STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State's 6-0 start to its men's basketball season has been missing a few things. It's missed a date with a team hailing from a conference with more than one team in last season's NCAA Tournament; it lacks a team ranked in the top 120 nationally according to Ken Pomeroy's advanced college basketball metrics.
Roger Short is more than an official.
STARKVILLE -- Among Southeastern Conference head football coaches, a salary of $2.6 million would've ranked next to last in the 2017, beating only Missouri's Barry Odom (while excluding that of the conference's lone interim, Matt Luke). It would've ranked less than far less successful programs including Illinois, Purdue and Virginia.
STARKVILLE -- Starkville High School's football practices are usually textbook examples of light-hearted yet structured productivity.
WEST POINT -- Casey Welch doesn't have a taste for Mexican food.
MACON -- Tyrone Shorter is ready.
WEST POINT -- One of the downsides of having senior-laden teams is players sometimes don't get numbers that typically go with their positions.
Four players and one coach from the Golden Triangle are in Jackson this week to wrap up the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools (MAIS) football season.
MACON -- Tyrone Shorter remembers the conversation well. Earlier this season, after the death of offensive coordinator James Patterson hit the Noxubee County community and the high school football team hard, wide receiver Kyziah Pruitt came into Shorter's office in the field house. The Tigers were still dealing with the loss of Patterson as well as the departure of three other coaches, including longtime offensive line coach Michael Ashford.
STARKVILLE -- For once, getting to the quarterback didn't work out all that well for Jaylan Ware. Going against Greenville in Week 8, the Starkville High School nose tackle busted through the line and reached for the quarterback with his right hand. But Ware suffered a broken ring finger when his hand smashed into the quarterback's facemask. The injury ended his evening with a season-low three tackles.
MACON -- Teddy Young smiles when asked to relate a story about James Patterson. It seems fitting Young would react that way about his former coach at Noxubee County High School. Young later worked with Patterson as an assistant coach for the football team before Patterson died March 18.
WEST POINT -- The numbers tell the story for Marcus Murphy. Whether it is 4,560 or 1,630, the senior quarterback/running back has been a part of a dominating season for the West Point High School football team.
STARKVILLE -- The final six weeks of the regular season were out of character for Garin Boniol. In that stretch, Starkville High School's sophomore kicker missed four of five field goal attempts and two extra points. Starkville coach Chris Jones asked Boniol what was wrong and received an answer he didn't believe.
Columbus High School senior Casey Smith had a feeling it might be his night when he hit his first 3-pointer. When his second 3-pointer hit the iron, bounced in the air, hit the iron again, bounced high one more time, bounced off the glass, and then rolled for a few seconds before finding home, he knew for sure.
In July, we asked several questions prior to the prep football season. Twenty weeks have passed and we are set for Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) State championship weekend.
MACON -- There was no hesitation in Tyrone Shorter's voice. Twenty minutes earlier, Shorter's Noxubee County High School football team had put the finishing touches on a 35-28 victory against Louisville in the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 4A North State title game at Tiger Stadium to secure a spot in the state championship game. The veteran coach was still a little damp from multiple Gatorade attacks from his players, but it didn't affect him on a chilly Friday night. Eight weeks earlier, many people in Noxubee County doubted the Tigers could get back on track following a 2-4 start that included disappointing losses to traditional rivals Starkville and West Point.
STARKVILLE -- Chris Jones' list of inspirations is endless. When he talks about his offense, there are times he's unsure which college coach he saw running the scheme he took and added to his playbook.
WEST POINT -- West Point High School football coach Chris Chambless feels a little twinge when his team passes the football. Chambless isn't worried about the outcome of the play because his top-ranked team is strong in the passing game. Instead, it is the veteran coach's dislike of passing the ball in general that causes the reaction.
MACON -- Rashad Eades needs a crash course on classic cartoons. When asked Friday night if he recognized the name "Road Runner," Eades initially said he didn't. After a little prompting -- beep beep -- without visual aids, Eades shook his head and acknowledged he did know the arch enemy of Wile E. Coyote.
MACON -- JaQuaris Jamison tried everything he knew. The Noxubee County High School junior attempted to run a post route. When stopped, he quickly shifted to a corner post route. That didn't work, either, so Jamison juked and side-stepped tacklers and looked like he was heading for the end zone when he avoided a Louisville player around the 35-yard line.
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