"Year of the Cat!" - JCJC enjoys outstanding 2013-14 year in athletics
July 2, 2014
By Shawn Wansley
JCJC Sports Information Director
ELLISVILLE – Al Stewart sang about the “Year of the Cat” way back in 1976.
That song from many years ago could easily apply to the 2013-14 Jones County Junior College year in athletics.
As a team, the Bobcats won one national championship (men’s basketball), five MACJC championships (women’s soccer, women’s basketball, women’s tennis, softball, baseball), three Region 23 titles, (men’s basketball, women’s soccer, women’s tennis) and six MACJC South Division crowns (football, women’s soccer, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, baseball and softball).
JCJC won the state championship in every women’s sport it participates in – soccer, basketball, softball and tennis.
Individually, JCJC had five All-Americans selected, two national Players of the Year and one national tournament Most Valuable Player.
Taking the cumulative records of all of the athletic teams in 2013-14, JCJC had a 206-43-1 record – an .826 winning percentage.
“We had a great year,” said athletic director Katie Herrington. “It really is amazing when you sit back and reflect on what we accomplished.”
The official year in athletics was from July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014.
Topping the list of accomplishments for the year is men’s basketball.
The Bobcats became the first MACJC men’s team to ever win the NJCAA Division I Men’s National Tournament when they stunned No. 1 seed Indian Hills Community College (Iowa), 87-77, in the championship game on March 22 in the Hutchinson Sports Arena in Hutchinson, Kansas.
The victory capped an incredible run of five victories in five days for the Bobcats.
JCJC entered the tournament as the No. 11 seed and proceeded to beat No. 22 Highland Community College (Illinois), 81-79; No. 6 Hill College (Texas), 91-82 in overtime; No. 3 Chipola College (Florida), 86-79; and No. 2 Vincennes College (Indiana), 76-63, before beating Indian Hills.
Brooklyn, New York, freshman forward Leroy “Truck” Fludd was named the Most Valuable Player for the tournament and Kiln sophomore forward Johnny Zuppardo was named to the All-Tournament Team.
The Bobcats had qualified for the nationals by capturing the Region 23 Tournament for the first time ever. JCJC beat Pearl River 80-67 on March 8 at the A.E. Wood Coliseum on the campus of Mississippi College in Clinton for the title.
The win that propelled the Bobcats to the region title and their national championship run took place the night before when Zuppardo made a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give JCJC a 73-72 overtime victory over four-time defending region champion East Mississippi in the semifinals.
Zuppardo was named All-Region 23, to the All-Region 23 Tournament team and All-MACJC South Division first-team. He also played in the NJCAA Men’s Basketball All-Star Game in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Fludd was named All-Region 23 Honorable Mention, to the All-Region 23 Tournament team and All-MACJC South Division second-team.
Thaddeus “Pop” Hall and Bryce Jones were named All-Region 23 Honorable Mention and All-MACJC South Division Honorable Mention. Leo Garrett participated in the MACJC All-Star Game.
Ladner’s team ended the year with a 28-5 record. Ladner, who is now the head coach at Southeastern Louisiana University, was named the NJCAA Coach of the Year and Region 23 Coach of the Year.
The Lady Bobcats posted a phenomenal 52-6 record and won its third straight MACJC crown.
JCJC was ranked No. 2 in the final NJCAA poll and finished second in the Region 23 Tournament – which the Lady Bobcats hosted for the first time ever at Community Bank Park – and the NJCAA Division II National Tournament in Clinton.
Quitman freshman first baseman Tori Dew was named the NJCAA Division II Player of the Year, was a first-team All-American and was All-Region 23.
Iowa, Louisiana, pitcher Samantha Buller, centerfielder CC Lawn of Meridian and shortstop/pitcher Lauren Holifield of Columbus were named All-Region 23.
Second baseman Makenzie Hawkins of Nettleton, third baseman Brittany Seale of Ecru and catcher Bailey Stokes of Madison were named All-MACJC.
Buller, Stokes, Holifield and Dew were named to the NJCAA Division II All-Tournament Team. Lawn was named the Most Outstanding Offensive Player of the NJCAA Division II Tournament.
Head coach Chris Robinson was named the MACJC and MAC Coach of the Year.
The Lady Bobcats had a memorable season, posting a 17-2 record and winning the MACJC/Region 23 titles.
Head coach Dolores Deasley’s Lady Bobcats hosted Eastern Florida State College in the NJCAA District H playoff game and lost 2-0. It was the first time for an NJCAA playoff game to be played on the JCJC campus.
JCJC outscored its opponents by a remarkable 77-6 margin during the year and finished ranked No. 12 in the nation. They were rated No. 10 at one point.
Greene County’s Kelsey Cochran was named third-team All-American, All-Region 23 and participated in the first-ever MACJC All-Star Game. She scored a goal in the South’s 2-1 win over the North.
Kelsey Simms of Lafayette, Indiana, and Briahnna Dickerson of Gautier were named All-Region 23. Brittany Farrar of Brandon and Laurel Riebock of Florence were named All-MACJC and competed in the All-Star Game. Macy Rogers of George County and Lindy Tabor of Florence were named All-MACJC.
Deasley was named the MACJC, Region 23 and Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC) Coach of the Year.
