POPLARVILLE — The reigning MACJC and Region 23 women’s and men’s soccer champions — namely Pearl River Community College — eye NJCAA district contests this weekend with the winners earning berths in the upcoming national tournament.
PRCC’s women, 12-2 overall, will host Brevard (Fla.), ranked No. 1 in the NJCAA Division I women’s soccer poll with a 12-1 overall mark, Saturday at 1 p.m. for the District H championship; while PRCC’s men, undefeated at 14-0, travel to Tyler JC in Tyler, Tex., for the District P playoffs.
The Wildcats will face Paris (Tex.) at 8 p.m. Friday with the winner of that contest taking on the winner of the host Tyler versus Meridian (Region 23 runner-up) at 3 p.m. Saturday in the district championship game.
The River defeated Meridian for the regional championship last Saturday at Lamar School in Meridian 2-1.
Paris CC is 7-6 overall heading into the district event, while Tyler is 16-2-1.
The NJCAA women’s nationals will be held at Brevard CC in Melbourne, Fla., while the men’s nationals are set for Darton College in Albany, Ga. Both events are set for Nov. 11-17.
Jack Byrd coaches the Lady Wildcat squad, while Paul Martin, who was named the men’s Region 23 ‘Coach of the Year’ for 2012, coaches the Wildcat team.
Since 1999's inaugural season of Pearl River soccer, it’s women previously won state titles in 2005 and 2009, as well as a total of six South Division championships; while its men were also state champs in 2003 and boast three division crowns. Neither squad has ever won a regional title or a berth in the NJCAA nationals.
POPLARVILLE — Pearl River Community College opened its 2012-2013 women’s and men’s basketball seasons in grand style with a sweep over Baton Rouge (La.) here Thursday in Shivers Gymnasium.
The Lady Wildcats were 56-51 winners, while the Wildcats took a 64-62 decision. Both PRCC squads improved to 1-0 overall, while BRCC’s teams dropped to 0-1.
In the women’s game, Pearl River led for the first five minutes of the contest, but Jacquieisha Spears banged in a bucket at the 14:15 mark of the first half to put BRCC up 6-5. The Lady Bears retained their lead for the next seven minutes before Coutney Osler of Puckett High sank a basket to give the Lady Wildcats a brief 17-16 lead with 7:00 left.
The lead exchanged hands twice over the next half-minute, but PRCC’s Wisdom James of Durant High hit a pair of foul shots to put The River up by one. Baton Rouge tied it up at 21-21 with 5:04 left before the break, but the Lady Wildcats answered with an 11-5 scoring run to lead 32-26 at the break.
The Lady Bears managed to tie it up three times in the second half, but never regained the lead. After Kasiney Williams’ free throws knotted it up at 51-51 wtih 1:26 left, the Lady Wildcats finished the game with a 5-3 run.
Ke’ra St. John (12 rebounds) and Ashley Williams led BRCC with 13 points each, while Swilliams scored nine, Charki’ra Fields five, Keisha Toston four, Jamera Martin (five rebounds), Desiree Savage, and Kaylynn Walker, two a piece; and Talaih Robertson one.
For Pearl River, Kalisha Washington out of Murrah High in Jackson led the way with 12 points (two treys), while James added 11 (five rebounds), Osler 10, Velscia Dixon of East Marion High eight (10 rebounds, two blocked shots), Daiquari Raine of Poplarville High seven (nine rebounds), Francheska Bowman out of Choctaw High in Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., five (seven rebounds), and Chaquita McGee (four assists) of Yazoo City High and Lolecia Richardson out of Provine High in Jackson, two each.
Pearl River hit 71.4 percent (20 of 28) from the free throw line to Baton Rouge’s 66.7 percent (10 of 15), while the Lady Wildcats were 17 of 53 (32.1 percent) from the field to the Lady Bears’ 19-of-58 (32.8 percent) effort. From three-point range, PRCC was two of nine (22.2 percent), while BRCC was three of nine (33.3 percent).
The River had the edge in rebounding with 45 (19 offensive, 26 defensive) to Baton Rouge’s 40 (18 offensive, 22 defensive). The Lady Bears committed 17 turnovers in the game to the Lady Wildcats’ 25.
In the men’s game, the score was tied five times and the lead exchanged hands six times in the first half before Nick’Laus Warren out of Murrah High in Jackson pulled off a three-point play with 5:18 before the break to put the Wildcats up 26-25.
