In his first eight seasons as coach of the East Mississippi Community College football program, there is little question Buddy Stephens has created a national image. The Lions have won three National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) national championships and made headlines on and off the field. Even still, the program has found new platitudes to explore.
STARKVILLE -- As John Cohen looked at the reporters gathered June 11, he knew his Mississippi State baseball team was about to undergo a major overhaul. Cohen had just watched his team suffer a loss to Arizona in the Starkville Super Regional that ended one of the most historic seasons in school history. The Bulldogs, who won the Southeastern Conference championship for the first time since 1989 and went 44-18-1. MSU also had a school-record 11 players taken in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player draft.
Although Wayne Madkin had not seen C.J. Sirmones in several years, the news he heard Wednesday was hard for him to handle.
Adam Frazier will always remember June 23, 2016.
For the East Mississippi Community College football team, the challenges will come early and often this season.
All Jacquez Horsley wants is a chance. After suffering a series of injuries at Starkville High School, Horsley has waited patiently for that breakout season and, more importantly, a season of good health. With a senior college future to plan, Horsley feels the time is right for that breakout season. It could start Sept. 1 when East Mississippi Community College takes on Jones Junior College.
STARKVILLE -- Alicia Mardis refuses to take the blame. After all, she was merely playing basketball as an eighth-grader at Coconut Creek High School in Florida when she noticed her sister, Jacaira Allen, watching her. She didn't realize she was making an impression on a younger sister whose only athletic claim to fame to that point was playing football in the street with the local boys.
OXFORD -- Erika Sisk usually is too quick to take a hip check in practice. Whether it's the Ole Miss senior's track and field background or the boundless energy she brings to the basketball court, Sisk can zig and zap and push tempo with the best guards in the Southeastern Conference.
IRVING, Texas -- Senior defensive lineman Dylan Bradley was one of six Southern Mississippi football players named Wednesday to the Conference USA preseason team.
CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd said Wednesday an NCAA suspension "is definitely in play" for Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze. Dodd made the comments on "SportsTalk with Bo Mattingly," a syndicated radio show in Arkansas.
STARKVILLE -- In the last two seasons, Dan Mullen saw how a veteran quarterback could elevate the program.
STARKVILLE -- Aaron Gordon already has started to take stock of his stuff. From books, to furniture, to paperwork, to mementos, Gordon has accumulated plenty of things since he was hired as Mississippi State women's soccer coach on Nov. 27, 2012. If the start of the 2016 season didn't provide enough reasons to be excited, Gordon is anxiously awaiting another announcement: the date he and his team will move into their new home.
STARKVILLE -- Dan Mullen doesn't see his defense changing. Since last season, the Mississippi State football coach has replaced all four of the defensive coaches on his staff and has hired a new defensive coordinator for the third-straight year. Despite all of the new faces, Mullen expects MSU to play defense like it always has under his watch.
OXFORD -- Together. Toughness. Forty minutes.
STARKVILLE -- Of the school-record 11 Mississippi State baseball players taken in June's Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, Brent Rooker will be the only one returning to school.
Former Mississippi State wide receiver Chris Smith was shot and killed Friday night, WTOK of Meridian reported Saturday.
HOOVER, Ala. -- As Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze stepped to the podium, he knew the questions about the NCAA investigation were going to come. But before having to be asked about it, Freeze used his opening statement Thursday at Southeastern Conference Media Days to address what is happening. He didn't go into much detail about the investigation, but he took responsibility.
HOOVER, Ala. -- Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze will get a good idea of where his team is after the first game. Ole Miss opens the season against Florida State on Monday, Sept. 5 in Orlando, Florida. The matchup could go a long way in deciding which four teams are in the College Football Playoff.
HOOVER, Ala. -- After finishing sixth last season, the Mississippi State football team was picked to finish last in the Southeastern Conference Western Division this season by media members, the league announced Thursday. It is the second year in a row coach Dan Mullen's Bulldogs have been picked to finish last. In 2014, MSU was picked fifth but finished second after rising to national No. 1 for five-straight weeks.
If national publications are correct, it will be business as usual for the East Mississippi Community College football team this season.
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