The Lady Bobcats won the MACJC/Region 23 Tournament at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in April and finished 19th in the NJCAA Division I National Tournament in Tyler, Texas, in May.
They were 13-1 during the regular season.
In the MACJC/Region 23 Tournament, Elizabeth Wright of Gautier won No. 5 singles and Brooke Martin of Purvis won No. 6 singles. Wright and Krissy Stutts of Petal won No. 3 doubles. Martin and Brenda Hegwood of Petal won No. 2 doubles.
Martin reached the finals of the No. 6 singles consolation round in the nationals.
Head coach Mark Easley was named the Region 23 Coach of the Year.
The Bobcats finished 46-11, were ranked No. 6 in the final NJCAA Division II poll and won the MACJC championship in Booneville in May. The Bobcats hosted the Region 23 Tournament and finished second to Hinds.
Petal catcher Tyler Graves was named the NJCAA Division II Spalding National Player of the Year, ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove winner, third-team NJCAA Division II All-American, All-Region 23 and first-team All-MACJC.
Terry pitcher Westin Stringer was named second-team NJCAA Division II All-American, All-Region 23 and first-team All-MACJC.
Taylorsville third baseman Josh Pankratz was an ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove winner and second-team All-MACJC. Centerfielder Chris Morgan of Madison was All-Region 23 and All-MACJC.
Second baseman Trent Giambrone of Metairie, Louisiana, and pitcher/designated hitter Chase Hensley of Humboldt, Tennessee, were first-team All-MACJC.
Pitcher Lane Ratliff of Purvis was a first-team All-MACJC player and was a sixth-round draft choice of the Seattle Mariners.
Rightfielder Alex Shermer of Brandon, first baseman Jordan Stark of Flowood and pitcher Cole Barlow of Madison were second-team All-MACJC.
Head coach Christian Ostrander was named the MACJC and MAC Coach of the Year.
The Lady Bobcats were tri-champions of the MACJC South Division and were the top seed out of the division for the state tournament. They won the MACJC Tournament in February at Fulton when they beat Southwest Mississippi in the finals.
JCJC ended the year at 19-8.
Kaylan Hughes of McComb was named All-Region 23, to the All-Region 23 Tournament Team and All-MACJC South Division first-team. Bassfield’s Starla Daggans was named All-Region 23 Honorable Mention. Crystal Clay of Meridian and Alyson Johnson of Byram were All-MACJC South Division Honorable Mention. Hughes and Taylorsville’s Latisha McCullum were chosen to participate in the MACJC All-Star Game.
Head coach Sandra Sumrall was named the MACJC and MAC Co-Coach of the Year, along with Jocelyn McGilberry of Meridian Community College.
The Bobcat football team finished 9-2, won the MACJC South Division and finished MACJC runnerup behind eventual national champion East Mississippi.
Wide receiver JaMicheal Willis of Gardendale, Alabama, was a third-team NJCAA All-American and All-Region 23 selection. Stringer offensive tackle Jalen Beavers, Memphis, Tennessee, defensive tackle Steven Eddings and Hattiesburg punter Grant McLaurin were named All-MACJC first-team.
Quitman wide receiver Quartez Cooks, Woodville offensive tackle James Anthony, Oak Grove quarterback Steven Swindle, South Jones defensive tackle Jamarcus Blanks, Hoover, Alabama linebacker Jamal Lucas, Lumberton cornerback Victor Jenkins and Jackson safety D’Andre Jackson were named All-MACJC second-team. McLaurin made the second-team as a placekicker.
Swindle, Beavers, Eddings, Jenkins, running back Justin Harris of Morton and wide receiver Taylor Higgason of Petal were chosen to play in the MACJC All-Star Football Classic.
Ray Perkins, who resigned after two years as head coach, was named the MACJC Coach of the Year and the MAC Co-Coach of the Year, along with Buddy Stephens of East Mississippi.
The Bobcats finished the regular season with a 10-4 record and finished 20th in the NJCAA Division I National Tournament in Plano, Texas.
Shreveport, Louisiana, freshman Josiah Lim advanced to the No. 3 singles consolation round in the nationals.
The Bobcats finished third in the MACJC South Division and advanced to the MACJC/Region 23 Tournament semifinals with a win over Northwest Mississippi. They ended the year with a 12-4-1 record.
Kevin Ndongo of Mobile, Alabama, and Souleymane Diakite of Baker, Louisiana, were named All-Region 23. Evan Buckley of West Jones and JaMarcus Ducksworth of Northeast Jones were named All-MACJC.
Ducksworth and Ndongo were both named to the first-ever MACJC All-Star Game with Ndongo scoring both goals for the South in its 2-1 win over the North.
The Bobcats golfers were sixth in the MACJC Tournament and fifth in the Region 23 event.
Patrick Dickson of Mize qualified for the nationals by making a 50-foot eagle putt on the 10th playoff hole of the regionals. He was named to the All-Region 23 Tournament Team and tied for 63rd in the 128-player field of the NJCAA Division II National Tournament in May in Plymouth, Indiana.
The JCJC women’s soccer team celebrates after capturing the MACJC/Region 23 Tournament in November at Hinds.
Photo/Shawn Wansley, JCJC Sports Information