JCJC honors student-athletes during spring banquet - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

JCJC honors student-athletes during spring banquet

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The annual Jones County Junior College Spring Athletic Banquet was held here in A.B. Howard Gymnasium on Tuesday night.

It also marked the final time for women's basketball coach Sandra Sumrall to address JCJC student-athletes, parents, faculty, administrators, staff members and others at the spring banquet.

"Jones is such a great place to be," said Sumrall, who had announced her retirement after 14 years as the Lady Bobcats head coach just two hours prior to the banquet. "The people you see representing Jones tonight in every sport are exactly what Jones is about – character, integrity and never quitting.

"It's been a wonderful experience and I will miss you all."

At the end of the banquet, school president Dr. Jesse Smith presented the Bobcat Spirit Award to Sumrall. The award goes to the person who goes above and beyond the call of duty and represents JCJC with class and in a positive manner.

The top honorees for the banquet were the recipients of the Presidential Scholar-Athlete Awards. These awards go to the top female and male student-athletes who possess the highest grade point average of the year.

This year's recipients were two players with perfect 4.0 GPAs – Oak Grove soccer player Kimberly Murray and West Jones football player Ben Stevens.

Bobcat Awards and Letter J Awards were presented in each sport.

The Bobcat Award, which is voted on by the players and members of the respective teams, goes to an athlete who best exemplifies everything a coach would want in a player, including leadership, sportsmanship, dedication and academic excellence.

Letter J Awards go to the sophomores on each squad.

Student-athletes in women and men's basketball, golf, women and men's tennis, baseball and softball were recognized, along with the Gold Rush dance team and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Athletic director Katie Herrington welcomed everyone to the banquet, Vice-President Ed Smith served as master of ceremonies and Jones County FCA Director Justin Graves gave the invocation.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

Sumrall led the Lady Bobcats to a 12-11 record this year, a semifinal appearance in the state tournament and a berth in the Region 23 Tournament. Her record at Jones was 211-127 and her overall record, including her years at West Jones, was 574-263.

Taylorsville's Shametrius Ducksworth, who was a manager on the team at the start of the season, but joined the team after several injuries and player departures to the original roster, was the winner of the Bobcat Award. She and statistician Kierra Strickland were Letter J recipients.

North Pike freshman Kaylan Hughes was recognized for being chosen as first-team All-MACJC South Division and for making the Region 23 All-Tournament team.

Taylorsville freshman LaTisha McCullum was recognized for being second-team All-MACJC South Division.

MEN'S BASKETBALL

Coach Jay Ladner's team finished 17-8 in his first season as head coach.

Richton ‘s J.J. Bolton was the recipient of the Bobcat Award. Bolton, Detrick Davis, Emmanuel Davis, Cory Jackson, Dontavious Lewis, Donta Pittman, Adrian Potter, Tanner Wozniak and manager Chris Johnson received Letter J Awards.

Bolton was named to the All-Region 23 team and first-team All-MACJC South Division. Pittman was named second-team All-MACJC South Division.

Jackson was recognized for having signed with William Carey University and Wozniak was recognized for signing with Kennesaw State University in Georgia.

GOLF

Ed Smith, subbing for head coach Jeff Jennings, recognized Richton sophomore Branning Dykes for finishing second in the Region 23 Tournament and for qualifying for the NJCAA Division II National Tournament in Scottsboro, Ala., May 21-23.

West Jones sophomore Anthony Herrington received the Bobcat Award. Dykes and Herrington received Letter J Awards.

WOMEN'S TENNIS

Head coach Mark Easley's Lady Bobcats went 12-2 on the season, finished second in the MACJC State Tournament and second in the Region 23 Tournament. They will head to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament May 4-10 in Tucson, Ariz.

Stephanie Smith of West Jones and Brooke Martin of Purvis won both MACJC and Region 23 titles in No. 2 and No. 6 singles, respectively. Elizabeth Wright won No. 5 singles in the regional.

Smith claimed the Bobcat Award, while Smith, Alicia Domoney and Aja White were Letter J Award winners.

MEN'S TENNIS

The men's team finished with a 7-7 record, finished fourth in the state and missed out on qualifying for the regionals by just two points.

East Rankin Academy's Tanner Chamblee was named the Bobcat Award winner. Chamblee, Josh Lomas and Daniel Sullivan were Letter J Award winners.

BASEBALL

Head coach Christian Ostrander's team currently owns a 28-16 record and will open play in the MACJC playoffs by traveling to Northwest May 3-4 for a best-of-three series. The Bobcats have qualified for postseason play in each of Ostrander's five years as head coach.

Perry Central's Codey Minter was named the Bobcat Award winner. Minter, Cody Brewer, Collin Dexter, Jon Mark Herrington, Jeremy Kidd, Ryan Milton, Benji Sullivan and manager Cameron Robertson were Letter J winners, along with Diamond Girls LaJoy Bridges, Shebria Lofton and Anneliese McDuffie.

All-MACJC and All-Region 23 honors will be announced after the season.

SOFTBALL

Head coach Chris Robinson's Lady Bobcats are 36-6 and ranked No. 8 in the current NJCAA Division II poll. They will face Holmes at noon on Saturday in the opening round of the MACJC Tournament at Perkinston.

Combined with last year's 44-11 record, this sophomore class has won 80 games in two years with more games to be played.

Madison Central's Brittney McBrain was named the Bobcat Award winner. McBrain, Karley Crosby, Brooke David, Rebecca Dunn, Angela Land, Relanda McFarland, Kalyn McNabb, Michele Hester and Bethany Volking, along with statistician Danielle Crosby and manager Tucker Curry were Letter J winners.

All-MACJC and All-Region 23 honors will be announced after the season.

FELLOWSHIP OF CHRISTIAN ATHLETES

Graves presented Domoney, a sophomore from Capetown, South Africa, with this year's FCA award.

Domoney, who plays No. 1 singles for the Lady Bobcat tennis team, is president of the JCJC FCA chapter.

GOLD RUSH

Gold Rush director Beth McDaniel presented Jeanna Freeman, Marli Malone, Keanna Magee, Cherry Murray and Heather Rivers with Letter J Awards.

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