May 8-Mississippi Juco Sports News

Are you wondering what's going on around the state of Mississippi as far as junior/community college sports are concerned? We'll keep you updated throughout the year with reports from the sports media relations departments at the junior and community colleges....


Raymond, MS - Valery Howard signed a letter of intent to play women's soccer for Hinds Community College for the 2007 season. Howard is a Brandon native, where she plays soccer for the Brandon recreation league.

"Valery is a strong outside midfielder who will come to Hinds and make a sudden impact. She is strong with crossing the ball and making the key slot passes," said Hinds coach Kori Crutchfield. "I am looking forward to coaching Valery, because she has such a strong determination to be a better player."


EMCC Head Golf Coach Dale Peay has signed two golfers seniors Hal Larkin and Cory Reynolds to scholarships from Caledonia MS.

"These two young men are excellent prospects and are good golfers and will be a positive addition to the Lion golf program," said Coach Peay.


West Lauderdale High School's Jessica Vick, Josie Matthews, Sara Havard, Haley Campbell and Brooke Lee have signed with EMCC as has Maggie Gray of Horn Lake High School, Shandreka Gunter of Columbus High School and Lacey Mangrum of Hernando High School.


Chris Parkman of Raleigh High School picked the perfect time to hit his first home run as a member of the East Central Community College baseball team.

The 5-11, 200-pound catcher and University of West Alabama transfer sent a towering solo shot over the left field fence to give the Diamond Warriors a 4-3 lead in the top of the ninth inning. EC added an insurance run later in the inning and held on for a 5-3 decision over number- two ranked Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College for the MACJC State Baseball Championship held on the Perkinston campus.

The nine-inning match-up was delayed about 30 minutes due to rain in the top of the sixth with EC owning a 3-0 lead, and concluded about 12:20 a.m. with the possible winning run at the plate for Gulf Coast. Joe Patterson of Morton – who shared pitching duties with Daniel Carela of New York – got Jeremy Davis to pop up to right-fielder George Washington of Demopolis to end the threat.

East Central improved to 31-21 following the victory and Gulf Coast dropped to 38-11. East Central is led by first-year head coach Neal Holliman, who was a first-year assistant to the late Jamie Clark when the Diamond Warriors won the state title in 1998.

Following the win, Coach Holliman gave all the credit "to God and a great bunch of kids.

"There's no doubt that God has blessed this team in so many ways, and that His hand was on our team and coaching staff," said Holliman. "Our guys never give up, as evidenced by the big comebacks against Meridian and the close wins with Gulf Coast. We told our guys in the beginning that if they do things our way - which may not necessarily be the best way for some teams but it will be the best way for this team if they all totally believe in it together - that they will succeed, and they did exactly that."

Pitching staff member Jesus Aleman of Bell Glade, Fla., and a Cuba native, probably gave an even better description of the 2007 state baseball champions:

"This team has the biggest heart of any team I've ever been associated with and they never give up, no matter the circumstances, no matter how big a deficit it has to overcome."

East Central was the only team to go undefeated in the double-elimination event and twice defeated Gulf Coast and eighth-ranked Meridian Community College to capture the championship. The Diamond Warriors rallied to defeat MCC 11-10 earlier Sunday by scoring eight runs in the top of the ninth and holding on for the one-run victory. East Central began tournament action by clipping Gulf Coast 3-2 Thursday night and rallied to beat MCC 9-3 Saturday, scoring all nine runs in the eighth inning after MCC had led 3-0.

The match-up with Gulf Coast for the state title was mostly a pitcher's duel until the top of the fifth when Parkman tripled, bringing home speedster Josh Lafferty of Quitman for a 1-0 lead. Colby Hawthorn of McNeil was sent in as a pitch-runner for Parkman and later scored on an infield hit by Terrell Hendrix, a product of East Oktibbeha County HS in Starkville.

Holliman stated that if an MVP for the tournament was selected, he believed that Hendrix would be chosen unanimously.

"Terrell is an unbelievable story and has been one of the most coachable players I have had the opportunity to coach. He will only continue to improve as well as this team because of character and work ethic."

