East Central Community College’s rock-n-roll band, “The Collegians,” will present its annual spring campus concert at 7 p.m. Monday, March 31 in Huff Auditorium on the Decatur campus. The popular group will perform hits by Katy Perry, Daughtry, Pharrell Williams, Passenger and many more. There is no charge for admission and the public is invited to attend. Pictured are (front row, from left) Zach Peden (saxophone) of Philadelphia, Adrian Tucker (trumpet) of Philadelphia, Anna Girling (trombone) of Carthage, Joseph Aulds (drums) of Decatur, Matt Mason (auxiliary percussion) of Union, Malcolm McBride (keyboard)of Auburn, Ala., Houston Martin (bass) of Chunky and Joey Holdiness (guitar) of Philadelphia; (second row, from left) director/guitarist Chas Evans, Kendall Wilcher (technician) of Carthage, Kara Miller (vocals) of Decatur, Krissy Winstead (vocals) of Philadelphia, Jake Wilbourne (vocals) of Forest, Claire Griffin (vocals) of Decatur and Clay Holdiness (technician) of Nanih Waiya; and (back row, from left) Cody Smith (lead technician) of Carthage, Chandler Smith (technician) of Philadelphia, Taylor Gressett (vocals) of Chunky, Jeremy Collins (technician) of Forest, Ryan Godwin (vocals) of Newton, Patrick Embry (technician) of Hickory and Ryan Packer (technician) and Acea Ange (technician), both of Decatur. Not pictured are Macy Seale (vocals) of Philadelphia, Ben Avera (technician) of Hickory and Matt Graham (trumpet) of Lake.
East Central Community College’s rock-n-roll band, “The Collegians,” will present its annual spring campus concert at 7 p.m. Monday, March 31 in Huff Auditorium on the Decatur campus. There is no charge for admission and the public is invited to attend.
The popular group will perform hits by Katy Perry, Daughtry, Pharrell Williams, Passenger and many more.
Vocalists include Jake Wilbourne of Forest, Kara Miller and Claire Griffin, both of Decatur; Macy Seale of Philadelphia; Ryan Godwin of Newton and Taylor Gressett of Chunky.
Wind and rhythm section members include drummer Joseph Aulds of Decatur, auxiliary percussionist Matt Mason of Union, saxophonist Zack Peden, guitarist Joey Holdiness and trumpeter Adrian Tucker, all of Philadelphia; trombonist Anna Girling of Carthage; bass guitarist Houston Martin of Chunky, trumpeter Matt Graham of Lake; and keyboardist Malcolm McBride of Auburn, Ala.
Technicians are Kendall Wilcher and Cody Smith, both of Carthage, Clay Holdiness of Nanih Waiya, Chandler Smith of Philadelphia, Jeremy Collins of Forest, Patrick Embry and Ben Avera, both of Hickory; and Ryan Packer and Acea Ange, both of Decatur.
Music instructor Chas Evans serves as director/guitarist.
East Central Community College in Decatur will host “Laying the Foundation: An Evening With Coach Tony Dungy” Friday, March 28, 2014, in the Neshoba County Coliseum in Philadelphia.
The sold-out event featuring the Super Bowl Champion coach and best-selling author will serve as a fundraiser for a new Football Operations Center.
Activities begin with a silent auction at 6 p.m., followed by the dinner program at 7 p.m. The silent auction includes various types of sports memorabilia and other specialty items.
In a video message sent to the college, Coach Dungy expressed his excitement about the special event.
“I’m really, really excited about coming down for this fundraiser. I know East Central needs a new football facility and whatever we can do to help that out is going to be fantastic. I look forward to seeing everybody.”
He also reflected on his shared football philosophy with ECCC head football coach Ken Karcher.
“Coach Karcher has the same philosophy that I do. Pro football is great and playing the game is fantastic, but that’s not what it’s all about. It’s really about developing personalities and helping people to be better men and that’s what’s really exciting.”
ECCC President Dr. Billy Stewart stated, “Preparing for the visit of Coach Dungy to our college has been one of the most exciting things I have been a part of in over 20 years in education. We anticipate many great things happening at and through the event.”
Estimated to cost $4.8 million, the new facility will be located in the north end of Bailey Stadium and will include a state-of-the-art weight room and athletic training facility for all student-athletes. Also included in the plans is a $1 million turf field to replace the existing grass surface.
Coach Dungy is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Quiet Strength and Uncommon. He led the Indianapolis Colts to a Super Bowl victory on February 4, 2007, and established an NFL first by leading his teams to the playoffs for 10 consecutive years.
