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FOOTBALL:  EAST MS CC CLAIMS SECOND STRAIGHT NJCAA NATIONAL TITLE AND THIRD NATIONAL TITLE IN FOUR YEARS WITH 34-17 WIN OVER IOWA WESTERN CC
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Jones County FCA Christmas Party Boosts Spirits Of Local Youngsters
Release Date:12/14/2014
Jones County Junior College

ELLISVILLE – Four years ago, nine youngsters were helped at the inaugural Jones County Chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Christmas Party.

On the evening of Dec. 10, 2014, 71 children were the recipients of love, kindness and gifts during the 4th annual event, which was held on the campus of Jones County Junior College.

Jones County FCA Director Justin Graves was ecstatic after the conclusion of this year’s party.

“Without a doubt, this was the biggest ever,” he said. “We were able to adopt 71 kids this year and 64 of them were able to come to our party. We will deliver gifts privately to those not able to be here.

“From nine to over 70 children – it’s just wild. There is no way we could have done this without the community and without our Jones County FCA Leadership Board. Our coaches stepped up tremendously and our athletes just owned it. We had more involvement this year in the community, even from non-athletic groups. Some of them got to adopt kids. It was just a huge team effort.”

Graves said counselors at local elementary schools gave the FCA a list of disadvantaged children who could use some help during this time of the year. Jones County FCA Leadership Board member Priscilla Herrington coordinated the effort from there.

“We have to give thanks to our counselors at our elementary schools,” Graves said. “They are amazing. They handpicked these children who just need a little extra help for Christmas. Priscilla Herrington collected all of the information from all of the counselors and I believe every counselor was here to support their kids.

“The counselors are just huge, they know the kids way better than we do and they know who needs help.”

Student-athletes from Laurel, Northeast Jones, South Jones, West Jones, Laurel Christian School and JCJC, along with students, coaches and private individuals, collected the money to help the children.

“The kids get together as a team and raise the money themselves,” Graves said. “Depending on the size of the team, they will collect $10 or $20 apiece or whatever. Then they will all go shopping together, whether it’s in Laurel or Hattiesburg or Ellisville. That’s the fun part.

“It’s interesting to me that some teams will adopt two kids and they will raise the money for one and then their coach will match that for the other kid. That’s happened a lot this year and that’s very special.”

Graves said to see the FCA members purchase the gifts, present them to the children and then see their reaction – both the FCA members and the children – brings it all together for him.

“From where I sit with FCA, this is a great way to show our athletes how they can impact their community in a very tangible way,” he said. “This is a way they can practically live out the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no better way than finding somebody in need and meeting that need in the name of Jesus. They get to experience that firsthand.”

The event began in two venues.

The FCA members, coaches and others gathered in the A.B. Howard Gymnasium.

JCJC baseball player Perry Turner and Bobcat cheerleader Joanna Word led the crowd in Christmas carols.

Northeast Jones Principal Cooper Pope delivered the Christmas message from Luke, Chapter 2, and Pine Belt Area FCA Director Mitchell Williams followed with a message and an invitation to those in attendance to accept Jesus Christ as their savior.

At the same time, more student-athletes and individuals were on hand in classrooms in the Thoms P.E. Building, along with the children, to listen to Christmas songs, the Christmas story and testimonies.

After about one hour, those in the Howard Gym walked over to the P.E. Building where the presents had been placed. The children were then led out of the classrooms into the gym of the building where they went to each team or private group and received their gifts.

An estimated crowd of over 500 people was in the P.E. Building at the time of the gift presentations.

Graves said the late Bill Buckner, who led the Mississippi FCA for 27 years before his death in May of this year, said the FCA Christmas Party was special.

“Mr. Buckner said it was one of the most significant things our FCA gets to do,” he said. “He said it brings four things together: Jesus, giving, coaches and athletes. That sums it up perfectly.”

To find out more about local FCA events, go to Facebook and “Like” the JCJC Fellowship of Christian Athletes page, or to www.pinebeltfca.org or to www.mississippifca.org.

c spire Men's Basketball Headlines
Latest Men's Basketball Story

Unbeaten Wildcats Move Up To No. 23 In Latest Hoops Poll
Release Date: 12/17/2014
Pearl River Community College

POPLARVILLE --- Pearl River Community College’s undefeated men’s basketball team moved up to the No. 23 in the latest NJCAA’s Division I basketball poll released Tuesday.

