Lee Davis knows the players who helped the Columbus High School baseball program have the best run in its history. Davis also has coached and has worked in the area long enough to know what it takes to be successful at Columbus High. That's part of the reason the veteran coach wanted to take on the challenge of becoming Columbus High's new baseball coach. On Monday, the Columbus Municipal School Board approved Davis to be the program's new coach. Davis replaces Jeffrey Bryan Dean, who was approved as coach in June.
WEST POINT -- "Devastated." That's how Drew Riley said the Oak Hill Academy football team felt two weeks ago after starting quarterback Ken Dill had to leave the game against Heritage Academy with an injury. In addition to losing to the Patriots 10-0, the Raiders learned shortly after the setback that Dill could be lost for the season with a foot injury. They also had to deal with an assortment of other bumps and bruises, including Riley, who used ice to tend to an aching side as he listened to coach Chris Craven's post-game talk.
CALEDONIA -- Midway through the third quarter, in a wet defensive struggle, a muffed punt snap set up the Okolona High School football team inside the Caledonia 10-yard line. With the Chieftains leading 6-3 in a game with few explosive plays, it looked grim for Caledonia. But outside linebacker Sam Cooper wasn't going to give up anything easy.
Reed Fulgham did work Friday night. It shouldn't have been surprising, though, because the Victory Christian Academy senior was a key part of a Christian Football Association championship last season. While Anthony Sharp amassed more than 2,500 yards rushing and receiving and had 49 touchdowns, Fulgham directed the offense to the tune of 1,612 yards passing and a 65.1-percent completion percentage. But things change when you lose players like Sharp and Cody Bolton, another key offensive performer who was part of a senior group that pushed the Eagles to a 10-1 finish.
STARKVILLE -- Avery Brown knew he had to give everything he had in the first 18 minutes of Friday night's game. The Starkville High School senior running back scored two touchdowns on the first two possessions to give his team a 14-0 lead against KIPP Collegiate (Tenn.). He saw his offense score one more touchdown that pushed the Yellow Jackets' advantage to three touchdowns and ended his night.
MACON -- Coming off a game in which his team allowed 74 points in a win against Delta Academy, Hebron Christian football coach David Foster stressed improvement on defense. Foster got his wish Friday night in a 46-16 victory against Central Academy in a Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Eight-Man District 2 game.
There was a lot of green grass in front of Syboris Pippins as he prepared to haul in his second interception Friday night. West Lowndes High School's do-it-all athlete snagged a gift from teammate Jerquallian Selvie, who tipped a Biggersville High pass in the end zone late in the first quarter. Pippins darted by a pair of players, swept up the right hash, and left everyone in the dust for a 104-yard score. While it was the second of his interceptions Friday, it was the first of three scores on the night for Pippins, who had 230 yards, including 94 rushing yards on five carries in the Panthers' 46-6 win.
ABERDEEN -- It was a bittersweet homecoming for Calhoun City High School football coach Perry Liles, as his Wildcats dropped a last-second, 40-34 decision to Aberdeen here Friday evening.
MERIDIAN -- Noxubee County High School football coach Tyrone Shorter didn't envision offensive struggles for his team this season. However, after scoring only six points last week, Noxubee County lost to Meridian 28-0 on Friday night at Ray Stadium. "With so many starters back, it is hard to understand what has happened to our offense," Shorter said. "For three weeks now, it has really been a struggle. As coaches we will meet this week because we have to get some things straightened out on offense or it is going to be a long season."
WEST POINT -- Columbus High School football coach Randal Montgomery has experienced nights like the one he had Friday. Columbus moved inside the West Point 20-yard line four times Friday night at Hamblin Stadium. However, the Falcons only had three points to show for those efforts. The Columbus defense held as long as it could before West Point ripped off two touchdowns to take a 13-3 victory.
WEST POINT -- West Point senior cornerback Jeffrey Drake knew what his team needed Monday at practice. "I just wanted to remind the young guys we are a good team and we can still be a great team," Drake said. "Some of the sophomores were a little shocked last week. We just had to come out and keep working. It was important to keep the heads up." The heads were up, the rushing game was churning out yards, and West Point returned to the win column Friday with a 13-3 victory against Columbus at Hamblin Stadium.
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WEST POINT -- West Point High School football coach Chris Chambless knows how far his team has to travel to become a Class 5A state title contender. However, he likes how far his young has traveled so far. A week after being shut out by Starkville, West Point returned to the win column Friday with a 13-3 victory against Columbus at Hamblin Stadium.
PHEBA -- Spent. Gassed. Pooped. Landon Hill was all three of those and more last week in the third quarter against Delta Academy. The Hebron Christian senior had just scored and was laid out in the end zone trying to catch a breather. As Hill stared up at the sky and wondered how he must going to muster the energy to play the final 10 minutes, teammates Payton Griffin and Brian Eaddy encouraged him to get up because there was more work that needed to be done.
WEST POINT -- Chris Craven isn't going to allow a few injuries to ruin a season. Granted, the injuries the Oak Hill Academy football team suffered prior to and during its game last week against Heritage Academy have left it with even fewer numbers entering its game at 7 tonight against West Memphis Christian.
Daniel Merchant has a plan. If you need any reassurance that Merchant's strategy works, take a look at the success Merchant had in revitalizing the Oak Hill Academy football program and energizing the West Lowndes High School defense.
Barrett Donahoe never has professed a love for being a coach who loves a game plan that involves "3 yards and a cloud of dust."
MACON -- Tyrone Shorter doesn't have any regrets.
If you follow fast-pitch softball in the state of Mississippi, you know Leake Academy has set a standard many attempt to emulate.
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