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'Game of Change' celebrates Bulldogs, Ramblers

Posted 3/26/2009 in College Sports

STARKVILLE — March Madness ended early for the Mississippi State basketball teams. But Jerald Harkness was in Starkville on Tuesday to celebrate the spirit and the history of the MSU men’s basketball program and the NCAA tournament.



Mullen learning to juggle responsibilities at work, home

Posted 3/26/2009 in College Sports

Among the 75 or so spectators at Mississippi State’s first day of spring football practice on Tuesday were coach Dan Mullen’s wife, Megan, and his 1-month-old son, Canon. Canon was born Feb. 13 and the smile can’t be wiped from coach Mullen’s face whenever he talks about his son.



Rebels ready to move forward

Posted 3/26/2009 in College Sports

It’s time to move on. As much as University of Mississippi football coach Houston Nutt would love to enjoy the fruits of a 9-4 season that ended with a six-game winning streak and a victory against Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl, he’s ready for another ride.



Freshmen help MSU beat Memphis

Posted 3/26/2009 in College Sports

STARKVILLE — Mississippi State baseball coach John Cohen is looking for players who will give a consistent effort every time they step on the field. If Cohen can get that effort from a freshman, he will go that route. On Wednesday night against the University of Memphis, two MSU freshmen showed they could be a key to the program’s future.



Vaughan escapes trouble to pitch Heritage to win

Posted 3/25/2009 in High School Sports

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 hes 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.



Dawkins makes most of second chance

Posted 3/25/2009 in High School Sports

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) didnt take advantage of the first situation, but did on the second.



Lady Bulldogs already looking ahead

Posted 3/25/2009 in College Sports

Sharon Fanning already is thinking about the 2009-10 season. One of the first jobs Fanning took to prepare for next season was to watch Mississippi States 64-58 loss to Ohio State in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Monday again. The veteran MSU coach knew the outcome wasnt going to change. She also knew her confidence in her players wasnt going to diminish one bit.



Smith rejoins MSU football team

Posted 3/25/2009 in College Sports

STARKVILLE It has been a long seven months for Mississippi State offensive lineman Tobias Smith, of Columbus. After breaking his left leg during two-a-days and having surgery last August, Smith went through rehabilitation and rejoined the Bulldogs for the first day of spring practice Tuesday. MSU coach Dan Mullen was happy Smith could be a part of his first practice in Starkville. Smith a graduate of Columbus High School, was excited to get back on the field, even if it was just a practice.



Polk, Palmeiro chosen to Collegle Baseball HoF

Posted 3/25/2009 in College Sports

Ron Polk believes he wouldnt be Hall of Fame material if not for the players he has coached. Thats why he is glad to be inducted into a Hall of Fame with one of his former Mississippi State players. Polk and Rafael Palmeiro will be two of 10 players and coaches who will be inducted to the College Baseball Hall of Fame on July 3 in Lubbock, Texas.



Gordon contributes to UWA success

Posted 3/25/2009 in College Sports

Prior to the start of the season, Courtney Gordon believed the University of West Alabama had the potential to have a good softball team. Gordon must have known something. West Alabama (27-5) is off to its best start in school history after sweeping a doubleheader at Stillman College, in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Tuesday. The Lady Tigers won the opener 18-0 and the nightcap 17-2. Gordon, a 2005 graduate of New Hope High School, is a senior shortstop for the Lady Tigers who has played an instrumental role in the teams fast start.



Bryant believes race promotes area

Posted 3/25/2009 in Local Sports

At 8 a.m. April 4, the streets of Columbus will be filled with runners on a 6-mile course that will take them past the many faces of the city. To promote tourism in the city, the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau decided to sponsor a race in the middle of Pilgrimage, the annual tour of the antebellum homes in Columbus. The race is used to promote tourism in Columbus. The event, which starts and ends at the Tennessee Williams Welcome Center, shows off the Mississippi University for Women, the citys antebellum homes, and the river walk.



Freshmen lead Starkville past West Lowndes

Posted 3/24/2009 in High School Sports

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.



New approach helps Heritage Academy's Braddock

Posted 3/24/2009 in High School Sports

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.



MSU, Ole Miss basketball players named finalists for state award

Posted 3/24/2009 in College Sports

STARKVILLE Mississippi State and the University of Mississippi are well represented among the finalists for the Cellular South Bailey Howell and Peggy Gillom Trophies. The awards, which go to the states top mens and womens college basketball players, will be presented at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in Jackson.



Champions Club member Lee set to lead Mullen's first practice

Posted 3/24/2009 in College Sports

STARKVILLE Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen already considers quarterback Tyson Lee, of Columbus, a champion before he sees what he can do on the practice field today. Thats because Lee is one of 16 Bulldogs chosen to the Champions Club, which is made up of players who excelled on and off the field in offseason conditioning and met standards set by their position group.



Koenning welcomes return to MSU

Posted 3/23/2009 in College Sports

STARKVILLE - Les Koenning returns to the Mississippi State football practice field Tuesday after a 20-year absence. Koenning was the running backs and wide receivers coach at Mississippi State from 1986-89. He returned when Dan Mullen was hired to replace Sylvester Croom this past December. Koenning welcomes the opportunity to work with Mullen and return to Mississippi State.


MSU looks to respond to another challenge

Posted 3/23/2009 in Local Columns

Sharon Fanning has talked all season about responding to challenges. The Mississippi State womens basketball team discovered Saturday there was no better time than tied at 59 with less than two minutes remaining in its first NCAA tournament game in six years to punch back. The Lady Bulldogs delivered a knockout blow many have been waiting for all season.


Hollivay invited to Nike Skills Academy

Posted 3/22/2009 in High School Sports

Rachel Hollivays 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.



Dixon won't be forgotten man at MSU

Posted 3/22/2009 in College Sports

STARKVILLE -- Tailback Anthony Dixon will not be a forgotten man in the spread offense of new Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen. It is Mullens hope that the former 1,000-yard rusher willbe again next fall his senior season. Mullen said there is a misconception that a running game is not important in the spread, but he begs to differ.



MSU softball team swept by LSU

Posted 3/22/2009 in College Sports

STARKVILLE Mississippi States softball team had an opportunity to answer with agood third inning after LSU put up a four-spotin the second game of a doubleheader Saturday afternoon. Mississippi State scored one runwhen Ali Bainbridge was hit by a pitch with the bases-loaded andtwo outs, but ended up leaving three runners on basewhen Sammie Jo Bailey popped out to the catcher to end the inning. Mississippi State coach Jay Miller said it was tough to see his clean-up hitter fail to get the job done in that situation.



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