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.
CALEDONIA -- Alexis Pace has learned how to set the pace.
Starting as a middle schooler, Pace watched the older competitors on the Caledonia High School cross country and track and field teams.
HAMILTON -- Hayden Evans isn't going to let a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee be a final chapter to his baseball career.
A few weeks ago, though, Evans admitted he had doubt if he was going to get a chance to keep playing after suffering the setback March 29 in a 19-1 victory at Houlka.
CALEDONIA -- Parker Humber feels there is no denying the talent on the Caledonia High School boys golf team.
Before you think the junior is a little too confident about the abilities of the 10 players on the squad, consider Caledonia shot a 304 last week at Lion Hills in Columbus to beat Kosciusko and Houston to win the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 4A, Region 3 title. The score, which Caledonia coach Bradley Tate said was the best his team has shot in his 10 years as its coach, secured the squad a place in the Class 4A State tournament on May 4-5 at Diamondhead Country Club in Diamondhead, which is between New Orleans and Gulfport/Biloxi on Interstate 10.
CALEDONIA -- A new set of buckets awaits the Caledonia High School fast-pitch softball team.
A few weeks ago, coach Jonathan Jones wasn't sure if the Lady Confederates were still going to be alive at this point in the season, but a six-game winning streak at the tail end of the regular season gave the team new life in its hunt for a playoff bid. A victory by Kosciusko against West Lauderdale helped Caledonia secure the No. 3 seed out of Class 4A, Region 4.
Sometimes a victory is the best medicine.
After all, there is only so much you can say and so long you can talk before the time comes to go out on the field and perform. Following losses in four of his squad's last five regular-season games, New Hope High School baseball coach Lee Boyd hoped his team was going to be able to find a way to re-focus. In the unfamiliar position of being a No. 3 seed, New Hope faced the prospect of going on the road to play at No. 1 seed Neshoba Central in Game 1 of its best-of-three opening-round Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A State tournament series.
Deonteau Rieves learned from some of the best Columbus High School had to offer.
Whether it was Christian Dale, Isaiah Farmer, Trace Lee, Chris McCullough, Hunter Mullis, Greg Sykes, or Gavonta Webb, Rieves spent his first two years on the school's varsity baseball team with plenty of talented players who helped Columbus establish a school-record streak of four consecutive playoff appearances under coach Jeffrey Cook.
CALEDONIA -- Forty pounds isn't a lot to an experienced powerlifter.
STARKVILLE -- Football always was an option for Colt Chrestman.
CALEDONIA -- Avery Pool admits she wasn't playing as good as she wanted to.
CARROLLTON, Ala. -- Preston Pogue and Jeff White have been playing together long enough that they know when the other one is going to have a good day.
The good news for the Pickens Academy baseball team is when Pogue or White is having a good day, the other one usually is going to do just as well.
Cameron Douglas and Javontae McDavid believed they could make a splash in their final season with the Columbus High School boys basketball team.
The dream had life years earlier, but on Nov. 7, 2011, Rachel Hollivay gave voice to the road she hoped to travel when she gave a verbal commitment to play basketball for coach C. Vivian Stringer at Rutgers.
"I think it will be great to play for coach Stringer," Hollivay said. "I'm excited about playing for her, and I can't wait to play for her. I think she is a great coach and that Rutgers is the place I need to be to be successful and to follow my dreams (to play professional basketball)."
Tennis is still in the blood of James Carr.
Nicknamed the "Coach," Carr, 90, still finds time several days a week to practice his ground strokes for about an hour a day at the Magnolia Tennis Club in Columbus. He said his movement has slowed to the point where he no longer plays in tournaments, but he still enjoys watching the sport and attending events, like the Heritage Academy tennis team's matches at the club.
Tennis also is something that helps keep Sunny Logan going.
CALEDONIA -- Coby Coleman saw the excitement on National Signing Day in the Golden Triangle and waited.
The Caledonia High School senior had hoped to be one of many local standouts who received an opportunity in February to play football in college, but Coleman didn't get an offer.
Undaunted, Coleman and Caledonia High football coach Andy Crotwell continued to work to keep the dream alive.
A run to a Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A State championship continues to prove fruitful for members of the Columbus High School boys basketball team.
After all of the parades, ceremonies, and awards Columbus has received since defeating Starkville 37-33 on March 12 in Jackson, the players on the team have enjoyed the attention that accompanies being a member of the state title team in the state's biggest classification.
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