First, the good news. The Columbus High School football team has ended the past two seasons within reach of the playoffs. Now, the not-so-good news.
STARKVILLE -- The memories of losing five of six games by a touchdown or less doesn't go away easily. Losing 23 seniors from a breakout season is another thing.
Michael Bradley has been coaching long enough to know the terms. Rebuilding. Reloading. Both words mean essentially the same thing, just with a different slant.
How do you want to be remembered? That's one of the many messages West Point High School football coach Chris Chambless is delivering in the offseason. His job title also makes him a de facto psychologist.
The Aberdeen High School football team needs a motto for the 2011 season. The motto will be utilized this summer as the Bulldogs prepare mentally for fall drills, and will continue through the fall.
STARKVILLE -- Disappointment is an obvious way to describe Starkville High School's baseball season. But a closer look from outside observers -- a view players and coaches are trying to accept -- reveals a team on the cusp of a winning record, a playoff spot, and, quite possibly, a successful playoff run.
There was a time when Caleb Westmoreland's game would have blown away in conditions like the ones players faced Tuesday at Columbus Country Club. A double bogey on No. 8 and another on No. 9 had the Heritage Academy senior golfer at 5-over and reeling as he searched for ways to regroup on the back nine. Wind gusts of 20-25 mph didn't help settle Westmoreland's mind.
When the Columbus High School baseball team beat Starkville in back-to-back games to open region play, it never thought its playoff hopes would partly hinge on what its rival would do in today's regular-season finales.
Two days after defending his Class 6A state powerlifting title, Justin Verner moved swiftly through the hallway in the Columbus High School field house, working his way to his locker. "Gotta get to track practice," he said before ducking around a corner.
It's all about the competition for the Heritage Academy golf team. In a sport where the success of multiple players helps the team accomplish more, the Patriots have relied on contributions from each of the top players in their lineup as well as the improved play of individuals outside the top four.
The Heritage Academy junior varsity girls track and field team continued its string of success last week by winning the North AAA meet.
After winning two games Saturday, New Hope High School softball coach Tabitha Beard thought her team was poised enough to make it a sweep in the nightcap at Propst Park. For three innings, New Hope was on cruise control with a 2-0 lead against Northeast Lauderdale and had allowed just two batters to reach base.
Whitney Kyles utilized a simple yet effective technique Saturday afternoon en route to the second win of her brief fast-pitch softball career: Just throw it. Aim for the catcher's glove. Kyles, who is more comfortable in her normal role as catcher, started the second game of Columbus High School's busy day at Propst Park, a 5-4 victory against Caledonia that was more than enough to impress coach Rusty Greene.
Columbus High School's baseball team needed a win in a major way. Losers of eight straight ball games, the Falcons entered Senior Night against Caledonia High with a senior making his first start of the season on the mound.
Justin Verner, a junior at Columbus High School, defended his Class 6A state powerlifting title Saturday in Jackson, winning the 242-pound division at Mississippi Coliseum.
Lee Boyd insists the gray hair is there. He tips his cap and, sure enough, there are a few specks of gray on the sides of his head. It remains to be seen just how much of that gray Boyd can blame on his New Hope High School baseball team.
STARKVILLE -- Four boys and three girls from Starkville High School have powerlifting gold on their minds. At Saturday's Mississippi High School Activities Association State meet at the Mississippi Coliseum, two senior Lady Yellow Jackets will look to repeat first-place North State finishes, while Marcus Tate will try to capture his second straight gold medal after winning the 275-pound boys class at North State.
Defending state champion Justin Verner dips his hands in a bucket of chalk to combat perspiration.
Anna Holley and Brandi Brantley break into big grins when asked to relate their favorite "moments" with New Hope High School softball coach Tabitha Beard.
STARKVILLE -- Mark Alexander is back in Starkville, and he has no plans to leave. The Mississippi State graduate and former sports reporter transitioned from working in journalism to coaching basketball five years ago and found instant success in Tennessee and at Manchester Academy in Yazoo City. On Wednesday, Starkville Academy announced Alexander as its new boys basketball coach effective at the end of the current school year.
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4. Woods knew from early age he wanted to be a coach HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. Coaches' All-Southeastern Conference team COLLEGE SPORTS