Dungy has been involved in a wide variety of charitable organizations, including the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Athletes in Action, Mentors for Life, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Clubs, the Prison Crusade Ministry, and All Pro Dad. He also works with Basket of Hope, the Black Coaches Association National Convention, Indiana Black Expo, the United Way of Central Indiana, and the American Diabetes Association.
He retired from coaching in 2008 and now serves as an analyst for NBC’s Football Night in America. He and his wife, Lauren, are the parents of seven children.
Serving as corporate sponsors are Rush Health Systems (Gold Sponsor), Anderson Regional Medical Center (Silver Sponsor) and Valley Services, Inc. (Bronze Sponsor).
For more information, contact Stacey, Hollingsworth, Executive Director for Foundation and Alumni Relations, at 601-635-6327 or by email at email@example.com.
Luke Viverette of Union and Taylor Gressett of Chunky were recently selected Mr. and Miss East Central Community College by a vote of the student body.
Viverette is the son of Todd and Kim Viverette of Union and is a 2012 graduate of Union High School.
Viverette said he enjoys watching ECCC’s sporting events and playing intramural sports on campus.
“I enjoy meeting new people and making new friendships here at ECCC,” Viverette said.
He said his favorite memory from East Central was being a part of Spring Spree 2013 and Snow Day of 2013.
Viverette said he is inspired by his grandparents (James and Martha Murphy and Elsie Hagan.) “They inspire me because of the lives they lead and the kind of people they are,” he said. “I am also inspired by Donald Trump and his desire to succeed.”
Viverette is a sports studies/communications major and is a member of the college’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society of the two-year college. He is also involved in the intramural sports program on the EC campus.
In addition, he was selected freshman class favorite and is a Dean’s List scholar.
He received an ACT scholarship at ECCC.
Viverette said he enjoys playing basketball, fishing and socializing with friends.
His favorite quote is by Lou Holtz, “I can’t believe that God put us on this earth to be ordinary.”
After receiving his associate's degree at East Central, Viverette plans to continue his education at Mississippi State University and pursue a career in the sports industry.
Gressett is the daughter of Kevin and Christy Gressett of Chunky. She is a 2012 graduate of Newton County High School.
"My favorite thing about ECCC that it is a close-knit family," said Gressett. “Everybody knows everybody.”
Like Viverette, Gressett said her favorite campus activity “hands-down” is Spring Spree.
“I love how everyone comes together to enjoy lots of laughs, while making memories that will last a lifetime,” she said.
Gressett is involved in numerous activities including Phi Theta Kappa, Concert Choir, Ac’cents, Collegians, Presidents’ Council, Warrior Corps, Centralettes, and Diamond Darlings and she is a Student Body Association officer.
In addition, she was selected for Who's Who Among Students in American Community & Junior Colleges, freshman class favorite, sophomore class president and was a freshman and sophomore homecoming maid.
She received achievement recognition, ACT, Polk and Jennie Pace and Junior Miss scholarships at ECCC.
When asked where she could be found “hanging out” on campus, Gressett said, “Who has time to ‘hang-out?’ You can find me working in financial aid!”
Gressett said her parents inspire her.
"No matter what obstacle comes their way, they always push through. They have taught me to never settle for less and to reach for the stars,” she said. “They have also taught me that if I keep my eyes locked on the Savior, then I can achieve all through Him.”
Gressett is a liberal arts major, but plans to attend the University of Southern Mississippi and earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing before attending the anesthesia school at USM to become a nurse anesthetist.
She said she enjoys singing and spending time with family in her free time.
Her favorite scripture is Psalms 56:3: “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.”
“When life gets crazy, this particular verse reminds me where my trust lies,” Gressett said. “It puts me at great ease knowing that I have a God bigger than any issue or obstacle that comes my way. It’s then that I know nothing is impossible.”
The favorites for freshman and sophomore classes of 2013-14 have been announced for East Central Community College in Decatur, following a recent student body election. Those elected and their respective high schools, include: (front row, from left) freshman class favorites MaChasity Leflore, Leake Central; Warner Parkes, Nanih Waiya; Hannah Mitchell, Newton County; Marko Franks, Greene County; Emily Cook, Leake Central; Robert Strong, Forest; Mallory Turner, West Lauderdale; and Tyler Pace, Newton; and (back row, from left) sophomore class favorites Allie Killens, Saltillo; Aaron Brown, Newton County; Payton Smith, Scott Central; Conor Bell, Leake Central; Lindsey McCool, Winston Academy; Clint Walker, Newton County Academy and Kara Beth Johnson, Morton. Not pictured Sawyer Williams, Porters Chapel Academy, El Dorado, Ark.
Dennis Alexander was recently selected an assistant football coach at East Central Community College in Decatur.
