East Central Community College in Decatur was well represented in the 41st annual Mississippi Association of Community and Junior College (MACJC) All-Star Football Classic as four Warriors were named to the South Division squad. From left are defensive backs Russell McClain of Starkville and JaDerrick Farrow, a product of Bleckley County High School in Cochran, GA; offensive lineman Marcus Johnson of New Hope; and running back Lamarcus Franks, a product of Green County High School, who helped lead the South to a 23-13 victory. Franks scored on a seven-yard run and compiled 55 yards on 10 carries. In recognition of his performance, Franks was presented the Keith Daniels South Offensive MVP Award. The North-South All-Star Classic was held Dec. 4, 2014, at Northeast Mississippi Community College in Booneville.
These outstanding Warrior football players received honors at the annual Fall Sports Awards Banquet held at East Central Community College in Decatur. From left are long snapper Trent Haden of Sumrall, academic award; and defensive lineman Tyler Pace of Newton, most improved defensive player and second team MACJC All-State. Award winners not pictured are defensive back JaDerrick Farrow, a product of Bleckley County High School in Cochran, GA, defensive captain and MACJC All-Star; running back Lamarcus Franks of Greene County, most valuable player, offensive captain, MACJC All-Star and second team MACJC All-State; offensive lineman Marcus Johnson of New Hope, most improved offensive player and MACJC All-Star; defensive back Raphael McClain of Starkville, MACJC All-Star; and defensive back Austin Balthazor of Seminary, second team MACJC All-State. ECCC President Dr. Billy Stewart, head football coach Ken Karcher, and assistant coaches Mickey Mays, Scott Brock, Dennis Alexander, Charles Jones, Ben Cooper and Tylan Martin presented awards.
East Central Community College standout running back Lamarcus Franks helped lead the South All-Stars to a 23-13 victory over the North in the 2014 MACJC All-Star Football Classic held Thursday, Dec. 4 at Northeast Mississippi Community College’s Tiger Stadium.Franks, a 5-7, 142-pound product of Green County High School, scored on a seven-yard run and led South rushers with 55 yards on 10 carries. For his efforts, Franks was presented the Keith Daniels South Offensive MVP Award.
Franks’ touchdown came with 5:36 left before halftime and gave the South a 10-7 advantage.
Other Warriors on the South squad were offensive lineman Marcus Johnson (6-1, 242) of New Hope High School, and defensive backs Raphael McClain (5-10, 164) of Starkville and JaDerrick Farrow (5-11, 198), a product of Bleckley County High School in Cochran, GA.
Gray Massey, women’s head soccer coach at East Central Community College, addresses the large crowd in attendance for the annual Fall Sports Awards Banquet held Dec. 2, 2014, in Mabry Memorial Cafeteria on the Decatur campus. Massey’s Lady Soccer Warriors experienced their best season in the program’s history by qualifying for post-season play and finishing with a 12-4-2 record. Massey and other coaches representing fall sports presented awards to the outstanding student-athletes. ECCC President Dr. Billy Stewart presented academic awards to each honoree representing football, women’s soccer and men’s soccer. Chris Harris, dean of personnel services and athletics, served as master of ceremonies.
Football and soccer players received special recognition at the annual Fall Sports Awards Banquet held Dec. 2, 2014, in Mabry Memorial Cafeteria.Chris Harris, director of personnel services and athletics, served as master of ceremonies.
ECCC President Dr. Billy Stewart provided comments and expressed appreciation to coaches and players for their hard work and efforts during the 2014 season. Dr. Stewart also presented awards to the top academic students in each sport.
Football players who received awards include defensive back JaDerrick Farrow of Bleckley County High School in Cochran, GA, defensive captain and MACJC All-Star; running back Lamarcus Franks of Greene County, most valuable player, offensive captain, MACJC All-Star and second team MACJC All-State; defensive lineman Tyler Pace of Newton, most improved defensive player and second team MACJC All-State; offensive lineman Marcus Johnson of New Hope, most improved offensive player and MACJC All-Star; defensive back Austin Balthazor of Seminary, MACJC All-Star; second team MACJC All-State; and long snapper Trent Haden of Sumrall, academic award.
Head football coach Ken Karcher and assistants Mickey Mays, Scott Brock, Dennis Alexander, Charles Jones, Ben Cooper and Tylan Martin presented awards along with Dr. Stewart.
The Warriors finished 3-6 overall and 1-5 in the MACJC South Division.
In women’s soccer, award winners and their respective high schools include forward Ashlan Culberson of Brandon, academic and team captain awards, MACJC All-State and MACJC All-Star; midfielder Allie Turner of Horn Lake, Golden Boot Award, team most valuable player and MACJC All-State; defender Pashien Kelley-Johnson of West Harrison, defense award; goalkeeper Alana Walker of Pascagoula, MACJC All-State; midfielder Megan Yarbrough of Center Hill, hustle award; defender Mikayla May of Newton County, Warrior Award; and defender Tesia Keith of Corinth, MACJC All-Star.
Women’s soccer head coach Gray Massey presented awards along with Dr. Stewart.
The Lady Soccer Warriors finished 12-4-2 overall and qualified for post-season season play for the first time since the program’s inception in 2005.
Award winners in men’s soccer and their respective high schools include defender Dalton Smith of Florence, academic and team captain awards, and MACJC All-Star; midfielder Eliud Alvarez of Forest, Golden Boot and team captain awards, and MACJC All-Star; defender Tyler Cook of Daphne (Ala.), defense award, team most valuable player, MACJC All-State and MACJC All-Star; midfielder Jackson Oliver of Clinton, hustle award; forward/keeper Jacob Johnson of Destrehan (LA), honorable mention MACJC All-State; keeper Matt Sykes of Heritage Academy, MACJC All-Star and honorable mention MACJC All-State; defender Kellen Clark of Newton County, honorable mention MACJC All-State; and midfielder Jordan Alonso of Newton County, Warrior Award.
