Now that we are really close to the turning the calendar to August, the prep football season can come into full focus.
Patience. Of all the life lessons sports teaches, rarely does patience make the list. Football fans want to see high-scoring, "no huddle" offenses. Basketball fans want to see "up-tempo", 3-point oriented offensive attacks. Baseball and softball might do a better job teaching patience, but it is still a lesson not often highlighted at those venues. Most student-athletes learn patience on the recruiting trail. Many players verbally commit to a school and may not sign with that school for a year or two. Many players schedule dozens of unofficial visits in addition to the visits that fall under NCAA guidelines
We are a little more than four weeks away from the start of prep football season. Many area schools will play preseason games Aug. 14 or 15 to prepare them for the Mississippi High School Activities Association and Mississippi Association of Independent Schools season openers the following weekend. As we count down the days, here are more questions to ponder as those first heat timeouts of the year draw near.
The countdown is on.
Prep football players are beginning to spend a few extra hours in the weight room.
With the countdown to the start of prep football practice now inside a month, it is time to turn serious about our discussions of the upcoming season.
For a longtime player in the National Basketball Association, it might seem a little odd that three of Travis Outlaw's favorite days of the year take place at the Starkville Sportsplex. Outlaw will again serve as host for the The Elite "Travis Outlaw" Basic Skills and Fundamentals Basketball Camp on Tuesday through Thursday at the Outlaw Center at the Sportsplex. The camp is open to all age groups and will run from 8 a.m. to noon each day. The cost is $75 per person.
On the ride home from the NCAA tournament Lafayette Regional, one had to think long and hard for the right words to sum up the Mississippi State softball team's season. The Bulldogs finished 36-21 after going 1-2 in the regional. Playing as the No. 3 seed, MSU beat No. 4 seed Weber State and dropped two hard-fought games to No. 2 seed Baylor.
LAFAYETTE, La. The Mississippi State softball team found itself at the crossroads Saturday afternoon of another difficult NCAA tournament regional assignment. Playing in the Lafayette Regional, MSU lost to Baylor 8-4 on Friday night to open the four-team, double-elimination event. In the softball world, losing the first game of a regional makes advancing to the super regional next to impossible.
Let's go to the mailbag and answer some recent questions.
Change is a constant in college basketball. Coaches getting fired, reassigned, or leaving one school for a "better" opportunity is only one side of the equation. On the other, you have players transferring to different schools because of a lack of playing time, a difference in opinion with a new coach, or a desire to play in a system they feel allows them to showcase their skills.
If you didn't know any better, you would have expected Vic Schaefer to strike a familiar pose, like when he isn't pleased with a call.
Five months ago, expectations was the operative word associated with the Mississippi State women's basketball. With another nationally ranked recruiting class coming in, many expected MSU to build on a 22-14 season that saw it reach the quarterfinals of the Women's National Invitation Tournament.
There was no sign of disappointment or anger in Vic Schaefer's voice Tuesday. When you're the coach of the No. 11 team in the country that has earned the No. 3 seed in the "biggest, baddest conference" in the nation, it's difficult not to have a rosy outlook as you move deeper into March.
In the town of Aberdeen, basketball is a way of life. These days, the living is good. The Aberdeen High School boys basketball team is back in the running for the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 3A state championship. The Bulldogs (24-6) already have qualified for the Jackson proceedings and are three wins away from a title.
Mississippi State figures to hear its name called March 16 when the 64-team field for the NCAA Division I women's basketball tournament is announced on ESPN.
South Detroit is a long way from Starkville. But the cell phones that lit up Humphrey Coliseum on Sunday afternoon showed that all it takes is one classic song to bridge more than 800 miles.
Every city or town has them. The season or sport don't matter. Whether it is an umpire, a coach, an administrator, a scorekeeper, a manager, every city or town -- big and small -- has individuals who give of themselves to make a difference in the lives of young people.
Rivalries are filled with perfunctory hand shakes and obligatory remarks that praise the opponent at the beginning of post-game news conferences. The hand shakes between coaches usually are the shortest and the comments typically have the most bubbling in between the lines when coaches are trying to establish dominance early in their tenures.
The Mississippi State women's basketball team faces its biggest stretch of the season in the next seven days. At 19-2 and 4-2 in the Southeastern Conference, MSU slipped three spots to No. 18 in this week's The Associated Press Top 25. The USA Today Top 25, which is voted on by the coaches, comes out today. MSU was ranked No. 18 in that poll last week and likely will slip a few spots following a 71-69 double-overtime loss to LSU on Thursday.
2. Harris, Heritage Academy will count on seniors to lead way HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Howland likes MSU's non-conference schedule COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Central Academy hopes to contend for state title HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. Walters column: Prep football season coming closer LOCAL COLUMNS