East Central Community College President Dr. Billy Stewart performs ribbon-cutting duties to officially unveil the recently installed synthetic turf on Warrior field during the annual “Meet the Warriors” Pep Rally/Player Introductions held Monday, August 25, 2014, at Bailey Stadium. Dr. Stewart provided comments to a packed stadium prior to the ceremony and noted the turf installation would not have been possible without the support from former NFL coach Tony Dungy, whose appearance earlier this year on campus and at the Neshoba County Coliseum in Philadelphia netted approximately $160,000 for the $727,000 project. Participating in the ribbon-cutting ceremony were (from left) ECCC Board of Trustees members Royce Shaw (secretary) of Forest, Jerry Smith (vice chairman) of Philadelphia, Dr. Jimmy Hollingsworth (chairman) of Lake and Rodney Bounds of Newton; ECCC staff members Dr. Stacey Hollingsworth, executive director for Foundation and Alumni Relations; Artie Foreman, Supt. of the Physical Plant; Chris Harris, Dean of Personnel Services and Athletics; Dr. Stewart; Ken Karcher, head football coach; James Bateman, EnviroTurf of Flowood; and ECCC Board of Trustees members Pat Cleveland of Conehatta, William E. Kitchings of Carthage, David Byars of Philadelphia and J.O. Amis (Newton County Supt. of Education) of Decatur. Following ribbon-cutting activities, the cheerleading squad and Centralettes dance line performed and received special recognition followed by introductions of the Lady Warrior and Warrior soccer teams, and the Warrior football squad. The Wall O’ Sound Band also performed. The Warriors’ home opener on the new turf is scheduled Thursday, Sept. 11, when division foe Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College comes to campus. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m.
Soccer season began on a successful note for East Central Community College squads, which claimed road victories over Southwest Mississippi Community College and Meridian Community College in non-division action.
The Lady Warriors posted a 6-0 decision and the Warriors held on for 1-0 shutout over Southwest squads in the season opener held Friday, August 22 on the Summit campus.
Sophomore forward Ashlan Culberson scored twice for the Lady Warriors in the easy victory. Culberson is a product of Brandon High School.
Also scoring were freshman midfielders Megan Yarbrough of Center Hill and Allie Turner of Horn Lake, and freshman forwards Tamia Cavett of Jackson Murrah and Carrissa Stevenson of Harrison Central.
In the men’s matchup, freshman forward/keeper Jacob Johnson provided the lone goal in the 28th minute. Johnson is a product of Destrehan (La.) High School.
Freshman forward Tyler Aaron of Clinton and sophomore defender Dalton Smith of Florence, were each credited with scoring assists.
EC squads traveled to Meridian Community College Saturday, August 23 and came away with another pair of victories.
The Lady Warriors won 1-0 as Culberson tallied her third goal in early season action.
The Warriors continued their winning ways with goals by sophomore midfielder Jordan Alonso, a product of Newton County High School; sophomore forward Landry Lofton of Pascagoula; and sophomore midfielder Eliud Alvarez of Forest.
Johnson was credited with scoring assists on the first two goals, and freshman midfielder Jackson Oliver of Clinton received a scoring assist on Alvarez’s score.
EC squads battle Copiah-Lincoln Community College Tuesday, August 26. Game times are 4 and 6 p.m. on the Wesson campus.
The home opener is set for Friday, August 29, when the Lady Warriors and Warriors host Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Matchups are set for 3 and 5 p.m. on the Decatur campus.
Gray Massey serves as Lady Warrior head coach and Kenneth Thompson leads the Warrior program.
