High School Sports
STARKVILLE — Senior Night is usually reserved for the final regular season home game.
However, the Starkville High School baseball team decided to recognize its senior class Tuesday against Columbus in its second-to-last home game.
That was just fine with Starkville starting pitcher Colin Olsen, who pitched a complete-game five-hitter to help beat the Falcons 9-4.
Easton Key used to be a distraction on the golf course.
Unable to control his emotions, the Lamar School golfer was apt to throw his clubs if a shot didn’t break his way.
The outburst would unravel even the most successful round and force his parents to threaten to or to take away his golf clubs.
But Key has changed.
If something goes wrong these days, he pauses, takes a breath, and chalks the experience up to the highs and lows of the game of golf.
Key exhibited that new-found maturity Tuesday when he earned medalist honors with a 73 to lead Lamar School to the team championship at the East Mississippi Community College Invitational at Columbus Country Club.
STARKVILLE — Finishing second doesn’t exist in Tavaris Tate’s vocabulary.
The goal for the Starkville High School senior sprinter is to win every race, whether it is the 100, 200 or 400 meters, or as a member of the 4×400 relay team.
Tate stepped up his competitive drive after finishing second to Ja’Vell Bullard in the 400 meters at the 2008 Nike Outdoor Nationals last June.
Dillon Hawkins and Austin Stovall gave their baseball teams exactly what they needed Saturday.
Unfortunately, Caledonia High School was on the receiving ends of both efforts.
In the afternoon, Hawkins threw a six-inning, one-hitter, and Philip Tice had three hits and two RBIs in New Hope’s 11-1 victory against Caledonia in a Class 4A, Region 4, District 4 game at Trojan Field.
In the evening, Stovall survived a 12-hit attack and pitched a complete game to lead Columbus to a 13-7 victory.
Alex Sherrod doesn’t want to settle for second place this year.
One season after being the runner-up in his weight class at the Mississippi High School Activities Association State Powerlifting meet, Sherrod has his sights set Saturday on a championship.
A stint with the Caledonia High School boys basketball team might have delayed his training, but he has regrouped and made significant progress and said he is ready to win a state title.
Now that the New Hope High School fast-pitch softball team has taken care of its Senior Night festivities, it can focus on adding another state title to the program’s list of accomplishments.
New Hope (17-2) still has a game at 5 p.m. today against Neshoba Central, weather permitting, before it can focus on the state tournament.
As of Friday morning, the Lady Trojans still didn’t know their opponent. New Hope coach Tabitha Beard said New Hope will play Lafayette County or Center Hill at 2 p.m. Saturday in the first two games of a best-of-three series.
Dustin McWilliams likes to talk to himself on the mound.
The West Lauderdale left-hander feels his verbal repartee helps keep him focused and prepared for any situation.
That’s why a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the third inning Wednesday night didn’t faze him.
Haley Tutor isn’t ready to say goodbye to her senior teammates.
That’s why she is going to do everything in her power to see that the New Hope High School fast-pitch softball team’s season ends, fittingly, with a state title.
Tutor had a home run, two singles, and six RBIs Wednesday to lead New Hope to a 12-2 victory against West Point in a Class 4A-District 4 game at Lady Trojan Field.
The Lamar County softball tournament is scheduled for Friday and Saturday at South Lamar High School in Millport, Ala.
But after a tragic car accident Monday took the life of South Lamar seventh-grader Madison Orr, South Lamar coach Tony Seals doesn’t know when the tournament will be played.
There wasn’t a defining pop.
A piercing pain didn’t course through the elbow.
Instead, Blake Roberts saw a dispiriting loss in velocity on his fastball and control that signaled something wasn’t right.
CALEDONIA — Justine Jenkins won’t lie.
The Caledonia High School standout wanted to play softball in college but she didn’t know if she was good enough.
It wasn’t until Jenkins started to relax and to have fun on the softball field that her confidence blossomed.
STARKVILLE –– The Starkville Yellow Jackets experienced another walk-off victory at home on Saturday afternoon.
For the New Hope Trojans, it was a another disappointing loss.
After Blake Dawkins singled in the winning run last Tuesday to help Starkville defeat Tupelo 3-2, it was R.J. Johnson’s turn to do the same.
This time the game-winning hit came in the 10th inning as Starkville beat New Hope 2-1.
Bad things aren’t happening once a game this season for the Columbus High School baseball team.
In some cases, like in Columbus’ 16-6 victory against West Point in five innings Saturday afternoon, the Falcons make enough positive things happen to outweigh the negatives.
But the momentum doesn’t last.
In other instances, like in a 12-2 loss in five innings to South Panola on Saturday night, the Falcons can’t overcome mistakes that seem to snowball out of control.
STARKVILLE –– Starkville High School wide receiver Kasey Akins played the waiting game to make sure he found the right place for him to continue his football career.
More than a month after watching two of his teammates sign scholarships on National Signing Day, Akins has made his choice.
Akins decided to take his talents to Harding University in Searcy, Ark., and made it official on Friday by putting his name on the dotted line.
Lil’ Wayne and Lump proved to be a difficult tandem to contain Thursday night.
It’s a good thing, too, because the Caledonia and West Lowndes High School baseball teams could have played all night.
Better known as Demetrius and Devin Malone, the Panthers played key roles in the bottom of the ninth inning to help West Lowndes earn a 5-4 victory.
WEST POINT — The ability to work out of trouble is essential for any pitcher.
Sometimes that trouble materializes after a bloop single or an error.
Other times, an ill-timed walk quickly can put a pitcher in a jam that is difficult to escape.
Cole Vaughan showed Tuesday afternoon he’s capable of living dangerously and then finding a way to avoid the big inning.
Vaughan scattered six hits in a complete-game effort to help the Heritage Academy baseball team defeat Oak Hill Academy 6-3.
STARKVILLE — Blake Dawkins hoped for another opportunity.
The Starkville High School catcher struck out with the bases loaded in the fifth inning against Tupelo on Tuesday night, and the Yellow Jackets left three on base that inning.
In the seventh, the bases were loaded again with Dawkins at the plate. This time he singled in Jayson Keel to lift Starkville to a 3-2 victory.
Tupelo (6-3, 1-1 Class 5A, Division 2) walked Daniel Forde in front of Dawkins twice. Starkville (10-2, 3-0) didn’t take advantage of the first situation, but did on the second.
STARKVILLE — It was a good night to get a one-hitter from two freshmen.
Frustrated that his Yellow Jackets left 12 runners on base, Starkville High School baseball coach Danny Carlisle liked that Nick Brooks and Hayden Higginbotham combined to give up only one hit Tuesday night in a 5-1 victory against West Lowndes.
Austin Braddock is branching out to all fields.
Always considered a dead pull hitter, Braddock has discovered this season that hitting is a lot easier when you change your approach at the plate.
Rachel Hollivay’s circle of basketball contacts is growing.
The New Hope High School freshman on Wednesday received an invitation to attend the Nike Girls Regional Skills Academy event at Norcross High School in Atlanta on April 25-26.