CALEDONIA -- Turn the page. Coaches often talk about getting their players to put mistakes behind them so one miscue doesn't become two and two don't become four. That adage is even more important for teams facing challenging schedules. Caledonia High School football coach Andy Crotwell's team falls into that category as a member of the Mississippi High School Activities Association's Class 4A, region 4. With perennial state champions like Noxubee County and Louisville and a playoff regular like Kosciusko, there isn't much wiggle room for a team like Caledonia that is trying to secure one of four playoff spots in the six-team region.
Toughness. Resiliency. Perseverance. Regardless which word you select, there are a number of ways to describe the way the Heritage Academy football team rallied in the second half to beat West Lowndes 30-20 last week. After committing a turnover that helped the Panthers take a 14-9 lead, the Patriots answered with two scores that helped them re-take the lead and take a step closer to evening their record at 4-4. Heritage Academy will try to build on that strong finish at 7 tonight when it plays host to Winston Academy in a Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA, District 2 game in Columbus.
MACON -- The exhale you heard last week was Tyrone Shorter finally seeing his Noxubee County High School football team play like he knows it can. Mired in a four-game losing streak, Noxubee County kicked off Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 4A, Region 4 play with a 22-12 victory against Kosciusko. Senior quarterback Timorrius Conner threw for 269 yards and a touchdown to help the Tigers (3-4, 1-0 region) extend their winning streak to 17 games in region play.
Five Things to Watch for Troy-Mississippi State
STARKVILLE -- Kyle Niblett was drawn to sports statistics at a young age. Growing up in Gainesville, Florida, Niblett read The Gainesville Sun every morning and would flip to the Major League Baseball boxscores and memorize everything he could. The Mississippi State assistant director of media relations and social media coordinator never realized his passion could turn into a career.
Super Late Model drivers are in the middle of "Money Month." Three of the biggest money races in the state are this month. This weekend, the Magnolia State Cotton Pickin' 100 at Magnolia Motor Speedway is sandwiched in between last week's Gumbo Nationals at Greenville and next week's Fall Classic at Whynot Motorsports Park.
GOODMAN -- East Mississippi Community College freshman running back Jacquez Horsley and the rest of his teammates were ready to get the preliminaries out of the way Thursday night.
STARKVILLE -- Fans will have two opportunities tonight to get their first look at the 2015-16 Mississippi State men's and women's basketball teams. The teams will head to downtown Starkville at 6 p.m. to meet fans and sign autographs during Pumpkinpalooza before returning to Humphrey Coliseum at 9 p.m. for Maroon Madness.
MACON -- Kelsey Robbins' new nickname is "trouble." It doesn't matter what moniker members of the Central Academy fast-pitch softball team have used for their junior third baseman. When you deliver in a clutch situation like Robbins did Wednesday, trouble is the perfect word. Robbins' two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the third inning proved to be the difference in Central Academy's 3-1 victory against Humphreys Academy in Game 1 of the best-of-three Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class A Overall State title series.
STARKVILLE -- Kayla Nevitt doesn't want to get lost in the shuffle. A year ago, Nevitt looked around the Mississippi State women's basketball team's locker room and saw plenty of competition for minutes. Whether it was seniors Kendra Grant or Savannah Carter or sophomore Dominique Dillingham or freshmen Victoria Vivians and Blair Schaefer, Nevitt realized playing time wasn't going to be given to her and that she had to improve if she wanted to make her mark.
STARKVILLE -- Brandon Bryant relied on his athleticism in high school. As a senior at Rosa Fort High, Bryant threw for 257 yards and two touchdowns. He rushed for 896 yards and 10 touchdowns and had 22 catches for 339 yards and two touchdowns. On the defense, he made 37 tackles, had two interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), broke up five passes, and forced one forced fumble. He also returned a kickoff for a touchdown.
STARKVILLE -- Starkville Academy football coach Chase Nicholson knew who he was going to turn to for leadership on the offensive line this season. The Volunteers returned three seniors starters from last year's squad, but center Houston Massey was injured in the team's first game and hasn't returned. Without Massey, left tackle Carter Wood and left guard Seth Watson were left to be leaders up front.
STARKVILLE -- Vic Schaefer had a plan.
East Mississippi Community College freshman running back Isaiah Wright is pretty excited about showing what he has learned.
STARKVILLE - Malik Dear isn't a typical rookie playing college football.
For fans of the Columbus-Starkville high school football rivalry, you might be in luck this year after all.
Two games left.
Columbus High School junior running back Kylin Hill did not have to be told it was time to step up.
STARKVILLE -- In the early years of Dan Mullen's tenure at Mississippi State, several injuries to key players would have been devastating.
1. Offensive line plays key role for Starkville Academy HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. Injury to Market means Bryant will play bigger role COLLEGE SPORTS
3. Confidence will help Nevitt make her mark COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Central Academy's Robbins has no trouble in clutch HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. No. 6 EMCC rolls past Holmes C.C. COLLEGE SPORTS