Wednesday Bulldog Update - 5/6/15

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Happy Wednesday, everyone.

It’s a busy time of year with school winding down, exams going on this week and graduation this weekend. It’s also an exciting time of year as our students move past finals and prepare themselves for the stretch run of the postseason!

We’ve got four Mississippi State teams in the postseason this week, including three programs beginning play in the NCAA Tournaments of their sport this weekend.

I’m always proud of our coaches, staffs and student-athletes, and accomplishments like this are what make all the hard work and sacrifice by them worth it. There are three seasons in sports – preseason, regular season and postseason – and only two of them are guaranteed. When our teams make it to all three, it’s a sign of the right people doing things the right way.

Reaching the postseason, however, is only the first big step. Our next goal is to win championships, a dream which is very much alive for this year.

Our women’s golf team, who was ranked as high as No. 1 in the country, begins play tomorrow and competes through Saturday as they jockey for one of the top six spots of the 18 teams in the East Regional in Raleigh, N.C. The top six teams will then make it to the NCAA Championships, where Coach Ginger Brown-Lemm’s team finished sixth last year.

Our No. 20 men’s tennis team, who was on the cusp of hosting after an impressive run through the SEC, plays Denver at 9 a.m. CT on Friday in the first round of the NCAA Championship in Chapel Hill, N.C.,, their fifth-straight year to be selected. Congratulations are in order for first-year head coach Matt Roberts, but perhaps we ought to hold our applause until this talented team is through.

Huge congratulations are due for women’s tennis, as well, where Coach Daryl Greenan has our Bulldogs in the NCAA Championship for the first time in a decade! We play Houston at Noon CT on Friday in Berkeley, California, and we’ll be cheering them on from Mississippi and all over the country and globe.

Our softball team will find out their NCAA Tournament destination this Sunday when the selection show airs and our Bulldogs aim to make a fourth NCAA Tournament in as many years under Vann Stuedeman. For those planning to follow along, the show airs on ESPNU at 9 p.m.

If all of that can’t get you pumped up for the Maroon and White I don’t know what will!

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The end goal of education and training by students is to leave Mississippi State prepared for the real world and set up to begin their careers in their chosen field. To that end, I am incredibly happy for the 12 former football Bulldogs who got their first post-grad jobs this weekend by being drafted or signed by NFL teams.

Seeing so many of our young men make it to the pros, it’s not difficult to understand why our team was so successful this past season. The accomplishments by the team last fall and by these individuals this spring is a testament to the job Coach Mullen has done building the program for sustained success both on the field and off.

Good luck to every Bulldog who walks out the doors from graduation this weekend. We’ll be cheering for you in whatever team, office or profession you land!

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A reminder that next week we host one of the biggest track events in the country, the SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships. We are thrilled to welcome nearly 1,000 athletes, coaches and support staff to town and to the newly renovated Mike Sanders Track and Field Complex. It’s an opportunity to showcase the hospitality of our state, and also a great chance for all of us to see hundreds of the world’s greatest athletes gathered in one place.

I was told that at the last Olympics, had the SEC been considered a country, its athletes would have placed fifth in the medal count. Cool to think so many of those Olympians will be right here on campus competing against each other, including our own Bulldogs stars.

On that note, I once again find myself singing the praises of senior Erica Bougard, a former National Champion who will end her career as one of the most decorated Bulldogs in history, no matter the sport. Just this weekend, Erica broke the school record in the high jump, clearing an even six feet. Quite an impressive feat.

Make plans to buy tickets and come support your Bulldogs at the SEC Championships next Thursday-Saturday, May 14-16!

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We appreciate what you do for Mississippi State Athletics and want to encourage you to get others involved.  There are three things you can do to help the athletic department at Mississippi State reach its desired goals –

1.  Buy Season Tickets

2.  Financially Support the Bulldog Club

3.  Get Others To Do The Same

Thanks for taking the time to read this Update.   

Hail State!

Scott Stricklin



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