The Wildcat squad was ranked No. 25 in Dec. 9’s balloting, marking the first time The River men appeared in the national poll since 2013’s MACJC state championship season. In 2013, the team was ranked as high as No. 12 in that year’s Feb. 12 balloting and wrapped its season at the No. 20 spot.

The River, under the leadership of head coach Richard Mathis who is amidst his 23rd season at the Wildcat helm, is 9-0 overall and 2-0 in MACJC South Division play after Monday’s 66-50 victory over rival Copiah-Lincoln in Wesson following Dec. 4’s 81-69 win over Southwest Mississippi in Poplarville.

Mathis is no stranger to championship hoops, as he boasts a total of eight MACJC titles --- including six at Pearl River in 1995, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2010, and 2013. He previously won a men’s championship at Northeast Mississippi in Booneville and a women’s title at his alma mater East Mississippi in Scooba. Mathis’ Lady Lions squad at EMCC finished its season at 31-1 and a No. 2 finish in the NJCAA National Tournament. East Miss’ only loss of the season was to Panola (Tex.) in the national title bout.

Assistant coaches are Chris Oney (fourth season) and Shane Maynard (second season).

Currently on the Christmas holiday break, PRCC’s women’s and men’s squad returns to action Monday, Jan. 4, against Delgado (La.) in New Orleans.


c spire Women's Basketball Headlines
Latest Women's Basketball Story

Ivy Earns Third Weekly League Honor Of Distinguished Career
Release Date: 12/17/2014
Northeast Mississippi Community College

Booneville, Miss. - Northeast Mississippi Community College women’s basketball standout Aushiana Ivy broke free of a recent slump on the court to collect her second conference accolade of the season.

Ivy was selected as the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) Player of the Week for games contested December 8-14.

“She’s the heart and soul of our team and a great pleasure to be around,” said Lady Tigers head coach Brian Alexander. “Anytime you have those type of characteristics from a player, it’s always fun to see them get acknowledged for their work.”

Ivy suffered through a four-game drought following the Northeast Tipoff Classic in which she did not reach the double-digit plateau in scoring. But the sophomore found her touch once again and guided the Lady Tigers to a pair of victories in their final full week of competition during the 2014 calendar year.

The Shannon High School graduate scored Northeast’s initial five points on the road at Mississippi Delta Community College to give her team a lead that it would not relinquish throughout the duration of the crucial MACJC North Division tilt.

She scored the majority of her points after the break and helped the Lady Tigers pull away with an old-fashioned three-point play midway through the second. She sank two attempts at the charity stripe moments later to give Northeast a comfortable 73-54 advantage over the Lady Trojans.

Ivy recorded her eighth career double-double with 22 points and a season-best 12 rebounds inside Mississippi Delta’s J.T. Hall Coliseum. She shot 50 percent from the floor overall and added two assists, one steal and one block.

The 5-10 forward returned to legendary Bonner Arnold Coliseum four days later and tallied 32 points, which was one away from tying her personal top mark, and made a career-high 11 field goals in a triumph against Snead State (Ala.) Community College.

The Lady Tigers never trailed the Lady Parsons following an 8-0 run to start the contest that included a basket by Ivy. She then accounted for eight points in a span of three minutes to put Northeast ahead 57-38 at halftime.

Ivy totaled 57 minutes of action last week and averaged 28 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, two steals and 0.5 blocks per matchup. She registered a combined field goal percentage of 54.1 and was 14 of 25 at the free throw line.

“It’s a blessing that I can’t even describe,” Ivy said. “I had to come in and practice hard each day just to keep it up. Coach (Alexander) gives us the plays and it’s up to us to dominate those. I think that’s what I did.”

Ivy is currently among the top 10 student-athletes in the Magnolia State in the categories of points and rebounds each outing. She sits at fourth with 15.8 points and ninth at 7.4 boards.

