STARKVILLE ó There was a gasp in the crowd at Pearl High School last Saturday afternoon when Starkville High School senior sprinter Tavaris Tate took the baton for the final leg in the 4x400 relay, rallied from third place and ran away from the pack in the final race of the Class 5A state track meet.
STARKVILLE ó Mississippi Stateís menís basketball program received good news Monday about a big man for the third week in a row. After the signing of Renardo Sidney and the addition of John Riek, the Bulldogs learned Monday that center Jarvis Varnado plans to return for his senior season.
COLLINSVILLE ó The New Hope High School baseball team always seemed to have the answer. Whether it was timely hitting, clutch pitching, or sparkling defense, the Trojans put everything together in the past month to sweep their first three playoff series. But one solution eluded them all season: How to solve Dustin McWilliams.
The Heritage Academy Patriots went from nearly striking out completely to striking back before finally having their season come to an end Friday night. Heritage was held scoreless on two hits with nine strikeouts through four innings before battling back in a 4-3 loss to Hillcrest Christian in the Mississippi Private School Association Class AAA playoffs. The Patriots (10-16) finished with only three hits and 16 strikeouts and didnít have an RBI hit, but had a chance to win when they scored a run and loaded the bases in their last at-bat.
PEARL ĖĖ Starkville High School boys track coach Cleveland Hudson never lost faith in his teamís chances†to defend its Class 5A state championship despite consecutive second-place finishes in the†division, region and North State meets. Thatís because Hudson had Tavaris Tate on his side. Tate accomplished something that had never been done before in Class 5A by winning the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes, and then pulling the 4x400 relay team through to victory as Starkville scored 66 points to overcome second-place Meridianís 60.
Jasmine Abrams has her eyes set on higher goals. Her two seasons with the East Mississippi Community College womenís basketball team have made those aspirations more realistic. Now the former Columbus High School standout plans to take her game to the Division I level in hopes of taking the next step toward realizing her goal to play professional basketball. On Tuesday, Abrams, a 6-foot forward, signed a national letter of intent to play basketball in the fall at the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
Christian Dale will get an opportunity this summer to watch some of Major League Baseballís future stars. In the process, Dale also will get a chance to develop his skills so he might one day reach that level. Last month, the Lee Middle School eighth-grader attended an Under Armour Tryout Event at Zephyr Field in New Orleans. Dale did so well at the tryout that he earned an invitation to an Under Armour Baseball Factory Specialty Training Camp in Cape Cod, Mass.
STARKVILLE ó It seems improbable that one team would have two runners with a chance to combine to win seven state championship gold medals? But thatís what can happen Saturday for Starkville High Schoolís Tavaris Tate and Quartez Rogers at the Class 5A State Meet at Pearl High School.
The University of Mississippi baseball team has been known to unleash its ďPowerĒ on opponents the past four seasons. As outfielder Logan Power has driven in runs, it has usually led to success for Ole Miss. Since his arrival in 2006, Power has helped the Rebels to a four-season record of 159-86, trips to three NCAA Regionals, and appearances in two Super Regionals.
COLLINSVILLE ó Dustin McWilliams wiped out all of the New Hope High School baseball teamís momentum Thursday night. Wes Stokes will try to finish the job tonight. McWilliams pitched a complete-game five-hitter and West Lauderdale scored six unearned runs in an 11-4 victory in game one of the best-of-three Mississippi High School Activities Class 4A North Half state title series at Jerry Boatner Field. Game two will be at 4 p.m. today in Columbus.
The South Lamar High School softball team established a new standard Tuesday by winning the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class A, Area 10 Tournament.
WEST POINT ó East Mississippi Community College baseball coach Tony Montgomery first saw Oak Hill Academyís Lance Portera as someone who could help the Lions as a outfielder. Montgomery likes Porteraís arm so much he chose to recruit him as a pitcher.
Mississippi State considers the new three-game contract to play South Alabama in football a win-win situation for both parties. Considering the economics and benefits for the Bulldogs, the deal was too good for the school to pass up.
STARKVILLE ó Signed, sealed, and delivered. The much anticipated paperwork confirming the signing of 7-foot-2 center John Riek reached the Mississippi State menís basketball office Wednesday afternoon.
The New Hope High School baseball team has found new life in the postseason. Whether it has been solid pitching, timely hitting, or sparkling defense, coach Stacy Hesterís Trojans (24-9) are playing their best baseball of the season entering game one of todayís (6 p.m.) best-of-three series against West Lauderdale for the North Half state title.
Itís difficult enough for an athlete to come back from one torn labrum. Mississippi State freshman outfielder Brent Brownlee has suffered that injury three times, and has had to have surgery on each occasion.
Bob McCrory had reason to be both pleased and disappointed Tuesday as he made his season debut with the Baltimore Orioles. McCrory pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, but the team didnít fare as well by suffering a 6-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays at St. Petersburg, Fla. ďThe way I look at it, you have a job to do and thatís go out there and try to get outs,Ē McCrory said. ďItís disappointing we didnít win, but I had a job to do to go out there and try to get outs. Iím happy I pitched well, but I was disappointed we didnít win.Ē
Mississippi State menís basketball coach Rick Stansbury understands that there is no such thing anymore as a quiet offseason. This year, it seems to be louder than usual. First, junior center Jarvis Varnado applied for early entry into the National Basketball Association draft. Then this past Thursday, Mississippi State signed McDonaldís All-American Renardo Sidney, from Fairfax High School in Los Angeles. Now it looks like Mississippi State is on the verge of signing 7-foot-2 center John Riek, of Khartoun, Sudan, via IMG Basketball Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
Travis Frembgen was accustomed to being the starting catcher for five years on the Hamilton High School baseball team. But a year after graduating from Hamilton, Frembgen is learning what it means to have patience as a freshman backup catcher to sophomore Dustin Lunn at Itawamba Community College in Fulton. ďIím day-to-day, basically,Ē Frembgen said. ďI didnít play in many division games, but the guy in front of me does great behind the plate, and heís a good hitter, also. ďIím just waiting my turn. I know I probably could have started at other junior colleges, but Iím happy Iím here.Ē
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