Neshoba Central product Adam Griffin gave EC a 3-0 lead in the sixth when he scored following an infield error off a hard shot by Jacob Thames of Mendenhall and a former Magee High School standout.

Gulf Coast scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth on a double by Blaine Ivy with the bases loaded. The Bulldogs tied the contest at 3-3 on an infield error in the bottom of the eighth.

Parkman gave EC the lead for good with his ninth-inning homer and Hendrix scored later in the inning when Adam Griffin of Neshoba Central singled. Hendrix had singled, stole second and moved to third on a sacrifice fly to right field by George Washington of Demopolis.

Carela was credited with the win, allowing two runs on two hits through five innings. He fanned two batters and walked one. Patterson pitched the final four innings, allowing one run on three hits. He fanned three batters.


The state champion Diamond Warriors have now set their sights on the Region 23 Tournament scheduled May 14-17 at Meridian Community College.

East Central, the top seed from Mississippi, begins first-round action of the double-elimination tournament by taking on sixth-seeded Northwest Mississippi Community College Monday.

The six-team field also includes LSU-Eunice, the top seed from Louisiana, and Mississippi teams Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (no. 2), Meridian Community College (no. 3) and Itawamba Community College (no. 5).


East Central Community College's fast-pitch softball team won one contest and lost two decisions in the MACJC State Softball Tournament held May 4-6 at Northwest Mississippi Community College in Senatobia.

The Lady Diamond Warriors –who entered the four-day tournament as Central Division champions – lost a 6-5 heart-breaker to Pearl River to begin tournament action, defeated Northwest 9-3 and fell 8-6 to Hinds Community College, concluding play on Saturday.

In the Pearl River game, EC rallied from a 4-1 deficit by scoring four runs in the seventh for a 5-4 lead but the Lady Wildcats responded with two runs in the bottom of the frame to take the win.

EC hitters were Sondreia Hillie of Neshoba Central, triple; and Loren Kennedy and Tiffany Thomas, both of Union, Shenique Brass and Candace Griffin of Philadelphia, Whitnee White of Neshoba Central and Lindsey Stevens of Newton County, singles each. White also had two RBIs and Brass knocked in a run. Runs were scored by Kennedy, Hillie (2), Brass and Stevens.

Kady Chandler of Neshoba Central took the loss on the mound, allowing five earned runs on seven hits. She fanned three batters and walked one.

In the win over host Northwest, Hillie led the offensive attack with a home run and single and had three RBIs. Other hitters were Smith and Stevens, double and single each; Brass, double; and Kennedy and White, singles each. Brass, White and Smith also had two RBIs each. Runs were scored by Hillie (3), Kennedy (2), Brass (2), Stevens and Kayla Mullinax of Stringer.

EC scored two runs in the first inning, four in the second, two in the third and one in the sixth.

Northwest tallied its three runs in the third.

Chandler was the winning pitcher, allowing three runs on 11 hits. She fanned four batters and walked two.

In the loss to Hinds, EC held a 5-2 advantage until the fifth inning when the Lady Eagles scored four runs and took a 6-5 lead. EC tied the contest at 6-6 in the top of the sixth but Hinds added two runs in the bottom of the frame and held on for the victory.

Hillie, Brass, Mullinax and Stevens had two singles each to lead EC. Kennedy and White had singles each. Brass and Hillie also had three RBIs each. Runs were scored by Stevens (3), Kennedy, Hillie and Mullinax.

Chandler took the loss for EC, allowing two earned runs on one hit in the final inning. She fanned one batter and walked one. Kimbo Seale of Clarkdale was the starter and allowed four earned runs on six hits through four and two-thirds innings. She fanned one batter and walked four.


The ECCC women, whose record now stands at 29-20 under fourth-year head coach Scott Hill, advance to the Region 23 Tournament scheduled May 10-12 at the Clinton City Park.

EC, the fifth-seed, begins the double-elimination tournament by challenging Pearl River (no. 4) at noon Thursday. Rounding out the six-team field are state champion and top seed Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Hinds Community College (no. 2), Northwest Mississippi Community College (no. 6) and LSU-Eunice (no. 3).


