CARROLLTON, Ala. — When Sam Pearson took over as head football coach at Pickens Academy, his goal was to return the program to its winning ways. The Pirates won five undefeated state championships in the late 90s but haven’t earned a title in 10 years, which is something Pearson hopes to change.
Jamerson Love didn’t need another game to help him make his decision. The Aberdeen High School senior running back had already decided on a college before attending Mississippi State’s game against No. 25 Georgia Tech in Starkville on Saturday. All Love had to do then was wait to make his announcement. Georgia Tech’s 42-31 victory didn’t deter Love from informing MSU coach Dan Mullen that he wanted to make a verbal commitment to become a Bulldog.
HAMILTON — Change doesn’t faze Robert Herman Tucker. Whether it has been as a teacher, coach, or parent, Tucker has seen offenses and defense come and go. He has worked his share of jobs, including stints in the auto parts manufacturing business and in the insurance industry. He also has had his share of health issues, including a quintuple-bypass heart surgery last February.
MACON — Marion Colvin didn’t back down. After playing four games at the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class A State tournament, Colvin didn’t have time to be tired — or nervous. The only thing Colvin thought about was beating Delta Academy. “Mr. Pres (Dawkins) said, ‘You have got the mound this game. Are you ready? I told him, ‘Yes sir,’ ” Colvin said. “I told him I was going to pitch my best and get us to state.”
CALEDONIA — Kara Von Kanel and Sunnie Rushing wondered if all of the work was worth it. Through the start of preseason in the summer and a season filled with long practices and work on fundamentals, the members of the Caledonia High School volleyball never really considered the payoff that would result from all of their hard work. But when the Lady Confederates started having fun and piling up the victories, they soon discovered why coach Samantha Brooks had put them through the paces earlier in the season.
STARKVILLE — Some high school football teams hate to practice in the rain. But the poor weather last week motivated the Starkville High School football team. Junior linebacker D.J. Jordan said it was hard to explain, but when it started raining the Yellow Jackets worked harder. “It hyped us up,” Jordan said. “We knew it was going to be wet on Friday, so we just went out and got the job done.”
Each step is a learning process for the Columbus High School football team. Last week, the Falcons experienced an especially painful lesson in a 10-6 home loss to Tupelo in their Class 6A, Region 1, District 2 season opener. Columbus coach Bubba Davis said the loss hurt his players so much because he felt they went into the game thinking they were good enough to win and that they should win. Things didn’t turn out that way.
The “thug” life was the life for Jeremy Wells. As a freshman at New Hope High School, trouble found Wells much too often. Without his brother, Jonquez, a running back on the New Hope High football team, around to help look after him, Jeremy admitted to falling in with the wrong group. It wasn’t until his sophomore year when Wells discovered he was academically ineligible to play football that he realized he needed to change.
WEST POINT — West Point High School has what senior running back Xavier Hogan calls the three-headed monster. “You stop one head and you still have the other two to deal with,” Hogan said. “It is really hard to stop that.”
HAMILTON — Chase Reeves didn’t have a plan in mind last weekend. The Hamilton High School junior was content to visit Mississippi State and the University of Mississippi and to listen to what the coaches had to say about their schools and their baseball programs. But after shaking off the initial surprise of receiving a scholarship offer, Reeves’ plan changed immediately.
Robin Tyra’s goal as coach of the Aliceville High School football team is to win region and state championships. Aliceville can take a step toward winning the Alabama High School Activities Association Class 3A, Region 4 championship Friday when it travels to Cordova.
CLEVELAND — It took nearly 12 hours and five consecutive games, but the Central Academy fast-pitch softball team earned a spot in the Mississippi Association of Independent School Class AA State tournament. Central Academy rebounded from a loss in its second game of the North Half State tournament Tuesday to win three games in a row before losing 8-0 to Bayou Academy. That game ended shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday, nearly 12 hours before the Lady Vikings took the field against Tri-County for their first game of the day at 10:30 a.m.
STARKVILLE — Slower was better for Lyndsey Haynes. The Starkville Academy senior pitcher’s use of the changeup nearly helped make Monday an all-day affair for the Lady Volunteers. As it turned out, Haynes almost pitched Starkville Academy out of the losers’ bracket and into a berth in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools AAA state tournament.
MABEN — Ledrick Patterson is a fast learner. Even though Patterson has been a member of the East Webster High School varsity football program for four years, he never played quarterback before this season.
CALEDONIA –– The Aberdeen High School volleyball team won the MHSAA Class 1, Division 1 Tournament on Saturday by sweeping Caledonia in straight sets. Aberdeen won the first set 25-20 and the second 25-15 to claim the division championship.
OXFORD — A balanced offensive attack led by junior quarterback Zak Thrasher and a defensive unit that delivered big stops when necessary Friday night propelled the New Hope High School football team to a 21-11 victory against Oxford in its Class 5A, Region 1 opener at the University of Mississippi’s Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
Presbyterian Christian quarterback David Roberts likes to throw the football. But Roberts knew Friday night that the field conditions at Heritage Academy’s C.L. Mitchell Field in Columbus would make that difficult. Roberts completed only 4 of 10 attempts, but he made up for it with his legs, rushing 13 times for 69 yards to help the Bobcats earn a 20-7 victory on the Patriots’ homecoming.
The Columbus High School football team came out to win Friday night. But after several fourth-quarter drives fizzled against Tupelo, frustrations started to build on the field. These frustrations boiled over to the locker room after a 10-6 loss, as several players went back in tears vowing to make a change to better represent the city of Columbus.
HAMILTON — Latedrick Troupe knew he had to make something happen. Problem was, he didn’t have the football and he was running away from his end zone. To make matters worse, the Hamilton High School running back was tracking back on a wet field and being chased by a handful of Caledonia High players eager to make a game-changing play.
STARKVILLE — The Starkville High School football team used a stingy effort from its defense Friday night to beat DeSoto Central 9-3 for its first victory of the season. Starkville (1-4, 1-0 Class 6A, Region 1, District 2) allowed less than 100 yards total and 1 yard rushing to win the district opener for both teams at Yellow Jacket Field.
1. New Hope beats Leake Central to win Region 4-4A title HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. New Hope's James signs with Itawamba C.C. HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. No. 2 MSU women play for outright SEC championship COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Strong start leads MSU to rout of Ole Miss HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. MSU Notebook: Schaefer back to normal for No. 2 Bulldogs COLLEGE SPORTS