REFORM, Ala. -- If defense wins championships the Pickens County High School football team has a great shot at capturing the Alabama High School Activities Association Class 1A state championship this season.
CLINTON -- The Starkville Academy football team's Cinderella season had a cruel ending Friday afternoon. Starkville Academy never could get untracked as Washington School rolled to a 20-0 victory in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA, Division II state championship at Robinson-Hale Stadium on the campus of Mississippi College.
CLINTON -- The Starkville Academy defense was usually the unsung hero in this year's turnaround. "Defense wins championships," Starkville Academy senior defensive lineman Angus Catchot said. "Coach Terrill always says offense puts people in the stands and the defense wins championships, and you see where we are."
WEST POINT -- The two time defending 5A Mississippi state champion West Point High School football team took the first step in defense of its crown Friday night with a 43-14 victory against Neshoba Central in the first round of the Class 5A North State playoffs.
STARKVILLE -- Last week, Gabe Myles proclaimed his school was back on top. Seven days later, Myles made sure the Starkville High School football team would be back for practice next week. The junior quarterback used his right arm to help Starkville dominate Hernando 42-28 in a Class 5A first-round playoff game.
AMORY -- The Noxubee County High School defense and the Amory High offense were the hot topics of conversation leading up to the matchup between the teams Friday night in the second round of the Class 4A North State playoffs. Noxubee County coach Tyrone Shorter injected his team's offense into the discussion, saying that unit felt slighted because the team's defense was getting all of the attention.
Follow your heart. Rachel Hollivay spent days contemplating where she would take the next step in her life. She knew when she entered the recruiting process she would receive a lot of attention, but she never imagined she would face so much pressure making a decision that affected so many people.
STARKVILLE -- Jamie Mitchell can look back at last week as proof his team is ready for playoff football. The second-year Starkville High School football coach watched his squad commit zero turnovers and four penalties in a 35-14 win at Neshoba Central to secure the Class 5A, Region 2 title.
The West Point High School football team finished the regular season on a high. Now, the Green Wave will try to parlay that momentum into a third straight Class 5A state championship. The quest for a state title will begin at 7 tonight with a first-round North State playoff contest against Neshoba Central at McCallister Field.
Tyrone Shorter knows about aerial wizardry. As a cornerback Austin Peay, Shorter's job was to prevent big plays and make life difficult for quarterbacks and wide receivers. Shorter's role hasn't changed now that he is a coach. In his second season as coach at Noxubee County High School, Shorter still takes an active role with the Tigers' defense.
A high-scoring shootout is possible when the West Oktibbeha County High School football team takes on Natchez Cathedral at 7 tonight in the opening round of the Class 1A South State playoffs.
One down, four to go. The Pickens County High School football team will return to the gridiron at 7 tonight when it takes on Brantley in a second-round Alabama High School Activities Association Class 1A playoff game.
Sometimes things just come together. That's the best way veteran high school football coach Jack French knows how to explain Starkville Academy's 2005 Mississippi Private Schools Association Class AAA, Division II state championship.
Starkville Academy senior fullback Ryan Mann admits neither he nor his teammates have played in a state championship football game. However, the Volunteers have been dreaming about and preparing for this moment most of their lives.
STARKVILLE -- Starkville High School forward Gavin Ware finalized his destination of choice Wednesday when he signed a National Letter-of-Intent to play basketball for Mississippi State. "It's a big step forward that gets me closer to my future and where I want to be in life," Ware said. "It's close to home and gives me endless opportunities to be somebody."
Good goal scorers know where they get their passes. It took Sarah Hern a split second to mention teammate Ashley Martian when she was asked about her goal in stoppage time that helped the New Hope High School girls soccer team edge Columbus 3-2.
STARKVILLE -- Cross country coaches dream for teams filled with rabbits. To take a term from track and field, rabbits refer to athletes who take the lead and set the pace for the rest of the field before dropping out.
Columbus High School boys basketball coach Sammy Smith promises patience with a young squad. For the Falcons, that patience may be needed early and often. However, two lengthy scoring runs lifted the Falcons to a victory in their season opener Tuesday night. Columbus enjoyed a 16-1 first-half spurt and a 17-2 second-half spurt to dispatch West Lowndes 81-57.
So much for retirement. Roy Hazzle is back on the bench for the Aberdeen High School boys basketball team for the 25th consecutive season, despite stepping down after last season
It's over. Now Rachel Hollivay has to wrap her mind around the idea she will be leaving home for a school that is a more than 1,000 miles away.
1. Schaefer, Stuedeman travel to promote respective programs COLLEGE SPORTS