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.
ALICEVILLE, Ala. -- The Aliceville High School football team scored on its final four possessions Friday night to pull out a 52-44 victory against Elba in the quarterfinals of the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) Class 2A playoffs.
It was only a matter of time.
MACON -- Eight weeks is an eternity in the marathon that is a high school football season.
WEST POINT -- Starkville High School junior Blake Rogers enjoyed the game that he and his teammates played Thursday night.
STARKVILLE -- Starkville High School football coach Ricky Woods has resigned and will take over as the Eupora High coach next season, according to multiple sources.
STARKVILLE -- Kate Mattox left her house at 7:30 Tuesday night to walk around her neighborhood. The Starkville High School senior had a lot on her mind and wanted to be alone with her thoughts. She turned to God and asked for guidance to help her make a big decision. Two-and-a-half hours later, Mattox had made her decision. On Wednesday, Mattox made the choice official when she signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in cross country and track and field at Southern Mississippi.
CALEDONIA -- Growing up, soccer was something Caitlyn Sheppeard always did. While she enjoyed the sport, softball occupied more of her time. But as she grew older, Sheppeard tired of all the hours spent with travel softball and turned to other pursuits, like cheerleading. Through the changes, Sheppeard never lost her connection with soccer. In fact, she grew to enjoy the sport more and more the more time she put into it and the more her skills improved.
WEST POINT -- Bill Atkins was shocked. Atkins knew his son, Hunter, started "dabbling" in golf when he was 10 years old, but he had no idea how that sport had taken hold of him. It wasn't until Hunter won a 12-and-under United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) baseball state championship playing the Mississippi Longhorns, a travel team of players from West Point, and then walked off the field that day and told him he was done with baseball that Bill Atkins realized how important golf was to his son.
CALEDONIA -- New Hope High School forward Jake Crosson didn't call "bar" when he launched a corner kick in the 22nd minute of his team's derby match against Caledonia on Tuesday night.
STARKVILLE -- Junior guard Natrone Brooks' eyes lit up when he saw the ball come his way. "When I got the steal, I knew we had won the game," Brooks said. "It was a great feeling and a great win." Brooks stole the ball in the final seconds and fed Jesse Little for the put-away score to help the Starkville High School boys basketball team beat Columbus 56-51 Tuesday night at the Bee Hive. In the opener, the Starkville High girls moved to 4-0 with a come-from-behind 61-54 victory.
Louis Alexander and Andrew Olsen have been talking about this moment for 10 years. The pair has history on multiple levels -- athletes at rival high schools, college teammates and roommates. They've spent countless hours playing, coaching, and talking strategy about the game that always has been their link: soccer.
WEST POINT -- Even though only a sophomore, Marcus Murphy assumed the leadership role and quarterbacking duties for the West Point High School football team at the same time. A year later, Murphy's job title has changed slightly. However, he has a firm grasp on remaining the team leader. Thanks to his offensive ability and leadership skills, West Point is three wins away from winning the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 5A State championship.
INDIANOLA -- Sean Harrison didn't expect to see a different Indianola Academy from the one that beat his team four weeks ago. After scoring 159 in three wins since playing Indianola Academy, the Heritage Academy football coach believed his team could erase the memory of a 22-point loss in the regular season and punch its ticket to the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools (MAIS) Class AAA State title game.
MACON -- Tyrone Shorter didn't lack confidence. Despite his offense's struggles moving the ball, the Noxubee County High School football coach felt that unit was going to correct its mistakes in time to pull out a win.
WEST POINT -- If time of possession figured into deciding the outcome of a game, Holmes County Central would be making plans to visit Oxford next week for a second-round Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 5A playoff game. Fortunately for West Point, points on the scoreboard win games, so despite having possession of the ball for only 8 minutes, 27 seconds in the first half, the Green Wave went to the locker room with a 20-0 cushion. The Green Wave rode that lead to a 41-7 victory in a first-round game at Hamblin Stadium.
1. EMCC wins Mississippi Bowl COLLEGE SPORTS
2. MSU will play Miami (Ohio) in St. Petersburg Bowl COLLEGE SPORTS
3. EMCC football team finishes No. 2 in nation COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Johnson, Pounds earn top honors in bowl win COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Peters has career day in Bulldogs' victory COLLEGE SPORTS