JCJC celebrates outstanding fall athletics season
December 4, 2013
JCJC celebrates outstanding fall athletics season
By Shawn Wansley
JCJC Sports Information Director
ELLISVILLE – There was plenty to celebrate at the Jones County Junior College Fall Athletic Banquet here Tuesday night.
The Lady Bobcat soccer team captured the MACJC/Region 23 title, the football team won its first MACJC South Division crown since 2001 and the men’s soccer team advanced to the semifinals of the MACJC/Region 23 Tournament.
“This is the first year I can remember where all three teams competed in the playoffs for a state championship in the same year,” said JCJC Athletic Director Katie Herrington. “Congratulations to all of you for an outstanding season.”
JCJC President Dr. Jesse Smith praised the student-athletes for their success, but challenged them to achieve even more in the future.
“You will get to that point and realize that there are things you can do better,” he said. “That’s one thing I hope you will walk away from here knowing that there is always something you can improve upon. I hope you leave this year knowing that hard work and teamwork will equal a win.
“I am very proud for what you have done so far. You have committed to be a winner and be a success.”
Each team voted on Bobcat Award recipients. This award goes to a person who exemplifies everything a coach and team expects in a student-athlete, from leadership to hard work to dedication and to a commitment to excellence.
Bobcat Award winners were Birmingham, Ala., sophomore JaMicheal Willis in football, Baker, La., sophomore Souleymane Diakite in men’s soccer and Terry sophomore Alexis Thornton in women’s soccer. Raleigh sophomore Emily Tebo was selected in women’s cheerleading and Magee freshman Josh Rusche was selected for men’s cheerleading.
The Larry Goff Christian Leadership Award in football went to North Forrest sophomore Lawrence Hopkins. This award goes to the player who most represents the character and spirit of deceased Bobcat team chaplain Larry Goff.
All sophomore student-athletes and trainers received Letter J Awards.
Pine Belt Area Fellowship of Christian Athletes Director Mitchell Williams served as the evening’s master of ceremonies and Jones County FCA Director Justin Graves delivered the invocation.
The event was held in the Banquet Room of the C.L. Neill Student Center.
Head coach Ray Perkins’ squad enjoyed an outstanding season, posting a 9-2 record.
The Bobcats won the South Division, finished second in the state and are currently ranked No. 8 in the NJCAA Poll.
Eleven Bobcat players were named either All-Region 23, All-MACJC South Division first-team or All-MACJC South Division second-team.
Willis, a wide receiver, was named All-Region 23. Willis, Stringer offensive tackle Jalen Beavers, Memphis, Tenn., defensive tackle Steven Eddings and Forrest County AHS punter Grant McLaurin were named All-MACJC first-team. Quitman wide receiver Quartez Cooks, Woodville offensive tackle James Anthony, Oak Grove quarterback Steven Swindle, South Jones defensive tackle Jamarcus Blanks, Hoover, Ala., linebacker Jamal Lucas, Lumberton cornerback Victor Jenkins and Jackson Bailey Magnet safety D’Andre Jackson were named All-MACJC second-team. McLaurin also made the second-team unit as a placekicker.
Six Bobcats were recognized for being selected to play in the 40th annual MACJC All-Star Football Classic on Thursday in Booneville. Those players are Swindle, Morton running back Justin Harris, Petal wide receiver Taylor Higgason, Beavers, Eddings and Jenkins.
Letter J winners were Anthony, Beavers, Blanks, Cooks, Eddings, Harris, Higgason, Hopkins, Jenkins, McLaurin, Jackson, Willis, Stringer’s Ben Benison, Lafayette, La.’s, Dylan Bossier, Tylertown’s Ashton Elzey, Moss Point’s Levell Hartfield, Forrest County AHS’s Adarrius Perkins, Perry Central’s Brennon Packer, Collins’ Lazarus Shelby, Jackson Lanier’s Jarret Smith, Richland’s Spencer Stovall and Petal’s Jaryd Whitman.
Managers who received Letter J awards were Dylan Dobbs of Sumrall, Jay Slater of Pass Christian, Chance Rozek of West Jones and Jordan Mabile.
Head coach Oleg Baleyev’s team finished third in the division and defeated Northwest Mississippi in the opening round of the playoffs. They lost to Pearl River in the MACJC/Region 23 semifinals and finished the year with a 12-4-1 record.
Being named All-Region 23 were Kevin Ndongo of Mobile, Ala., and Diakite.
Recognized for being named All-MACJC were Evan Buckley of West Jones and JaMarcus Ducksworth of Northeast Jones.
Ducksworth and Ndongo represented JCJC in the first-ever MACJC All-Star Game on Nov. 16 at Ridgeland. Ducksworth and Ndongo scored both goals as the South beat the North, 2-1.
Letter J winners were Ducksworth, Ndongo, Florence’s Zack Traylor, Hancock’s Brady Smith, Magee’s Austin May, Hancock’s Jacob Crawford, Pearl River Central’s James Pipper, West Harrison’s Erik Johnson, Pass Christian’s Marcus Dedeaux and manager Colin Dinger of Terry.
Head coach Dolores Deasley’s Lady Bobcats were impressive all season.
The Lady Bobcats rolled to the regular season MACJC South Division crown and then whipped Mississippi Gulf Coast (6-0) and Pearl River (5-0) to claim the MACJC/Region 23 title on Nov. 3.
The Lady Bobcats then made history on Nov. 8 when they hosted Eastern Florida State College in the NJCAA District H playoff game at Bobcat Soccer Field. Eastern Florida won the game 2-0 to advance to the NJCAA Division I National Tournament.
The Lady Bobcats ended the year at 17-2 and outscored their opponents, 77-6. They finished ranked No. 12 in the nation and they were rated as high as No. 10 at one point.
Being named All-Region 23 were Kelsey Cochran of Greene County, Kelsey Simms of Lafayette, Ind., and Briahna Dickerson of Gautier. Being named All-MACJC were sophomores Brittany Farrar of Brandon and Laurel Riebock of Florence, along with freshmen Macy Rogers of George County and Lindy Tabor of Florence.
Cochran, Riebock and Farrar competed in the MACJC All-Star Game. Cochran scored a goal as the South beat the North, 2-1.
Letter J winners were Thornton, Cochran, Riebock, Farrar, Karlee Mullins of Franklin County, Madison Walker of Ridgeland and Simms and Danielle Fortin, both of Lafayette, Ind.
Coach Kayla Hankins noted the JCJC cheerleaders had an excellent year, finishing fourth in the college nationals. At the University of Alabama camp in August, they were second in chant, first in fight song and cheer, and second overall in Game Day Squad. She said the squad also received the Leadership Award for all junior colleges at the camp.
Letter J winners were Tebo, Katie Jones of Mize, Kayly Barlow of Northeast Jones, Zac Jones of Mize, Jared Mott of Seminary and mascot Noel Butler of Warren Central.
Head coach Oleg Baleyev (left) presents the Bobcat Award for men’s soccer to Souleymane Diakite of Baker, La.
Photo/Shawn Wansley, JCJC Sports Information