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West Lowndes' Crawford signs baseball offer with Tougaloo

Posted 5/21/2015 in High School Sports

Eric Crawford II had worked too hard in pursuit of his dream to play college baseball not to continue to believe.


Columbus High moving to fill coaching vacancies

Posted 5/21/2015 in High School Sports

The Columbus Municipal School District is moving ahead with plans to fill several coaching vacancies at Columbus High School.


Schaefer, Insell discuss proposed rule changes for women's game

Posted 5/20/2015 in College Sports

Vic Schaefer always is prepared to coach better and to teach better. Matt Insell's teams are going to continue to play defense and a full-court trapping style. As much as the Mississippi State and Ole Miss women's basketball coaches like to have time to study and to adjust to changes in their game, they are ready for a host of changes that could be enacted next month when the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel meets for a conference call June 8. That's when that panel will discuss rules changes that were recommended earlier this month by the NCAA Women's Basketball Rules Committee.


New Hope's Godfrey hopes to build on home run

Posted 5/19/2015 in High School Sports

Lee Boyd is fond of saying the New Hope High School baseball team always has to have one guy step up. Will Godfrey took that notion to heart last week in one of the Trojans' biggest moments of the season. Locked in a scoreless tie with Oxford in the bottom of the seventh inning in Game 2 of their Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A North State title series, Godfrey turned on a fastball middle in and smacked it over the left-field fence to lift New Hope to a 1-0 walk-off victory. The win helped New Hope force a winner-take-all Game 3 in Oxford that originally was scheduled for Friday, but rain forced it to be delayed until Saturday. In Game 3, Oxford earned a 10-3 victory that ended New Hope's season and its quest for a third-straight Class 5A championship.


Victory Christian's Sharp will play basketball at Blue Mountain

Posted 5/19/2015 in High School Sports

Brent Harris didn't want Anthony Sharp to become complacent. With multi-sport standouts Landon Ellis and Tyler Jones set to graduate from Victory Christian Academy, Harris knew no other way to get his point across to Sharp than to challenge the rising sophomore.


Starkville High's Vo will play volleyball at Belhaven

Posted 5/16/2015 in High School Sports

STARKVILLE -- It's fitting the Wilson black and white volleyball shared center stage Friday. Nestled in front of an iron Yellow Jacket welded onto a base that is a cutout of the state of Mississippi, the volleyball had an ideal vantage point to celebrate Vicky Vo's hard work.


Holman leaving New Hope for North Pike High

Posted 5/15/2015 in High School Sports

Laura Lee Holman has a new challenge. The fact that it will take her four hours away from New Hope High School, where she played for state titles and led teams in pursuit of championships, was a daunting proposition, but Holman decided last week that it was one worth taking because it will help push her to be an even better coach. Last Friday, Holman resigned from her job as physical education teacher and girls basketball/volleyball coach at New Hope High to take a job as girls PE teacher and girls basketball coach at North Pike High in Summit in Pike County. Summit is about 75 miles south of Jackson and about 100 miles south of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.


Godfrey's walk-off HR lifts New Hope past Oxford

Posted 5/15/2015 in High School Sports

Home run hitters don't cherish the long ball. Ask them how many home runs they have hit in practice or in games and they're liable to tell you they don't know because they all run together. Will Godfrey doesn't have that problem because he isn't a home run hitter -- at least until Thursday night. That's when the junior catcher smacked a walk-off home run to left field in the seventh inning to lift the New Hope High School baseball team to a 1-0 victory against top-ranked Oxford in Game 2 of the best-of-three Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A North State championship series at Trojan Field.


Trojans stay alive with walk-off home run

Posted 5/15/2015 in High School Sports

Home run hitters don't cherish the long ball. Ask them how many home runs they have hit in practice or in games and they're liable to tell you they don't know because they all run together.


Beard leaving New Hope High to take job at Tupelo High

Posted 5/14/2015 in High School Sports

Tabitha Beard doesn't know how many tears she cried in the past few weeks trying to figure out how to wrestle with a legacy. When you play for and then follow a coach like Cary Shepherd, who helped establish New Hope High School softball as one of the state's premier programs, there is an undeniable weight involved in maintaining that tradition. After watching Shepherd win nine slow-pitch championships, Beard kept New Hope among the best in the state, guiding the program to five consecutive slow-pitch state titles from 2007-11 and leading the fast-pitch program to the Class 5A title series in 2012.


