East Central Community College offensive lineman Kyron Samuels (seated) of Fairhope, AL, has signed a national letter of intent to continue his athletic career at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL. The 6’2,” 315-pound center/guard was an All-State and All-American selection at Fairhope High School and was chosen a team captain for the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game. Following his sophomore season at East Central, Samuels was named a Dandy Dozen Junior College offensive lineman and was ranked 20th overall by Rivals.com. He is the son of James and Sha’Wanda Samuels of Fairhope, AL. Also pictured is ECCC head coach Ken Karcher. East Central Community College is located in Decatur, Mississippi.
Ready to begin the 2014 campaign are the above members of East Central Community College’s baseball squad. Pictured are (first row, from left) outfielder (1) Ben Cooley, a product of South Jones High School; infielder (2) Dylan Little, Mary G. Montgomery HS, Semmes, Ala.; short stop/second baseman (3) Hunter Thrower, Southeast Lauderdale; outfielder/left-handed pitcher (4) Jake Bush, Brookwood (Ala.) High School; outfielder (5) Cojuante McMillian, Hamilton; left-handed pitcher (6) Zach Mowdy, Union; right-handed pitcher (7) Courtney Forbes, Columbia; outfielder (8) Zach May, Newton County; right-handed pitcher (9) Mason Woodrow, Taylorsville; outfielder (11) Kyle McCullough, Madison Ridgeland Academy; catcher/right-handed pitcher (12) Lane Fazende, Pearl River Central; left-handed pitcher/outfielder (13) Will Myers, Leake Academy; and catcher (14) Todd Hughes, Clarkdale; (second row, from left) Neal Holliman, head coach; infielder/outfielder (10) Maxwell Harmon, Enterprise; left-handed pitcher (15) Cory Kitchens, Heidelberg Academy; right-handed pitcher/infielder (16) Ryan Ward, Madison Ridgeland Academy; right-handed pitcher (18) Conner West, Taylorsville; outfielder (19) Gage Sullivan, Richland; right-handed pitcher (20) Ty Hendrix, East Webster; left-handed pitcher (21) Nick Wilson, Terry; first baseman (22) Caleb Woods, Leake Central; right-handed pitcher (23) Dillon Drake, Puckett; Scott DeLoach and Ronald Sims, assistant coaches; and (back row, from left) third baseman/first baseman (25) Cody Daigle, Parkview Baptist, Addis, La.; first baseman/outfielder (27) John Morgan Berry, Madison Central; catcher/outfielder (28) Deshawn Pittman, Quitman; outfielder (31) Reagan Warren, Newton County; outfielder/first baseman (33) Chance Whitten, South Panola; right-handed pitcher (34) Kale Fultz, Covington, Tenn.; right-handed pitcher (35) Colby Eaves, Nanih Waiya; right-handed pitcher/catcher (37) Seth Dement, Hamilton; and managers Chris Yarbrough of Florence and Ephraim Ringo of Forest. The defending MACJC State Champion Diamond Warriors host Pensacola State College in the season opener scheduled Saturday, Feb. 8. Doubleheader action gets under way at 1 p.m. at the Clark/Gay Baseball Complex on the Decatur campus.
Numerous awards and honors were presented to East Central Community College football and soccer players and cheerleaders at the annual Fall Sports Awards Banquet held Dec. 4, 2013 in Mabry Memorial Cafeteria on the Decatur campus.
ECCC President Dr. Billy Stewart recognized academic award winners in each sport and provided comments. Additional awards were presented by coaches of the respective sports. Athletic Director Chris Harris served as master of ceremonies.
In football, award winners and their respective high schools include running back Lamarcus Franks, a product of Greene County High School, most valuable player and offensive captain award; running back Martin Johnson of Nanih Waiya, academic award; defensive lineman Daryl Rogers of Laurel, most improved defensive player; defensive back JaDerrick Farrow, a product of Bleckley County High School in Cochran, Ga., defensive captain award; and wide receiver Jimmy Cockrell of Columbus, most improved offensive player.
