The challenge has been set for the Mississippi State women’s basketball team. Now coach Sharon Fanning-Otis wants the Lady Bulldogs to go from earning “good” wins to chalking up “great” ones. The team’s 2009-10 schedule, which was released Friday morning, should afford MSU plenty of chances to earn the signatures victories that allow teams to secure postseason bids.
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State junior tight end Thomas Webb knows about homesickness. After graduating from Starkville High School in 2005, Webb saw an opportunity to leave home and play for coach Jeff Bower at Southern Mississippi. Webb had an offer to attend MSU, but he didn’t think it was the right thing to do and was ready to leave town.
STARKVILLE — The presence of former Mississippi State football coach Jackie Sherrill at last Saturday’s closed scrimmage didn’t violate any of the parameters set forth in the self-imposed penalties for an incident that occurred during spring practice.
FULTON — Tevin Blanchard didn’t expect to wind up at Itawamba Community College. As a standout on the Aberdeen High School football team last season, Blanchard entertained dreams of earning a scholarship to play major Division I college football.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama volleyball team hopes focusing on smaller goals and taking them slower helps it accomplish a larger goal this season. A strong spring season and a competitive preseason has the Lady Crimson Tide ready to start the season against Saint Louis at 7 p.m. Friday in the SLU Active Ankle Challenge in St. Louis. “I think every team know what it wants to do, and I think when you set smaller goals and you reach them you get more encouragement and more affirmation,” senior right-side hitter Liz Salstrand said.
SCOOBA –– East Mississippi Community College football coach Buddy Stephens describes the center position as the “traffic cop” of the offensive line. The center is crucial in alerting guards and tackles to the location of an opponent’s linebackers. Centers also make calls for the offensive line that allow adjustments for the correct stance before the football is snapped.
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen was a little more demanding on the first practice of the week since the team’s scrimmage Saturday. That’s because he noticed several things to work on. “We’ve got a long way to go,” Mullen said. “We’ve got to get a lot better and clean up a lot with all of the phases the next couple of days, so everything looks cleaner for game week.” Turnovers and allowing big plays on defense bothered Mullen the most in the scrimmage.
STARKVILLE — Paul “Buzzy” Mize of the Henry Mize Foundation said the Humphrey Coliseum is getting a front door. That door that door will give the Mississippi State men’s and women’s basketball teams a new opportunity to improve their programs. The Mize Foundation has provided the lead gift of $4 million toward plans for a $11.2 million indoor basketball practice facility that were announced Monday afternoon.
STARKVILLE — The anticipation surrounding the Mississippi State football season generated a lot of positive energy Monday as students purchased a single-day record of more than 7,000 season tickets. MSU football coach Dan Mullen, who visited several student organizations to promote the program, was pleased to hear about the response.
STARKVILLE — Back from helping Team USA win the bronze medal in July at the World University Games, Mississippi State senior center Jarvis Varnado is ready to focus on the upcoming season. Varnado is excited about what the Bulldogs can accomplish, especially with high-profiled signees like Renardo Sidney and John Riek.
STARKVILLE — With a new head coach and a new spread offense in the works, the Mississippi State football team this season has the potential to surprise some people, assistant coach Rockey Felker told the Starkville Rotary Club Monday afternoon.
OXFORD — Each season brings a new sense of energy for Steve Holeman. This season, though, will be unique for the University of Mississippi women’s soccer coach. The Lady Rebels will rely on the experience of 11 returning players, but they also will count on contributions from 15 freshmen who are part of a class of 18 newcomers. The group of newcomers is the largest since Holeman was hired as the program’s first and only coach in 1994.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State basketball team spokesman Gregg Ellis confirmed Saturday morning that sophomore backup point guard Twany Beckham plans to have hip surgery and will be out for the season. “He’s got bone spurs in both hips and will have surgery in a couple of weeks,” Ellis said. Beckham, who was experiencing chronic pain because of the condition, will have surgery on one side, then undergo several months of rehabilitation before having the same procedure done on the other side.
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State junior wide receiver Kyle Roberts likes to be in game-like situations in scrimmages. That’s because it gives the former East Oktibbeha and East Mississippi Community College player more chances to impress his coaches. Roberts believes he continues to make strides since walking on to the program in the spring. He said he hopes to continue to take advantage of every opportunity afforded to him.
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen didn’t let a little bit of rain Thursday night chase his Bulldogs inside the Palmeiro Center. The rain didn’t become a factor. A heavy afternoon downpour turned into a steady rain by evening an then all but ended before practice began.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — When you’re building a program, consistency often is the first ingredient to ensuring success. University of Alabama women’s soccer coach Todd Bramble hopes the Crimson Tide took a step toward establishing that foundation last season.
A judge’s ruling Thursday that NCAA documents in an infractions case against Florida State are public records under state law could impact the investigation into Mississippi State basketball signee Renardo Sidney.
SCOOBA — One week from today the East Mississippi Community College football team will begin its 2009 season with a non-division matchup against Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Wesson. EMCC coach Buddy Stephens’ Lions enjoyed record-setting success last season en route to a Mississippi Association of Community and Junior College North Division title, the school’s first playoff berth since 1984, and a No. 10 national ranking in the final NJCAA / JC Football.com poll. The top-10 ranking was the first since 1963.
STARKVILLE — The installation of the spread offense is complete at Mississippi State. Now, the cleaning process begins.
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State center Jarvis Varnado and his family have agreed to pay his way for his senior season of basketball. By giving up his scholarship, Varnado makes it easier for the Bulldogs to fit 14 players into the 13 scholarship limit mandated by the NCAA.
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3. MSU softball faces No. 8 Kentucky for weekend series COLLEGE SPORTS
4. MSU, Alabama, Ole Miss women fall in SEC Tournament COLLEGE SPORTS