Alexander will serve as offensive line coach, announced head coach Ken Karcher.
Prior to joining the ECCC coaching staff, the former University of Alabama football standout served the past year as offensive line coach and run game coordinator at Shades Valley High School in Irondale, Ala.
Alexander served from 2010-13 as head football coach and head track coach at Bessemer City High School in Bessemer, Ala.
He served a brief stint in 2009 as offensive line coach for the semi-pro Birmingham Wildfire.
Alexander began his coaching career as offensive line assistant coach and substitute teacher at Jess Lanier/Bessemer City High School, from 2007-10.
A standout lineman, Alexander played professional football on two teams – first with the NFL’s Tennessee Titans in 2004 followed by a stint with Cologne Centurions in the NFL Europe league from March 2005 to December 2006.
Alexander won numerous honors as a member of the University of Alabama Crimson Tide squad from 1999 to 2003.
He was named to the Freshman All-American and Freshman All-SEC teams for the 2000 season and received the “Jerry Duncan’s Like to Practice Award” the same year.
Alexander served as co-captain in 2002-03 and was awarded the “Paul Crane Most Improved Offensive Lineman Award” for the 2003 campaign.
The Memphis native received a four-year athletic scholarship to attend the University of Alabama following a stellar career at Westwood High School in Memphis, where he received First Team All-Metro, First Team All-State and Second Team All-South honors.
Alexander received a bachelor’s degree in family financial planning from the University of Alabama in 2003. He completed additional coursework in 2004.
He is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology at the University of Montevallo.
He is married to the former Niva King of Columbus. They have three sons, Dennis Alexander III, Javin King and Jemarcus King.
East Central Community College sophomores Mary Margaret Bailey of Philadelphia and Jacob Oliver of Little Rock were recently named on the 2014 All-Mississippi Community College Academic Teams.
They were honored with other outstanding community and junior college students during events held March 5, 2014, in Jackson. Activities began with special recognition by the Mississippi Legislature at the State Capitol followed by an awards luncheon at the Jackson Convention Complex. State Senator Terry C. Burton of Newton served as master of ceremonies at the luncheon.
The All-Mississippi Community College Academic Team recognizes scholarly achievements and leadership accomplishments of students enrolled in the state’s two-year colleges.
Bailey was one of 15 students named to the First Team and will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Recipients of the prestigious honor compete for placement on the national All-USA Community College Academic Team.
Bailey, a President’s List Scholar with a perfect 4.0 grade point average, holds various leadership positions and is involved in numerous campus activities.
She serves as president of Theta Xi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges; is co-president of the Warrior Corps, a select group of students selected to represent the college at recruiting endeavors and special events; and serves as sophomore class vice president.
Bailey is also involved in the Baptist Student Union. She serves as Women’s Bible Study Leader, Council member and assists with publicity.
She is also a member of the President’s Council and cheerleading squad.
Bailey was selected Maid of Honor on the 2013 Homecoming Court and was recently named to Who’s Who Among Students in American Community and Junior Colleges.
She is also involved in numerous community service projects. She served as assistant art instructor for the Summer of Arts Program and was a camp counselor for the Centri-Kid Church Group. In addition, she also served as director of Christmas plays.
Bailey is a 2012 honor graduate of Philadelphia High School.
Her parents are David and Dee Dee Bailey of Philadephia.
Bailey plans to pursue a nursing degree at Mississippi University for Women.
Oliver was named to the All-Mississippi Academic Second Team.
He is also a President’s List Scholar with a perfect 4.0 grade point average.
Oliver serves as vice president of leadership for Theta Xi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa and is vice president of the Astronomy Club. In addition, he serves as secretary/treasurer of Alpha Alpha Epsilon, “The Engineers.”
He is also a member of the Baptist Student Union and Environmental Club.
He was recently named to Who’s Who Among Students in American Community and Junior Colleges.
Oliver is a 2012 honor graduate of Newton County High School.
His parents are Amy and Brian Oliver of Little Rock.
Oliver plans to major in chemical engineering at Mississippi State University in Starkville.
The All-Mississippi Academic Team program is coordinated by The Clarion-Ledger, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges and the Mississippi Community College Board.
Students named to the All-Mississippi Academic Team compete for placement on the national All-USA Community College Academic Team, sponsored by Follett Higher Education Group, presented by USA Today and additional support provided by the American Association of Community Colleges and Phi Theta Kappa.
This year, more than 1,800 nominations were received for the All-USA Community College Academic Team competition.
Mississippi ranks in the top six states in the nation having students named to the All-USA Community College Academic Team.
East Central Community College’s fast-pitch softball squad recorded a pair of victories over Copiah-Lincoln Community College in MACJC South Division action Wednesday, March 19 on the Wesson campus.
