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.
STARKVILLE -- Russ Sneed drove in four runs and the Mississippi State baseball team snapped an 11-game losing streak with an 8-5 win against Northwestern State on Wednesday.
STARKVILLE -- Al Schmidt described Mississippi State's track performances at the Penn Relays as "magical." Who knows how he'll feel if the Bulldogs continue their trophy-winning form.
With each meet this track season, Mississippi State's men's relay teams have built notoriety and put its stamp on the nation's high-profile events.
The latest group of Mississippi State women's basketball players to reach the WNBA is down to one. The San Antonio Silver Stars released former MSU standout Alexis Rack and forward Krystal Vaughn on Monday.
STARKVILLE -- LaQuinta Aaron smiles when asked if Mississippi State's men's track team success has overshadowed the progress made by MSU's women. The All-Southeastern Conference hurdler and heptathlete enters this week's SEC Championships hoping to achieve the same kind of notoriety.
Junior Noel was stunned. For the past two seasons, Noel worked to make the East Mississippi Community College men's and women's soccer programs respectable. The results weren't eye-popping, but Noel and those in the area who follow soccer believe EMCC was improving. That progress was put on hold earlier this week when the EMCC Board of Trustees voted to suspend the men's and women's soccer programs for one season.
STARKVILLE -- Scott Stricklin's introduction as Mississippi State's 16th athletics director had the feeling of a family reunion or and Easter Sunday gathering. With Stricklin's family and friends gathered together Friday, the Mississippi State alum and employee spoke for the first time in a position he called "his dream job."
If Junior Noel was stunned to learn the East Mississippi Community College soccer programs he coached were going to be suspended, imagine the surprise of the freshmen on the teams when they heard the news. Former Starkville High School forward Eduardo Fumo, who was a freshman on the EMCC men's soccer team in the fall, said he first learned of the school's decision to suspend the men's and women's soccer programs in a phone call from Brian Bennett, his former coach at Starkville High.
The East Mississippi Community College Board of Trustees' decision Monday to suspend the school's men's and women's soccer programs has surprised and confused many coaches and followers of the teams. The surprise is understandable given that EMCC coach Junior Noel, who coached the men's team for the past three years and the women's team the past two years, had no idea a move like that was going to be made until Tuesday morning, when he also was informed his contract would not be renewed.
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