Men’s soccer head coach Kenneth Thompson presented awards along with Dr. Stewart.
The Warrior soccer team finished 5-10-2.
For more information on ECCC athletics, contact Chris Harris, at 601-635-6401 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Darryl Rogers is shown performing “The Star Spangled Banner” during the annual Military Appreciation Breakfast held Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014, at East Central Community College in Decatur. Rogers, a member of the Warrior football team from Laurel, provided an inspiring a cappella rendition of the national anthem, which he also performed at ECCC’s homecoming football game with Jones County earlier this year. Also shown are ECCC President Dr. Billy Stewart, program participant; and Wesly Boykin of Boy Scout Troop 46, who along with fellow troop member John Michael Everett presented colors. Brigadier General (Ret.) and ECCC alumnus Billy Pierce of Decatur was guest speaker for the special event, held in the Molly McGee Gold Room of Mabry Memorial Cafeteria.
East Central Community College wide receiver Xavier Willis (9) maintains possession following this second-quarter reception despite receiving a hard lick from a Pearl River Community College defender during the Thursday night battle at Bailey Stadium. Willis, a sophomore, is a product of Newton County High School. The visiting Wildcats held on for a 10-2 MACJC South Division victory.
DECATUR - Turnovers and missed scoring opportunities were too much to overcome for the East Central Community College Warriors who fell 10-2 in the season finale with Pearl River Community College Thursday night at Bailey Stadium.
EC finished 3-6 overall and 1-5 in the MACJC South Division under second-year head coach Ken Karcher. The Wildcats went 5-4 and 3-6 under second-year head mentor William Jones.
The Warrior defense forced four turnovers during the low-scoring contest, but the offense was unable to take advantage of the opportunities, which included a fumble at the Wildcats’ one-yard-line and two missed field goals.
“We have to take advantage when presented with opportunities,” said Coach Karcher. “We missed a couple of field goals, and we turned the ball back over to them. You’re not going to beat many teams doing that.”
Karcher utilized both freshman quarterbacks for the division battle, as Trey Willis directed the offense in the first half and Andrew Dunn took over for the final two quarters. They combined for 57 yards passing on five-of-17 attempts and three interceptions.
Willis (5-5, 165) is a product of Forest Hill High School and Dunn (6-7, 230) hails from Pascagoula High School.
“We have young guys in multiple positions,” said Karcher. “We have a freshman-laden team. We struggled all year at quarterback with turnovers. You can’t do that, and we’ll have to get that corrected in the final season. Each quarterback played a half, they are young guys who need to improve, and that’s my job.”
In addition to the four turnovers, EC’s defense limited Pearl River to just 210 yards and recorded three quarterback sacks.
“Our defense did a very good job all year outside of one game (Copiah-Lincoln),” Karcher said. “The defensive coaches (Scott Brock, Mickey Mays and Charles Jones) have done an outstanding job this year, and our defensive line play does not surprise me. (Defensive line coach) Mays can coach, anywhere in the country, in my mind. I’ve worked with him before, and he’s one of the best on the business.”
EC’s defense forced turnovers on two of the first three offensive plays by Pearl River, but could not muster any points.
Aubrey Bourn’s interception off a deflected pass from quarterback Kaylon Cooper gave EC possession on its 33, but the Warriors were forced to punt after earning one first down. Bourn is a freshman linebacker from Hattiesburg.
The Wildcats fumbled on their next possession, as defensive lineman Jadarius Ceasar burst through the line and stripped Cooper of the ball and made the recovery at the Pearl River eight-yard-line.
EC’s offense was unable to cash in on the scoring opportunity, as Brennan O’Keefe was unsuccessful on his 25-yard field goal attempt. O’Keefe is a freshman and product of St. Martin High School.
Bourn gave EC another scoring opportunity following his second takeaway on the Wildcat 35-yard-line.
Willis led the Warrior offense on an impressive drive, which included a 57-yard pass completion to running back Marquis Hedge to the Wildcat 24-yard-line. Hedge, a sophomore from Forest Hill, followed with runs of four and six yards to the 14, and speedster Lamarcus Franks toted the pigskin 14 yards to the one-yard-line. Willis tried to sneak over the goal line from the one, but he apparently fumbled before reaching pay dirt, according to officials. (Franks, a sophomore running back from Greene County High School, finished the night with 94 yards on 26 carries. He was 39 yards shy of reaching the 1,000-yard mark for the 2014 season.)
Pearl River took possession on the one, but three plays later EC was awarded a safety when a Wildcat lineman was penalized for holding in the end zone with 6:20 left before halftime.
EC’s 2-0 advantage lasted only a few minutes, as the Wildcats capitalized on a Willis interception at the Warrior 27. Two plays later, sophomore running back Darrell Robison scored on a one-yard plunge with 1:49 remaining in the half. Freshman kicker Jovon Detto added the PAT. Robison is a Noxubee County product and Detto is from Pearl River Central.
After a scoreless third period, the Warriors missed another scoring opportunity early in the fourth stanza when O’Keefe’s 39-yard field goal was unsuccessful. EC began the drive near midfield following a Pearl River turnover.
The game’s final points came on Devon’s 35-yard field goal with 4:27 remaining, and resulted from a Warrior turnover near midfield.
The season finale marked the final game for 16 Warrior sophomores.
“I just told them in the locker room, that I am very proud of those guys,” Karcher said. “Those guys laid a foundation and a mentality that’s going to carry this program to where it needs to go.”