News from MSU Media Relations--May 17, 2011

The latest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...Tennis, Baseball, Track and Field and Soccer.

Men's Tennis

Bulldog Tennis Honored With Three ITA Southern Region Awards

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State's men's tennis team was recently honored with three awards by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Malte Stropp was tabbed the ITA Southern Region Freshman of the Year, head coach Per Nilsson was named Coach of the Year in the region and Matt Hill was honored as the Southern Region's Assistant Coach of the Year.

Also the SEC Freshman of the Year, Stropp has been one of top rookies in nation in 2011. A four-time SEC Freshman of the Week, he went 25-6 in singles, 17-3 in dual matches, and was a stellar 9-1 in SEC play this season, playing mainly at the No. 4 position. The Dusseldorf, Germany, native has been ranked as high as 89th in the country in singles and 33rd in doubles with Louis Cant.


Jarrod Parks Named Finalist For Cellular South Ferriss Trophy

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State senior third baseman Jarrod Parks of Madison, Miss., has been named one of three finalists for the 2011 Cellular South Ferriss Trophy. The trophy, named in honor of former Mississippi State and Boston Red Sox pitching great and Delta State University baseball coach Dave "Boo" Ferriss, will be presented during an 11:30 a.m. luncheon May 23 at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in Jackson.

Heading into the final weekend of league competition, Parks leads the Southeastern Conference in both batting average (.396) and on-base percentage (.538).

The other two finalists are senior outfielder Tyler Koelling (.374) and junior shortstop V.A. Vollmuth (.305), both from Southern Miss. The finalists were selected by a panel of 25 voters that includes collegiate coaches, Major League scouts and a media member.

MSU junior pitcher Caleb Reed of Cleveland, Miss., was among the other candidates receiving votes for the eighth annual award presentation.

"We are really proud of Jarrod for his accomplishments this year, especially when you consider how he has worked so hard to rebound from a painful season-ending injury last year," said MSU head baseball coach John Cohen. "When you consider his batting average, his on-base percentage and his defensive play this season, we believe he is a worthy candidate for the Cellular South Ferriss Trophy."

Ferriss, who starred on the mound for the Bulldogs in 1941 and 1942, will be in attendance at next Monday's presentation in Jackson. The Shaw, Miss., native is a member of the MSU, Delta State, Boston Red Sox and Mississippi sports halls of fame.

Parks prepped at Madison Central High School and later starred at Meridian Community College before signing with Mississippi State. He launched his MSU career as a corner infielder in 2009. Preseason back surgery sidelined Parks a year ago, but he returned to the lineup in 2011, where he has paced the SEC in hitting the second half of the season. He has hit safely in 43 of his 50 games, leading the Diamond Dogs in hits (67), runs scored (43), slugging percentage (.538), walks (36) and HBPs (17). He's also starred on defense at the hot corner, committing but four errors (.960) in 50 games.

The Bulldog third baseman is the fifth Mississippi State player to be named a finalist for the Cellular South Ferriss Trophy, joining Brad Corley (2004), Thomas Berkery (2006), Ed Easley (2007) and Connor Powers (2010). Both Berkery and Easley won the award.

Individual tickets for the trophy presentation buffet luncheon are $35 and available through the hosting Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum (1-800-280-3263). Proceeds from the event benefit the non-profit organization.

Track and Field

Al Schmidt To Undergo Bypass Surgery On Thursday

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Al Schmidt, Mississippi State's director of track and field, will undergo bypass surgery on Thursday in Georgia at the Athens Regional Medical Center, his wife Jessie said on Monday.

For Schmidt, 60, it will be his second bypass, with his first coming in July of 1998 in Baton Rouge.

Doctors aren't sure how many bypasses will be needed this time around. In 1998, three were required.

"He's resting comfortably and his spirits are good," Jessie Schmidt said. "We really appreciate everyone's thoughts and prayers."

Schmidt, who spent his first 22 years as head coach before taking over his new role last August, suffered cardiac arrest on Thursday while at the SEC Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Athens. On Friday, doctors inserted a pacemaker/defibrillator, a procedure Jessie Schmidt said went smooth.

"Everybody here at the hospital and the staff at Georgia have been so wonderful," Jessie Schmidt said. "We couldn't be more pleased considering the situation."


Spaces Remain For MSU's Summer Soccer Camps

STARKVILLE, Miss. - A number of spaces remain for Mississippi State's 2011 summer soccer camps, which begin June 6 and run through July.

State's camp slate opens with the annual Youth Day Camp June 6-10. A second Youth Day Camp will be held July 25-29. MSU will hold the second annual Striker-Keeper Camp June 24-26 and the Girls College Prep Camp July 29-31.

Registration forms, camp schedules and additional information can be found online at or by contacting MSU assistant coach Andy Manners at or (662) 418-7694.

The Youth Day Camps will run 9 a.m.-noon for ages 4-7 and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. for ages 8-14. Cost for the 9 a.m.-noon camp is $109, while the day-long camp will be $219 per camper. The $219 cost includes lunch each day. Camp registration for both age groups includes an MSU camp t-shirt and a soccer ball.

The day camps, which will be held at the MSU Soccer Field, are designed to meet the needs of the youth soccer player in a safe and fun learning environment. During the week-long camps, campers will work on developing soccer fundamentals such as dribbling, turning, shooting, passing, shielding, running with the ball, heading and goalkeeping.

Mississippi State head coach Neil Macdonald, along with Manners, fellow assistant coach Myranda Hill and volunteer assistant coach Robbie Kroger, will be conducting the Striker-Keeper Camp for the second-straight year after stellar reviews in the camp's first year. The $129 camp, which is open to players ages 8-18, will focus on building the fundamental skills of beginner or experienced strikers and goalkeepers.

Strikers will work on dribbling to shoot, moving off the ball to create scoring opportunities, finishing, shooting and attacking headers. Goalkeepers will focus on shot handling, diving, defending crosses and breakaways, foot skills and distribution from Kroger, a 20-year veteran goalkeeper.

The Girls College Prep Camp will give each camper an insight as to what it's like to be an MSU student-athlete. Campers will be housed in the University's state-of-the-art Zacharias Village, and the focus of the camp will be further developing the technical and tactical skills of high school and club players ages 14-18. The camp, which costs $249, will feature training with the MSU coaching staff; question and answer sessions with the coaching, academic and strength and conditioning staffs; and games on the MSU Soccer Field.

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