Archive - Sports Article
August 30th, 2011
All eyes will be on Mississippi State Thursday night in the season opener for the Bulldogs when they battle Memphis at the Liberty Bowl.
State hopes to continue their impressive finish to last season which included a second straight Egg Bowl victory over Ole Miss and a 52-14 win over Michigan in the Gator Bowl which no doubt set the tone for a good start to 2011 under third year head coach Dan Mullen.
Mullen is 14-11 in his first two seasons in Starkville, tied for third among all coaches in that category.
West Point Green Wave boyâ€™s basketball coach Brad Cox gave the Daily Times Leader a sneak peak at the new floor that was recently completed inside the West Point High School Gymnasium.
The floor, which was built when the new gymnasium was constructed over a decade ago required itâ€™s annual upgrade which is standard for hardwood floors that go through the wear and tear of basketball games and PE classes.
Over the years, layers of varnish buildup begins to make the flooring too dark and starts to change certain colors on the floor, like white to yellow.
LOUISVILLE - After coming off a tough loss in week one, the Oak Hill Raiders had an even tougher opponent in week two.
Winston Academy had nearly 400 yards of total offense Friday as they rolled to a 41-6 win over the Raiders (0-2)in district action. It was the second straight week the Patriots (2-0) have scored at least 40 points.
"We still got to improve our tackling," Raiders head coach Benjie Merchant said after the game. "We ran the ball a little better, but Winston's a great team. We knew it was going to be tough from the get go and it was."
Mississippi State head basketball coach Rick Stansbury has dismissed freshman D.J. Gardner permanently from the squad.
A release by the school states Gardner was kicked off because of "repeated actions deemed detrimental to the team."
6-foot-7 guard from Okolona was set to red shirt this season and apparently did not like that decision and posted his opinions about it on his Twitter account which has since been deleted.
Oak Hill head football coach Benjie Merchant said the Raiders will have to be mistake free in order to have a chance to defeat Winston tonight. Itâ€™s the first district battle for both teams slated for 7 p.m. in Lousiville.
The Raiders have had a productive week on the practice field, correcting some issues that cost them an 18-7 loss to Newton County in the season opener.
â€śItâ€™s a slow progress,â€ť Merchant said. â€śIn the weight room and just trying to get better all the way around.â€ť
West Point Dontavious Bennett is playing the waiting game on whether he made the AAU United States Junior Olympic team.
Bennett competed in the AAU JR OLYMPICS in New Orleans on the 29th of July and finished in second place.
Bennett says itâ€™s been a lot of sweating and a lot of tears these last couple of months but he has no regrets. He says he realize heâ€™s not gifted or lucky heâ€™s just blessed! He thanks God for his athletic abilities.
Hebron Christian School softball coach Cass Tapley continues to learn things about his team.
Thanks to the experience of playing at the College Exposure Tournament at the Starkville Sportsplex on Saturday, the Lady Eagles got plenty of opportunities to improve.
Hebron won one of three games played and Tapley saw some good and bad things during the course of the day.
â€śIt went exactly like I thought,â€ť Tapley said. â€śWe are so young and we lost seven seniors from last year.â€ť
Marion Bratton might have been a little modest.
After all, the Lady Raiders just finished going 3-0 this past weekend at Starkville Sportsplex- College Exposure Showcase.
"The girls played thier best ball this season,â€ť the head coach said. â€śErrors were way down with solid defense and bats starting to warm up offensively.â€ť
Oak Hill out scored their opponents 27-3 and posted two shutouts to move to 8-6 on the season.
Junior pitcher Maime Allen (7-4)earned three victories giving up a combined six hits and just one earned run.
Hebronâ€™s first taste of 8-man football Friday night left a bad one in their mouths as the Eagles were grounded 34-16 by Strider Academy in the season opener for both schools.
â€śItâ€™s a loss and no one is happy about that,â€ť head coach Tri Nason said. â€śIâ€™m real glad to see that nobody is just wanting to survive the season, or survive a game. We all want to win.â€ť
Strider scored a pair of touchdowns in the opening minutes, one however did not count as the kick-off return was called back due to several penalties. A few plays later, and the Rams had an 8-0 lead after a two point conversion.
As expected, Newton County Academy's Dillion Williams proved once again why he is one of the best backs in the MAIS.
Oak Hill gave up three big plays, including two to Williams Friday night as the Raiders dropped their season opener 18-7 in West Point.
"We got a long way to go," first year Raiders head coach Benjie Merchant said. "We got to be able to move the ball on offense better. It's a stepping stone. We knew it was a tough team coming in and they executed well. We just have to eliminate the big plays and tighten everything up."