EMCC freshman Tyler Odom chosen NJCAA All-Region 23 to headline quartet of Lion baseball honorees
May 20, 2013
SCOOBA – Freshman third baseman/pitcher Tyler Odom headlines East Mississippi Community College’s quartet of baseball honorees by being selected to the 2013 NJCAA All-Region 23 Team. Chosen by the head baseball coaches of the Mississippi Association and Community and Junior Colleges, this year’s all-region and all-state baseball selections were officially announced Monday.
All-state honors went to EMCC sophomore pitcher Smokey Ethridge and freshman outfielder Colton Caver, who were selected to the MACJC All-North Division First Team. In addition, Lion freshman Trent Waddell was tabbed as the NJCAA Region 23 nominee for national consideration on the NJCAA’s Gold Glove Team after compiling the highest fielding percentage among all Region 23 starting first basemen this past year.
Odom batted a team-high .390 for head coach Chris Rose’s Lions to rank fourth among all Region 23 hitters, which comprise the states of Mississippi and Louisiana. The former Oak Grove High School standout also stood second on this year’s EMCC squad with 27 runs batted in and nine doubles. Odom also maintained a .544 slugging percentage, including 13 extra-base hits, and a .451 on-base percentage as a collegiate rookie.
A dual threat for this year’s EMCC ballclub, Odom also posted a 3-1 pitching record with a 3.56 earned run average and a save. The rookie right-hander allowed just 21 hits and struck out 17 in 30.1 innings of work on the mound.
For the second straight year, Ethridge was the Lions’ pitching ace by matching his win total from his freshman campaign. Along with his 6-1 mark as a sophomore, the 6-foot-1 right-hander registered a 2.86 earned run average with 39 strikeouts and just 19 walks in 13 pitching appearances. The former West Lauderdale High School hurler completed his two-year EMCC career with a 12-3 pitching record.
A first-year outfielder, Caver finished just behind Odom for the Lions’ batting title by hitting .389 in 44 games. The former Gulfport High School product posted a .490 slugging percentage, tying for second on the team with nine doubles and adding a pair of home runs. Caver also drove home 20 runs and scored 27 times as a collegiate rookie.
Waddell, who prepped at Tuscaloosa’s Northridge High School, fielded at a .994 clip this past year by committing only two errors in 315 total chances at first base. With the bat, the southpaw hit .261 on the year with a team-most 10 doubles in addition to tying for third with four home runs. In addition, Waddell led all EMCC regulars with a .476 on-base percentage, aided by a club-high 42 bases on balls.
East Mississippi's Miles Respess set to tee off at NJCAA Division II Men's Golf Championship
May 20, 2013
SCOOBA – For the third time in the last five years, East Mississippi Community College is being represented in the NJCAA Division II Men’s Golf Championship. EMCC sophomore Miles Respess begins competition Tuesday in the four-day national tournament being held at Goose Pond Colony Golf Course in Scottsboro, Ala.
Respess, from Paragould, Ark., qualified for this week’s NJCAA Championship by tying for fourth place (76-76—152) during last month’s NJCAA Region 23 Championship played at Dancing Rabbit Golf Club. With top-five finishes in each of his last three tournaments played, Respess tied for fifth (72-73—145) at this year’s MACJC State Golf Championship to help lead head coach Dale Peay’s 20th-ranked EMCC Lions to a third consecutive state runner-up golf finish.
In addition to claiming NJCAA All-Region 23 honors this year, Respess played his way onto the MACJC All-State Second Team to give EMCC a school-best three all-state golfers in 2013. Caleb Westmoreland, a product of Heritage Academy, earned first-team honors, while fellow EMCC sophomore Nick Davis, of Springville, Ala., also collected second-team plaudits.
Set to tee off at 7:54 a.m. Tuesday, Respess presently owns a team-leading 77.2 stroke average for the 2013 campaign. He owns four top-five finishes in seven tournaments this spring, including tying for runner-up honors (73-71—144) at the EMCC-hosted, regular-season finale played at the Mississippi State University Golf Course in Starkville.
Respess becomes the seventh golfer in school history to represent East Mississippi Community College in the NJCAA Championship. Most recently, Weston Wallace (Northwest Rankin HS) and Zack Bailey (Caledonia HS) participated in the 2011 national tournament two years ago at Goose Pond Colony. Previously for Coach Peay’s EMCC Lions, Hal Larkin (Caledonia HS) tied for 53rd place at the 2009 NJCAA Division II Championship also held at Goose Pond.