Head coach Ken Karcher and assistants Cody Wilson, Todd Bates, Charles Jones and Eric Gray presented awards. Sophomore players were recognized by assistant coaches Mickey Mays and Scott Brock.
Receiving honors in women’s soccer were Miranda Clark of Neshoba Central, hustle award; Paige Gower of Clarkdale, team captain, defense award and MACJC All-Star and honorable mention MACJC All-State; Kenney Castleberry, also of Clarkdale, academic award, Warrior Award, MACJC All-Star and honorable mention MACJC All-State; Florence High School product Alana Turner of Mendenhall, academic award, most valuable player, MACJC All-Star Game MVP, honorable mention MACJC All-State and recipient of the Halbrook Award, presented to the outstanding female and male student-athlete in the MACJC; and Ashlan Culberson of Brandon, honorable mention MACJC All-State and Golden Boot Award, presented to the team’s top scorer. Culberson scored six goals and had one assist for a total 13 points.
Head coach Gray Massey presented awards and recognized sophomore team members.
Awards in men’s soccer went to Jesse Vaughn, a product of Newton County High School, defensive player award, MACJC All-Star and honorable mention MACJC All-State; Taylor Potter of Bentonia and a product of the MS School for Math and Science, team captain award, Warrior Award and honorable mention MACJC All-State; Kennon Craft of Clinton, hustle award; Zack Killion, a product of South Oldham High School in Crestwood, Ky., honorable mention MACJC All-State; Clint McGraw of Tupelo Christian Prep., honorable mention MACJC All-State; Matt Taylor of Clarkdale, honorable mention MACJC All-State; Jordan Walker of Newton County, academic award, defensive award and MACJC All-State; Russ Thompson of Newton County, most valuable player, MACJC All-Star and honorable mention MACJC All-State; and Will Thompson of Newton County, All-Region 23, MACJC All-State, MACJC All-Star and Golden Boot Award, presented to the team’s top scorer. Thompson scored six goals and had two assists for a total 14 points. He was the fourth leading scorer in the MACJC North Division and finished 16th overall. He also qualified as an NJCAA All-American nominee.
Head coach Kenneth Thompson presented awards and recognized sophomore players.
Presented awards in cheerleading were Laken Fulcher of Nanih Waiya, Academic Award; Hannah Kemp of Leake Academy, Captain Award; Darrin Hillman of Sebastopol, Warrior Award; Payton Smith of Scott Central, Coach’s Award; and Maxie Parker of Noxapater, Warrior Award.
Cheer coach Pam McKnight presented awards and recognized sophomore cheerleaders.
For more information on ECCC Athletics, contact Athletic Director Chris Harris, 601-635-6401 or call toll free, 877-462-3222, ext. 401. The email address is email@example.com.
Field goals by East Central Community College kicker Austin Franklin provided the winning margin for the South squad in a 6-3 victory in the 2013 MACJC All-Star Classic held Thursday, Dec. 5 at Tiger Stadium on the Northeast Mississippi Community College campus in Booneville.
Franklin’s 20-yard field goal midway in first quarter action gave the South All-Stars a 3-0 advantage, and his 16-yarder late in the second period broke a 3-3 tie and gave the South the lead for good. Matt Spencer of Holmes connected on a 19-yard field goal for the North’s only score.
The opening half was played in two regulation 15-minute quarters, but due to inclement weather threatening the Booneville/Prentiss County area, the second half was reduced to one period of 25 minutes with a running clock.
Franklin, a product of Petal High School, was joined on the South squad by Warrior teammates Hakeem Parker, a wide receiver from Joseph S. Clark High School in New Orleans, and Layton Holcomb, a tight end from Oak Grove.
Sophomores from 14 institutions of the MACJC (Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges) are eligible to participate in the annual classic.
