Brandon Speck

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Stories Written by Brandon Speck

By Brandon Speck Daily Journal Division 1-3A, from top to bottom, may or may not be the toughest baseball division in the state to navigate. But a lot of coaches in or out of that division will argue that it’s plenty tough. Going to the plate against Belmont pitcher and Mississippi State-signee Luke Alexander isn’t […]

By Brandon Speck Daily Journal Before heading to New Albany for the season-opener, Bo Sandlin had just told his Booneville baseball team to move vehicles to give Northeast plenty of parking for its home game at the schools’ shared field. “We had three kids get off the bus,” Sandlin said. “I said, ‘Did you not […]

By Brandon Speck Daily Journal Micah McCain is stubborn. “I put him in and he just never gave the job up,” Smithville baseball coach Steve Kerr said. Three years ago, Kerr was a rookie coach with the rookie freshman, who went neck-and-neck with an older teammate for a starting spot. McCain didn’t start the first […]

By Brandon Speck Daily Journal STARKVILLE – Before being announced as Mississippi State’s basketball coach Tuesday afternoon, Ben Howland had to take a mandatory recruiting certification test Tuesday morning. “If I look a little peaked,” Howland said at the Humphrey Coliseum news conference, “I was up til 2:30 this morning making sure I was not […]

By Brandon Speck Daily Journal Ripley fell short of a trip to Jackson, but a season-ending loss came to a team that made it to the state semifinals: Gentry in the opening round of the Class 4A tournament. That was the story of 2015 for Ripley, a talented Tigers team that finished 24-8 and competed […]

By Brandon Speck Daily Journal JACKSON – Okolona was never able to shake off a shaky start. The Cheiftains were stuck with one made field goal much of the first quarter Saturday at Mississippi Coliseum, while Bay Springs ran off with the Class 2A state championship with a 74-58 win. It took nearly 3 minutes […]

By Gene Phelps and Brandon Speck Daily Journal JACKSON – A lot of second-place trophies are handed to dejected coaches. That wasn’t the case with Arteria Clifton on Saturday afternoon at Mississippi Coliseum. Clifton’s Okolona team became one of the state’s top postseason stories, unexpectedly the last North 2A team standing. After a 16-point title […]

By Brandon Speck Daily Journal JACKSON – Velma Jackson needed zero help digging another opponent’s grave, but Aberdeen was willing to help. The Bulldogs missed some early looks and Velma ran, stole, dunked and slammed some more in a 76-38 win in the Class 3A championship game Friday at Mississippi Coliseum. “We couldn’t get in […]

By Gene Phelps and Brandon Speck Daily Journal JACKSON – Nobody knows more about the highs and lows of winning a state championship than Booneville basketball coach Michael Smith. Smith made his fifth straight trip to the championship game Friday. This one ended in a 41-39 loss to Belmont in the girls Class 3A title […]

By Brandon Speck Daily Journal JACKSON – Callaway’s Malik Newman has seen more than any high schooler sees. He has been to more places than high schoolers go. He has more attention and fame than 99.9 percent of high schoolers have. But today, he will be just like every other high school player, facing the […]