We have finally made it. When the sun sets, the prep football regular season will have started in the state of Mississippi. The opening weeks always provide intriguing matchups. The area is full of title contenders this season, so the run to championship weekend should be fun. Here is what we are watching for in Week One:
After getting a tease this past weekend, the prep football season is really here.
Noxubee County High School football coach Tyrone Shorter hasn't won three Mississippi High School Activities Association state championships by taking short cuts. When his team is down, Shorter finds a way to lift it up. When his players are up, Shorter reminds them nothing has been accomplished and that they are capable of much more.
When asked about his team's offensive game plan for this season, West Point High School junior Marcus Murphy thought about the question, smiled broadly, and said, "We might just be 50-50 this year. Let me emphasize might." Times are different for the West Point football program. The Green Wave began practice Monday, and will enter the season as one of the favorites to win the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A State title.
Teams are now gathering for photo shoots.
Well, it is that time of year.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Today, The Dispatch presents its annual All-Area Prep Basketball Players and Coaches of the Year.
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.
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.
STARKVILLE -- Southeastern Conference fans like to beat their chests year round about playing in the best football conference in the nation.
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.
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.
The target was on the back of the Columbus High School boys basketball team from the day Luther Riley was hired.
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.
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.
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.
1. Mississippi State falls hard in SEC matchup at Georgia COLLEGE SPORTS
2. West Point stands tall in battle of state champions HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. MSU Notebook: Fitzgerald endures tough return home COLLEGE SPORTS
5. New Hope takes Lowndes County rivalry matchup HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS