STARKVILLE - Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen is excited to start the season with in-state foe Southern Mississippi.
WEST POINT -- Chris Craven knows the enormity of the task that his Oak Hill Academy football team faces Friday night.
There's no disguising the pain of a loss your coach calls "heartbreaking."
MACON -- Focus has been a word that has been on Tyrone Shorter's mind a lot this week.
Inside the Game: Mooreville-Caledonia
CALEDONIA -- Zion Ford was just trying to make something happen.
But don't let Ford's use of an innocuous phrase diminish the impact of the game-changing moment he delivered Friday night.
All the Caledonia High School junior running back needed to do was use his fingertips -- not once, but twice.
Ford's juggling act on a pass from quarterback Spencer Unruh went from a possible missed opportunity to a 53-yard touchdown pass in the snap of the fingers and helped push Caledonia to a 31-7 victory against Mooreville in its home opener.
Between the weather and the emotion surrounding the squad's season opener, Josh Thacker and the Pickens Academy football team had one of the longest Friday nights of Week 1.
In addition to waiting out a lightning delay and a power outage, the Pirates had to deal with the fact they were without assistant coach Ted Copland, who is battling cancer and was forced to miss his first Friday night in 46 years as a coach.
Barrett Donahoe scheduled preseason scrimmages and jamborees to prepare the Heritage Academy football team for the 2015 season.
Following games against Pillow Academy, Raymond High School, and Simpson Academy, Donahoe hoped the Patriots were primed and ready to face good competition in the regular season.
That move paid off last week against Columbus Christian in a 48-0 victory in the season opener for both teams.
If you didn't know any better, the statistics surely would have corresponded to a victory.
New Hope High School football Kris Pickle even sounded like he didn't believe what happened as he ticked off the numbers -- 350-360 total yards, more than 200 yards passing, 100 yards rushing, 18 first downs -- from his team's 20-3 loss to Louisville in its season opener last week.
MACON -- Dominant.
CALEDONIA -- In 2014, a game of word association involving the Caledonia High School football team was easy.
MACON -- To a man, Friday night was about belief for the Noxubee County High School football team.
CARROLLTON, Ala. -- Inexperience doesn't faze Josh Thacker.
If it did, the Pickens Academy third-year head football coach would look at his roster for the 2015 season with wide eyes and see a bunch of 7s, 8s, and 9s under the grade column. All told, Pickens Academy enters tonight's season opener against Ben's Ford Christian (La.) with only four seniors and two juniors on a roster that features 18 players in grades seven through nine.
Greg Watkins has seen plenty of change in his time as a coach in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools (MAIS).
Danny Crawford is back in Lowndes County.
This time, the longtime coach intends to make his stay a little more permanent.
Last week, the Lowndes County School Board approved the hiring of the former West Oktibbeha County High School coach as the new boys and girls basketball coach at West Lowndes High School in Columbus. The move comes after Crawford's old school and East Oktibbeha County High were consolidated into the Starkville School District at the end of the 2014-15 school year.
STARKVILLE -- The doubt is gone.
Mallory Eubanks wondered how she would fit in when she participated in the United States Under-20 National Team Camp in January in Sanford, Florida. As a newcomer, Eubanks was one of 28 players (18 college soccer) vying for the attention of head coach Michelle French and the rest of USA Soccer.
MACON -- Qendarrion Barnett's laugh -- a quick "Heh-heh" -- gets you thinking.
A few minutes later, as you watch the Noxubee County High school senior stroke his burgeoning goatee, a smile comes across your face and you see why the nickname fits him so well.
No, not the moniker "June bug" that was given to Barnett by his mother, Lakeisha Hunt, and probably is more recognizable. The one you're thinking of is "old man," which is the one members of the Noxubee County High football team are more apt to use around one of the veterans of the reigning 2014 Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 4A state champions.
Sherri Coale has been around basketball long enough to know how to spot a future coach.
The Oklahoma women's basketball coach said it doesn't matter whether a player is a point guard, forward, or center. She said the key to spotting a player who looks like she will have an ability become a coach is finding an individual who can convey what they know about the game to their peers.
Coale didn't have to watch Dionnah Jackson long to figure out she had a future coach in the making.
April Reese and Abigail Wise knew they were going to have to step into bigger roles this year on the Starkville High School volleyball team.
Coming off the program's best season in history and losing several key performers, including seniors Khris Carr and Vicky Vo, Reese and Wise realize they are going to have to make their presence known at the net if Starkville is going to return to the playoffs and build on its first playoff victories and a trip to the Class III North State title match.
The significance didn't hit DJ Sanders until she heard the national anthem.
Up until that point, Sanders enjoyed her opportunity to play against some of the best players in the world as a member of the USA Softball Junior Women's National Team, but the enormity of the moment didn't sink in until "The Star
Spangled Banner" started to play.
That's when the fact that she had just won a gold medal representing her country hit her.
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