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SMITH COLUMN: Several sports gain attention during month

February 13, 2013

Sports can be a hot topic of conversation at any time of the year.

It seems that mid February brings that opportunity more than any other because all of the crossover that athletic events have.

You can talk about baseball because that season starts locally this weekend for Mississippi State and various high schools.

You can talk about softball because the Bulldogs have already begun their season and has another tournament scheduled for this weekend.

You can talk about basketball because the high schools began division and conference tournaments this week. MSU's men and women are in the middle of their Southeastern Conference slates.

You can talk about football because the month began with the Super Bowl, won by former Bulldog Pernell McPhee and the Baltimore Ravens, or National Signing Day that took place across the country last week.

On Tuesday, the sports of basketball and softball came together as part of the MSU women's basketball luncheon at the Mize Pavillion.

While sitting with Bulldog women's play-by-play radio announcer Jason Crowder and Humphrey Coliseum public address announcer Johnathan Holmes, we talked about just how unique this time of the year was because of all the sports going on at the same time.

MSU softball coach Vann Stuedeman took time out of her busy schedule to be the guest speaker at the luncheon and she always brings a certain measure of excitement to the table. She talked about the importance of making good decisions and that those will end up paying off in the long run.

It's easy to become motivated to do a better job when listening to Stuedeman tell her stories.

If that wasn't enough, State women's basketball coach Vic Schaefer took his turn at the microphone and gave his update on the program.

The Bulldogs have won three of the last four games and it was hard to wipe the grin off Schaefer's face. He has a right to be proud because his women have played well. MSU travels to Ole Miss Thursday night with a chance to extend a winning streak to three games.

Starting on Friday, the Bulldogs host three-straight days of action. Baseball plays four games at Dudy Noble Field Friday, Saturday and Sunday, while softball has its tournament all weekend, and the women's basketball team hosts LSU on Sunday.

MSU coach Rick Ray's men's basketball team hosts Missouri tonight. The Bulldogs could use a win in the worst way. It's going to be tough for State to find one tonight even though Missouri has not won an SEC road game as of yet.

The Bulldogs deserve support in whichever sport of choice. It's nice to have options and there's never a dull moment.

Danny P. Smith is sports editor and columnist for the Starkville Daily News. The opinions in this column are his and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Daily News or its staff.

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