The Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame & Museum Announces the Class of 2017

Jackson, MS – An NFL coach, an honored sports writer, two baseball players and coaches, a fabled running back and a lady hoopster make up the newest class of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. The Class of 2017 to be inducted next August includes Columbus native and NFL coach Leslie Frazier, decorated sports writer Rick Cleveland, big league pitcher Jay Powell, long-time baseball coach and JSU Athletic Director Bob Braddy, Sr., outstanding running back Marcus Dupree and Ole Miss basketball star Eugenia Conner. A statewide selection committee representing all...

Hunter Renfroe, 2013 C Spire Ferriss winner, is a Big Leaguer

2013 C Spire Ferriss Trophy winner Hunter Renfroe got the call Tuesday that seemed inevitable: The Crystal Springs native and former Mississippi State star is headed to the Major League San Diego Padres. Renfroe's call-up marks the fifth former State player to be called up this season, joining Adam Frazier, who was called up by Pittsburgh on June 24, Chad Girodo, who was called up by Toronto on April 22, Chris Stratton, who joined San Francisco on May 28 and Jonathan Holder, who joined the New York Yankees on Sept....

2016 C Spire Conerly presentation slated for Clarksdale

The Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum and C Spire will return to Clarksdale, the hometown of the award's namesake, Charlie Conerly, on Tuesday, Nov. 29, to present the 2016 C Spire Conerly Trophy, which annually honors the state’s best college football player. The C Spire Conerly Trophy has been awarded since 1996, with this year marking its 21st anniversary.  The award is named in honor of the late Charlie Conerly, former Ole Miss and New York Giants quarterback. Conerly, a Clarksdale native, was an All-American at Ole Miss...

Cleveland Joining Mississippi Today

  By Bill Blackwell I am sure most of you are aware by now that Rick Cleveland, our former Executive Director is going back to the profession he loves, journalism. Rick started writing professionally at the tender age of 13 and has been gracing us with his wit and wisdom ever sense. Almost 5 years ago Michael Rubenstein, our first Executive Director passed away and our Board of Directors wisely chose Rick to take the reins of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. Running a non-profit is never...

Cleveland headed to Mississippi Today as columnist

Rick Cleveland, former executive director and current historian for the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, is headed back into sports writing full-time. Cleveland will join the on-line news publication Mississippi Today as a sports columnist beginning Sept. 1. He will continue to write a weekly column for Mississippi newspapers syndicated through the Mississippi Press Association. “Obviously, I have mixed emotions about leaving the MSHOF, which I believe so strongly in,” said Cleveland, who became the museum's second executive director in April of 2012. “I am proud of the improvements we...

Kent Hull Golf Tournament set Sept. 15 at Deerfield

The third annual Kent Hull Memorial Golf Tournament, sponsored by the Kent Hull Foundation, will be held Sept. 15 at Deerfield Golf Club. The four-man scramble tournament is a fund-raiser that goes to support the annual Kent Hull Trophy for the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum and for Blair E. Batson UMMC Candlelighters. Last year, The Hull Foundation donated $14,000 to UMMC Candlelighters. The late Kent Hull, a Mississippi Sports Hall of Famer, was a four-year football standout at Mississippi State, who became Pro Bowl and Super Bowl...

Mossy Oak Golf Club, a golf masterpiece in the making…

WEST POINT — In 1541, Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto's expedition passed through or near here, moving westward through what became known as the Black Prairie in search of gold and silver. He found the Mississippi River instead. DeSoto crossed the nearby Tombigbee River, which scarcely prepared him for the mighty Mississippi a few weeks later. George Bryan, the remarkably successful, West Point-born businessman, knows and appreciates the history of this place. His family came here in the 19th century, started a meat market that grew exponentially into Bryan Foods....

“Wee Willie” Heidelburg was USM’s 143-pound giant

This is the last of a six-part series about the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame's Class of 2016. JACKSON — Forty-six years have passed since Wee Willie Heidelburg jitterbugged into the end zone twice to help 50-point underdog Southern Miss defeat undefeated Ole Miss and Archie Manning 30-14 on the then-brand new Astroturf at Oxford. Young football fans today could scarcely imagine the scene that day. The crowd was all-white. The cheerleaders were all-white. The bands were all-white. The coaching staffs were all white. The players were all Caucasian, as...

Larry Smith: He epitomized Dave Whitney’s Alcorn Braves

Off the basketball court, Larry Smith is one of the nicest, most polite, and unassuming guys you would ever want to meet. On the floor, when he played for the Alcorn State Braves and with three teams in the NBA, Smith took on a different personality, entirely. “Mr. Mean,” was the nickname given to Smith as a freshman at Alcorn State by then-Alcorn sports information director Gus Howard. “Gus said every time he looked at me on the court I never smiled,” Smith says. “He said I always had a...

Kay James, a Hall of Fame coach, won big, made it fun

This is the fourth in a series about the inductees into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2016. The record shows that Kay James won 403 games in 22 seasons (1977-99) as women's basketball coach at Southern Miss. She ranks in the top 25 all-time nationally among NCAA Division I coaches in victories and guided the Lady Eagles to 10 post-season bids. But even those gaudy statistics do not tell the story of her impact on Southern Miss or women's basketball — and certainly not on her players....