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Local rider barrels her way to victory at annual race

July 1, 2011

It might seem pretty intimidating for an athlete to compete against hundreds of others in any sport, all trying to win the same championship. For local barrel racer Sara Kate MaIlwain, it wasn’t too nerve racking.

McIlwain beat out over 100 riders in her class from across the country at the 10th annual All-American Barrel Race at the Kirk Fordice Equine Center in Jackson last month in one of the country’s best competitions. Over 600 riders were on hand for the three-day event.

Cohen gets new contract

June 30, 2011

After spearheading the Bulldogs to within a game of the 2011 College World Series, Mississippi State head baseball coach John Cohen received a contract extension Thursday through the 2015 season it was announced by the university.

Cohen’s new four-year contract will included a base salary of $262,500, up from the $250,000 in his previous contract. Officials said will continue to receive a salary supplement from the Bulldog Foundation.

Local teen fighter eyes his shot at the Olympics

June 29, 2011

Dontavious Bennett was like any other kid growing up in West Point; he played football and baseball and hung out with his friends. But even that wasn’t enough to keep him grounded.

“He still had all this energy, always running around wanting to kick me,” his mother Tamika Bennett recalls. “He was full of energy, always busy, so we figured we’re going to put this to use. We met his sensai, Master Nash at a baseball game and asked if he was still doing the school. He said yes, so we told him we’re going to bring our boy down. And he’s been doing it ever since.”

West Point’s advanced 18-U tennis team serving up victories

June 28, 2011

The West Point Advanced 18-U tennis team have been serving nothing but aces all summer.

In five matches this season, West Point is 4-0, dropping only two sets in the first series against Columbus 3-2 in their first meeting of the season.

The other three matches have been shutouts.

“We have a great team of young players,” head coach Julia Ready said.  “The team works very hard to try to win every game and I think this strategy has helped them to be undefeated so far. They are all very busy with different activities but have managed to fit tennis in.”

Green Wave basketball ready for Fall campaign

June 27, 2011

The West Point High School boys basketball team wrapped up another solid camp last week at Itawamba Community College.

With three teams in the field, the Green Wave had plenty of chances to showcase their talents on the floor against some of the top teams in the region including Okolona, Tupelo, Hamilton and Shannon.

Local athletes take advantage of free physicals

June 24, 2011

West Point athletes took a break from summer workouts Friday afternoon to take advantage of a free physical at the West Point Wellness Center.

Medical students from William Carey University in Hattiesburg donated their time to make the trip to West Point and offer the service.

"This is the first time we've ever done anything like this," said Ned Miller, a West Point native and one of 18 students on hand. "It's a way for us to get the experience and serve the community."

Mississippi Heat scorching the competition

June 24, 2011

It’s time to bring the heat.

The West Point based Mississippi Heat traveling basketball team have been lighting up opponents this season, compiling a 12-4 record overall and earning second, third and first place finishes in their last three tournaments this summer.

As part of Mid-America Youth Basketball, which has been organizing and promoting youth basketball tournaments since 1993, the Heat have been a stable in the organization for the last seven years under head coach Oliver Johnson.

Hebron soaring to new heights in 2011-12

June 23, 2011

The 2011-12 basketball season isn’t until November, but the Lady Eagles at Hebron Christian School have already been hitting the court.

Head coach William Cotton, who replaced Greg Watkins, says there will be a new philosophy in the minds of the players, a key component that was missing from the a team that lost just five games last season.

“I’m trying to establish a new work ethic,” he said. “And become a little bit of a more high energy and high intensity basketball team. I’m a pressure coach. I believe you teach kids to apply pressure they can take pressure.”

Oak Hill battling summer on the diamond

June 22, 2011

The unsuspecting rain this week throughout the region put Oak Hill’s summer softball games on hold, but as head coach Marion Bratton explained, it wasn’t the first obstacle they needed to overcome.
The Lady Raiders were all set to play in a league with surrounding teams at the sports complex in Starkville, but after teams pulled out and decided to play close to home, Oak Hill did the same. Working with a few area teams, the group decided to do a home and home series.

Southern Amateur Qualifier Wednesday at Old Waverly

June 21, 2011

Several of the state's top amateur players will once again tackle Old Waverly Golf Course Wednesday eying a spot in the Southern Golf Association Southern Amateur championship next month in Palm Harbor, Florida.

The 24-man field has players from all-across the region including Texas, Alabama and Georgia. The top three leaders after the one day event will qualify for the championship.

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