Prior EMCC participants to compete in the NJCAA Men’s Golf Championship were Gary Sheppard (2004 in Arizona), Matt King (2001 in Texas) and Drew McBrayer (1999 in North Carolina).
A total of 43 schools will be represented at this week’s (May 21-24) NJCAA Division II Men’s Golf Championship, including 18 full teams and selected individual qualifiers from other junior colleges throughout the country. Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College will represent the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges for the sixth consecutive year as six-time reigning NJCAA Region 23 team champions.
The MACJC will also be represented individually at nationals this week by Copiah-Lincoln’s Corbin May, Shelby Patterson of East Central, Jones County’s Branning Dykes, and Chad Cupples of Northwest Mississippi.
With a four-star rating by Golf Digest magazine, Goose Pond Colony is a George Cobb-designed course that sits on the banks of the Tennessee River’s Lake Guntersville and nestled into the Cumberland Mountains. The par-72 layout will play 7,101 yards to a rating of 73.1, slope 129. Daily results from this week’s national tournament will be available online at http://www.mccaa.org/f/0/3/Golf/2013_Golf_Nationals.php.
Michael Morgan hired as assistant women's basketball coach at East Mississippi Community College
May 10, 2013
SCOOBA – Michael Morgan has been hired as an assistant women’s basketball coach at East Mississippi Community College, as announced this week by EMCC head women’s basketball coach Sharon Thompson. Morgan’s hiring has been approved by EMCC President Dr. Rick Young and EMCC Vice President/Director of Athletics Mickey Stokes.
Morgan arrives on the Scooba campus after having spent last season as an assistant women’s basketball coach at Saint Joseph’s College, an NCAA Division II program headquartered in Rensselaer, Ind. While serving as the Pumas’ recruiting coordinator, he also had scouting responsibilities of the team’s opponents as well as with the day-to-day development of SJC’s post and perimeter players.
“I am extremely excited about bringing Coach “Red” (Morgan) into our women’s basketball program here at EMCC,” Thompson said. “His character, tireless work ethic and compassion will be key assets in our recruiting efforts as well as with the day-to-day development of our student-athletes.”
Prior to entering the collegiate coaching ranks, Morgan acquired head coaching experience at a pair of Christian schools in his home state of Florida. While completing coursework for his bachelor’s degree in biblical studies with an emphasis in youth from Trinity College of Florida, Morgan spent two seasons serving as the head girls’ basketball coach at Tampa-based Oldsmar Christian School before taking on identical head coaching duties for a season at Faith Baptist Christian School in Brandon.
During his one season at FBCS, Morgan guided the 2011-12 Lady Eagles to a 48-8 record and a runner-up finish in the Sunshine Independent Athletic Association. As he did previously at Oldsmar, Morgan also served as the program’s fundraising coordinator in creating a $30,000 budget for season expenses. Prior to that, Morgan inherited a struggling women’s hoops program at Oldsmar Christian School and promptly directed the Lady Eagles to a two-year composite record of 37-16. He also assisted the boys’ basketball program while at Oldsmar.
Morgan’s circuitous basketball playing career landed him at Trinity College of Florida, a New Port Richey-based school affiliated with the National Christian College Athletic Association, in 2007. After playing his freshman season at North Carolina A&T University and transferring to North Carolina Wesleyan College for his sophomore year, Morgan ended up at Trinity College of Florida following a two-year leave from college activity. His return to the basketball court was met with individual success, as the 6-foot-5 Morgan claimed 2007-08 All-South Region First Team honors. While also finishing as runner-up in the South Region’s Player of the Year voting, Morgan ranked among the NCCAA Division II national leaders in several statistical categories as a junior. The two-time team captain for the Tigers capped his collegiate career by earning honorable mention all-region laurels as a senior in 2008-09.
Upon graduating from Eastern Wayne High School in Goldsboro, N.C., in 2001, Morgan spent two years serving in the United States Air Force. While dividing his enlistment time between Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas and Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina, he managed to find time to lead his respective base league teams in scoring. Morgan spent his early prep years at Walter L. Sickles High School in Tampa.
East Mississippi freshman catcher Abby Roberts named to 2013 NJCAA All-Region 23 Softball Team
May 9, 2013
SCOOBA – East Mississippi Community College freshman catcher Abby Roberts has been chosen to the 2013 NJCAA All-Region 23 Softball Team. As selected by the junior college head softball coaches in Mississippi and Louisiana, the 15-member team was announced Thursday.
