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August 3rd, 2014
You can feel it in air.Â
Whether it is the coolness that has swept over the region as of late or the influx of students descending on Starkville, it is clear that fall is headed our way and with it comes the beginning of football season.
Things are just a little bit different at the South Farm.
The heat and humidity in August can be unpleasant in Mississippi, but that's not the only thing the Mississippi State Bulldogs are faced with as training camp moves to the South Farm for the next couple of weeks.
It starts today and players will tell you, it's no fun.
Mississippi State plans to win this season on the football field.
The Bulldogs enter the 2014 season with high expectations from both themselves and the outside world. Head coach Dan Mullen and his players have talked about going to Atlanta and playing for the Southeastern Conference Championship at the end of the year.
Mississippi State has solid leaders on both sides of the football this season.
At the top of that list are a couple of juniors in quarterback Dak Prescott on offense and linebacker Benardrick McKinney on defense.
Prescott and McKinney continue to impress those they come in contact with during the preseason and were at it once again during media day on Saturday.
Mississippi State defensive coordinator Geoff Collins is always energetic.
He has shown that energy on the practice field, the game field and in media gatherings. He was the inventor of "juice points," a way of tallying a player's energy level at practice and in a game.
On Saturday during MSU's media day, Collins was upbeat, as usual, and he explained his energetic demeanor.
Running back Nick Griffin is ready to put the pain of the last three seasons behind him and looks for a successful senior year for the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
After suffering a knee injury in his redshirt freshman season, Griffin missed the first five games in 2011.
Griffin may have recovered enough to return to the field for the Bulldogs, but the pain remained at times.
For as much as softball is a physical game, it equally involves mental focus.
That mental preparedness at the plate was the difference in victory and defeat for the Starkville Academy Lady Volunteers on Saturday, who dropped a 13-5 contest to the Jackson Victors.
Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen feels confident in the leaders on this year's team.
Although captains have not been announced, Mullen has witnessed a handful of players going the extra mile this summer getting ready for this season.
Many of the older Bulldogs gathered up their teammates for player-only workouts this summer. That spoke volumes to Mullen.
Many don't get the opportunity to take a trip to France or Belgium.
That's what the Mississippi State women's basketball team gets to do next week and head coach Vic Schaefer is going to make sure the Bulldogs enjoy the experience.
Even though basketball games will be played and MSU plans to win those, Schaefer said the visit to Europe is about so much more.
Tournament experience is something that can't be beat.
Starkville Academy's fast pitch softball team knows this, which is why today the Lady Volunteers will welcome teams from the surrounding area to the Starkville Sportsplex for the Starkville Academy Invitational.