Pearl River Community College head coach William Jones and his staff directed the South squad. Head mentor Jeff Tatum and the Mississippi Delta Community College coaches led the North.
A scholarship in honor of former East Central Community College head football coach John Grace was recently established by his former players. Grace, who resides in Madison, led the Warrior football program from 1951 to 1953. Team members established the John Grace Scholarship to honor him “as an outstanding coach and mentor.”
The award provides $250 annually to an East Central Community College student who meets the scholarship criteria.
To be eligible, a recipient must enroll as a fulltime student at ECCC and reside in the five-county district. A minimum 3.0 grade point average is also required.
Scholarship recipients will be selected by the ECCC Scholarship Committee.
For more information, contact ECCC Student Services, 601-635-6205 or call toll free, 877-462-3222, ext. 205. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Three East Central Community College football players were selected to participate in the annual MACJC All-Star Football Classic scheduled Thursday, Dec. 5 at Northeast Mississippi Community College in Booneville.
Wide receiver Hakeem Parker of New Orleans, tight end/H-back Layton Holcomb of Hattiesburg and punter Austin Franklin of Petal are members of the South squad in the 40th annual event. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Tiger Stadium.
Parker (6-4, 205) is a product of Joseph S. Clark High School; Holcomb (6-2, 220), Oak Grove; and Franklin (6’, 180), Petal.
Northeast has served as host of the annual matchup of the MACJC’s best sophomore athletes for 27 consecutive years dating back to the mid-1980s. The 2013 game is the first time during that span in which the contest has been moved from its usual Saturday afternoon slot.
“We are really proud of the administration helping us make that move,” said Tigers head coach Ricky Smither. “It’s a great game, so I’m glad that we were able to continue it. This is best for the whole state with us doing this.”
Sophomores from all 14 institutions of the MACJC are eligible to participate in the annual tradition. However, student-athletes from East Mississippi Community College and Hinds Community College will not participate due their selections for National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA)-sanctioned bowl games.
Thirty-three players comprise both the North and South rosters with each college contributing three athletes. The All-Star coaches select the remainder of the roster, but no more than eight players from one school are allowed.
Players are slated to report to Booneville at noon Tuesday, Dec. 3. The gridiron standouts will have three practices before the contest - one session Tuesday and two workouts Wednesday.
Pearl River Community College head coach William Jones and his staff will direct the South squad. Headman Jeff Tatum and the Mississippi Delta Community College coaches will lead the North.
The MACJC All-Star Football Classic has been a springboard to the next level since its inception. Numerous athletes from past matchups have received scholarships at four-year institutions in NCAA Divisions I and II and NAIA.
The practice sessions allow coaches from the various levels of competition to come to one location and scout the best talent that each MACJC member has to offer.
“It gives these schools an opportunity to make one trip and see a multitude of players from probably the best league in the country,” Smither said. “It’s huge and it helps the kids a lot.”
Retired U. S. Marine Corps First Sergeant I. E. “Sarge” Wilkinson (left) of Forest presented the game ball to East Central Community College President Dr. Billy Stewart prior to the football team’s home final against Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Thursday, October 24. Wilkinson, a 30-year veteran and recipient of numerous honors for his service in World War II and the Korean Conflict, was among area veterans in attendance for Military Appreciation Night at the College. All veterans served as honorary team captains and were honored at mid-field prior to kick off.
These sophomore members of the 2013 East Central Community College football team were honored Thursday, October 24, prior to the Warriors’ home finale against Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Pictured are (from left) Chris Apperwhite (5), Laurel; Blake Bateaste (12), D’Iberville; James Clark (10), Laurel; Donnie Farmer (11), Harrison Central; Austin Franklin (20), Petal; Layton Holcomb (82), Oak Grove; Martin Johnson (7), Nanih Waiya; Hakeem Parker (2), Joseph S. Clark HS (New Orleans); Jeremy Pyles (90), Oxford; Kyron Samuels (60), Fairhope, AL; Wesley Smith (83), Morton; and Zachary Thigpen (41), Laurel. Each player was introduced at mid-field as head coach Ken Karcher presented flowers to their mothers. In addition to sophomore night, area veterans were honored during pre-game ceremonies as part of Military Appreciation Night.