In many cases, the teams that make history aren't always great; they're just great when they have to be.

At the MACJC State Softball Tournament in Senatobia, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Lady Bulldogs drove that point home during the May 6 title game against Hinds.

With the game tied at 4 in the top of the seventh inning, Hinds had two runners in scoring position when an Eagles batter ripped a shot to the gap in left-center field.

Unfortunately for Hinds, that area is patrolled by Lady Bulldog outfielder Blair Ryle.

"The hit was a missile, and it was headed for the wall," said Gulf Coast head coach Kenneth Long. "Blair came out of nowhere and made a diving catch. Our bench erupted, and everyone ran out onto the field to congratulate her on the great play. The Hinds coach was already sending in the runners. When he saw the catch, he fell to his knees. That play totally changed the game for us."

In the bottom of the seventh, Lakaisia Ducksworth walked and stole second to get Gulf Coast into scoring position. Then Tiffany Brosh slapped a base hit, Ducksworth rounded third, slid under the tag, and Gulf Coast had a 5-4 win and the state title.

Lady Bulldog pitcher Danielle Ryan improved to 24-0 with the win. At the plate, Takeia Edwards paced the offense with a solo home run, while Blair Ryle had a double and two RBI.

"The key was that we played with character and hung together," Long said. "It's very hard to beat teams when you play over and over. The defensive plays we got this weekend were unreal. During the tournament, our hitting wasn't as good as it was during the regular season. Our opponents threw a lot of off-speed stuff at us, but we adjusted when we had to."

No. 2 ranked Gulf Coast (38-2) will be the top seed in the NJCAA Region XXIII Tournament set for May 10-12 in Clinton. On Thursday, the Lady Bulldogs will face the East Central/Pearl River winner at 3 p.m.


Raymond, MS - The Hinds Community College softball team came in second place in the MACJC State tournament held this past weekend in Senatobia. The Lady Eagles won four out of their first five games until ultimately being defeated in the championship game by Gulf Coast Community College 5-4 in the double elimination format.

"I'm very pleased with the way we played this weekend," said Hinds coach Andy Lee. "My hat's off to Gulf Coast. They played a great game, especially defensively. We will now use this week to get ready for the regional."

Hinds opened the tournament on Friday by defeating Northwest, the host team and North division champion. The Lady Eagles then suffered a minor setback when they were defeated by eventual champion Gulf Coast, but responded to defeat Northeast, East Central and Pearl River. These three wins in the loser's bracket set up Hinds' contest with Gulf Coast in the finale.

Hinds enters into the Region 23 tournament this week as the number two seed, meaning the Eagles will have an opening round bye. Their first scheduled game will be at 3 p.m. on Thursday against the winner of the LSU-Eunice vs. Northwest game.


Raymond, MS - Corey Stevens, a 5-10, 170 pound outfielder from Hinds Community College, has signed a baseball scholarship with the University of Southern Mississippi. Stevens is the first Division I signee in head coach Sam Temple's tenure at Hinds.

"Corey has been a tremendous player for us over the past two seasons. His decision to come to junior college was big for him because it allowed him to play immediately and gets as many at-bats in as possible. I am very proud of him and I feel that he will be a very good player for Southern Miss," said Hinds coach Sam Temple.

Stevens was named the team's best offensive player for the past two years and was named Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges All-State and NJCAA All-Region last year as a freshman. The announcement for this year's all-state and all-region teams hasn't been made at this time.

As a sophomore this year, Stevens hit .412 with 11 doubles, three triples, three home runs, 36 RBIs and 11-of-13 stolen bases. He helped lead Hinds to a 27-15 record this season and a tie for second place in the Central division.

Last year as a freshman, he hit .370 with 15 doubles, four home runs and 32 RBIs.

Stevens was a four-year letter winner for Clinton High School. He hit .505 as a senior in 2005 and was a two-time all-district and all-region selection. He was named to the all-state team as a senior and helped lead Clinton to the North Half semifinal round.


