STARKVILLE — Former Columbus High School offensive lineman Tobias Smith is going through offseason workouts at Mississippi State. Smith and the other Bulldogs coming back from injuries are happy about conditioning with little or no pain. Wide receiver Brandon McRae, running back Robert Elliott, tight end Marcus Green, and wide receiver O’Neal Wilder were all smiles Thursday exiting the Holliman Athletic Training Center. After breaking his left ankle in the first fall scrimmage of 2008 at MSU, Smith said he’s back to 100 percent. He credits the coaching staff, medical staff, and his family for helping him come back from the injury.
STARKVILLE — Sunday might be Father’s Day, but Saturday will be all about the women at Mississippi State. Mississippi State will play host to the Ladies Football Clinic, which will provide a wealth of information about football. Megan Mullen, the wife of Mississippi State head football coach Dan Mullen, believes the women who will participate will enjoy the experience.
Sharon Fanning feels blessed to be a part of the Mississippi State women’s basketball program. In 14 years as head coach, Fanning has won 233 games and has led the Lady Bulldogs to the postseason 10 times. This past season was one of the program’s best. MSU went 23-10 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament. Fanning was rewarded Thursday for the program’s success.
David Lane said former Mississippi State center fielder Grant Hogue canâ€™t get to Greeneville, Tenn., fast enough. Lane, the manager of the Greeneville Astros of the Appalachian League, believes Hogueâ€™s speed on the basepaths will make him an instant weapon when his team begins competition Tuesday.
STARKVILLE — There have been many changes to Mississippi State’s athletic landscape the past several months. The biggest deals with technology thanks to the installation of jumbotrons at Mississippi State’s football, baseball, and soccer stadiums. With those projects at or near completion, the focus at MSU has shifted to other needs.
STARKVILLE -- Greg Byrne paused last week to reflect on his first year as Mississippi State Athletic Director and he pointed to one specific thing that impressed him most. Since taking over the day-to-day operations of the Mississippi State athletic department on July 11, 2008, Byrne said it has been the people he works with who have made the transition a positive one. Byrne knew it would be difficult to replace a man like Larry Templeton, but said his approach and ideas have been well received.
STARKVILLE –– Ron Polk gave Grant Hogue an opportunity to play baseball at Mississippi State. Hogue built on that chance this season for first-year coach John Cohen. After transferring from Pearl River Community College and having two productive seasons at MSU, Hogue will take his talents to the next level. The Houston Astros selected Hogue in the 35th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Thursday.
The easy part was the wait for Mississippi State junior first baseball Conner Powers. Now comes the decision. The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Powers in the 11th round Wednesday in the Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft.
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State’s men’s basketball program wasn’t afraid about going after McDonald’s All-American Renardo Sidney as it appeared other schools were. Despite an on-going process concerning Sidney’s eligibility, Mississippi State officials believe signing him was the right thing to do and are confident he will be on the court in the near future. Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury insists recruiting Sidney was in the best interest of the program and the player.
STARKVILLE — Emanuel Mayers invested the time in the fall. The hours training spent in September and October blended into more hours on the track in December and January. The goal was to build a base that could help him reach the highest level of Division I track and field. Mayers realized that goal May 29-30 at the Mideast Regional Championships, and today he plans to begin to build on that success.
Darian Donald knew he was soft. A season of getting tossed from side to side on the blocks can convince even the most talented basketball player he needs to make a change. So the former Caledonia High School standout went to work immediately following his freshman season with the East Mississippi Community College men’s basketball team. The work Donald did and the season he had as a sophomore transformed him into a different player.
STARKVILLE –– Mississippi State baseball coach John Cohen is excited about the future of pitcher Devin Jones. Jones, who played at Eupora High School in Webster County, is spending his summer fine-tuning his skills in the New England Collegiate Baseball League in Danbury, Conn.. He is one of 12 Mississippi State Bulldogs that has been assigned to a college summer league by Cohen and his staff. A broken hand kept Jones off the mound during much of the past season, but he started in the last two Southeastern Conference series against Ole Miss and LSU.
STARKVILLE -- One of the main points of emphasis at the Southeastern Conference Meetings in Destin, Fla., this past week pertained to football recruiting and the desire for a more even playing field for all 12 schools. The SEC presidents took an action that will move toward that goal. Beginning with next year’s signing class, SEC programs can only sign a total of 28 players. The coaches wanted the cap at 30, but the presidents got their way at 28.
Greg Byrne is becoming more confident that Dan Mullen is the right man to be Mississippi State’s head football coach Each time Byrne, Mississippi State’s athletic director, sees Mullen in a public setting or at an official gathering, he’s impressed with the way the coach handles the situation. After spending time together last week at the Southeastern Conference Spring Meetings in Destin, Fla., Byrne felt the need to pin another rose on Mullen.
Mississippi State and Ole Miss don’t play Southern Miss in football each fall. The battles between those schools are waged in the offseason when it comes to recruiting the state’s best talent. That’s why any perceived advantage for one of the other football programs can be an issue. At the Southeastern Conference spring meetings in Destin, Fla., this week, discussion has included a proposal to change an SEC regulation that restricts assistant football coaches from attending coaching clinics in their home states unless the coach is a speaker.
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State junior sprinter Dwight Mullings knows his coaches believe in him. Each time Mullings runs a race, associate track coach Steve Dudley tells him he can do a little bit better.
The roads between Starkville to Memphis are going to be a little more busier during the college basketball season thanks to Latavious Williams. The former Starkville High School player announced Tuesday his commitment to play basketball at the University of Memphis.
University of Alabama baseball coach Jim Wells is set to hear that one of his teams has been invited to an NCAA Regional for the 15th time when the pairings are announced Monday. In a 20-year coaching career that began at Northwestern State in 1990, Wells is no stranger to success by owning five regular-season SEC or Southland Conference championships and eight SEC or Southland postseason titles. Wells is set to take the Crimson Tide to a regional for the 12th time in 15 seasons. Three of his Alabama teams have made it to the College World Series (1996, 1997, 1999).
A disappointing showing in the Southeastern Conference Tournament this past week didn’t keep the Ole Miss Rebels from hosting an NCAA regional tournament. Ole Miss (40-17) learned Sunday it made the NCAA Tournament by virtue of being selected as a regional tournament host. Ole Miss was chosen as a host despite going two and out at the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala.
The University of Alabama’s Kent Matthes wants to win a national championship. If honors and statistics come his way in the process, that’s fine, but he has bigger plans. That is why it was hard for the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year to accept what happened to the Crimson Tide at the SEC tournament at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala. Matthes set the school’s single-season record for home runs in a season (28) with a blast to center field Wednesday night in a 9-5 lost to South Carolina.
1. Bulldogs turn attention to UAB COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Player of Week: Davis, Starkville off to fast start HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. Heritage Academy looks to build on first win HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS