LOCAL COLUMNS

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Nickens excited about opportunity at Caledonia

Posted 4/13/2018 in Local Columns

After a winless 2017 season, new Caledonia High School football coach Tim Nickens knows he and his players might face some challenges along the way as he starts to rebuild the program. However, lack of personnel isn't one of them.

Prep baseball season coming down to final weeks

Posted 4/5/2018 in Local Columns

The month of April typically means Twitter is over-run by prom photos and that graduation invitations pile up at the post office. It also means the end of the prep baseball regular season. In this state, baseball has one of the nation's shortest regular seasons before the start of a postseason that almost is as long as the regular season.

MSU's challenge is to build on legacy

Posted 4/3/2018 in Local Columns

COLUMBUS, Ohio Vic Schaefer worried for weeks he wouldn't have the words when he finally had to say goodbye to seniors Roshunda Johnson, Blair Schaefer, Victoria Vivians, and Morgan William.

MSU women have plenty of fuel left for Final Four

Posted 3/27/2018 in Local Columns

KANSAS CITY, Mo. Starkville's Fantastic Four is set to take Columbus, Ohio. It will be the last push for seniors Roshunda Johnson, Blair Schaefer, Victoria Vivians, and Morgan William to lead the Mississippi State women's basketball team to a national title. Their next step will come at 6 p.m. Friday (ESPN2) when MSU (36-1) will take on Louisville (36-2) in the first national semifinal. Connecticut (36-0) will take on Notre Dame (33-3) at 8:30 p.m. Friday in the second semifinal. The winners will meet at 6 p.m. Sunday (ESPN) to determine the national champion.

Toughness leads MSU women back to Sweet 16

Posted 3/22/2018 in Local Columns

STARKVILLE The Bulldog in the 2017-18 Mississippi State women's basketball team reared its head Monday night. MSU coach Vic Schaefer said it best following his squad's 71-56 victory against Oklahoma State that he felt like the Bulldogs "bowed their neck" and showed the toughness and grit he loves to see in his players.

Origin of MSU's success doesn't get old

Posted 3/15/2018 in Local Columns

People in Starkville know the story well. But with women's basketball fans from Louisiana, New York, and Oklahoma set to arrive in Mississippi, it's a perfect time to tell the tale again. It's kind of like when Santa Claus visits Starkville every year to read "A Visit from St. Nicholas" to the children on the court at Humphrey Coliseum.

Listen up: Cast your votes for Schaefer, MSU

Posted 3/9/2018 in Local Columns

The first salvo missed its mark. Maybe an accompanying riff from sonic pioneer Tom Morello would help the cause. A better idea might be to package a recording device inside a cardboard box and send it out to all of the voters who have a say in The Associated Press' Coach and Player of the Year and the annual All-America squad.

Minichino column: Schaefer makes championship prediction come true

Posted 3/1/2018 in Local Columns

Vic Schaefer talked about winning championship when he arrived in Starkville in 2012.

Plenty of local flavor at basketball tournaments in Jackson

Posted 3/1/2018 in Local Columns

Hundreds of players and coaches began the season with a dream of playing in the Big House. Longtime home of the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) State tournament, the old arena holds a special place in the hearts of many.

Vivians, Schaefer are right choices for top SEC honors

Posted 2/26/2018 in Local Columns

The gauntlet is nearly over. Let the selling begin. As teams wind down their regular seasons and prepare for their conference tournaments, you can count on coaches around the country to start pitching their players for all-league honors.

Minichino column: MSU women look to continue historic march at Vanderbilt

Posted 2/14/2018 in Local Columns

It says something about Vic Schaefer when the Mississippi State women's basketball coach claims to have shown more emotion at times than his players.

Minichino column: Things falling into place for No. 2 Bulldogs

Posted 2/7/2018 in Local Columns

Echoes reverberate after games like this.

Minichino column: No. 2 MSU controls destiny as it hits home stretch of schedule

Posted 1/29/2018 in Local Columns

There are going to be a lot of numbers thrown around in the next two months as the regular season winds down and teams prepare for conference tournaments and the Big Dance.

Stuedeman targets return to NCAA tournament regionals for MSU

Posted 1/25/2018 in Local Columns

Preseason rankings don't faze Mississippi State softball coach Vann Stuedeman. When the preseason Southeastern Conference coaches poll was released last week, MSU was picked to finish last in the 13-team league.

Challenge for MSU fans is to pack the Hump

Posted 1/24/2018 in Local Columns

It's down to five. Through 20 games, the Mississippi State women's basketball team has displayed all of the qualities to make another run at a national title. The Bulldogs have done it in front of hostile crowds on the road, small crowds in Mexico and in Las Vegas, and before packed houses at Humphrey Coliseum.

Minichino column: MSU women stay true to formula in road win

Posted 1/3/2018 in Local Columns

Each day brings another source of pride for Vic Schaefer.

Vivians has raised her level to help push No. 5 MSU to 13-0

Posted 12/23/2017 in Local Columns

Victoria Vivians has accepted the mission. On April 4, two days after the Mississippi State women's basketball team lost to South Carolina in the national title game, The Dispatch ran a story with the headline "MSU's next challenge is to raise bar higher." In the column, a number of areas were highlighted as keys for coach Vic Schaefer's team to build on the momentum from its program-record 34-win season, its first trip to the Final Four of the NCAA tournament, and its victory against four-time reigning national champion Connecticut in the national semifinals.

MSU, USM will help softball grow in state of Mississippi

Posted 12/21/2017 in Local Columns

Mississippi State softball coach Vann Stuedeman believes her mission is to help grow the sport of softball in and around the state of Mississippi. If the sport develops at the youth and high school levels, Stuedeman feels like her program will be able to compete at a higher level nationally.

Minichino column: Bulldogs face critical week in Las Vegas

Posted 12/18/2017 in Local Columns

Vic Schaefer knows what he is doing.

MSU's grass roots efforts continue to build following

Posted 12/11/2017 in Local Columns

STARKVILLE John Cohen scanned the Humphrey Coliseum basketball court as he talked and liked what he saw. The Mississippi State Director of Athletics had just watched coach Vic Schaefer's women's basketball team improve to 9-0 with an 86-48 victory against Little Rock. As he talked about the grass roots work Schaefer, his coaches, his players, and the school have done to raise the profile of the program, the MSU players were mingling with friends and fans after the game. Pictures and selfies were being taken. Hugs and handshakes were being shared. Conversations about the latest game, exams, and the upcoming game against Oregon were happening.

 

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