Sideline View with Dale McKee
MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) -
The city of Starkville is having an incredible football season from high school through college, and even into the pros. The Yellowjackets won the MHSAA Class 6A state football championship back in December. The MSU Bulldogs not only claimed the Egg Bowl but also the ReliaQuest Bowl as well. Now, the town will celebrate having two former Yellowjacket teammates playing in Super Bowl LVII. The Willie Gay led Kansas City Chiefs and the A.J. Brown led Philadelphia Eagles will square off on February 12 in Glendale, Arizona. One note of interest for this game is the Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, who was hired ten years ago, will be going up against his old team the Eagles that he coached from 1999-2012. Another point of interest is the Kelce brothers will face off as Jason plays for the Eagles and Travis for the Chiefs. The Eagles have six Mississippi connections as Fletcher Cox (Yazoo City/MSU), A.J. Brown (Starkville/Ole Miss), Nakobe Dean (Horn Lake), Gardner Minshew (Brandon), Darius Slay (MSU) and Quez Watkins (USM) are on the Eagles’ roster. Kansas City has two former Mississippi State players in Chris Jones (Houston) and Willie Gay (Starkville).
Southern Mississippi won twice in Sun Belt Conference play last week, securing a 12-0 home record and tying with Louisiana for the top spot. The Golden Eagles (19-4, 8-2) will hit the road to Troy (Thursday) and Georgia State (Saturday) this week before returning to the friendly confines of Reed-Green on Thursday, February 9, when they host Louisiana. Mississippi State lost a mid-week game at Alabama before winning an overtime-home thriller over No. 15 TCU on Saturday. State (13-8, 1-7) travels to South Carolina (Tuesday) before hosting Missouri this Saturday night. Ole Miss (9-12, 1-7) lost twice last week will now host Kentucky (Tuesday) before hitting the road to Vandy on Saturday.
The Big 12 Conference had the last laugh in the tenth and final SEC/Big 12 Challenge as they claimed bragging rights by winning seven of the ten games. The SEC gained wins on Saturday from Mississippi State, Tennessee and Missouri. Next up for the SEC is an SEC/ACC Challenge for both men and women which will begin next season.
The Ole Miss Lady Rebels had a successful week as they won over Mississippi State, 78-63, last Thursday night. It was the first time since 2003-04 that the Lady Rebels had swept the Lady Bulldogs. Ole Miss (18-4, 7-2) also overcame a 19-point Arkansas halftime lead on Sunday to win in overtime. This week they will travel to Tennessee on Thursday before hosting Florida on Sunday. The Lady Bulldogs (15-7, 4-5) will not play this week as they prepare for Tennessee on Monday, February 6. Southern Mississippi (14-7, 7-3) is one game behind Troy in the Sun Belt standings. Joye-Lee McNelis’s squad will now have a four-game homestand beginning on Thursday.
Germantown’s Madison Booker was named to the McDonalds’s All-American team that will play at the Toyota Center in Houston on March 28. The 6-1 guard has signed with the University of Texas.
William Carey begins the Magnolia State’s 2023 baseball season as the Crusaders host Cumberland University on Thursday. Mississippi College opens at home on Friday while Delta State opens on Saturday, and Tougaloo travels to New Orleans on Sunday. Belhaven opens next Tuesday. February 7, and Millsaps opens on February 10. Defending national champion Pearl River Community College opens this Saturday and the remainder of the JUCOs will open next week. The NJCAA preseason poll has Pearl River as the nation’s number one team followed by Hinds at 12th, Jones at 17th and Meridian at 20th. All of our D-1 college baseball teams in Ole Miss, MSU, USM, Jackson State, Alcorn and Valley will open on February 17th. The NJCAA softball pre-season poll has Jones ranked 5th, Co-Lin 7th followed by Northwest 8th.
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