Franklin leaves MSU to take job at Kansas

Posted 5/14/2015 in College Sports

Aqua Franklin's goal is to be a head coach. Her eyes have been on that prize ever since she took her initial position as an assistant coach in 2010. When Brandon Schneider, the man who gave her that first job at Stephen F. Austin called recently to ask if she would be interested in joining his staff at Kansas, Franklin had to stop and think. On one hand, she reminded herself she never wanted to take what she considered a "lateral" move because it could jeopardize her career plans. On the other hand, she contemplated the importance of adding the title of associate head coach to her resume and getting the chance to learn a different system and how those things could help her grow as a coach.


MVSU hat fits Caledonia's Gullette perfectly

Posted 5/14/2015 in High School Sports

CALEDONIA -- The hat fits perfectly. A few days ago, Cole Gullette admits his hair looked a little "shaggy," so any hat, especially the one he will wear next, didn't feel just right. That's why the Caledonia High School senior infielder/pitcher planned stop at the barber shop Tuesday one day before his scheduled appointment to sign a National Letter of Intent to play baseball at Mississippi Valley State.


Columbus High's Swanigan signs with ICC

Posted 5/14/2015 in College Sports

Jay Jay Swanigan can exhale. After pounding the pavement to try to find a place to play basketball in college, the Columbus High School senior finalized his plans Tuesday to play at Itawamba Community College in Fulton in a signing ceremony at Columbus High. Swanigan signed the official National Letter of Intent on Friday.


Victory Christian baseball team wins second consecutive ACAA title

Posted 5/14/2015 in High School Sports

"Streaming." That's the best word to describe the flow of blood from Anthony Sharp's nose 20 minutes prior to the Victory Christian Academy baseball team's game against New Life Christian for the Alabama Christian Athletic Association championship. Pressure worked to stop the bleeding for a little bit, but it started again as the start of the game approached. Faced with the prospect of not being able to pitch in the biggest game of his team's season, Sharp did what any competitor would do: He stuffed napkins and Kleenex into his nostrils to stop the bleeding.


Oak Hill gets only one hit in Game 1 loss to Silliman

Posted 5/13/2015 in High School Sports

WEST POINT -- Marion Bratton has been around long enough to know you're not going to beat many teams when you have only one hit. That's why the Oak Hill Academy baseball coach had to tip his cap to Jordan Talley on Tuesday after the senior right-hander pitched a complete-game one-hitter to lead Silliman Institute (La.) to a 4-1 victory in Game 1 of the best-of-three Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AA championship series.


Vivians set to compete with nation's best

Posted 5/13/2015 in College Sports

Victoria Vivians no longer is a freshman. The end of classes for the 2014-15 school year means a player who had one of the biggest impacts on her women's basketball team this past season is a sophomore. Judging from the Vivians' comments Tuesday, she is ready to take on an even bigger leadership role as she prepares for the 2015-16 season.


Bratton, assistants blend old-, new-school methods to build chemistry

Posted 5/12/2015 in High School Sports

WEST POINT -- The smile can't mask the emotion Brett Blaise feels for Marion Bratton. There are plenty stories Blaise could tell about his former baseball coach at Heritage Academy. Judging from the grin on Blaise's face, you can tell he believes it's best to keep those tales tucked away so his current "boss" at Oak Hill Academy doesn't revert to the form he remembers Bratton having when he led the Patriots.


Dominant pitching another piece to Oak Hill's puzzle

Posted 5/11/2015 in High School Sports

WEST POINT -- There are so many pieces needed to have success in the playoffs. While there was plenty of timely hitting and fielding in the Oak Hill Academy baseball team's second come-from-behind series victory in a row in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AA last week, the Raiders also received two dominating pitching performances to help it win the North State title.


Oak Hill baseball continues on comeback kick

Posted 5/9/2015 in High School Sports

WEST POINT -- Frozen between second and third base, Ken Dill knew he better make a decision quickly. If you have seen the Oak Hill Academy baseball team play this season, it shouldn't be difficult to figure out which way Dill decided to go. True to the Raiders' aggressive style of play, Dill went to his right to third base, even though Prairie View catcher Nolan Wharton had scooped the pitch in the dirt and was holding the baseball with Dill in his sights.


Weeks steps down after 11 seasons as Hamilton coach

Posted 5/9/2015 in High School Sports

HAMILTON -- Ray Weeks never forgot the words. After more than 20 years as a coach, Weeks always kept the advice of Jerry Crowe, his first coaching boss at Bayou Academy in Cleveland, somewhere in the back of his mind to help him stay grounded. "You will know when it is the right time" to step aside," Crowe said, undoubtedly in one of those teaching moments veteran coaches have with young coaches.



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