT -- West Point High School junior tailback Tez Lane readily admits his team struggled through the first four weeks of the prep football season. Lane also readily admits those struggles are in the past.
LOUISVILLE -- The Starkville Academy football team's tune-up for East Rankin couldn't have went smoother. Starkville Academy rushed for 378 yards and cruised to a 55-12 win at Winston Academy on Friday night.
The Starkville Academy football team secured its first football playoff berth in six seasons last week with a victory. The Volunteers don't plan to stop and celebrate now. Starkville Academy (7-1) will play its final non-division game of the season at 7 p.m. when it travels to Louisville to take on Winston Academy.
MACON -- Brandon Johnson's list is finally dwindling to nothing. As the certified athletic trainer who works with the Noxubee County High School football team, Johnson has been busy with myriad injuries that have kept the Tigers from being at full strength for nearly the entire season.
HAMILTON -- The statement has been made. Now the harder part might be on the horizon for the Hamilton High School football team.
The Aliceville High School football team will try to earn a quality win Friday night when it travels to Greensboro for a key Class 3A, Region 4 Alabama High School Activities Association matchup.
PHILADELPHIA -- Champions adjust. It didn't matter whether the pitch was outside or low, inside or high, Lauren Holifield was going to do damage. It also didn't matter if the fence in left-center field was an imposing 235 feet away. Holifield had hit a home run to the same spot in the regular season, and she knew she could do it again.
HAMILTON -- Courtney Roberts couldn't recall how many home runs she hit Tuesday night. That's quite all right. After five-and-a-half hours of softball, she wasn't the only one who had numbers running together in her head. The Hatley High School sophomore outfielder hit four home runs and her teammates hit five more to help the Lady Tigers earn their first trip to the Class 2A slow-pitch softball state championship Saturday in Jackson.
It's all coming to an end for Logan Waggoner. But as the Central Academy senior contemplated what could be the end of her softball career, she took comfort in the fact it could end today in the Mississippi Association of Independent School Class A Senior All-Star game at 2:30 p.m. today at Mississippi College.
The stars that dot the scorebook reflect the New Hope High School softball team's prowess on defense. Whether it is third baseman Kasey Stanfield picking a hard-hit short hop, shortstop D.J. Sanders gunning out a runner from the edge of the outfield grass, or Lauren Holifield diving in left-center field to snare a sinking line drive, the Lady Trojans take pride in their defense like no other team in the state.
STARKVILLE -- Adversity doesn't faze leaders. Instead of panicking and losing focus when bad things or mistakes are happening around them, leaders maintain a calm and a poise that makes their peers feel they can do anything if they stick to the plan.
STARKVILLE -- Once the Starkville High School volleyball team regrouped, it was too late. The Lady Yellow Jackets, undefeated region champs and in the playoffs for the third straight season, managed just 15 points Saturday in the first two sets of their Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 2 first-round playoff match against Hernando.
Unstoppable. On a day two former softball standouts returned to their stomping ground, the 2011 New Hope High School slow-pitch softball team showed Saturday it has the potential to create some tradition of its own.
1. Heard brothers playing big roles for ICC COLLEGE SPORTS
2. No. 1 EMCC pulls away to beat ICC COLLEGE SPORTS
3. Sophomores provide spark for New Hope vs. Aberdeen HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. Balance has been key for MSU on third down COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Abram's energy lifts MSU's defense COLLEGE SPORTS