These former East Central Community College Lady Soccer Warriors participated in “Soccer Alumni Day” held Saturday, August 16 on the Decatur campus. Activities included a scrimmage with the 2014 squad and picnic for former and current Lady Warrior and Warrior team members. Soccer Alumni and their current residences include (kneeling from left) Bailey McElroy, Meridian; Haley Covert, Collinsville; Paige Gower, Meridian; Claire Milling, Meridian; Kennedy Castleberry, Meridian; Kimbo Seale, Gautier; and (standing from left) Mackenzie Britt, Florence; Kristen Pillsbury Tibbetts, Decatur; Marcia Guerreiro, Richland; Kacy Covert Aubic, Collinsville; Skye Tindall, Newton; Chelsey Vincent, Decatur; Jessy Harrison, Little Rock; Brooke White Compton and Sebastion Webb Compton, Purvis; and soccer coach Kenneth Thompson. Thompson previously led Lady Warrior and Warrior programs and now serves as Warrior head coach. Also participating but not pictured are Hannah Tindall Savell of Newton and Anna-Rose Blaylock of Newton.
These former East Central Community College Warrior soccer players participated in “Soccer Alumni Day” held Saturday, August 16 on the Decatur campus. Activities included a scrimmage with the 2014 squad and a picnic for former and current Warrior and Lady Warrior soccer team members. Soccer Alumni and their current residences include (seated from left) Miguel Lewis, Forest; Ryan Artman, Grenada; Russ Thompson, Decatur; Kennon Craft, Clinton; Jose Aju, Houston; Taylor Potter, Bentonia; Webb Compton, Purvis; and Alejandro Chavez, Starkville; (kneeling from left) Jacob Norman, Gulfport; Edgar Alvarez, Starkville; Will Thompson, Decatur; Jarvis Jordan, Long Beach; Jared Canoy, Gulfport; Clay Aikens, Brandon; David Galvin, Long Beach; Sam Wilson, Decatur; and Paul Sewell, Leesburg, Ala.; and (standing from left) Kenneth Thompson, Warrior head coach; Daniel Casaca, Forest; Forrest Muller, Luling, LA; Clint McGraw, Brandon; Joey Walker, Hickory; Jordan Walker, Decatur; Ryne Riebock, Florence; Drew Norman, Florence; DeShawn Kitchens, Florence; David Harmond, Brandon; Jordan Galvin, Long Beach; and Chris Denney, Flowood. Also participating but not pictured are Garret Blevins, Gulfport; Ronnie Tisdale, Pascagoula; Zack Killion, Crestwood, Kentucky; Tyler Reeves, Decatur; and Zach Kilpatrick, Philadelphia.
Members of the 2014 East Central Community College men’s soccer team scrimmage on the new synthetic turf at Bailey Stadium in preparation for the 2014 campaign. The Soccer Warriors begin season action with a 4 p.m. matchup Friday, August 22 at Southwest Mississippi Community College in Summit. East Central soccer squads will play their first match on the new turf and first home game “under the lights” when they host Copiah-Lincoln Community College Tuesday, Sept. 30. Game times are 5 and 7 p.m.
The East Central Community College women’s soccer team practice on the new synthetic turf at Bailey Stadium in preparation for the 2014 season. The Lady Soccer Warriors start the new season with a 2 p.m. matchup Friday, August 22 at Southwest Mississippi Community College in Summit. East Central soccer squads will play their first match on the new turf and first home game “under the lights” when they host Copiah-Lincoln Community College Tuesday, Sept. 30 on the Decatur campus. Game times are 5 and 7 p.m.
Expectations for success remain high for East Central Community College soccer teams as preparations continue for the season opener scheduled Friday, August 22 with Southwest Mississippi Community College. The women’s contest is set for 2 p.m. followed by the men’s battle at 4 p.m. on the Summit campus.
The home opener has the Lady Warriors and Warriors hosting Mississippi Gulf Community College. Game times are 3 and 5 p.m.
Under second-year head coach Gray Massey, the Lady Warriors look to improve on last year’s 6-10-1 mark.
Despite being a young team with 17 freshmen and just four sophomores, Coach Massey said this year’s group has the potential to be ‘very special.”
“We have a lot of talent on this year’s team, but I am even more impressed with the attitude and work ethic of these young women,” said Coach Massey, who led Florence High School squads to three state titles prior to his arrival at EC. “There is no doubt in my mind that this group will strive to play the EC Way: Excellence with Class!”
