Barrett Donahoe's journey to a master's degree started in June 2013. Prior to taking an official step to become certified to be an administrator, Donahoe worked with Heritage Academy Headmaster Dr. Greg Carlyle to handle as many administrative responsibilities as he could between his work as the school's principal, athletic director, and football coach. As much as Donahoe loves being a football coach, his decision to go back to school set the stage for him to realize an opportunity to be a full-time administrator at a school in Mississippi.
Kayla Rogers never has considered herself a "big girl."
WEST POINT -- New Hope High School senior basketball player Willie Ousley brings a high level of energy to the court.
MADISON -- The Starkville High boys basketball team clinched the top seed in next week's Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A, Region 3 tournament with an 81-65 victory against Madison Central on Friday night. Starkville made it five wins in the last six tries against Madison Central in a rematch of last season's Class 6A state championship game. The contest was an easier victory than last month's 57-56 Starkville win at home.
New Hope High School senior Carlos Brooks liked the mind-set of his team Friday night. "We knew we had to be mentally tough to win this game," Brooks said. "The first time we played (Oxford). We simply weren't tough enough. We knew that would be the key to having a better outcome." The Trojans had a better attitude and a much better 3-point shooting touch in a 72-65 victory in a Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A, Region 2 boys basketball game at Trojan Gym.
WEST POINT -- Oak Hill Academy basketball coach Brian Middleton made a couple of suggestions at halftime Saturday night. Those suggestions included guarding harder, forcing some turnovers, and getting the transition game going. In the second half, the Raiders down their coach's wish list and knocked each item off with perfection. Oak Hill Academy erased a halftime deficit with a near-flawless effort on defense to post a 54-46 victory against Columbus Christian Academy in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AA, District 2 tournament championship game.
It's all coming together for Artavious McDyess. The 6-foot-7 senior has the frame and athleticism to dominate the paint, but the intensity, focus, and effort weren't always there earlier in the season. When Columbus High School boys basketball coach Luther Riley saw his forward receive a technical foul for aggressively dunking a ball and hanging on the rim at Forest Hill recently, he stopped himself from chastising McDyess. "He'd had the confidence all along," Riley said, "but you could see him start to apply it. You could see it then." McDyess' intensity showed Wednesday night in the Falcons' district matchup against Tupelo, where he was an impact on the offensive and defensive end, blocking and altering shots, scoring points and rebounding in a 75-60 win.
Resiliency is a word that suits Brenton Spann. After missing his senior season as a member of the New Hope High School football team, Spann could have given up and searched for a different path without the sport he loves. Instead, Spann tried his best to stay in shape and to focus on his academics in case he ever received an opportunity to return to the football field. He admits that road wasn't easy and that there were many times he doubted if he would realize his goal.
Wednesday was a beginning for Chris Deloach and the rest of the Columbus High School football program. A year ago, Randal Montgomery arrived from Hazlehurst High with championship designs for a program that wasn't accustomed to success. After three-straight trips to the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 3A State title game and a championship in 2012, Montgomery realized hard work, buy-in, and dedication were going to be essential ingredients to the transformation of the Falcons' program.
MACON -- Jeffery Simmons didn't want to wait until the last minute. If he could have, the Noxubee County High School five-star defensive end would have made his college decision on the first day of the recruiting process to end it as quickly as possible. But Simmons soon found himself in a predicament of his own making because the schools he picked -- Alabama, Mississippi State, and Ole Miss -- all had plenty to offer him, and even more fans who wanted him to join their football programs.
Tyshon Spencer always thought basketball was the sport for him. At 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, Spencer had the size and the athleticism to pave a future for himself in the sport. But 6-4 student-athletes are easy for football coaches to spot in the hallways, especially at Class 1A schools, so it didn't take long for West Lowndes High School football coach Anthony King and other members of the coaching staff to ask Spencer to come out for the football team.
STARKVILLE -- A.J. Brown and Kobe Jones are now rivals. In the last three years together as members of the Starkville High School football team, Brown and Jones helped the Yellow Jackets finish 13-1 and advance to the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A North State title game in 2014 and win a MHSAA Class 6A State championship in 2015. They also were members of The Clarion-Ledger's Dandy Dozen this past season.
STARKVILLE -- Ricky Woods was a proud coach Wednesday. The Starkville High School football coach saw 10 of his players sign National Letters of Intent on Wednesday on National Signing Day, including three with Division I schools and seven with junior colleges. Wide receiver A.J. Brown signed with Ole Miss, defensive tackle Kobe Jones signed with Mississippi State, and defensive lineman Lorenzo Dantzler signed with Southern Mississippi to complete the Division I trio. Defensive lineman Maleke Bell and running back Avery Brown (East Mississippi Community College), quarterback Montario Montgomery and wide receiver Rontavis Clark (Itawamba C.C.), tight end Parker Lemm (East Central C.C.), defensive back Terrance Grayer (Mississippi Delta C.C.), and defensive back Aretavious Hendrix (Mississippi Gulf Coast C.C.) completed the signing class.
STARKVILLE -- When Starkville Academy senior Carter Wood was ready to pick a college, he had a large support group to consult. Wood played three varsity seasons under coach Jeff Terrill, who had previously coached in the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges at Itawamba Community College. Wood also knew he would have the love and support of parents, Bart and Rebecca Anne Wood.
WEST POINT -- West Point High School football coach Chris Chambless felt like a proud papa Wednesday. Chambless had eight seniors sign college scholarship offers during a National Signing Day ceremony in the school's auditorium. "We will always be indebted to this senior class for helping bring West Point football back," Chambless said. "These players will always be a part of my family. As a coach, this is why you are in the business. To be able to see players advance to the next level is rewarding." While West Point didn't have a large senior class, the class was packed with talent.
Scott Lashley could have gone anywhere to play football. On Tuesday, the West Point High School offensive lineman gave a verbal commitment to Alabama. He will sign a National Letter of Intent with the Crimson Tide today with seven of his teammates on National Signing Day. Lashley was supposed to make his announcement at a news conference at the school, but bad weather in the area forced schools to be dismissed early and canceled the event, so he made his decision known on a video.
New Hope High School senior basketball player Heratio Jackson felt like his game had been off lately.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- West Point High School took the road for a successful weekend of basketball action. Fresh off a Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A, Region 2 win Friday at Oxford High, West Point defeated Noxubee County 52-46 Saturday afternoon at FedEx Forum.
Unsolicited recruiting help might be the best assistance a high school senior looking to play a sport at the next level can get. Little did Michael Ledbetter know that he had not one or two but three friends and members of the Northwest Mississippi Community College men's soccer team talk to their coach about him. Charlie Baldwin must have liked what he heard from former Caledonia High School standouts Chandler Lester, James Longmire, and Robert Mims because it didn't take long for him to contact Ledbetter.
CLINTON -- The Columbus High School boys soccer team faced a state power Tuesday night. Against a Clinton High program that has won nine state titles in the Mississippi High School Activities Association's highest classification, Columbus faced an uphill battle for 80 minutes. Orion Anderson scored four goals in the first half, including two in 40 seconds, to help Clinton defeat Columbus 5-0 in the first round of the MHSAA Class 6A playoffs at Arrow Field.
1. Former Bulldog Renfroe hopes to stick with Padres LOCAL SPORTS
2. Donahoe leaving Heritage Aca. for top job at Marshall Aca. HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Mullen fills last spot on coaching staff COLLEGE SPORTS
4. MSU shooting for first regional at new home LOCAL COLUMNS
5. No. 11 MSU women face big test at No. 15 Texas A&M COLLEGE SPORTS