Ty Buckley belted two home runs and collected five RBIs to lead the Lady Diamond Warriors to a 8-0 shutout in the first contest, and Morgan Porter slapped three singles in helping provide a 7-2 victory in the nightcap.
EC improved to 21-7 overall and 6-4 in league play following the sweep. The Lady Wolves fell to 13-10 and 5-5.
Buckley’s homers came in the third and seventh innings. She is a product of Neshoba Central High School.
Mallory Turner also had a productive outing at the plate, as the West Lauderdale High School product doubled and singled and finished with two RBIs. She also scored twice.
Other sluggers were Anna Katherine Nowell of Leake Academy, three singles; Karoline Holsonback of South Lamar (Ala.) High School, double and single; Amber McBroom of Brandon, two singles; and Kaylin Hopkins of Louisville, Lindsey Beard of Clarkdale and Hayley Stephens of Union, singles each.
Kendra Wilson picked up the victory. She allowed four hits, fanned five batters and walked one. Wilson is a product of South Lamar (Ala.) High School.
In the second game, EC’s success continued at the plate and on the mound.
Porter led the offense with her three singles. The Enterprise High School product also scored twice.
Also recording multiple hits were Beard, Stephens and Nowell, two singles each. Hopkins and Turner each contributed an RBI single and Holsonback was credited with an RBI.
Makayla Kelly earned the win. She went five innings and allowed two earned runs on two hits. She also fanned a batter. Kelly is a product of Nederland (Texas) High School.
Wilson hurled two innings. She fanned two batters and walked three.
The Lady Diamond Warriors host Hinds Community College Saturday, March 22. Game times for the twin bill are 1 and 3 p.m. on the Decatur campus.
EC’s softball program is led by head coach Kristin Chaney, assistant Courtney Nunn and volunteer assistant Kasie Buckley.
East Central Community College Art Club president Chelsey Smith of Brandon presents a $500 check to Jeff Horton, president of Stop SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy) and his daughter Evie Horton during a recent presentation at the Horton house in Flowood. Also pictured is Chris Brady, ECCC art instructor, who said funds were raised through the sale of the art club’s annual Christmas print. Brady said “Stop SMA” is a local non-profit organization based in Flowood that is dedicated to raising money and awareness by hosting events and educating the public about Spinal Muscular Atrophy. SMA is a genetic disease that weakens the muscles, making it difficult or, in most cases, impossible for a person with SMA to move around and do routine physical tasks like getting dressed. “People with SMA may be able to stand when they are very young, but few ever possess the ability to walk. And for those who do, the ability is short-lived.” For more information, go to www.stopsma.org. (Submitted photo)
The East Central Community College men’s tennis team easily defeated the Hinds Community College squad by winning all nine matches in competition held March 18 on the Raymond campus.
In men’s singles, Juan Miranda of Morton defeated Devonte Thomas, 6-2, 6-1; Daniel Giles of Union beat Aaron Gray, 6-3, 6-0; Javon Yarbrough of Louisville clipped Julian Johnson, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2); Brandon St. Clair of Newton County beat Austin Pevey, 6-2, 6-2; Ethan Rigdon of Union defeated Johnathan Bethea, 6-3,6-3; and Tanner Moore of Winston Academy beat Melvin McNair, 7-5, 6-2.
In men’s doubles, Miranda and Giles beat Thomas/Gray, 8-5; Yarbrough and Moore defeated Johnson/McNair, 8-4; and St. Clair and Rigdon clipped Pevey and A.J. Walker, 8-3.
The Lady Warriors were not as fortunate and fell 7-2 to the Hinds women.
Nan Hartness of Winston Academy was the lone winner in women’s singles, as she defeated Jessica Parker, 4-6, 6-0 (10-5).
In other results, Hannah Peoples of Leake Academy fell to Brittany DeCamp, 6-4, 4-6 (10-6); Alana Turner of Florence lost to Kelly Carlson, 6-4, 5-7 (10-6); Amber Pierce of Leake Academy fell to Jenneast Lofton, 7-5, 3-6 (10-8); Hannah Smith of Leake Academy lost to Reagan Chisolm, 6-1, 6-1; and Lauren Peterson of Forest fell to Cayla Fox, 6-3, 6-1.
Peoples and Hartness won their doubles match by posting an 8-4 decision over Chisolm and Lofton. Turner and Pierce fell to DeCamp/Carlson, 8-4; and Katlyn Patrick and Kristine Jenkins, both of Forest, lost to Parker/Hicks, 8-5.
EC’s tennis program is led by head coach Robert Thompson and adjunct coach Dianne O’Neill.