East Central Community College tennis coach Dianne O’Neil and several team members recently participated in a community service project by helping Native Americans improve their skills as tennis players. Coach O’Neill is shown speaking to the special campus guests and later conducted various drills during the one-day activity held on the EC tennis courts in Decatur. (Submitted Photo)
These former student-athletes at East Central Community College in Decatur were recognized for their academic success in 2012-13 by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). The NJCAA honors are presented in three categories – Pinnacle Award for Academic Excellence (4.0 Career GPA); Award for Superior Academic Achievement (3.79 – 3.99 Career GPA); and Exemplary Academic Achievement (3.60 – 3.79 Career GPA). EC honorees, shown prior to receiving diplomas at the College’s 2013 Commencement on May 11, include (seated from left) Blake Cochran (men’s tennis) of Hickory and Andrew Hanna (men’s tennis) of Union, Pinnacle Award; and LaJoya Griffin (softball) of Philadelphia, Superior Academic Achievement; and (standing from left) Zach McGarr (men’s soccer) of Decatur, Superior Academic Achievement; and Lucas Calvert (men’s tennis) of Louisville, Hunter Mayo (men’s tennis) of Carthage and Kelsey Tadlock (women’s tennis/soccer) of Decatur, Exemplary Academic Achievement. Not pictured are Caleb McKee (baseball) of Philadelphia, Pinnacle Award for Academic Excellence; Kalik May (baseball) of Tuscaloosa, Ryan Shotts (baseball) of Louisville, Terrance Steele (baseball) of Philadelphia and Zack Killion (men’s soccer), Superior Academic Achievement; and Fernando Gonzalez (baseball) of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico; Taylor Potter (men’s soccer) of Bentonia, Zak Thrasher (football) of Columbus and Blake Dubuisson (baseball) of Long Beach, Exemplary Academic Achievement.
East Central Community College’s Lady Warriors were unable to maintain their halftime advantage and the Warriors are still looking for their first season win as the 2012-13 schedule resumed Tuesday night at rival East Mississippi Community College in Scooba.
EC’s women led 36-27 at the break but the Lady Lions rallied for a 67-60 decision in the non-division matchup.
Freshman Jakela Johnson poured in 18 points to lead the Lady Warriors, who dropped to 4-8 under first-year head coach Crandal Porter. Johnson, a 6-1 forward from West Jones, also led in rebounds with seven.
Also scoring were Xzandra Dowd of Neville (La.) High School in Monroe, 12; Taylor Brister of Lawrence County, nine; Tyneisa Mickens of Noxubee County, seven; Niya Hughes of Forest and Renisha Evans of Newton County, five each; and Nakia Miller of Louisville and Jaianah Matthew of Arkansas High School in Texarkana, two each.
Nockeye Qualls tallied 14 points to lead the EMCC women, who improved to 2-9 and avenged an earlier 49-41 loss to the Lady Warriors.
In the men’s contest, EC trailed throughout the non-division battle and fell 91-75.
Freshman Chris Rhoney pumped in 23 points to lead the Warriors, who are now 0-12 under seventh-year head coach Maurice Bowie. Rhoney is a 6-1 guard from West Lauderdale.
Other point makers were Jamere Eichelberger of Louisville and Aquill Baynard of Elsik High School in Houston, Texas, 12 each; TeJimion Leatherwood of Northridge (Ala.) High School, eight; Walter Evans of Hattiesburg and Bobby Wrench of Columbus, six each; and Tyler Anderson of Carver Military Academy and Jakaris Coleman of Forest Hill, four each. Baynard led in rebounds with eight.
Mack Foster scored 19 points to lead the Lions, who improved to 7-4 and swept the season series. EC fell 82-72 in early season action.
The Lions led 53-30 at the break.
EC squads travel to division foe Hinds Community College Monday, Jan. 14. Game times are 6 and 8 p.m. on the Utica campus.
The Lady Warriors and Warriors continue division play by hosting MS Gulf Coast Thursday, Jan. 17. Game times are 6 and 8 p.m. in the Brackeen-Wood Physical Education Building.
Dr. Danny Lanier (center) of Little Rock was recently reappointed to the East Central Community College Board of Trustees. Dr. Lanier, shown with interim Board Chairman Dr. Jimmy Hollingsworth (left) of Lake and ECCC President Dr. Phil A. Sutphin following the October 2011 meeting in Decatur, previously served on the ECCC Board from 1999-2006. Dr. Lanier serves as Senior Pastor of Northcrest Baptist Church in Meridian, a position he has held since January 2009. He spent the previous 25 years in vocational evangelism. Dr. Lanier began his Evangelistic ministry in 1984 and has preached more than 1,100 revival meetings and crusades across America. Along with his work in the ministry, Dr. Lanier has recorded 15 Southern Gospel tapes and six compact discs. A graduate of Clarke College in Newton, he attended Mississippi College and the Southern Baptist School for Biblical Studies in Jacksonville, Fla., and Covington Theological Seminary in Rossville, Ga., graduating with a Doctor of Ministry degree. In 2001, he was awarded the Doctor of Divinity degree from The Southern Baptist School for Biblical Studies. He is married to the former Janet Denise Lyle and they have two sons, Justin and Micah.