The Meridian Community College ladies' tennis team, who finished second in the Region XXIII/MACJC State Tennis Championships held April 26-28 in Tupelo, will be competing in the NJCAA National Junior College Championships in Tucson, Arizona, May 5-11. This will be the sixth consecutive appearance for the Lady Eagles at the national tournament. The Eagles won four back-to-back state and region titles from 2003-2006.

The Lady Eagles finished the season with a 19-7 record overall and a 18-2 JUCO record. Currently, the ladies are ranked number fourteen in the most recent ITA rankings.

The Eagles are led at the number one singles and doubles by sophomore Sierra Woolery from Morton, MS. As a freshman Sierra finished sixth at the national tournament and garnered ITA All-American honors. She is currently ranked number eight in the nation in singles and ten, with Alycia Le Merle, in doubles and has finished her dual match career at MCC with a 37-8 record overall and a 33-4 JUCO record. In the fall she and Alycia qualified for the National Small College Championships which was held in Ft. Myers, Florida. Sierra has opted to not pursue her tennis but to remain in the PTA program at MCC.

Freshman Alycia Le Merle, who hails from Melbourne, Australia, plays the number two singles and the number one doubles. As a freshman she has a 22-2 record overall and a 19-2 JUCO record. She currently has an ITA ranking of 24 as a singles player and a #10 ranking as a doubles player.

Playing three singles and two doubles for MCC is Laine Denuex. Laine has a current ITA ranking of #64 in singles, and she and doubles partner Leslie Bunn are ranked #38th. Her record as a freshman is 20-3 at singles overall and 17-2 in JUCO play.

Rounding out the team are sophomore Leslie Bunn and freshmen Jodi Webb and Molly Moon. As a freshman Leslie accumulated a 14-5 record overall and went 13-4 in JUCO. Her career record at MCC is 31-11 overall and 29-7 in JUCO play.

Freshmen Jodi Webb and Molly Moon have impressive stats as well. Jodi was All Region and All State at the no. 5 singles spot and no. 3 doubles with her partner Molly Moon. Jodi had a 17-8 record this season; Molly finished 16-8.

The Eagles are coached by Wanda McPhail, who is in her seventh season as coach of the men's and women's teams at MCC.


Coach Sharon Thompson announces eleven new signees for next season.

Starkville H.S. signees:

Sanitra Bush - averaged 15.5 pts., 9 rebounds, and 2 steals per game in high school. She is a very athletic and versatile 5'7" 2-3 guard.

Victoria Hill - averaged 4.5 pts., 3.5 assists and 2 steals per game. At 5'1" she will bring a competitive spirit to the pt. guard position.

Miari Franklin - averaged 7 pts., 9 rebounds and 1 block per game. She is a very athletic 5'9" player who runs the floor extremely well for the 4 position.

Reva Brown - averaged 6.5 pts. and 5 rebounds per game. She is a physical 5'10" post player.

Columbus H.S Signee:

Kenethia Stallings - is a versatile 5'10" player who can play either the 3 or 4 position.

Noxubee Co. H.S. Signees:

La-Brea Jones - is 5'2" pt. guard. She is a good ball handler and has good court vision. She will make our pt. guard position very competitive.

Tiquita Smith - is a 5'10" post player. She is very physical and will bring toughness to our post positions.

Kemper Co. H.S. Signees:

Javitia Eades - is a 5'5" versatile guard. She has great quickness and is tough on defense.

Almetra Hicks - is a 5'7" player who can play the 2-3 positions. She has good range from the 3 pt. line and is a good ball handler.

Murrah H.S. Signee:

Kottia White - is 5'5" pt. guard with very good ball handling skills. She will bring intensity and toughness to our pt. guard position.

Forest Hill H.S Signee:

Ariel Cleveland - is a 5'9" player who brings good size to the 3 position. She is a hard worker and a good defender.


BOONEVILLE, Miss.-- Northeast Mississippi Community College head softball coach Jody Long has announced that nine of his current players have been named Mississippi Association of Community/Junior Colleges All-North Division performers for the 2007 season. The Tigers placed three players each on the first, second, and third All-North Division teams.

