Joe Horne is smiling. The former Columbus High School teacher and scorekeeper, who passed away in 2003, would have loved the atmosphere Friday at Saturday at the 13th annual Columbus Christmas Invitational that has been named in his honor. Not only was there a packed house both days for the 16-game event, but the fans also had a chance to watch some of the region’s best talent.
STARKVILLE — Artie Cosby knew a long time ago Tiffany Huddleston was going to be a standout in sports. Cosby coached Huddleston in T-Ball when she was 5 or 6 and saw how advanced she was even at that age. While it’s common for many players not to be able to throw or to catch very well, Huddleston, the team’s first baseman and only girl, had the best glove, bat, and throwing arm.
Sadly, chest-pounding, trash-talking athletes who utilize flamboyant gestures while playing the “look-at-me” game to the hilt are all-to-often the norm today. Today, it’s almost inconceivable someone who has been described by friend and foe alike as a “powerful, explosive player” who has the ability to demolish her opponents at the net can, at the same time, be a reticent, humble, and somewhat shy individual who is uncomfortable when thrust into the limelight.
The Starkville High School boys basketball came up with one more big play with the game on the line. The result could have been a statement of even better things to come. Rashad Perkins blocked a shot in the lane by Jalen Courtney with 5.5 seconds remaining to preserve a one-point lead and then made a steal on the ensuing play to help Starkville hold on to beat previously unbeaten and No. 1 Provine 81-79 on Saturday in the final game of the 13th annual Joe Horne Columbus Christmas Invitational.
Columbus High School girls basketball Yvonne Hairston likes what her team can become. With freshmen Keke Patterson and Maggie Proffitt in the starting lineup, the Lady Falcons have players who can be the foundation of a program. The Joe Horne Christmas Classic provided those players a learning experience.
Geonte’ Richardson was given the green light by his coach to shoot the 3-pointer. He didn’t hold anything back Saturday. Richardson hit three from long range in the first quarter to help the East Oktibbeha High School boys basketball team build a 12-point lead en route to a 65-54 victory against Holt (Ala.) High at the 13th annual Joe Horne Columbus Christmas Invitational.
On the surface, the Noxubee County High School basketball teams have a lot going for them. The Tigerettes enter the next to last week of 2009 at 8-3, while the Tigers are 8-4. But Noxubee County High basketball coach T.J. Billups doesn’t want the players on both teams to be fooled into thinking they have accomplished anything or that those records mean they are certified as good teams.
STARKVILLE — Lyndsey Haynes doesn’t miss softball yet. The Starkville Academy pitcher admits she has reflected on her senior season and thought about what could have been after the Lady Volunteers finished third at the North Half State tournament. A change in the playoff format this season meant that showing wasn’t good enough by one place to push Starkville Academy into the overall Mississippi Association of Independent Schools AAA state tournament.
Neither one can truly be labeled a “power hitter.” But that term is so limiting because Caitlyn Atkins and Haley Tutor can do so much more for their teams. The Class 5A and Class 3A Mississippi High School Activities Association state titles New Hope and Hamilton high schools won this season are the final reward for all of their hard work and everything they contributed to their squads on and off the field. For their accomplishments this season, Atkins and Tutor are The Commercial Dispatch Slow-pitch All-Area co-Players of the Year.
By Adam Minichino firstname.lastname@example.org The spirit of giving and the holiday season is alive and well with the Columbus High School boys basketball program. In conjunction with the 13th annual Joe Horne Columbus Christmas Invitational, members of the Columbus High School boys basketball program Thursday handed out $200 worth of gift certificates for groceries at the Food Giant supermarket on Alabama Street in Columbus.
Greg Carter is anxious for this weekend. The Starkville High School boys basketball coach knows his team is off to an impressive 8-0 start and is ranked with the best teams in the state.
STARKVILLE —Jeff Terrill believes it will take more than just a coaching change to reverse the fortunes of the Starkville Academy football program. He said it also is going to take a change in attitude.
The 13th annual Joe Horne Columbus Christmas Invitational won’t be all about the boys. Not only will the field include talented local teams from Columbus, East Oktibbeha, Noxubee County, and Starkville, but Raymond and Greenville-Weston also will add even more star power. Raymond, which is ranked No. 1 in The Clarion Ledger’s Super 10, will face Columbus at 5:40 p.m. Friday. It then will take on Greenville-Weston, which is No. 2, are scheduled to play at 5:20 p.m. Saturday in the tail end of what figures to be a jam-packed holiday present of basketball.
STARKVILLE — Starkville Academy introduced Jeff Terrill as its next football coach at the school this morning. Terrill replaces Brian Sims, who resigned in November after two years as the Volunteers’ football coach.
Torrance Beard has fond memories of Columbus High School. The former CHS boys basketball player played for current coach Sammy Smith as a senior for 1995-96. Back then, at 6-foot-2, 145 pounds, Beard played wherever Smith needed him, primarily at guard and forward.
STARKVILLE — The search didn’t last a month, but it appears Starkville Academy has found its man to lead the football program. Jeff Terrill, who has experience coaching on the junior college level, is expected to be introduced as the Volunteers’ new coach at 11 a.m. Thursday.
Sammy Smith loves a challenge. That’s part of the reason why he and the rest of the Columbus High School basketball coaches enjoy all of the details that go into playing host to one of the state’s best holiday tournaments.
CARROLLTON, Ala. — Catherine Johnson had double the motivation. First, the 5-foot-7 senior point guard wanted to erase the memory of a 4-of-11 shooting effort from the free-throw line against Central Academy on Friday night.
CRAWFORD -- East Oktibbeha High School girls basketball coach Randy Brooks has accepted it will be a learning process for his team this season. That’s why a win like the one the Lady Titans got Saturday night put a smile on his face. It was almost not a happy situation. After jumping out to a 20-point lead in the first half of its game against rival West Oktibbeha High School, East Oktibbeha held on for a 52-51 victory.
Immanuel Christian coach Billy Thomas got something more out of a pair of underclassmen during Thursday night’s game against Starkville Christian School. Sophomore Ross Moore had 17 points to lead the Rams and junior Justin James added 12 points to defeat the visiting Cougars 50-44. James had a pair of baskets and two free throws to get the fourth quarter started, then Moore had five-straight points to give Immanuel a 39-35 lead with 4 minutes and 16 minutes remaining in the game.
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