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Smith Column: This is busy time of year for coaches

November 1, 2011

Sports Editor

The life of a coach is much more than what the average person sees on the field or the court.
Public speaking events, dealing with the media and making sure everything surrounding their program is being managed gets fit into their schedule.
This is a look at last week's whirlwind for Mississippi State men's basketball coach Rick Stansbury.
It started on Monday when Stansbury visited with the Rotary Club to give a preview of the season, then he did the same with reporters during the on-campus media day on campus on Tuesday and attended the Oktibbeha County alumni chapter Meet the Players function on Tuesday night.
Stansbury sent his team through a scrimmage on Wednesday night and traveled to Hoover, Ala., with point guard Dee Bost for Southeastern Conference media day.
After not having any public functions on Friday, Stansbury could focus on practice before the Bulldogs had their first exhibition game against Florida Tech on Saturday.
Stansbury hosted members of the Dawg Pound, the members of the student section, for a hot dog lunch at his home on Sunday. This is an annual event for Stansbury to show how much he appreciates the students for what they mean to the program.
While observing Stansbury at each stop, he didn't seem to be tired of it all. If he was weary, he didn't show it.
It seems after 12 years and going into his 13th season as the MSU head coach that all of the above responsibilities come with the territory. The closer the season comes, the busier a coach gets.
The Bulldogs are preparing for their second exhibition game against Pikeville Friday night, then open the regular season Monday against Eastern Kentucky at Humphrey Coliseum.
This is the time of year when football and basketball overlap and that creates a scheduling conflict when high school football playoffs are held on the same night as a college exhibition game.
When MSU scheduled the game to be played, there was no way to know for sure that Starkville Academy would be in the playoffs and hosting a game on the same night. It has happened so this town will make the best of it.
Both fan bases will do a good job of supporting each event and there should be a decent crowd at both places.
On that note, there does need to be a huge following going to Philadelphia Friday night to see the Starkville Yellowjackets attempt to win the Class 5A, Region 2, District 6 championship. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
The opponent is the Neshoba Central Rockets, who happen to be coached by former SHS football leader Chuck Friend.
This is one of the most important football games for the Jackets in quite some time and they deserve a tremendous amount of support as they seek to complete the region schedule unbeaten and bring home playoff games to their stadium.
It continues to be an exciting high school football season in Starkville.
If you were to ask coaches Jamie Mitchell of the Jackets and Jeff Terrill of the Volunteers, they would probably tell you that they don't mind being a little busier than normal right now.

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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