Representing NEMCC as first team All-North Division selections were sophomore outfielder Fallon Thompson (Adamsville, Tenn.), freshman outfielder Shanika Randle (Houston), and freshman pitcher Lisa Jansen (Frankfort, Germany). Thompson leads Northeast with a .424 batting average, including five home runs and 24 RBI. Randle leads the Tigers in home runs (6) and RBI (30) as Northeast's everyday centerfielder. Jansen, left-handed pitcher from Germany, is the ace of the Tigers' pitching staff and sports a record of 10-7 this season with an ERA of 4.10, has fanned 119 batters while giving up only three homeruns this season.

Sophomores Cat Lashley (Columbus), Kelley Hankins (Mooreville), and Sierra Coltharp (New Albany) were named second team All-North Division by the league's coaches. Third team selections for Northeast were freshmen Anna Hendrix (Kossuth) and Callie Weaver (Houston), along with sophomore Suzanne Roberts (New Albany).

Thompson has also been named to the 2007 National Junior College Athletic Association All-Region XXIII team.

DAVID SHROCK JOINS MCC'S TENNIS SQUAD MERIDIAN , Miss. - Meridian Community College tennis head coach Wanda McPhail has announced the signing of David Shrock to the MCC men's tennis program.

"We are really excited to have David join us this upcoming season," said McPhail. "He comes in with plenty of experience and is a well-rounded student."

Shrock comes to MCC by way of Philadelphia, Miss., set to graduate this May from Leake Academy. While a member of the tennis squad in high school, he was also a member of the LA basketball team, a sport in which he was named all district his senior season.

Shrock had an outstanding tennis career in high school. He won the District #1 boys championship twice in his career (10th & 12th grade) and was runner up his 11th grade season. He was named the Leake Academy Tennis team MVP four years in a row and was the team captain and given the Coach's Award for Tennis.

Shrock was also a member of the Beta Club, Student Council, and Who's Who Among American High Schools Juniors. He participated in the Academic Betterment Competition and was awarded the Citizenship Award. He is the son of Dr. Mike and Darleane Shrock.

MCC's men's tennis team, which just recently captured the MACJC State/Region XXIII championship, will compete in the NJCAA national championship May 14-18 in Plano, TX. This will be the sixth consecutive appearance for MCC at the nationals.


Raymond, MS - Lucy Matthews, a midfielder from Vicksburg High School, signed with the Hinds Community College women's soccer team for the 2007-2008 season. Matthews is a member of the VSO WAV United soccer team.

"Lucy will provide many scoring opportunities for the Lady Eagles. I am excited about the numerous qualities and characteristics that Lucy will bring to the Hinds soccer team,"said Hinds coach Kori Crutchfield.

Tina Benton, a Central Hinds Academy midfielder, also signed a scholarship to play women's soccer at Hinds Community College for the 2007-2008 season. Benton is a member of the Clinton Futbol Club soccer team.

"I am excited about the skill level and talent that Tina has to offer the Lady Eagles soccer team. Tina will play a key role in keeping the winning tradition at Hinds Community College," saidHinds coach Kori Crutchfield.


BOONEVILLE, Miss.-- Northeast Mississippi Community College freshman Brad Pressley (Wheeler) has signed a letter of intent to continue his basketball career at Blue Mountain College, Rams head coach Jerry Conner announced today.

Prior to 2007, Blue Mountain College only participated in women's athletics, but the school will put a men's team on the court for the first time this coming fall. Pressley is the first signee for Coach Conner.

"I'm just excited to get this opportunity," Pressley said. "I get to extend my basketball career by signing with Blue Mountain. Plus, it's exciting to know that I'll be a part of making history by being on the first men's team there."

Pressley played in all 24 games for Coach David Robbins at Northeast this past season, drawing six starts. The 6'4" guard, who played for Rick Howell at Wheeler High School prior to coming to NEMCC, averaged six and a half points, three rebounds, and two steals for the Tigers. He also sported a 31.7 shooting percentage from three-point range.

"Brad will do really well," said NEMCC head coach David Robbins. "He's a great worker. He has a perfect attitude and is a great student. He will definitely be an asset to coach Conner this coming season."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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