STARKVILLE -- Possibly the most tightly-contested position on Mississippi State's football team this preseason is at kicker, where two seniors with a lot in common are trying to gain an edge for the No. 1 job. Derek DePasquale and Sean Brauchle are junior college transfers who each started six games last season and experienced success. Their similarities don't stop there. Both were perfect on extra points and were close in accuracy as DePasquale missed two field goals to Brauchle's three. Neither recorded a touchback, and their respective season-long field goals are separated by just a yard.
STARKVILLE -- The only changes made to Mississippi State's coaching staff after Dan Mullen's first year at the helm came on the defensive side of the ball and it's had an effect on all three levels. Manny Diaz left Middle Tennessee State and Chris Wilson left the University of Oklahoma and joined MSU to help retool a young defense that flashed just as much big-play potential as big plays given up. Diaz and Wilson have a spring practice under their belts as they co-coordinate the defense. In addition, Diaz coaches the linebackers and Wilson tutors the defensive line in a system run by some NFL teams.
STARKVILLE -- Dan Mullen isn't budging on who he expects to be Mississippi State's starting quarterback. The race between Tyler Russell and Chris Relf, only a week into fall practice, hasn't produced a front-runner and there doesn't appear to be light at the end of the tunnel, Dan Mullen hinted during Saturday's team media day.
STARKVILLE -- Receiving depth is a concern for the Mississippi State football team, but if Thursday's practice was any indication of what to expect, all the Bulldogs need is a bit of patience. Such was the case last year when MSU relied on Chad Bumphis and Leon Berry to assimilate themselves into a new offense at a new level. In just a year, Bumphis and Berry have become the elder statesmen of what passing game coordinator Mark Hudspeth calls "the youngest receiving corps in the country."
STARKVILLE -- Expect more from Mississippi State's volleyball team. MSU coach Jenny Hazelwood believes she has seen enough from the progress the team made last year and the success it had in the spring season to warn of a breakout year for one of the Southeastern Conference's lower-ranked programs. "We've carried over a lot of momentum and will be a better team," Hazelwood said.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State's soccer team has been re-tooling its attack for the past three seasons, and coach Neil Macdonald believes the firepower issues are a thing of the past. Last year's squad took a step toward contending in conference play, posting a 9-8-2 record and earning draws against ranked sides Florida and South Carolina.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State began football practice Tuesday with two split-squad sessions and plenty of eyes on the team's newcomers. In the first of three practices open to the public, Mississippi State newcomers took the field for the first time this fall in a format head coach Dan Mullen hoped would acclimate the freshman/transfer class to practice routines.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State football players opened practice this morning with the first of two practices to begin the 2010 season. The Bulldogs, coming off a 5-7 season, began fall camp Monday with 105 players reporting to the first team meeting.
STARKVILLE -- The No. 21, worn by the late Keffer McGee, will remain a symbol of Mississippi State football history as the only unofficial retired jersey.
Walt Simmons has plenty of stories to tell. Whether it has been at Oak Hill Academy in West Point or at the University of West Alabama in Livingston, Ala., Simmons has left his mark as a standout athlete. He also has learned more than his share of valuable lessons from peers who were more talented and more experienced. Now working as a career coach at Gadsden State Community College, Simmons' job is to help high school and college students figure out what direction they want to take their lives and the best way to realize their goals.
Two former West Lowndes High School student-athletes will depart next month for new college homes. On Tuesday, recent West Lowndes graduate Demetrius Malone signed a scholarship to play baseball and basketball at Coahoma Community College in Clarksdale. Malone won't be the Panthers' only former multi-sport athlete to take his skills to junior college in August.
Brittany Tillery was shocked when she found out she'd made the Gulf South Conference All-Decade softball team. No one else was surprised.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State's track and field programs are in trusted hands after the university announced Monday the promotions of veteran coach Al Schmidt and longtime assistant and alumnus Steve Dudley. After 22 seasons leading MSU's track teams, Schmidt will now work as director of track and field. He will oversee day-to-day operations at Spencer Stadium/Maddox Track and continue to recruit.
HOOVER, Ala. -- Chris Relf doesn't say much, and he's fine with it. Admittedly laid back and mellow, the Mississippi State quarterback is a beast when he tucks the ball to run. But even as he's dragging defensive backs for extra yards, there's never a sense he is overzealous or gets caught up in the moment. Quiet confidence exudes as Relf enters his junior season looking to cement his place as MSU's No. 1 quarterback.
HOOVER, Ala. -- Confidence. It's a trait Dan Mullen knew would come with success when he entered his first season as Mississippi State football coach. On Wednesday at Southeastern Conference Media Days, Mullen and the three Bulldogs who accompanied him to the annual event couldn't stop using the term, especially when describing the difference between last season and now.
STARKVILLE -- Last season, Mississippi State's men's basketball team had nearly enough injured players to field a talented infirmary squad. With guards Twany Beckham and Shaun Smith and forward Elgin Bailey shelved for the 2009-10 season, the Bulldogs lacked depth and were forced to use their starters more minutes.
STARKVILLE -- There's plenty to gain from running effective sports camps, though most of the evidence goes unnoticed. College coaches can gain a verbal commitment from a student-athlete who attends one of their camps or receive positive feedback from campers, parents, and coaches.
STARKVILLE -- David Johnson is a realist. He knows the economy isn't in the greatest shape. And as someone who has worked in magazines and in newspapers in the region, Johnson also knows the publishing business has seen its share of hard times. But Johnson believes he has the right product and even better support to take on the challenge of giving Mississippi State, University of Mississippi, and University of Alabama sports fans what they need.
1. It's official: EMCC is No. 1 COLLEGE SPORTS
2. New Hope takes basketball pair from Caledonia HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Columbus basketball teams sweep Kemper County HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. Cowbells will be allowed in Liberty Bowl COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Jackson leads MSU's AP All-SEC picks COLLEGE SPORTS