A salute to military veterans and recognition of sophomore football players highlighted the season finale for East Central Community College’s Warriors who were once again victims of a national power.
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College proved worthy of its No. 5 ranking as the Bulldogs cruised to a 42-0 halftime advantage and completed the onslaught with a 49-7 MACJC South Division victory Thursday, Oct. 24 at Bailey Stadium in Decatur.
Gulf Coast, which improved to 8-1 overall and 5-1 in division play, finished second to division winner Jones County Junior College and will face North Division winner East Mississippi Community College in first-round action of the MACJC State Playoffs scheduled Saturday, November 2. Jones County and North Division runner-up Itawamba Community College will meet in the other semi-final contest.
The Warriors finished 1-8 overall and 0-6 in league competition under first-year head coach Ken Karcher.
Pre-game activities featured a tribute to military veterans - who were recognized as honorary team captains - and included a presentation of the game ball by U.S. Marine Corps First Sergeant (Retired) I.E. “Sarge” Wilkinson of Forest. Wilkinson, a 30-year veteran and recipient of numerous honors for his service in World War II and the Korean Conflict, was accompanied by his great-great niece-in-law, sophomore cheerleader Payton Smith, also of Forest, as he presented the game football to ECCC President Dr. Billy W. Stewart. Wilkinson will observe his 90th birthday in November.
Sophomore football players also received special recognition and were accompanied by family members or special guests during the pre-game ceremony. Honorees and their respective hometowns included Chris Apperwhite, James Clark and Zachary Thigpen, all of Laurel; Blake Bateaste, D’Iberville; Donnie Farmer, Saucier; Austin Franklin, Petal; Layton Holcomb, Hattiesburg; Martin Johnson, Nanih Waiya; Hakeem Parker, New Orleans; Jeremy Pyles, Oxford, Ala.; Kyron Samuels, Fairhope, Ala.; and Wesley Smith, Lena. Coach Karcher presented flowers to the mother of each player in attendance.
It did not take long for the high-powered Gulf Coast offense to find the end zone as running back Antwon Wells of Hurley crossed the goal line from one-yard out with 11:01 left in the first period. Tristan Reynolds connected on the first of his seven PATs on the night.
Justin Brister extended the Bulldog lead to 14-0 when the running back from D’Iberville tallied on a five-yard rushing play with 5:05 left in the initial period.
The Bulldogs added 28 points in the second quarter, beginning with defensive back Justin Evans’ 36-yard interception return for a score with 13:15 left before halftime. The turnover was one of six Warrior miscues during the division battle.
Former ECCC quarterback Colton Kane of Navarre, Fla., stretched the lead to 28-0 following his 33-yard TD toss to wide receiver Jermey Cutrer of Kentwood, La., with 9:30 left in the stanza.
Back-up quarterback Terrian Page of Taylorsville connected with wide receiver Dhaquille Williams of Laplace, La., on a four-yard scoring pass play for a 35-0 advantage with 6:09 left before the break.
Running back T.J. McCann of Leakesville completed first-half scoring with his 20-yard scamper to pay dirt with 3:05 left.
McCann tallied again for the Bulldogs on his two-yard run in the final seconds of third-quarter action.
The Warriors got on the scoreboard following speedster Lamarcus Franks’ 31-yard sprint to the end zone with 9:41 remaining in the final stanza. Austin Franklin of Petal added the PAT.
Franks, a freshman running back from Greene County High School, led EC rushers with 72 yards on 13 carries.
Sophomore running back Martin Johnson of Nanih Waiya contributed 44 yards on 11 carries.
Donnie Farmer and freshman Anthony Triplett of Philadelphia shared quarterback duties and combined for two completions on nine attempts for 18 yards.