The Tupelo native had a stellar opening campaign in the City of Hospitality as well. She was named to the MACJC All-State team and notched 13.9 points and 8.6 rebounds in 23 starts for the Lady Tigers.

This is the third time that Ivy has earned the MACJC’s weekly prize during her phenomenal career. She most recently received this distinction after leading Northeast to wins versus reigning National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Tournament participants Southwest Mississippi Community College and Baton Rouge (La.) Community College in early November.

Ivy is now eligible for laurels from the NJCAA, which announces its countrywide accolades on Wednesday.

c spire Football Headlines
Latest Football Story

EMCC's Buddy Stephens Earns Spalding® NJCAA Football Coach of the Year Honor
Release Date: 12/23/2014
East Mississippi Community College

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The NJCAA national office announced Buddy Stephens of East Mississippi Community College as the 2014 Spalding® NJCAA Football Coach of the Year as presented by the NJCAA Football Coaches Association.

“I'm extremely honored and humbled to accept this award on behalf of our outstanding coaching staff at East Mississippi Community College,” Stephens said. “This award is a product of the collective efforts of all of my assistant coaches, our school administration at EMCC, campus faculty and support staff personnel, so the recognition expressed by our NJCAA coaching peers is especially rewarding.”

Stephens directed East Mississippi to an unprecedented third NJCAA championship in four years in 2014, having claimed the title in 2011 and 2013. East Mississippi is just the third program to win back-to-back outright titles and the first to do so since Butler (Kan.) won consecutive championships in 1998 and 1999.

After seven years at helm in Scooba, Stephens boasts a 68-10 record and is tied for 10th among active NJCAA coaches for most wins. He is the second-winningest active NJCAA coach with a .872 winning percentage and is quickly approaching the top man on that list, Butler’s Troy Morrell.

Earning his second honor in a week, Stephens became the first two-time winner of the American Community College Football Coaches Association (ACCFCA) Coach of the Year award Thursday.

This marks the second year that Spalding® – the official football of the NJCAA – has recognized the nation’s top head coach. Georgia Military’s Bert Williams received the inaugural honor in 2013.

“I'm very grateful to follow in the distinguished footsteps of last year's inaugural winner, Coach Bert Williams of Georgia Military College, with whom all of us throughout the country have the utmost respect for,” Stephens said.

“We're also very appreciative of the quality partnership and superb teamwork between the NJCAA and Spalding®. The NJCAA's tremendous efforts and Spalding's® top-notch products certainly make for an ideal partnership.”

Entering the season as the top-ranked team in the country, East Mississippi met their expectations with a perfect 12-0 season. The Lions earned five victories over top 10 teams during the season, including – Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) as No. 3 and No. 10, No. 12 Jones County (Miss.), No. 5 Mississippi Gulf Coast and No. 2 Iowa Western for the national title.

Playing in the NJCAA Championship Game at the Mississippi Bowl for the second straight year, East Mississippi faced a grueling challenge against No. 2 Iowa Western – the only other program to win an NJCAA title since 2011. The Lions made an early statement by forcing five turnovers en route to 34-17 victory.

The Lions cruised through their nine-game regular season schedule, outscoring opponents 515-38. East Mississippi closed out the slate with five consecutive shutouts to finish 9-0 with their fourth straight MACJC North Division crown – sixth in Stephens’ seven-year tenure. In the postseason, the Lions defeated Mississippi Gulf Coast 42-21 before beating Copiah-Lincoln 54-15 in the MACJC Championship Game for their fourth conference title.

For the second straight season, East Mississippi conquered opponents with a relentless defense. The Lions led the nation in scoring defense – giving up just 7.6 points per game – and ranked second with 198.1 yards allowed per game. Showcasing their playmaking abilities, East Mississippi ranked third in takeaways with 21 interceptions and 14 fumble recoveries on the year.

The Lions defensive unit featured two NJCAA First Team All-America selections in sophomore linebackers Lorenzo Phillips and Demetrius Cain. A transfer from LSU, Phillips is looking to return to the Southeastern Conference next season with reported offers from Alabama, Georgia and Texas A&M.

With NJCAA First Team All-America quarterback Chad Kelly behind center, Stephens once again boasted one of the nation’s top offenses. East Mississippi’s top-ranked passing attack averaged 365.1 yards per game through the air. The Lions ranked fourth in the nation in scoring – averaging 53.8 points per game – and fifth in total offense with 537.1 yards per game.

A sophomore, Kelly signed with Ole Miss for the opportunity to become Stephens’ second former quarterback to start for the Rebels. Current Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace led East Mississippi to Stephens’ first NJCAA championship in 2011. In the trenches, sophomore offensive lineman and Oklahoma signee Jamal Danley received second team All-America honors.

In 2001, Stephens began his NJCAA coaching career as an assistant at Pearl River (Miss.). After seven years with the Wildcats, he was brought on by East Mississippi as head coach in 2008.

A native of Huntsville, Alabama, Stephens was a standout offensive lineman at Pearl River before moving on to NCAA Division II program Delta State. Stephens continued on as a graduate assistant with the Statesman after earning his bachelor’s degree. He landed a full-time position at Louisiana-Monroe – where he would earn a master’s degree in 1992 – before embarking on a successful high school coaching career in Alabama and Louisiana.

About the Spalding® NJCAA Football Coach of the Year award

The NJCAA Football Coaches Association annually recognizes the top head football coach in the country with the NJCAA Football Coach of the Year award. Spalding® partnered with the NJCAA in 2013 to become the title sponsor of the award.

Spalding® in the Collegiate Football Market

Spalding® is currently the official football of the Arena Football League (AFL) – a distinction held since 2004. In the collegiate market, Spalding® is the official football the Southwestern Athletic Conference (NCAA Div. I), the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference (NCAA Div. I), the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (NCAA Div. II) and the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NCAA Div. II). Spalding® is a trademark of Russell Brands, LLC.

About the NJCAA

Since 1938 the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) has been the governing body of two-year college athletics, offering athletic and academic opportunities to college students. The NJCAA is the second largest national intercollegiate athletic organization in the United States with over 500 member schools in 43 states. Each year nearly 60,000 student-athletes compete in one of 28 different sports and the organization sponsors 48 national championship events and nine football bowl games. NJCAA Headquarters has been located in Colorado Springs, Colo., since 1985. For more information visit www.njcaa.org.

c spire Golf Headlines
Latest Golf Story

Hinds CC Golf Releases 2015 Schedule
Release Date: 11/20/2014
Hinds Community College

RAYMOND – Hinds Community College head golf coach Ernie Rogers recently announced his 2015 tournament event schedule.

The Eagles will play five regular season events starting on Saturday, Feb. 7 at Wolf Hollow Golf Club in Wesson.

Hinds will then host day one of the next event on February 28 at Eagle Ridge Golf Course in Raymond before heading to Wesson for the second day of the team’s second tournament event on March 1.

Rogers' crew will head into postseason play after the five statewide events, heading to Lion Hills Golf Course in Columbus for the annual Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) state tournament on April 18-19.

Seeding in the state tournament will determine regional and national tournament standings.

The Region XXIII tournament will be played on April 26-27 at the Laurel Country Club in Laurel, while the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) national tournament will be played at the Goose Pond Colony Resort in Scottsboro, Ala., on May 17-22.

For more on Hinds golf and to view the complete 2015 schedule go to www.hindsccsports.com.


c spire Rodeo Headlines
Latest Rodeo Story

Hinds CC Student-athletes Named To Who’s Who
East Mississippi Rodeo Teams Place Fourth In Both Men’s And Women’s Competition At Murray State-hosted Event
East Mississippi Rodeo Teams Place Fourth And Seventh At Three Rivers College Event
EMCC Women’s Rodeo Team Makes School History With First-place Finish In Fall Opener At Missouri Valley College
ECCC Athletic Teams Recognized For Academic Excellence
ECCC Leads Nation In Student-Athlete Honors
Thirty Northwest Student-Athletes Named MACJC Academic All-State
EMCC’s Fisher-Pruitt Team Roping Tandem Finishes 10th To Secure School-best, 28th-place Team Rodeo Finish At 2014 CNFR
Team Roping Tandem Of Colt Fisher And Justin Pruitt To Represent EMCC Rodeo At CNFR In Wyoming
Ben Cullum Wins Ozark Region In Bull Riding


See the full Rodeo News list
Hinds CC Student-athletes Named To Who’s Who
Release Date: 11/12/2014
Hinds Community College

RAYMOND – A number of Hinds Community College student-athletes were recently named to Who's Who Among Students in American Community and Junior Colleges.

The sophomore students were named to this program due to their achievements in academics and leadership qualities shown throughout their two years in community college.

Each Hinds recipient was recently honored at the annual Who’s Who ceremony on Friday, Nov. 7 in Cain Cochran Hall on the Raymond Campus.

A complete list of Hinds athletes named to Who's Who include:

Baseball

Graham Ahlrich (Madison)Randy Bell (Woodville)Keller Bradford (Raymond)Houston Case (Brookhaven)Andrew Culver (Brookhaven)Matt Jones (Madison)Chase Lunceford (Clinton)Derek Martin (Flora)Roger Murphy (Brandon)Gage Posey (Brookhaven)Austin Sanders (Madison)Casey Sutton (Monroe, La.)Jonathan Washam (Sterlington, La.)

Men’s Basketball

LaDarrius Drain (Yazoo City)Clayton Tate (Terry)Kaleb Williams (Edwards)

Football

Peter Bailey (Kissimmee, Fla.)Joshua Everett (Lauderdale)Jeramey Hill (Vicksburg)Joseph Houston (Pelahatchie)Sky Logan (Natchez)

Golf

Brandon Bain (Raymond)

Men's Soccer

Cody Dwyer (Terry)Andrew Pace (Terry)Borden Wilkins (Byram)

Women's SoccerDarien Ellison (Ocean Springs)Sarah Paullus (Southaven)Softball

Molli Douglass (Clinton)Courtenay Holt (Brandon)Allison Hux (Magee)Bailey Ladner (Gulfport)Alexis Patterson (Vicksburg)

Men’s Tennis

Peter Bethea (Edwards)

Men’s Track and Field

Kyndarious Bates (Tylertown)

Women’s Track and Field

Bre’Ana Ratliff (Leland)

For more on Hinds athletics go to www.hindsccsports.com.


c spire Men's Soccer Headlines
Latest Men's Soccer Story

Jones County FCA Christmas Party Boosts Spirits Of Local Youngsters
Release Date: 12/14/2014
Jones County Junior College

ELLISVILLE – Four years ago, nine youngsters were helped at the inaugural Jones County Chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Christmas Party.

On the evening of Dec. 10, 2014, 71 children were the recipients of love, kindness and gifts during the 4th annual event, which was held on the campus of Jones County Junior College.

Jones County FCA Director Justin Graves was ecstatic after the conclusion of this year’s party.

“Without a doubt, this was the biggest ever,” he said. “We were able to adopt 71 kids this year and 64 of them were able to come to our party. We will deliver gifts privately to those not able to be here.

“From nine to over 70 children – it’s just wild. There is no way we could have done this without the community and without our Jones County FCA Leadership Board. Our coaches stepped up tremendously and our athletes just owned it. We had more involvement this year in the community, even from non-athletic groups. Some of them got to adopt kids. It was just a huge team effort.”

Graves said counselors at local elementary schools gave the FCA a list of disadvantaged children who could use some help during this time of the year. Jones County FCA Leadership Board member Priscilla Herrington coordinated the effort from there.

“We have to give thanks to our counselors at our elementary schools,” Graves said. “They are amazing. They handpicked these children who just need a little extra help for Christmas. Priscilla Herrington collected all of the information from all of the counselors and I believe every counselor was here to support their kids.

“The counselors are just huge, they know the kids way better than we do and they know who needs help.”

Student-athletes from Laurel, Northeast Jones, South Jones, West Jones, Laurel Christian School and JCJC, along with students, coaches and private individuals, collected the money to help the children.

“The kids get together as a team and raise the money themselves,” Graves said. “Depending on the size of the team, they will collect $10 or $20 apiece or whatever. Then they will all go shopping together, whether it’s in Laurel or Hattiesburg or Ellisville. That’s the fun part.

“It’s interesting to me that some teams will adopt two kids and they will raise the money for one and then their coach will match that for the other kid. That’s happened a lot this year and that’s very special.”

Graves said to see the FCA members purchase the gifts, present them to the children and then see their reaction – both the FCA members and the children – brings it all together for him.

“From where I sit with FCA, this is a great way to show our athletes how they can impact their community in a very tangible way,” he said. “This is a way they can practically live out the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no better way than finding somebody in need and meeting that need in the name of Jesus. They get to experience that firsthand.”

The event began in two venues.

The FCA members, coaches and others gathered in the A.B. Howard Gymnasium.

JCJC baseball player Perry Turner and Bobcat cheerleader Joanna Word led the crowd in Christmas carols.

Northeast Jones Principal Cooper Pope delivered the Christmas message from Luke, Chapter 2, and Pine Belt Area FCA Director Mitchell Williams followed with a message and an invitation to those in attendance to accept Jesus Christ as their savior.

At the same time, more student-athletes and individuals were on hand in classrooms in the Thoms P.E. Building, along with the children, to listen to Christmas songs, the Christmas story and testimonies.

After about one hour, those in the Howard Gym walked over to the P.E. Building where the presents had been placed. The children were then led out of the classrooms into the gym of the building where they went to each team or private group and received their gifts.

An estimated crowd of over 500 people was in the P.E. Building at the time of the gift presentations.

Graves said the late Bill Buckner, who led the Mississippi FCA for 27 years before his death in May of this year, said the FCA Christmas Party was special.

“Mr. Buckner said it was one of the most significant things our FCA gets to do,” he said. “He said it brings four things together: Jesus, giving, coaches and athletes. That sums it up perfectly.”

To find out more about local FCA events, go to Facebook and “Like” the JCJC Fellowship of Christian Athletes page, or to www.pinebeltfca.org or to www.mississippifca.org.

c spire Women's Soccer Headlines
Latest Women's Soccer Story

Jones County FCA Christmas Party Boosts Spirits Of Local Youngsters
Release Date: 12/14/2014
Jones County Junior College

ELLISVILLE – Four years ago, nine youngsters were helped at the inaugural Jones County Chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Christmas Party.

On the evening of Dec. 10, 2014, 71 children were the recipients of love, kindness and gifts during the 4th annual event, which was held on the campus of Jones County Junior College.

Jones County FCA Director Justin Graves was ecstatic after the conclusion of this year’s party.

“Without a doubt, this was the biggest ever,” he said. “We were able to adopt 71 kids this year and 64 of them were able to come to our party. We will deliver gifts privately to those not able to be here.

“From nine to over 70 children – it’s just wild. There is no way we could have done this without the community and without our Jones County FCA Leadership Board. Our coaches stepped up tremendously and our athletes just owned it. We had more involvement this year in the community, even from non-athletic groups. Some of them got to adopt kids. It was just a huge team effort.”

Graves said counselors at local elementary schools gave the FCA a list of disadvantaged children who could use some help during this time of the year. Jones County FCA Leadership Board member Priscilla Herrington coordinated the effort from there.

“We have to give thanks to our counselors at our elementary schools,” Graves said. “They are amazing. They handpicked these children who just need a little extra help for Christmas. Priscilla Herrington collected all of the information from all of the counselors and I believe every counselor was here to support their kids.

“The counselors are just huge, they know the kids way better than we do and they know who needs help.”

Student-athletes from Laurel, Northeast Jones, South Jones, West Jones, Laurel Christian School and JCJC, along with students, coaches and private individuals, collected the money to help the children.

“The kids get together as a team and raise the money themselves,” Graves said. “Depending on the size of the team, they will collect $10 or $20 apiece or whatever. Then they will all go shopping together, whether it’s in Laurel or Hattiesburg or Ellisville. That’s the fun part.

“It’s interesting to me that some teams will adopt two kids and they will raise the money for one and then their coach will match that for the other kid. That’s happened a lot this year and that’s very special.”

Graves said to see the FCA members purchase the gifts, present them to the children and then see their reaction – both the FCA members and the children – brings it all together for him.

“From where I sit with FCA, this is a great way to show our athletes how they can impact their community in a very tangible way,” he said. “This is a way they can practically live out the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no better way than finding somebody in need and meeting that need in the name of Jesus. They get to experience that firsthand.”

The event began in two venues.

The FCA members, coaches and others gathered in the A.B. Howard Gymnasium.

JCJC baseball player Perry Turner and Bobcat cheerleader Joanna Word led the crowd in Christmas carols.

Northeast Jones Principal Cooper Pope delivered the Christmas message from Luke, Chapter 2, and Pine Belt Area FCA Director Mitchell Williams followed with a message and an invitation to those in attendance to accept Jesus Christ as their savior.

At the same time, more student-athletes and individuals were on hand in classrooms in the Thoms P.E. Building, along with the children, to listen to Christmas songs, the Christmas story and testimonies.

After about one hour, those in the Howard Gym walked over to the P.E. Building where the presents had been placed. The children were then led out of the classrooms into the gym of the building where they went to each team or private group and received their gifts.

An estimated crowd of over 500 people was in the P.E. Building at the time of the gift presentations.

Graves said the late Bill Buckner, who led the Mississippi FCA for 27 years before his death in May of this year, said the FCA Christmas Party was special.

“Mr. Buckner said it was one of the most significant things our FCA gets to do,” he said. “He said it brings four things together: Jesus, giving, coaches and athletes. That sums it up perfectly.”

To find out more about local FCA events, go to Facebook and “Like” the JCJC Fellowship of Christian Athletes page, or to www.pinebeltfca.org or to www.mississippifca.org.

c spire Softball Headlines
Latest Softball Story

Jones County FCA Christmas Party Boosts Spirits Of Local Youngsters
Release Date: 12/14/2014
Jones County Junior College

ELLISVILLE – Four years ago, nine youngsters were helped at the inaugural Jones County Chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Christmas Party.

On the evening of Dec. 10, 2014, 71 children were the recipients of love, kindness and gifts during the 4th annual event, which was held on the campus of Jones County Junior College.

Jones County FCA Director Justin Graves was ecstatic after the conclusion of this year’s party.

“Without a doubt, this was the biggest ever,” he said. “We were able to adopt 71 kids this year and 64 of them were able to come to our party. We will deliver gifts privately to those not able to be here.

“From nine to over 70 children – it’s just wild. There is no way we could have done this without the community and without our Jones County FCA Leadership Board. Our coaches stepped up tremendously and our athletes just owned it. We had more involvement this year in the community, even from non-athletic groups. Some of them got to adopt kids. It was just a huge team effort.”

Graves said counselors at local elementary schools gave the FCA a list of disadvantaged children who could use some help during this time of the year. Jones County FCA Leadership Board member Priscilla Herrington coordinated the effort from there.

“We have to give thanks to our counselors at our elementary schools,” Graves said. “They are amazing. They handpicked these children who just need a little extra help for Christmas. Priscilla Herrington collected all of the information from all of the counselors and I believe every counselor was here to support their kids.

“The counselors are just huge, they know the kids way better than we do and they know who needs help.”

Student-athletes from Laurel, Northeast Jones, South Jones, West Jones, Laurel Christian School and JCJC, along with students, coaches and private individuals, collected the money to help the children.

“The kids get together as a team and raise the money themselves,” Graves said. “Depending on the size of the team, they will collect $10 or $20 apiece or whatever. Then they will all go shopping together, whether it’s in Laurel or Hattiesburg or Ellisville. That’s the fun part.

“It’s interesting to me that some teams will adopt two kids and they will raise the money for one and then their coach will match that for the other kid. That’s happened a lot this year and that’s very special.”

Graves said to see the FCA members purchase the gifts, present them to the children and then see their reaction – both the FCA members and the children – brings it all together for him.

“From where I sit with FCA, this is a great way to show our athletes how they can impact their community in a very tangible way,” he said. “This is a way they can practically live out the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no better way than finding somebody in need and meeting that need in the name of Jesus. They get to experience that firsthand.”

The event began in two venues.

The FCA members, coaches and others gathered in the A.B. Howard Gymnasium.

