The Mississippi State football team said goodbye to Russell Athletics on Wednesday and hello to adidas.
Football players Derek Sherrod, Anthony Dixon, Jamar Chaney, and Bo Walters sported their new adidas uniforms for the first time in front of the Barnes and Noble Bookstore on campus. The school reached a new apparel agreement with adidas a few weeks ago.
The look features black socks, black adidas shoes, and maroon helmets for the first time since 2003. The helmets will have new MSU marks and logos.
The modernized fit jersey has a system of fabric placed in high heat zones, such as shoulders, called ClimaCool. It enhances ventilation and allows a continuous supply of fresh air to the body.
The new uniform fits perfectly for Sherrod, the former Caledonia High School standout.
“It feels good having a new uniform after two years, and it brings out a change in all of us,” Sherrod said. “There are a lot of things on the move for Mississippi State, and all of it is in a positive way.”
The jersey and pants incorporate, for motion cuts, strategically placed seams that remove excess fabric and will help players enhance the natural movements during a game and will reduce obstruction and abrasion.
Adidas representative Michael Ball likes being a part of MSU”s athletic progress.
“The new uniforms are going to be faster and a little more technical than years past,” Ball said. “We”re very excited with the new head coach (Dan Mullen) and an exciting schedule.”
Mullen said the new uniforms won”t be used Saturday in the Maroon-White Spring Football Game and will debut Sept. 5 at home against Jackson State.
“I”m excited about being with a great company like adidas,” Mullen said. “It”s going to open a lot of doors for us.”
Bud Thompson, of Meridian, doesn”t plan to hold anything back as the coach of the Maroon team for at 5:30 p.m. Saturday for the Maroon-White game.
The athletic department said Thompson and Richard Adkerson will coach the teams.
Thompson and Adkerson will be involved in staff meetings as the teams are drafted and will give pregame speeches and make gameday decisions.
“We”re going to throw the ball, run reverses, and do a little bit of everything,” Thompson said.
As a former high school coach in Vicksburg, Thompson had hoped to be a college coach.
“I”ll be living a dream after 45 years,” Thompson said. “I really don”t know what to anticipate. It won”t hit me until it happens.”
Fans will have opportunities to get autographs from several MSU athletes this weekend at Super Bulldog Weekend.
This week”s compliance question deals with autographed memorabilia and the limitations on how it can be used.
Q: Can I get an autographed football to be auctioned at a fundraiser for my high school booster club?
A: It is not permissible for an institution”s athletic department, in response to a request from high school (or prep school or two-year college) groups, to provide items (autographed balls or jerseys) to assist in raising money for its programs (athletics or other). An institution may not donate institutional memorabilia (jerseys, hats, T-shirts) to any organization for the purpose of being auctioned to raise funds to provide financial assistance to high school students to attend college institutions. An institution (or an institution”s coach or representative of its athletic interest) may contribute to a non-athletic organization that includes prospective student-athletes and non-prospects (e.g., YMCA, YWCA, Boys and Girls Clubs), provided the assistance is not earmarked for a particular prospective student-athlete and is offered in conjunction with the organization”s regular fund-raising activities.
If there are any questions about a memorabilia request, call the Bulldog Club at 662-325-3074.
Off to SEC meets
The MSU golf teams will look to build on two top-10 finishes this weekend when they compete at the Southeastern Conference championships.
The Lady Bulldogs will travel to Cobblestone Park in Blythwood, S.C., while the men will play at St. Simons Island, Ga.
After winning the Mobile Bay Tournament, the Bulldogs competed at the Reunion Intercollegiate in Madison last weekend and finished seventh with a three-day total of 921.
MSU coach Clay Homan felt his team was playing too good to settle for seventh.
“I thought we would have played a little bit better,” Homan said. “That was a little bit disappointing. We learned a lot from that tournament.”
Homan said the experience at Reunion will serve his team well at the SEC meet.
The course the Bulldogs will play is similar to the one in Madison, and Homan hopes they will be able to handle the greens better this time.
“I thought we made some mistakes with the greens and around the greens,” Homan said. “Hopefully we won”t make those this week. We threw away a lot of shots in putting.”
Carlos Sainz, Jr. has been MSU”s most consistent player this season. He shot a three-round total of 224 and tied for fifth at Reunion. He has finished in the top 12 in eight of his 10 tournaments this season.
The MSU women have struggled most of the spring, but coach Kristie Sanders saw positives in an eighth-place showing at the Rebel Intercollegiate.
“I finally saw a spark from them,” Sanders said. “It was nice to see, coming off a bad opening round. It proved to the players they could actually do it.”
Mallory Batson tied for 17th with a 229, and Sanders hopes Batson will deliver another strong outing at SECs.
Sanders feels playing for a conference title will provide plenty of motivation.
“We hope we can peak this week knowing it”s our conference championship,” Sanders said.
Not all of MSU”s athletic events this weekend will be tied to Super Bulldog Weekend.
The track and field team will participate in the Auburn Invitational. The women”s tennis squad will travels to Ole Miss.
The SBW activities on campus will be the second game of a baseball series with Kentucky at 1 p.m., a softball doubleheader against South Carolina at 11 a.m., a men”s tennis match against Ole Miss at noon, and the Maroon-White Spring Football Game will the day.
Baseball parking will be enforced throughout the weekend, but a shuttle service will be available to help fans get around to the various events Saturday.
At 1 p.m. Sunday, the Bulldogs and Wildcats wrap up their baseball series. The third game of the softball series with South Carolina will start at 1 p.m.
The weekend starts with the first MSU-Kentucky baseball outing at 6:30 p.m. Friday.