Josh Ferguson was pleased when he first learned he was selected to participate in the annual Bernard Blackwell Classic. The football game, which will be at 7 tonight at Hale-Robinson Stadium on the campus of Mississippi College, pits some of the state’s top outgoing seniors from the South against the North. It is a final opportunity for high school standouts to take the field before they play their first games in college.
STARKVILLE — Athletic trainers and strength coaches at Mississippi State aren’t only concerned in the summer with managing the football players’ weightlifting and conditioning sessions. They also plan trips to the local grocery stores. The Bulldogs appreciate their coaches and trainers care enough not only to tell them how to take care of their bodies, but also to show them.
The NCAA Eligibility Center has requested more documentation in the case of Mississippi State basketball signee Renardo Sidney. Sidney’s attorney, Donald Jackson, believes the request is an attempt by the Eligibility Center to prolong the investigation into Sidney’s amateur status that would keep him from getting on the court in a timely manner to play for the Bulldogs.
Mississippi State senior running back Anthony Dixon will return home today for a few hours. Dixon will be one of the Bulldogs who will attend the Central Mississippi Alumni Association “Summer Extravaganza” in Jackson.
STARKVILLE — A youth basketball camp was so successful in June at the Starkville Sportsplex that the organizers will try it again this month. After 18 children participated in the camp last month, girls director Juliette Weaver-Reese will get the basketballs bouncing again next week after receiving positive feedback. This time she will include the boys with the help of director Richard Hill.
Tim Frasher believed in his Columbus Crush softball players the moment the team came together. But Frasher, who coaches the 10-and-under slow-pitch all-star team, never thought his team would do what it has this summer. The Crush swept four games last weekend in the Amateur Softball Association slow-pitch state tournament to win another championship.
Rory Sneed doesn’t want this weekend to be any different for the Columbus Nationals 10-year-old Dizzy Dean All-Star team. The pageantry of this weekend’s World Series in Tupelo might make Sneed and the team’s other coaches work a little harder to keep their players focused. But Sneed isn’t worried that his players will get caught up in the hoopla surrounding the annual event, which will feature some of the best teams from across the country.
Brandon Garriga and Josh Martin nearly couldn’t make it. Each man wanted to return to Columbus this week to defend their run of four consecutive titles at the Columbus Classic, but life appeared to get in the way. Garriga, a third-year medical student, was smack in the middle of a schedule that has him in a surgical rotation. He and his wife also are preparing for the birth of a daughter next month, so it didn’t look like he was going to be able to travel from Jackson to Columbus to play. But things have a way of working out.
The timing proved to be perfect for Rusty Greene. The veteran teacher and coach transitioned eight years ago into a role as an assistant principal at Caledonia Middle School. But Greene recently decided he wanted to try something new, so he searched the area for another job as an administrator.
Mississippi State softball player Chelsea Bramlett had a tough time measuring the correct temperature during her stay at the Canada Cup in Surrey, British Columbia. Bramlett pretty much had to guess the temperature after trying to convert Canada’s Celsius readings to Fahrenheit.
STARKVILLE — Sharon Fanning didn’t know where to begin. There was no official starting point for the Mississippi State women’s basketball coach because everything in the program’s new locker room in Humphrey Coliseum begged to bragged about and to be touched. There were murals, pictures, and plaques on the walls to honor former and current Lady Bulldogs.
Anthony Colom enjoys working with kids. As a youth coach, the longtime Columbus resident has been involved with the Columbus-Lowndes Recreation Authority for many years. Colom also enjoys football, so he recently decided to put two of his loves together and to work with people of similar interests to help the children of Lowndes County.
The Golden Triangle’s sports standouts of the future are about to get the star treatment thanks to Anthony Colom. The longtime Columbus resident is prepared to bring back his Junior Varsity Magazine next month. The 32-page, glossy sports magazine will highlight youth sports in Clay, Lowndes, and Oktibbeha counties.
Lee Boyd is ready to accept the challenge of being the next baseball coach at New Hope High School. As a player, Boyd spent five years in a New Hope High program that has earned a reputation as one of the state’s best. As a coach, Boyd has spent the past three years in the dugout against New Hope High, and has watched the Trojans maintain that tradition. Now as New Hope High School’s new baseball coach, Boyd, 26, is confident he can be the leader who keep that tradition going for many more years.
Drew McBrayer admits he dreamed of one day becoming the boys basketball coach at New Hope High School. He never imagined that day would come so soon. The Lowndes County School Board on Friday approved the hiring of McBrayer as New Hope High’s boys basketball coach. McBrayer, 30, replaces Robert Byrd, who announced his resignation Tuesday after 11 years as the school’s head coach.
Dezmond Sherrod enjoyed being on the sideline watching the Pittsburgh Steelers win the Super Bowl this past February. But the former Caledonia High School and Mississippi State tight end doesn’t want to settle for being a member of the Steelers’ practice squad this season. Sherrod will report to the Steelers’ training camp July 31 with the intention of impressing Pittsburgh’s coaches and to make the team.
Oliver Miller has taught and trained thousands of athletes in karate in 35 years as an instructor. The common thread for all of his pupils who have succeeded is a willingness to work on the details and to spend extra hours perfecting their skills. Their ages might not reflect it, but Deairyus Conner, Kenyan Buckner, and William Luciano have invested that much time working on karate.
WEST POINT — ChyAnne Cunningham already has made a name for herself in Northeast Mississippi. Krista Donald has earned the distinction of being one of the top girls basketball players in the state of Mississippi. Both girls and plenty of others from the area will try to broaden their horizons even more next week when they travel with the Mississippi Hoop Dreams Amateur Athletic Union girls basketball teams to Bloomington, Ind.., for the Adidas Hoosiers Nation Hardwood Championships.
STARKVILLE –– Mississippi State’s athletic department has encouraged its coaches and student-athletes to be visible throughout the community of Starkville. Many sports have followed through with that request from MSU Athletic Director Greg Byrne and the administration. The volleyball team takes advantage of one of those opportunities today. The Lady Bulldogs are scheduled to be at the multi-purpose facility at the Starkville Sportsplex from 1-3 p.m. and will volunteer their time to conduct a skills and drills teaching session for the Starkville Boys and Girls Club.
The victory lap just might be the precursor to the dogpile. That thought popped into my head Wednesday night as members of the Columbus Nationals 10-year-old Dizzy Dean baseball team followed each other on a run around the bases at Patterson Field at Propst Park. The team had just received their medals following a 13-3 victory against Clinton that helped it clinch the South Half state title. The scene made me smile.
3. MSU remains confident heading into elimination game COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Big fifth inning propels Vandy over State COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Seven Bulldogs earn All-American honors COLLEGE SPORTS