STARKVILLE -- Timorrius Conner heard the talk all week. The Noxubee County High School junior quarterback couldn't avoid it. After all, St. Stanislaus, the opponent in the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 4A state title game, had scored 651 points and had eclipsed the 40-point mark 11 times. Sophomore quarterback Myles Brennan led the high-scoring attack with 5,502 passing yards and 61 touchdowns. Conner shrugged all of those numbers off. Coming off a sophomore season in which he threw four touchdowns and had 12 interceptions, Conner never was one to dwell on numbers.
STARKVILLE -- It was a classic Columbus High School-Starkville High showdown. With big play after big play, clutch shot after clutch shot, Friday night's Class 6A, Region 3 opener between the schools was intense, and it was back-and-forth.
STARKVILLE -- Kristie Williams liked what she saw. Entering her team's Class 6A, Region 3 opener against Columbus, the Starkville High School girls basketball coach was curious to see how her young team would handle what was sure to be an intense, physical battle.
When news first broke this summer that the state championship games were moving to Mississippi State University and Davis Wade Stadium for the 2014 season, a smile broke out.
MACON -- Tyrone Shorter has been a part of plenty of Noxubee County High School football teams that have been able to produce fireworks.
Cayden Upton has noticed the difference in practice this week.
STARKVILLE - After months of preparation, show time has arrived for the Mississippi High School Activities Association.
MACON -- Timorrius Conner knows he has come a long way. More than a feeling, all the Noxubee County High School junior quarterback has to do is compare the statistics from his sophomore season to his junior campaign. There is no comparison.
Rick Michaels didn't have time to be nervous. Encouraged to use his experience as a local youth soccer coach to guide the first Columbus Christian Academy boys soccer team, Michaels only had time for one practice prior to his new team's first match Monday against Indianola Academy. It wasn't until game day that Michaels realized the significance -- and pressure -- associated with his debut.
MACON -- Leader. It's a word a lot of athletes use to signify their status on their teams as someone who sets the pace that others follow. In August, Jeffery Simmons recognized the opportunity he had to be that player this season for the Noxubee County High School football team. Instead of shying away from it and allowing some of his senior teammates to shoulder that responsibility, Simmons seized it and established himself as one of the team leaders in preseason workouts and in the weight room.
June Dampier is being modest when she said she "did what she could do" with the West Lowndes High School girls basketball team. As coach of the Lady Panthers from 2000-03, Dampier admits things always didn't go smoothly as she tried to establish her style of play and implement the rules players would have to follow to commit to her program. The goal was simple: Win a state championship.
MACON -- Get ready Starkville, a train is coming to town. As much as the Noxubee County High School football team has relied on its offensive line to steamroll opponents this season, the Tigers' "Demon Defense" is providing the fuel for the team's latest run to a state championship.
STARKVILLE -- Darrell Henderson took the pitch and looked for running room. He found much more than that.
STARKVILLE -- Starkville High School senior defensive lineman Derion Ford and senior running back Matt Fuller shared a postgame hug at Yellow Jacket Stadium. Both had dazed looks on their faces. The look of disbelief was everywhere. Almost every Friday night had ended with similar expressions on the turf at Starkville High.
Friday's Mississippi, Alabama Prep Football Scores
STARKVILLE -- Starkville High School football coach Jamie Mitchell predicted turnovers would be a major storyline Friday night in the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A North State Championship game against South Panola.
MACON -- Tyrone Shorter knows what it takes to be alone on an island with everyone watching you. That's part of the responsibility of being a "lock-down cornerback." New England Patriots cornerback Darrell Revis brought fame to the terminology when he was with the New York Jets and coined the term "Revis Island" for his ability to go one-on-one with the other's team's top receiver and shut him down.
STARKVILLE -- Basketball coaches frequently talk about contrasting styles and the need to impose their style on an opponent. The same theme can apply in a lesser degree to football, and it will be a major factor at 7 tonight when No. 1 Starkville (13-0) plays host to No. 2 South Panola (13-0) in the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A North State championship game at Yellow Jacket Stadium. The winner will face Oak Grove or Brandon next Friday for the Class 6A state championship at Davis Wade Stadium on the Mississippi State campus in Starkville.
STARKVILLE -- While Starkville High School kept accumulating football wins, it knew sooner or later what was bound to happen.
MACON -- Bobby May has found his voice.