LOCAL COLUMNS

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Walters column: Answering more prep football questions

Posted 7/19/2016 in Local Columns

Well, it is that time of year.

Plenty of questions loom for start of prep football season

Posted 7/13/2016 in Local Columns

As we look toward the end of July, it is time to think about back to school sales and the return of the prep football season. Once again, the Mississippi High School Activities Association and Mississippi Association of Independent Schools feel the need to start the football season with jamboree games on the weekend of Aug. 12-13. Hopefully, we will soon skip the summer and start the season in late June. That being said, players have been hitting the weight room hard and it is time for coaches to put their practice plans together for their two-a-day workouts.

Time to get engaged in athletics at The W

Posted 7/7/2016 in Local Columns

The 5-inch by 7-inch picture says a lot about Jason Trufant. You might miss the black-and-white canvas on first glance around the otherwise spartan office tucked away behind a corner on the first floor of the Cromwell Communications Center. Trufant has been at Mississippi University for Women only a month, so he hasn't had a lot of time to plaster the back brick wall with pictures or to pack the bookcase along the right wall with books. On Tuesday, the shelves of that bookcase were armed with NCAA manuals and had plenty of room for additions, as did a back area, where a Carolina blue MUW T-shirt from the school's tobacco-free campaign sat folded on a bureau as if left over from a previous occupant.

Relentless nature of Lady Volunteers was key to success

Posted 6/29/2016 in Local Columns

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.

MSU beats Cal State Fullerton at its game

Posted 6/4/2016 in Local Columns

For much of Saturday's showdown between the top-seeded Mississippi State baseball team and second-seeded Cal State Fullerton, the Bulldog faithful were there, 10,656 of them. They just didn't seem to know what to do. This wasn't what they were accustomed to.

Walters column: Riley, Falcons find perfect match for first state championship

Posted 5/21/2016 in Local Columns

Today, The Dispatch presents its annual All-Area Prep Basketball Players and Coaches of the Year.

Nusz Park impresses in SEC tourney debut

Posted 5/17/2016 in Local Columns

In 2011, Ole Miss brought prestige to the state when it played host to the Southeastern Conference softball tournament for the first time. Ole Miss spent more than $1 million in renovations to prepare its stadium for the eight-team tournament after it had passed on earlier invitations to serve as tournament host. The enthusiasm was dampened, however, when the home team won three conference games and failed to qualify for the event. This season, the roles were reversed. Mississippi State made the field as the last of the 12 seeds.

Alabama-Auburn rivalry helping softball grow in SEC

Posted 5/14/2016 in Local Columns

In the summer of 2013, the world of college softball was surprised to learn Clint Myers was leaving the Arizona State softball program to take over as head coach at Auburn. In eight seasons as head coach of the Sun Devils, Myers had led his alma mater to seven Women's College World Series appearances and two national championships.

Walters column: SEC dominance extends to softball

Posted 5/10/2016 in Local Columns

STARKVILLE -- Southeastern Conference fans like to beat their chests year round about playing in the best football conference in the nation.

Smith helping Ole Miss make history

Posted 5/10/2016 in Local Columns

Television personalities Beth Mowins, Michele Smith, and Kayla Braud held a spirited debate Sunday about the merits of Florida's Tim Walton and Kentucky's Rachel Lawson being named Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year during the SEC Network's coverage of softball.

Minichino column: MSU women needing adjustments going forward

Posted 3/28/2016 in Local Columns

What a ride. The Mississippi State women's basketball team arrived back in Starkville on Saturday with the carnage of a 98-38 loss to three-time reigning national champion Connecticut fresh on its mind.

Minichino column: Riley changes landscape for Columbus basketball

Posted 3/26/2016 in Local Columns

The target was on the back of the Columbus High School boys basketball team from the day Luther Riley was hired.

MSU faces two 'must-win' games on road to postseason

Posted 3/22/2016 in Local Columns

The Mississippi State softball team will play important games against Southeastern Louisiana (tonight) and Central Arkansas (Wednesday, SEC Network) at Nusz Park. While the MSU-SLU and MSU-UCA games won't determine bids to the Women's College World Series, both are big for the Bulldogs. MSU is 19-8 and 1-2 in the Southeastern Conference after winning one of three league games against No. 3 Auburn last weekend. In the first Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) figures released by the NCAA on Monday, MSU checked in at No. 31. That number will be more than sufficient for MSU to earn a fifth-straight regional berth under fifth-year coach Vann Stuedeman.

Slimantics: MSU women show toughness needed to be Sweet

Posted 3/21/2016 in Local Columns

Roughly 15 minutes after Mississippi State point guard Morgan William dribbled away the final frantic seconds and heaved the ball into the air as a roaring crowd of 7,094 at Humphrey Coliseum erupted in celebration of a 74-72 victory against Michigan State, Spartans' coach Suzy Merchant sat before her post-game press conference with a glum trio of players.

Expectations rise for MSU's next step in NCAAs

Posted 3/16/2016 in Local Columns

The awards continue to roll in for the Mississippi State women's basketball team. On Tuesday, sophomore Victoria Vivians and junior Dominique Dillingham were named to The Associated Press' All-Southeastern Conference team. Vivians, the Bulldogs' leading scorer at 17.2 points per game, earned first-team honors, while Dillingham, who leads the team with 49 charges taken, received honorable mention accolades. The honors were the latest to come in another history-making season that will continue at 1:30 p.m. Friday (ESPN2) when No. 5 seed MSU (26-7) plays host to No. 12 seed Chattanooga (24-7) in the first round of the NCAA tournament's Bridgeport Regional at Humphrey Coliseum.

Minichino Column: MSU women waiting on selection

Posted 3/12/2016 in Local Columns

It appears to be a number's game at this point for the Mississippi State women's basketball team.

Love for game fueled Schmidt's passion

Posted 3/9/2016 in Local Columns

Glenn Schmidt always believed a career in coaching would be fulfilling. Turns out her 39-year coaching career was that and then some. After 13 seasons at Starkville Academy, Schmidt informed the Board of Trustees at the school last week she was retiring and wouldn't return as girls basketball coach and athletic director.

 

Time for SEC to pick one site for women -- or build arena

Posted 3/2/2016 in Local Columns

It's time for the Southeastern Conference to pick a site for its annual women's basketball tournament. By the time most of your read this, the first games in this year's event in Jacksonville, Florida -- Alabama vs. LSU and Ole Miss vs. Vanderbilt -- already will have been played. The five-day marathon comes on the heels of a 16-game regular season that seeded all 14 teams for the chance to earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Jacksonville is the 14th city to play host to the marquee event for what remains one of the nation's best women's basketball conferences. An event of this magnitude deserves a site that will show it off and a fan base that will create a great environment for the all of the games.

 

Minichino column: MSU women look for more history

Posted 2/27/2016 in Local Columns

The stretch run is here, and the Mississippi State women's basketball team is poised to add a new entry to another history-making season.

MSU women have chance for defining victory tonight

Posted 2/18/2016 in Local Columns

STARKVILLE A few weeks ago, ESPN.com's Charlie Creme called the Mississippi State women's basketball team's 65-63 overtime victory against Tennessee a "season-saver." It didn't matter that the win was MSU's first in 37 meetings against Tennessee. Creme was more concerned about how the victory bolstered the Bulldogs' resume for NCAA tournament consideration. As ESPN's women's basketball "bracketologist," Creme believed the win solidified MSU's standing to earn one of the top 16 seeds and a chance to play host to the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament.

 

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