The Lady Warriors will count on last year’s leading scorer Ashlan Culberson of Brandon, along with freshmen Carrissa Stevens of Harrison Central, Lacey Field of Lewisburg High School, Tamia Cavett of Jackson Murrah and Addie Ambrosier of Magee, to provide goals.
The midfield will be anchored by Allie Turner of Horn Lake, Megan Yarbrough of Center Hill, Megan Parrish of Pascagoula, Gabby Stapp of West Harrison, Kayla Anderson of Florence, Kaitlyn Blue of South Jones and Katelyn Denton of Lewisburg.
The back line features returnee Tesia Keith of Corinth along with freshmen Dru Elkins of South Jones, Erin Golden of Petal, Christa Breazeale of Harrison Central, Brittany Rasco of Pascagoula, Pashien Kelley-Johnson of West Harrison and Mikayla May of Newton County.
In the goal will be redshirt freshman Alana Walker of Pascagoula and incoming freshman Rachel Davis of Petal.
On the men’s side, longtime head coach Kenneth Thompson said he expects last year’s success to carry over for the 2014 campaign, despite the fact a much younger squad will take the field.
The 2013 squad was hampered with injuries throughout the campaign yet managed to finish 8-8-1 overall and 2-5-1 mark in the MACJC North Division.
“The 2013 season was another exciting year of Warrior Soccer, as every single match was a battle to the final whistle,” said Thompson, who begins his 16th year at the Warrior helm. “The injury bug took its toll….which affected our scoring potential…but defensively we were still very good all over the field.”
For the second-straight year, a Warrior soccer player finished high in Region 23 balloting. Will Thompson placed fourth in the prestigious group, which also qualified the Newton County High School High School product as an NJCAA All-American nominee.
Thompson said this year’s lineup includes a lot of new faces, as mostly sophomores saw action in 2013.
“However, there are several sophomores who contributed heavily or either prepared well in the offseason to be ready to contribute,” said Thompson.
Returning starters include midfielder Jordan Alonso of Newton County, defender Dalton Smith of Florence and keeper Matt Sykes of Heritage Academy in Columbus.
“Jordan will play a key part in our ability to control the game,” said Thompson. “Dalton spent most of his time last year at forward but this year he will be moving to outside back. His ability to move up the side on the attack as well as defend will help anchor the defense. Matt saw limited action last season but he has put in the work necessary to play at his best. How well he plays will be a key to our success.”
Other players who saw significant playing time last year include midfielders Eliud Alvarez of Forest and Chase McNair of Neshoba Central.
“These two guys will have to continue providing strong sophomore leadership early in the season as the freshmen adjust to the college game.”
Regarding the freshman class, Thompson said recruiting was a “challenge,” as many quality players were also recruited by other colleges.
“However, we were able to get many of the players we originally wanted along with some outstanding late-period transfers,” he said. “All in all the new players should provide a strong group.”
Thompson said he expects to start “four or five” freshmen in the lineup.
Top newcomers include forward/keeper Jacob Johnson of Destrehan (La.) High School, defender Carlos Gutierrez and his brother Omar Gutierrez, both of Tupelo, defender Kellen Clark of Newton County and midfielder Jackson Oliver of Clinton.
“Jacob is an outstanding talent who can really score goals, and we hope he continue his success on the college level,” said Thompson. “Omar and Carlos are both highly skilled players who can play the game well and not get rattled under pressure. Kellen is a smart player and will help anchor our new defense, which replaces all four starters. I have known Jackson a long time and have been impressed with his work rate. He always plays the game with a lot of passion.”
Thompson also had praise for transfers Tyler Cook (Mississippi College), a defender from Daphne, Ala., and Landry Lofton (Southwest Mississippi Community College), a forward from Pascagoula.
“Both of these players are very talented and will have a large part in our team’s success,” Thompson said.
In analyzing this year’s team, Thompson said fans should expect to see another traditional Warrior squad.
