Icon. Pioneer. Trailblazer. Legend.
It doesn't matter which word you use because all of them fit Pat Summitt, the longtime Tennessee women's basketball coach.
Known for her steely gaze and intensity, Summitt died Tuesday at the age of 64.
Gym rats come in all shapes and sizes.
Usually the student-athletes you find toiling away long after their teammates have went home are a step slower or a few inches shorter than the standouts that grab all the headlines. Those stalwarts likely attracted their share of stars and are on the watch lists of most local colleges, and maybe even some of the national powerhouses.
Don't tell Carly Thibault she can't do something.
Al Lewis attempted to influence Carly in high school by bringing her back slowly from injuries.
Mike Thibault tried to do it years ago when he encouraged Carly and his son, Eric, not to follow in his footsteps and become a basketball coach.
Carly's passion for basketball won out on both occasions.
One shot. One goal.
It sounds simple, but when your breathing accelerates and you can hear your heart pounding and you see how the beats shake your hands, focusing on one shot can be a daunting task.
Imagine going 60 mph on the water and coming to a stop.
STEENS -- Finding your voice sometimes can be difficult.
PHEBA -- A good game plan can help an underdog overcome overwhelming odds.
After a 17-3 loss to Hebron Christian on Tuesday in Game 1 of the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class A championship series, the Humphreys Academy baseball team knew it was going to have to try anything and everything Thursday to have a shot at taking Game 2 and forcing a winner-take-all finale.
Artavious McDyess knew he wanted to play basketball in college.
At 6-foot-9 and 200 pounds, McDyess has the potential to grow into his frame and to be as dominant a post player as his nickname -- "Swat" -- suggests.
McDyess also has the good fortune of having great blood lines from his father, former NBA All-Star Antonio McDyess.
But the college recruiting process can give any student-athlete pause.
Terrell Jennings Jr. didn't have a say in the matter.
PHEBA -- Focus is a key for Payton Griffin.
The Hebron Christian senior probably has heard his father, Todd, stress the importance of being mentally ready more than a few times in his high school career. Whether it has been in football, basketball, or baseball, that focus has helped Payton and his teammates achieve their share of success in all three sports.
Through all of the ups and downs, Anthony King could look at eight athletes who were with him Monday and say they almost did the unthinkable.
STEENS -- The numbers were scratched on a white sheet of paper and fastened to a clipboard.
The athletes were situated under a tent that was placed under some trees to provide plenty of shade and a place to relax.
Even though Columbus Christian Academy boys track and field coach Greg Watkins had done nearly everything he could do, he still felt anxious. After all, a state championship was on the line, so he had to make sure his athletes were staying off their feet and resting and hydrating. When you're competing for a title and have plenty of time between events, you tend to repeat yourself.
STEENS -- Defense isn't an afterthought to RJ DeLoach or Jaborris Frazier.
Lessons from their fathers early in their basketball career helped the Columbus Christian Academy players to understand the importance of playing on both ends of the court. Columbus Christian boys basketball coach Greg Watkins appreciates everything DeLoach and Frazier learned because he, too, stresses defense and knows it often is the difference in a team's ability to win a championship.
Bradley Tate usually trusts his gut feelings.
But after two days of competition at Diamondhead's Cardinal Course, Tate just might want to re-assess how much faith he puts into his intestinal instincts because the Caledonia High School boys golf team proved them to be a little off.
CALEDONIA -- Jantsen Glasgow and Jared Reed-Wood have shared plenty of successful moments on the baseball field.
On Wednesday, it was time for the Caledonia High School seniors to share in a celebration that finalized their plans to continue their athletic careers in college.
Thomas Cooper wishes he could explain it.
From his perspective, he isn't doing anything out of the ordinary when he takes the field. Cooper isn't a rah-rah guy who causes people to turn their heads because he is the loudest on his team.
TUPELO -- It was natural for Jason Garrett to break into a jog.
Syboris Pippins, Courtney Stovall, and the rest of the West Lowndes High School boys track and field team weren't going to let a few holes in the team's lineup prevent it from getting a clean sweep.
Buoyed by a strong showing from Pippins in the sprints, from Stovall in the distance events, and a 1-2-3 showing in the 110-meter hurdles, West Lowndes continued its run of success Saturday by winning the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 1A South State title at Madison Central High.
Pitching and defense have been integral parts of the New Hope High School baseball team's championship tradition for years.
If Noah Brock and Peyton Buckner continue dealing like they have been for the past two weeks, the Trojans just might be able to entertain title hopes after a third-place finish in their region in the regular season.
There is talent in numbers at Heritage Academy.
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