JCJC baseball player Perry Turner and Bobcat cheerleader Joanna Word led the crowd in Christmas carols.

Northeast Jones Principal Cooper Pope delivered the Christmas message from Luke, Chapter 2, and Pine Belt Area FCA Director Mitchell Williams followed with a message and an invitation to those in attendance to accept Jesus Christ as their savior.

At the same time, more student-athletes and individuals were on hand in classrooms in the Thoms P.E. Building, along with the children, to listen to Christmas songs, the Christmas story and testimonies.

After about one hour, those in the Howard Gym walked over to the P.E. Building where the presents had been placed. The children were then led out of the classrooms into the gym of the building where they went to each team or private group and received their gifts.

An estimated crowd of over 500 people was in the P.E. Building at the time of the gift presentations.

Graves said the late Bill Buckner, who led the Mississippi FCA for 27 years before his death in May of this year, said the FCA Christmas Party was special.

“Mr. Buckner said it was one of the most significant things our FCA gets to do,” he said. “He said it brings four things together: Jesus, giving, coaches and athletes. That sums it up perfectly.”

To find out more about local FCA events, go to Facebook and “Like” the JCJC Fellowship of Christian Athletes page, or to www.pinebeltfca.org or to www.mississippifca.org.

c spire Tennis Headlines
Latest Tennis Story

Hinds CC Student-athletes Named To Who’s Who
Release Date: 11/12/2014
Hinds Community College

RAYMOND – A number of Hinds Community College student-athletes were recently named to Who's Who Among Students in American Community and Junior Colleges.

The sophomore students were named to this program due to their achievements in academics and leadership qualities shown throughout their two years in community college.

Each Hinds recipient was recently honored at the annual Who’s Who ceremony on Friday, Nov. 7 in Cain Cochran Hall on the Raymond Campus.

A complete list of Hinds athletes named to Who's Who include:

Baseball

Graham Ahlrich (Madison)Randy Bell (Woodville)Keller Bradford (Raymond)Houston Case (Brookhaven)Andrew Culver (Brookhaven)Matt Jones (Madison)Chase Lunceford (Clinton)Derek Martin (Flora)Roger Murphy (Brandon)Gage Posey (Brookhaven)Austin Sanders (Madison)Casey Sutton (Monroe, La.)Jonathan Washam (Sterlington, La.)

Men’s Basketball

LaDarrius Drain (Yazoo City)Clayton Tate (Terry)Kaleb Williams (Edwards)

Football

Peter Bailey (Kissimmee, Fla.)Joshua Everett (Lauderdale)Jeramey Hill (Vicksburg)Joseph Houston (Pelahatchie)Sky Logan (Natchez)

Golf

Brandon Bain (Raymond)

Men's Soccer

Cody Dwyer (Terry)Andrew Pace (Terry)Borden Wilkins (Byram)

Women's SoccerDarien Ellison (Ocean Springs)Sarah Paullus (Southaven)Softball

Molli Douglass (Clinton)Courtenay Holt (Brandon)Allison Hux (Magee)Bailey Ladner (Gulfport)Alexis Patterson (Vicksburg)

Men’s Tennis

Peter Bethea (Edwards)

Men’s Track and Field

Kyndarious Bates (Tylertown)

Women’s Track and Field

Bre’Ana Ratliff (Leland)

For more on Hinds athletics go to www.hindsccsports.com.


c spire Track & Field Headlines
Latest Track & Field Story

Hinds CC Women’s T&F Announces 2015 Schedule
Release Date: 12/4/2014
Hinds Community College

RAYMOND – Bill Ferguson, head women’s track and field coach at Hinds Community College, has released his 2015 schedule.

The Lady Eagles open the 2015 slate by traveling to Birmingham, Ala., for the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) Blazer Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 24.

The indoor season wraps up on March 5-7 in Albuquerque, N.M., at the yearly National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) indoor national tournament.

Hinds will begin the outdoor season on Friday, Apr. 3 at the Mississippi College Twilight Invitational in Clinton.

The 2015 outdoor season will conclude on May 14-16 in Hutchinson, Kan., at the annual National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) outdoor national tournament.

To view the complete schedule go to www.hindsccsports.com.



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