Thanks to all Free State 50 participants

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Thank you everyone who participated in our Free State 50 best of the Free State contest. We had a blast doing it.

And, yes, we have realized that in our first foray into letting our readers decide what businesses and professionals truly are the best. There are so many worthy candidates. 

We also thank each of you for  letting us know the number of businesses and professionals that were not included. Each one who calls and suggests something to be added to the next Best Of competition, those will be added — along with many more that we have come up with already.  

We also ask for you to let us know what categories we left out. You can email 

Next March will be here before you know it when we again will have our best of competition — an expanded version.

We also urge each of you to visit the winners, tell them congratulations and look for the framed certificates. The design team did an unbelievable job.

Bulldogs are champions in our book

The Mississippi State women’s basketball team came within a second of a national championship before Notre Dame’s Arike Ogunbowale buried a long, fadeaway jumper to give the Irish a 61-58 victory in the national championship game.

The Lady Bulldogs were playing for their second straight national championship, having lost to South Carolina in last year’s title game. The team ends this remarkable season with 36 wins and 2 losses — to Notre Dame and South Carolina in the SEC championship game.

It seems like just yesterday we were watching Morgan William hit a jumper as time expired in Mississippi State’s shocking victory over perennial power UConn in the national semifinals. 

This time it was the Irish who spoiled the Lady Bulldogs’ party.

Not many college sports teams in the Magnolia State play for Division I national championships. Southern Miss and Mississippi State have played in the College World Series, and the MSU men’s team has been to the Final Four. Football hasn’t been in national contention in decades — at least not at the end of the regular season.

This Lady Bulldogs’ team’s two-year run will go down in state history as one of the best ever. 

We salute the Lady Bulldogs on their run.