STARKVILLE -- Though each relay race goes through the same three handoffs and covers the same distance, there's plenty of strategy involved. Many variables, including a runner's current form or performance in individual events and opponents' strengths can factor into how a coach shifts the lineup. The Mississippi State men's track team has made the right calls in its 4x100- and 4x400-meter relay events this year, setting up high expectations for this week's NCAA championships in Eugene, Ore.
High School football players from the Golden Triangle and surrounding area packed Columbus High School's practice fields Tuesday to take advantage of a camp opportunity they hope paves the road to a college scholarship. More than 100 athletes participated in the University of Southern Mississippi football camp, utilizing an opportunity to a certified football Football Bowl Subdivision camp.
Wanika Owsley has been a part of success at every level. Now Owsley hopes she can help the Mississippi State women's basketball team build on its best season. Coach Sharon Fanning-Otis announced Tuesday the hiring of Owsley as an assistant coach. Owsley replaces Sharrona Reaves, who spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach with the Lady Bulldogs.
STARKVILLE -- Al Schmidt remembers Tiffany McWilliams carrying the Mississippi State women's track and field team at the NCAA Championships six seasons ago.
DESTIN, Fla. -- The smuggling of cowbells into Davis Wade Stadium is finished -- at least for a year. Friday, in Destin, Fla., the Southeastern Conference amended its artificial noise-maker bylaw to allow the Mississippi State spirit symbol into Bulldogs' home games. The agreement is a one-year trial.
MSU president Dr. Mark Keenum's press release on ringing cowbells at bulldog games.
STARKVILLE -- Dee Bost is hopeful to rejoin the Mississippi State men's basketball team after school officials confirmed he is enrolled in summer school and seeking to regain his college eligibility. Bost declared for the National Basketball Association draft but failed to withdraw his name before a new NCAA deadline of May 8. He kept his college option open up to that point by not hiring an agent, but the former Bulldogs' point guard faces an uphill battle to play at Mississippi State again.
Former Mississippi State basketball player Jarvis Varnado has heard all the detractors who've analyzed his game. Some say he's too skinny. Others believe his limited offensive skills will stunt his pro potential. Then there are skeptics who believe Varnado's transition to playing power forward and his lack of bulk will limit his shot-blocking ability in the NBA.
Dante Oliver and Tavaris Tate have a relationship that's seen them take similar paths to prep athletic greatness. Though not related through blood, the pair consider each other family after Oliver's family met Tate's family close to nine years ago. The Olivers, an Air Force family of four with no immediate family in Mississippi, had most of their relatives based in the Grand Strand of South Carolina.
STARKVILLE -- For one of Mississippi State's most decorated student-athletes, winding down is a delicate process. A three-time first-team All-American who is sure to earn her fourth selection this week, Chelsea Bramlett has used the last three weeks to decelerate her mind and body after completing her senior season. Her performance this season was typical Bramlett; who led the Southeastern Conference in steals and batting average en route to another hoard of awards and honors.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State's men's basketball team hopes to be at full strength when it makes its first trip outside of the United States for a game. With contracts close to being finalized for MSU's game in the Bahamas against fellow 2010 NCAA tournament snub Virginia Tech, the idea is to have sophomore forward Renardo Sidney, who must sit out an NCAA-mandated nine games to start the 2010-11 schedule, available to play. Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin said the game should be official soon and it's "just a matter of getting everything signed" for the tentatively scheduled Dec. 18 game in Nassau.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State baseball coach John Cohen resembled a relaxed man Tuesday, displaying a relieved yet jovial demeanor that's usually noticeable when the Bulldogs are winning games. Cohen is officially working toward next season and hopes trainers can heal the injured players he bewailed not having at his disposal while in the midst of his second-straight losing season since taking over as head coach.
STARKVILLE -- Sitting on the fence can sometimes be a lonely place, but Louis Cant has company. The Mississippi State singles tennis player is one of eight alternates hoping to make it into the 64-player NCAA tournament field for today's NCAA Singles Championships at the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga. Cant, the third alternate, is hopeful for a replay of 2008 when seven alternates made the field instead of last season when two made the field.
STARKVILLE -- Scott Stricklin hasn't had time to catch his breath since becoming Mississippi State's athletic director and the whirlwind figures to keep him busy with football season roughly three months away. Since taking over the department two weeks ago, Stricklin's days have consisted of meetings with coaches and key members of the university's hierarchy along with day-to-day responsibilities. His predecessor and close friend, Greg Byrne, left him with tremendous growth to continue. Part of that includes a solid staff Stricklin says he's "fortunate" to have in place.
New starts happen all of the time in college athletics. Jamie Gunter knew after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her knee and having to sit out her freshman season at the University of Louisiana Lafayette that change might be the best thing for her. But the former Heritage Academy and Columbus High School standout listened to the advice of her father and decided to give ULL another chance.
SCOOBA -- It seemed like a no-brainer for Brad Henderson. With one season left at East Mississippi Community College, he'd finally get the chance to pilot an offense that averaged 37.7 points per game last season. No filling in when leads mounted. No subbing for JUCO All-American Randall Mackey. Finally, he'd get a chance to drive the sports car that's ripped through the state the past two years. Surprisingly, the Starkville High School graduate was close to leaving the enviable opportunity behind to walk on at Mississippi State.
STARKVILLE -- The LSU baseball team is fighting for a chance to make the Southeastern Conference tournament, while Mississippi State wants to end a disappointing season on a high by winning a series against the defending national champions.
Spare time used to be in short supply for Tyson Lee, but without college football commanding most of his hours like in the past he's decided to give football back to his hometown. As a quarterback at Mississippi State, Lee ascended into a Southeastern Conference starting spot so many high school quarterbacks dream. He was one of them. Starting May 31, on the same Columbus High School practice fields where he spent extra hours throwing passes into a net, Lee will hold the Tyson Lee 3-D Football Camp.
STARKVILLE -- Senior Day was dashed Saturday and at the precipice of a league win. Mississippi State imploded in a 13-7 extra-innings loss to Vanderbilt. Mississippi State relief pitcher C.C. Watson walked in a run, gave up a two-run double and an RBI single in the 10th inning after the Bulldogs gave up two runs with a 5-3 lead in the ninth. As gray clouds moved in and swirling winds kicked up dirt, Mississippi State (21-30, 5-21 Southeastern Conference) gave up eight runs in a disastrous 10th inning.
STARKVILLE -- With two Southeastern Conference series remaining and chances of postseason play long exhausted, the Mississippi State Bulldogs haven't packed it in. Seniors want to finish their careers on a positive note and coaches want to continue first-year players' integration into league play. The Bulldogs (21-28, 5-19 SEC), fresh off an 8-5 win against Northwestern State that snapped a school-record 11-game losing streak, host No. 18 Vanderbilt (36-13, 12-10) this weekend.
1. Kelly will start at QB for EMCC COLLEGE SPORTS
2. MSU looks to McKinney to lead linebackers COLLEGE SPORTS
3. MSU loses Robinson to ACL injury COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Falcons, Trojans learning to believe in change LOCAL COLUMNS
5. Perfect record on trip helps MSU women build chemistry COLLEGE SPORTS