In addition to ranking second among the NJCAA Region 23 ranks with her .431 batting average, Roberts led head coach Kyndall White’s EMCC Lady Lions in slugging percentage (.602) and on-base percentage (.474) this past year as a collegiate rookie. The former Clarkdale High School standout also tied for the club lead with 29 runs batted in to go along with her team-most 15 extra-base hits, which included 11 doubles, two triples and a pair of home runs.
As the recipient of this year’s Best Defensive Player (Golden Glove) honor for the MACJC’s North Division, Roberts fielded at a .981 clip behind the plate for EMCC. The Lady Lions’ backstop committed only four errors in 209 total chances on the year. With her all-region selection, Roberts will now vie for NJCAA All-American consideration.
“Abby’s success this season comes from her hard work and dedication to the sport of softball,” said EMCC’s White, who guided the 24-19 Lady Lions to an MACJC North Division runner-up finish and the program’s fifth consecutive appearance in the MACJC State Softball Tournament in her first season at the EMCC helm. “This is a well deserved honor for Abby because of the way she competes day in and day out as a team leader.”
Other MACJC North Division players making this year’s NJCAA All-Region 23 Softball Team were Andrea Cutts (Northeast Mississippi), Kelsey Marter (Holmes) and Jessi Patterson (Itawamba).
State tournament champion and eighth-ranked Jones County fielded a team-high four players on the all-region squad in Samantha Buller, Bethany Volking, Karley Crosby and MaKenzie Hawkins. Following with two all-region selections apiece were state tourney runner-up and seventh-ranked Mississippi Gulf Coast (Reina Beluia and Lea Kittrell) along with nationally top-ranked LSU Eunice (Kelsey Hollier and Julienne Broussard) and fellow NJCAA Region 23 Tournament participant Pearl River (Whitney Waits and Kelsea Lewis). Ty Buckley, of East Central, was also named to this year’s NJCAA All-Region 23 softball squad.
State-most six EMCC Lady Lion players secure spots on 2013 MACJC All-North Division Softball Team
May 9, 2013
SCOOBA – East Mississippi Community College placed a state-most six players on this year’s MACJC All-North Division Softball Team, as released this week after being voted on by the division’s head softball coaches.
Securing one of the four individual player superlatives delegated to MACJC North Division standouts, EMCC freshman catcher Abby Roberts earned Best Defensive Player (Golden Glove) honors. In addition to ranking second among all NJCAA Region 23 hitters with her .431 batting average, Roberts also fielded at a .981 clip during the season. The former Clarkdale High School product also compiled a .602 slugging percentage and .474 on-base percentage as a collegiate rookie while leading EMCC with 11 doubles and tying for the club lead with 29 runs batted in.
EMCC also led the way within the division with three players being named to the 10-member first team, as Lady Lion sophomores Haley Tutor and Misty Richard were joined by freshman first baseman/pitcher Halie Green. Tutor, from New Hope High School, batted .375 as the team’s lead-off hitter with a club-most 35 runs scored as well as 27 runs driven in. Richard, out of West Lauderdale High School, hit .282 this past year and ranked fourth on the team with eight doubles. Hailing from Lafayette, La., Green led EMCC with five home runs and 29 RBIs on the year while also posting a 6-5 pitching record.
Two more Lady Lion sophomores were selected to the all-division second team in pitcher Amelia LaVergne and outfielder Amber Spann. From Rayne, La., LaVergne posted an 8-8 pitching record and 2.60 earned run average on the year with 10 complete games in the circle. Spann, another Clarkdale product, hit .358 for the season with 26 RBIs and 24 runs scored.
Also receiving individual division honors for this year’s East Mississippi club were freshmen Corey Dawkins (Brooksville/Pickens Academy [Ala.]), Taylor Hackney (Bayou Academy) and Kendra Wilson (South Lamar HS/Millport, Ala.), who all garnered honorable mention recognition.
As a team under first-year head softball coach Kyndall White, the 2013 EMCC Lady Lions were 24-19 overall and finished as MACJC North Division runners-up with a 17-7 division mark. EMCC also extended its current streak with a fifth consecutive appearance in the MACJC State Softball Tournament.
The other individual superlatives handed out to MACJC North Division softball players for this season went to Holmes pitcher Kelsey Marter as Most Valuable Player, Itawamba’s Rebecca Sloan as Best Overall Pitcher, and Andrea Cutts of Northeast Mississippi as Best Offensive Player. MACJC North Division Coach of the Year honors went to Andy Kirk of the division champion ICC Lady Indians.