STARKVILLE -- Ralesheia Gee sat in front of friends, family, teammates, coaches and schoolmates Monday and was quiet as a church mouse.
STARKVILLE - As Kelsey Jones begins her senior season, she is one of the state's top basketball prospects.
WEST POINT - When Dashmond Daniel began his coaching career four seasons ago at West Point High School, he quickly identified the best player on the girls' basketball team.
WEST POINT - Oak Hill Academy senior basketball player Sarah Dill received some encouraging words from her coach Brian Middleton during her junior season.
STEENS -- Finding your voice sometimes can be difficult.
If nothing else, Danny Crawford has learned patience during his coaching career.
STARKVILLE - When he began his junior year at Starkville High School, Tyson Carter knew the expectation was there for him to become a leader on the basketball team.
PHEBA -- A good game plan can help an underdog overcome overwhelming odds. After a 17-3 loss to Hebron Christian on Tuesday in Game 1 of the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class A championship series, the Humphreys Academy baseball team knew it was going to have to try anything and everything Thursday to have a shot at taking Game 2 and forcing a winner-take-all finale.
Artavious McDyess knew he wanted to play basketball in college. At 6-foot-9 and 200 pounds, McDyess has the potential to grow into his frame and to be as dominant a post player as his nickname -- "Swat" -- suggests. McDyess also has the good fortune of having great blood lines from his father, former NBA All-Star Antonio McDyess. But the college recruiting process can give any student-athlete pause.
Kylin Hill won't have to travel far to play college football. The Columbus High School football rising senior verbally committed to Mississippi State via Twitter on Wednesday. "MSU is family," Hill said. "They treat you like you're their favorite cousin."
Terrell Jennings Jr. didn't have a say in the matter.
BELZONI -- Hebron Christian's Payton Griffin might have a sore pitching shoulder, but the senior did not show any ill effect from the ding. He gritted his teeth and hurled the ball over the plate -- time and time again -- as he kept bats consistently quiet. He became just too much for the Humphreys Rebels as the game progressed on Tuesday evening.
STARKVILLE -- Milton Smith is excited about the job he has in front of him.
PHEBA -- Focus is a key for Payton Griffin. The Hebron Christian senior probably has heard his father, Todd, stress the importance of being mentally ready more than a few times in his high school career. Whether it has been in football, basketball, or baseball, that focus has helped Payton and his teammates achieve their share of success in all three sports.
Commitment. Through all of the ups and downs, Anthony King could look at eight athletes who were with him Monday and say they almost did the unthinkable.
STEENS -- The numbers were scratched on a white sheet of paper and fastened to a clipboard. The athletes were situated under a tent that was placed under some trees to provide plenty of shade and a place to relax. Even though Columbus Christian Academy boys track and field coach Greg Watkins had done nearly everything he could do, he still felt anxious. After all, a state championship was on the line, so he had to make sure his athletes were staying off their feet and resting and hydrating. When you're competing for a title and have plenty of time between events, you tend to repeat yourself.
For most of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A playoffs, New Hope High School had been looking for its offense.
STARKVILLE -- Simpson Academy's baseball season changed in about an hour's time Tuesday night. Down five runs to Starkville Academy, Simpson Academy scored the final seven runs, including a walk-off home run, to take the lead in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA second-round playoff series.
STEENS -- Defense isn't an afterthought to RJ DeLoach or Jaborris Frazier. Lessons from their fathers early in their basketball career helped the Columbus Christian Academy players to understand the importance of playing on both ends of the court. Columbus Christian boys basketball coach Greg Watkins appreciates everything DeLoach and Frazier learned because he, too, stresses defense and knows it often is the difference in a team's ability to win a championship.
Bradley Tate usually trusts his gut feelings. But after two days of competition at Diamondhead's Cardinal Course, Tate just might want to re-assess how much faith he puts into his intestinal instincts because the Caledonia High School boys golf team proved them to be a little off.
1. East Coast Baseball team wins title LOCAL SPORTS
2. Allen set to bring energy to MSU women COLLEGE SPORTS
3. Drivers making case for 602 Late Models LOCAL SPORTS
4. Senior Sisk will shift to point for Ole Miss women COLLEGE SPORTS