Ricketts, Dennis To Serve As Grand Marshals In Starkville Christmas Parade

Published 4:15 pm Tuesday, October 4, 2022

STARKVILLE – A pair of Mississippi State head coaches have been selected as Grand Marshals for the Starkville Main Street Association’s 50th annual Christmas Parade.

Softball head coach Samantha Ricketts and volleyball head coach Julie Darty Dennis have been selected in recognition of their squads’ historic 2021-22 campaigns. The pairing is appropriate as 2022 is also the 50th anniversary of the passage of Title IX.

Last fall, Dennis’ volleyball team reached the NCAA Tournament and was ranked in the AVCA Coaches’ Poll for the first time in school history after finishing second in the SEC. The most successful season in school history saw the Bulldogs post school records with 25 overall wins and 16 conference victories shattered program single-season records in both categories. State ended the regular season on a high note and amassed 13 straight wins, all against SEC opponents, which was the SEC’s longest and tied for sixth-longest run in the country.

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Following the record-setting 2021 season, Dennis was showered with AVCA South Region and SEC Coach of the Year accolades, and a MSU single-season record four players earned AVCA All-South honors under Dennis’ guidance.

In the spring, Ricketts’ softball program made history as the first team to eliminate a No. 2 national seed or higher in the regional round of the SEC Tournament. The Bulldogs hosted in their first Super Regional appearance and finished the year at No. 19 in the NFCA Coaches’ Poll, their highest finish on record. State also set a school record for home victories and saw two players drafted to play professionally.

Along the way Ricketts’ led State to MSU NCAA Tournament records in games played, wins, shutouts and single-game stolen bases. She is the first Bulldog leader to have a winning record in NCAA Tournament play and is already one win shy of the program record for tournament wins after just two appearances.

The parade presented by Reed’s will be held on Monday, Nov. 28 at 6 p.m. CT on Main Street. This year’s theme is “Christmas Movie Magic,” and participants are encouraged to decorate with their favorite holiday films in mind.