HAMILTON ó It might not seem like it, but the marathon is only approaching the halfway point for the Hamilton and West Lowndes high school baseball teams. Poor weather has made it seem like the teams have been at it longer, canceling several dates and making it even tougher to find dry time on the field. On Tuesday, both teams showed they are still striving to find their consistency in a game that featured plenty of action on every play.
BATESVILLE ó Josh Tentoni's two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning gave the Columbus High School baseball team a one-run lead, but the Falcons couldn't hold it, falling to South Panola 3-2 in eight innings Tuesday in a Class 6A, Division 2, District 4 game. Nick Durrah struck out the first two batters in the bottom of the seventh inning, but the next batter reached on an error and later scored on a passed ball to tie the game. Stefan Hairston relieved Durrah to start the eighth and retired the first two batters before pinch hitter Alan Horne doubled and scored on a bloop single by Matt Brown.
Throwing a curveball for a strike was becoming a nuisance for Tyji Hawkins. Finding a groove at the plate was equally as difficult for Josh Tentoni. The Columbus High School seniors might have solved their problems on Friday night, and, in the process, set the Falcons up to accomplish some big things this season.
M.C. Millerís move Harrison Central High School in Lyman will come with challenges. For a program that has had one winning season since 2004-05, the Red Rebels have been known as the school with the stateís largest enrollment but mediocre football team.
The Starkville High School baseball team didnít need many hits to win its Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A, Dvision 2, District 4 opener. Starkville just needed a few timely connections and some help from the Columbus Falcons on Tuesday night.† Starkville managed just three hits in the district opener for both teams, but it was more than enough for a 7-1 win.†
STARKVILLE ó R.J. Johnsonís tremendous baseball talent has been evident since the first day he suited up for the Starkville Yellow Jackets. Heís just now starting to put all the pieces together.† The 6-foot-4, 200-pound shortstop/pitcher has ideal measurables that have drawn the attention of pro scouts, but itís been his discipline at the plate thatís seen him get off to a blazing start for Starkville (5-1).†
The South Lamar High School softball team overcame injuries last season to make it to the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class A state championship series. South Lamar coach Tony Seals hopes the Lady Stallions (1-2) can overcome injuries and make it back to the state championship series.
STARKVILLE ó Greg Carter doesnít rant and rave on the sidelines. The Starkville High School boys basketball coach prefers to stay in his seat and watch as the Yellow Jackets execute the game plan. But Carter by no means is tied to his seat. In fact, the veteran coach is quick to get out of his seat and to correct something when he sees a mistake.
JACKSON ó Edward Townsel rediscovered his shooting touch Saturday afternoon to help the Starkville High School boys basketball team claim the Mississippi High School Activities Association Grand Slam Championship. After being held to four points Friday in the semifinals against West Bolivar, the senior guard scored a game-high 25 points to lead Starkville past Jackson Callaway 61-45 at Mississippi Coliseum.
JACKSON ó Rashad Perkins and Edward Townsel helped deliver on a promise Saturday afternoon. The seniors were instrumental in helping the Starkville High School boys basketball team beat Jackson Callaway 61-45 in the Mississippi High School Activities Association Grand Slam Championship.
JACKSON ó If ever a player was instrumental in carrying his team to a victory, Rashad Perkins did it Friday afternoon. Perkins was a stalwart on both ends of the court to help the Starkville High School boys basketball team slip past West Bolivar 57-56 in the semifinals of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Grand Slam Championship at Mississippi Coliseum.
STARKVILLE ó Jamie Mitchell will be the man charged with the task of transforming Starkville High School football.
STARKVILLE ó Already part of a strong sophomore class, Price Day earned the captainís arm band and made it his mission to make the Starkville High School boys soccer team the best defensive team in the area.
STARKVILLE ó Raevonne Shoemaker likes being an individual and standing out, so it makes sense she plays goalkeeper. The Starkville High junior started all of the Lady Jacketsí games this season and has been a fixture in Anna Albrittonís lineup for several years. It started when she was a seventh-grader, having to beat out two seniors and a junior to earn the starting job.
Thankfully, Lee Boyd didnít have to choose. Too many times, teams deliver one part of the equation, leaving coaches to hope for a player or another element to provide a spark. Dillon Hawkins made sure Boyd knew right away what he was getting. The junior right-hander threw a five-inning no-hitter and received the backing of an 11-hit attack Tuesday night to lead the New Hope High School baseball team to a 13-0 victory against Columbus. The game was stopped after five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.
STARKVILLE ó Rashad Perkins didnít want to take too much credit for Starkville High Schoolís run to the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A state title, but itís hard to deny his impact. Perkins had 21 points, 14 rebounds, and 13 blocked shots against Biloxi in the state semifinals before scoring 25 points and grabbing 14 rebounds in the state final against Meridian. For his accomplishments, Perkins is The Commercial Dispatch Prep Player of the Week.
JACKSON ó Finally. After returning home with state championship disappointment in four other trips with Greg Carter as the coach, the Starkville High School boys basketball teaam rode forward Rashad Perkinsí 25 points and 14 rebounds to win the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A state title Saturday. Starkville won the elusive state championship by beating Meridian 57-51 at Mississippi Coliseum.
STARKVILLE ó Three months have passed since the Starkville High School boys basketball team rallied to beat the Meridian Wildcats. Whether or not that game at Meridian really matters now is up for debate. Starkville will play Meridian in a rematch Saturday in the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A state championship game and there are some interesting story lines. Among them, the teams have arguably two of the highest-rated players (Starkvilleís Rashad Perkins and Meridianís Rodney Hood) in Mississippi.
STARKVILLE ó Starkville High Schoolís run to the state championship game is head coach Greg Carterís first since 2003 and with as much thatís changed since then he hopes his evolution as a coach translates into a title. Back in 2003, Starkville lost the championship game to Vicksburgl. As exciting as making it to the championship game was for Carter, getting back to the final game seemed possible, if not probable, especially after qualifying for three more state tournaments the next six years.
The teaching will continue all season for Steve Hancock and Marion Bratton. Like all baseball coaches, Hancock and Bratton offer instruction, pointers, and guidance to their players. This season, though, with two of the youngest teams in the area, both coaches will dip deeper into their baseball knowledge. On Thursday night, Hancockís Heritage Academy Patriots showed they are a little more advanced at this point in the season than Brattonís Oak Hill Academy Raiders.
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