The holidays always bring out feelings of good will.
Tyler Anderson and Logan Sneed will be on opposite sides of the field Friday afternoon.
WEST POINT -- Gunslinger. Playmaker. Leader.
WEST POINT -- Everitt Cunningham has heard it for years.
STARKVILLE -- Dillon Carrell gets one more opportunity to show what he's got.
CLINTON -- West Point coach Chris Chambless had a quick funny message to Laurel coach Todd Breland during the MHSAA football state championship press conference on Monday.
Brothers find a way to get the job done. Chris Chambless likely will admit the West Point High School football team played a first half to forget Friday night in the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 5A North State title game at McCallister Field at Hamblin Stadium. There usually is a false sense of security when you have defeated a team in the regular season. That confidence gets even bigger when the margin is as large as the 39-17 cushion West Point enjoyed in its victory against Region 1 rival Lake Cormorant on Oct. 14.
WEST POINT -- The stance screamed "whew." With hands on hips and arms angled to form 90-degree angles, Casey Welch could finally exhale. The West Point High School co-offensive coordinator already had played prognosticator when he called "touchdown" on Marcus Murphy's pass before Everitt Cunningham rambled 44 yards for the score.
WEST POINT -- Two hours, 16 minutes is an eternity in a high school football game. But even a presumed march to inevitability can turn into a slog that creates doubt and frustration when you're trying to get your program to its first state title game in six years.
SKIPPERVILLE, Ala. -- One more win. The Aliceville High School football team will play for a state title after defeating G.W. Long 28-21 Friday night in a semifinals of the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) Class 2A playoffs.
CORINTH -- Columbus High School boys basketball coach Gary Griffin was looking for a way to gauge where his team stood. Instead of playing Class 1A, 2A or 3A teams to ensure a 25-win season and early victories, Griffin decided to stack the schedule and tougher competition. As a first-year head coach with almost an entire new team, Griffin wanted to see how the Falcons faced adversity and responded to it.
CORINTH -- When someone thinks of New Hope High School boys basketball, coach Drew McBrayer knows Tyler Stevenson doesn't come to mind. The junior guard is overshadowed by the likes of seniors Terryonte Thomas and JaQuante Bell. Thomas, who has 10 NCAA Division I offers, gets most of the attention. Chalmette High coach Butch Stockton said Thomas was the only New Hope player he knew about prior to the teams' game Friday in the fourth-annual Lighthouse Thanksgiving Classic at Corinth High.
Social media chatter doesn't faze Drew McBrayer.
Tyler Stevenson worked hard over the summer to improve his skills. Playing on the Caledonia Kings 16- and 18-and-under Amateur Athletic Union basketball teams, Stevenson had a chance to double his workload and increase his profile. The work paid off in August, when Stevenson was one of nine players between the two Caledonia Kings teams to be selected to participate in the Eighth-Annual National All Star Weekend, held by D1Spects and UnderArmour.
JACKSON -- Columbus High School senior Chris Blair knows no one will feel sorry for his basketball team. The Falcons have four new starters and a new head coach. They also have the added pressure of playing as the reigning Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 6A State champions. The first basketball state championship has set this squad up with one of the state's most difficult schedules.
When it came time for preseason football interviews, one could sense a different attitude in the West Point field house. The Green Wave believed. In the previous two seasons, West Point players and coaches talked about trying to get things back to championship level. This season, the answers were still cautious but way more determined. Instead of the Green Wave talking about what they would try to do, they talked about what they would do. Now, West Point is two wins away from closing the deal.
WEST POINT -- West Point High School junior Chris Calvert always has enjoyed playing football. However, his love of the game grew this season as he spent more and more time out of uniform. In a 17-13 victory against Columbus, Calvert suffered a hit to the head. He was held out of the West Point lineup due to the concussion protocol until being cleared to play last week.
PONTOTOC -- Find a way. It sounds simple, but Jeff Carter feels those three words describe the essence of the 2016 Pontotoc High School football team. Flavored with equal helpings of grit and determination, the Warriors have matured from a group that won three games two seasons ago to six last season.
Gracie McCleskey doesn't mind getting down and dirty. Whether it is as a member of the Caledonia High School volleyball, basketball, or fast-pitch softball teams or the Mississippi Bombers Express travel team, McCleskey is going to do what it takes to help her team win.
OXFORD -- Chris Calvert tried to fight back a smile. The West Point High School running back just left a huddle with his teammates and was immediately pulled to the side for an interview. With his helmet in hand and a cold wind blowing, Calvert's attempt not to smile didn't last long. He received a big hug from offensive coordinator Brett Morgan that made him smile even bigger.
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