“We will be a highly-fit team that will play every match with emotion for the 90 minutes regardless of the score,” he said. “This team also has more depth, so hopefully we can utilize more players without losing any quality of play.”
Thompson added, “A major goal of this year’s team is to once again earn top academic honors on the national level. This team is also highly focused on earning a playoff spot and working toward our first state title. It should be an exciting season for Warrior soccer and we hope many of our students and other supporters will take advantage of the opportunity to come see us play.”
For more information, contact Coach Gray Massey (601-635-6234) or Coach Kenneth Thompson (601-635-6370). Their respective email addresses are firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Area youngsters who participated in Lil’ Warrior Soccer, offered as part of Kids’ College activities at East Central Community College in Decatur, included (kneeling from left) Abigail Graham of Philadelphia, Brody Parkes of Louisville, Reid Massey, Charley Hollingsworth and Kent Selman, all of Decatur, and Jonah Mayes of Walker, Louisiana; and (standing from left) Eva Swann of Chunky, Tyler Ray and Donald Blake, both of Decatur; Thomas Dyess and Trey Posey, both of Philadelphia; and Camden Mayes of Walker, Louisiana. Not pictured is Hob Carleton of Union. ECCC men’s soccer coach Kenneth Thompson and ECCC women’s soccer coach Gray Massey led the camp.
Several soccer camps for young athletes will be held this summer at East Central Community College in Decatur.
Activities begin with a High School Girls 7-v-7 Camp scheduled Thursday, June 5.
A High School Boys 7-v-7 Camp will be held Friday, June 6.
Cost is $20 per player.
Individual Skills Camps are also scheduled and will be offered June 16-19 (Monday through Thursday) for various age groups.
Instruction for age five to 11 will be provided from 9 to 11 a.m.
Instruction for age 12 to 18 will be offered from 6 to 8 p.m.
Cost is $100 per camper and includes Warrior Soccer T-Shirt and camp insurance.
For more information, contact co-directors Kenneth Thompson (Warrior head coach) 601-635-6370 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or Gray Massey (Lady Warrior head coach) 601-635-6234 or email email@example.com.
These standout high school soccer players plan to continue their careers at East Central Community College in Decatur. Joining the Warrior squad in 2014-15 are (seated from left) Jacob Johnson, a 5-7, 140-pound forward and product of Destrehan (La.) High School; Cesar Diaz, a 5-7, 130-pound forward from Newton County High School; Jackson Oliver, a 5-11, 163-pound midfielder/forward and Tyler Aaron, a 6-1, 150-pound forward, both products of Clinton High School; and (standing from left) John Mark Howell, a 6’, 225-pound keeper from Amory High School; Durham Norman, a 6’, 147-pound defender from Florence High School; Connor Brenham, a 6’1, 150-pound midfielder from Pearl High School; and Kellen Clark, a 6’, 150-pound defender from Newton County High School. Johnson is a first-team All-District selection. Diaz’s honors include All-District and Golden Boot Award. He helped lead Newton County to the 2013-14 District title and State 4A semifinals. The 2012-13 team also reached the State 4A semi-finals. Oliver was team captain of the 2013-14 squad, which won the District championship. He also helped lead Clinton to the State 6A championships in 2008-09 and 2011-12. Aaron helped lead Clinton to the 2014 District championship. Howell is a recipient of Amory’s Scholar Athlete award. Norman served as captain of the 2014 Florence squad, which finished State Class 4A runners-up. Brennan helped lead Pearl to the 2013-14 State 5A Championship. He was also a member of several recreation and travel soccer championship squads. Clark’s honors include 2011-12 All-District Keeper, 2012-13 Defender of the Year and 2012-13 first team All-District. He helped lead Newton County to the 2012-13 and 2013-14 State 4A semifinals. Also joining the Warrior soccer squad in 2014-15 but not pictured is Jamar Simms, a 5-9, 150-pound defender from Pascagoula High School. EC’s Warrior soccer program is led by head coach Kenneth Thompson.