Danté Oliver didn’t have to be in the “fast” heat Saturday to win two titles.
STARKVILLE — Heath Walker never wanted to quit playing soccer, so he decided to sign on with Junior Noel’s rebuilding project at East Mississippi Community College. The Starkville Academy defender/midfielder contemplated the Lions’ offer for nearly two months before signing a National Letter of Intent Wednesday to play in Scooba for the next two years.
The South Lamar High School softball team will honor the memory of one of its former players when it plays host to the Lamar County Tournament. South Lamar will remember Madison Orr, who was killed in an automobile accident March 30, 2009. Orr was a seventh-grader who was killed on Highway 17 between Millport, Ala., and Reform, Ala., while returning home after school.
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State’s appeal to the NCAA to reduce Renardo Sidney’s punishment fell short Tuesday as the ruling handed down at the beginning of March was upheld. The original penalty, which stated the Mississippi State men’s basketball signee will lose a year of eligibility and be forced to miss the first nine games of the 2010-11 season, will remain as the The Division I Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee turned down Mississippi State’s appeal of the nine-game suspension. Sidney, a Jackson native, sat all of the 2009-10 season while the NCAA investigated whether the McDonald’s and Parade All-American received improper benefits while playing high school basketball.
While playing baseball at West Lowndes High School, D.Q. Farmer never got to trot around the bases as the result of hitting a home run. But since getting to Mississippi Valley State University, Farmer has shown he has some pop in his bat. Farmer, a freshman at Mississippi Valley, leads the Delta Devils with two home runs –– connecting in both games of a doubleheader against Alabama State on March 20.
Rachel Hollivay is going to be busy again this spring and summer. The New Hope High School sophomore, who already is recognized as one of the state’s top prep girls basketball players, has been invited by USA Basketball to participate in the 2010 Under-17 National Team Trials on June 8-11 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. “It means a lot,” Hollivay said. “I am looking forward to going back so I can work harder to make the team this time.”
HAMILTON — It might not seem like it, but the marathon is only approaching the halfway point for the Hamilton and West Lowndes high school baseball teams. Poor weather has made it seem like the teams have been at it longer, canceling several dates and making it even tougher to find dry time on the field. On Tuesday, both teams showed they are still striving to find their consistency in a game that featured plenty of action on every play.
BATESVILLE — Josh Tentoni's two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning gave the Columbus High School baseball team a one-run lead, but the Falcons couldn't hold it, falling to South Panola 3-2 in eight innings Tuesday in a Class 6A, Division 2, District 4 game. Nick Durrah struck out the first two batters in the bottom of the seventh inning, but the next batter reached on an error and later scored on a passed ball to tie the game. Stefan Hairston relieved Durrah to start the eighth and retired the first two batters before pinch hitter Alan Horne doubled and scored on a bloop single by Matt Brown.
STARKVILLE — A dramatic weekend behind them, the Mississippi State baseball team will try to bottle up what went right for it against Georgia when it takes on the University of Mississippi today for the Governor’s Cup in Pearl.
Throwing a curveball for a strike was becoming a nuisance for Tyji Hawkins. Finding a groove at the plate was equally as difficult for Josh Tentoni. The Columbus High School seniors might have solved their problems on Friday night, and, in the process, set the Falcons up to accomplish some big things this season.
Mission accomplished. Even though the Mississippi State women’s basketball team’s season ended Sunday with a 74-71 loss to Florida State in the Sweep 16 of the NCAA tournament, the Lady Bulldogs took the next step.
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State’s track teams will try to stand out Wednesday when they invade Austin, Texas, for the 83rd Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. More than 5,000 high school and college track and field athletes will compete in the nation’s second-largest track meet, which is also one of its most storied events.
STARKVILLE — Defense has been the calling card for the Mississippi State women’s basketball team in the NCAA tournament. The Lady Bulldogs used a 13-0 run in the final four-plus minutes to rally past Middle Tennessee State in the first round. MSU had 14 steals and forced 24 turnovers Tuesday against second-seeded Ohio State in an 87-67 upset that secured the program’s first trip to the Sweet 16.
STARKVILLE — With Greg Byrne’s recent decision to resign his athletic director post at Mississippi State, the facilities upgrades and plans he initiated to push the program forward will be paramount in building the MSU brand. Byrne’s two-year reign at MSU saw the fan experience improve, Bulldog Club membership grow, and the ability of athletes to train at the highest level become a reality. The ideas Byrne brought to the table weren’t radical as the high-spending world of college athletics required MSU to find ways to boost the athletic department’s image and to enhance game-day atmosphere.
STARKVILLE — Until Friday, no one knew just how tough a decision Greg Byrne was faced with in his choice to leave Mississippi State for the University of Arizona. In his first meeting with the media since announcing Monday that he’d end his two-year run as MSU’s athetic director, Byrne talked about much of what he’d released in a prepared statement earlier in the week. But as the questions rained down about how hard it was for him to leave MSU after initiating a progressive atmosphere and change in the athletic department, Byrne shed tears and struggled with words to describe the last two years and how comfortable the Starkville community has made he and his family.
STARKVILLE — The third day of Mississippi State’s spring practices on Saturday gave the coaches and players the first opportunity to have live contact. As MSU coach Dan Mullen expected, the crispness was lacking. Mullen described the workout as “sloppy,” but he admitted he anticipated it with the players’ excitement over the first day of pads and the team installing its base offense.
STARKVILLE — A rocky fourth inning and a lack of pop at the plate sent Mississippi State to its fourth Southeastern Conference loss after a late comeback bid fell short Saturday in a 7-4 setback to Georgia. Mississippi State (13-10, 1-4 SEC) gave up a five-run fourth inning and struggled to string together timely hits, but didn’t cunt on freshman starter Chris Stratton making it to just the fourth inning. Stratton (2-3) was the losing pitcher, giving up four earned runs on three hits in three innings. He struck out eight batters, but Georgia (9-14, 1-4) took advantage of his location issues and scored two runs off walks in the fourth inning.
STARKVILLE — Dogged by heavy gusts of wind, coach Dan Mullen was pleased with the second day of the Mississippi State football team’s spring practice.
STARKVILLE — The “experts” have spoken. On Thursday, ESPN.com contributors Charlie Creme, Graham Hays, and Mechelle Voepel turned in their predictions for the Sweet 16 pairings in the women’s NCAA tournament.
1. McCowan, Howard lead Dawgs in tourney opener COLLEGE SPORTS
2. MSU fans travel west to root for Dawgs COLLEGE SPORTS
3. MSU men look to future after NCAA loss to Liberty COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Peters leads MSU sweep in javelin COLLEGE SPORTS
5. 2nd-ranked Diamond Dawgs answer Auburn with 15-2 win COLLEGE SPORTS