Warren’s antics kicked off a 13-3 scoring run to pump The River’s lead to 38-28 with 1:56 left before the half. Deshawn Washington and DeAngelo Coleman out of South Pike High in Magnolia exchanged treys in the final 1:15, while Coleman’s put back at the buzzer gave PRCC a 43-33 advantage at the intermission.
The Bears kept it close in the second half, but never took the lead. BRCC opened with an impressive 11-4 scoring run to pull to within one — 47-46 — with 13:10 left, but that was as close as the Bears would get. Baton Rouge’s John Isaac banged in a three pointer at the final buzzer to pull his team to within two.
Isaac led BRCC with 14 points, while Washington added 11 (five rebounds, three treys), Darrice Whitley nine (eight rebounds), Jeffery Walker eight, Alex Overs and Damarcus Pitts, six each; Trey Anthony five, and Bouna Niang (six rebounds) and Morris Wright, two each.
Xavian Rimmer out of Piney Woods School in Jackson led the Wildcats with 15 points, while Jeremy Hollimon of Gulfport High added 11, Kaven Bernard out of Assumption High in Napoleonville, La., nine; Coleman seven, Frank Snow out of Sagemont High in Wellington, Fla., five (five rebounds), Devontai Foye of Hattiesburg High and Jimmy Henderson of Houston High, four each; Daniel Grieves (six rebounds) out of St. Stanislaus in Bay St. Louis and Warren, three each; DeMondre Harvey of Minden (La.) High two, and Josh Carpenter of Oak Grove High one.
Pearl River hit 70.4 percent (19 of 27) from the free throw line to Baton Rouge’s 64.7 percent (11 of 17), while the Wildcats were 21 of 57 (36.8 percent) from the field to the Bears’ 22-of-55 (40 percent) effort. From three-point range, PRCC was three of nine (33.3 percent) and BRCC was seven of 16 (43.8 percent).
Baton Rouge led on the boards with 43 rebounds (18 offensive, 25 defensive) to The River’s 36 (16 offensive, 20 defensive), while the Bears committed 27 turnovers to the Wildcats’ 16.
Pearl River and Baton Rouge rematches are set for Monday, Nov. 26, in Baton Rouge at 5 p.m. (women) and 7 p.m. (men).
PRCC returns to action Monday when MACJC non-division foe Holmes visits Shivers Gym for 5 p.m. (women) and 7 p.m. (men) contests before both squads hit the road for Delgado (La.) in New Orleans Thursday, Nov. 8 at the same game times.
POPLARVILLE — Pearl River Community College’s women’s and men’s soccer squads, the reigning 2012 MACJC and Region 23 champions, wrapped their seasons with shutout losses in their respective NJCAA District H and District P post-season playoff games.
The Lady Wildcats finished their year at 12-3 overall with a 4-0 setback to Brevard CC, the NJCAA No. 1-ranked Division I women’s team, out of Melbourne, Fla., in District H play Saturday in Poplarville; while the Wildcats suffered their first loss of the season with a 1-0 semi-final loss Friday to Paris (Tex.) at Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Tex.
Brevard’s Lady Titans improved to 13-1 and hosts Nov. 11-7's NJCAA National Women’s Tournament.
Paris’ men faced host Tyler, 8-0 winner over Region 23 men’s runner-up Meridian CC on Friday, at 3 p.m. for the District P title (results unavailable) and a berth in Nov. 11-17's NJCAA National Men’s Tournament on tap at Darton College in Albany, Ga.
In Saturday’s District H contest, Brevard went up 2-0 on back-to-back goals in the first 12 minutes of the game by Courtney Hueston (37:37) and Lois Edwardsson (33:30) before Amanda Lodge booted a third goal 13:31 before the break to give the Lady Titans a 3-0 lead at the intermission.
Brevard scored the game’s final goal at the 38:00 mark of the second half.
Lady Wildcat head coach Jack Byrd applauded his squad.
“We had a heckuva run this year,” Byrd said. “In my opinion, this is the best women’s team this school has ever fielded. I couldn’t be prouder.”
In Friday’s District P semi-final game, Paris’ Alberto Garcia scored the game’s only goal off a free kick midway in the first half.
Wildcat head coach Paul Martin lauded his team’s season.
“When you win state and region titles, there’s not a lot more you can say about a group like this one,” said Martin, who was named Region 23 ‘Coach of the Year’ last weekend. “This (Paris setback) was the first loss of the year and we were in it (game) right until the end.
“This year, for men and women, is something that we can build and build upon. I proud to be a Wildcat.”
Since 1999's inaugural season of Pearl River soccer, it’s women previously won MACJC state titles in 2005 and 2009, as well as a total of six MACJC South Division championships; while its men were also state champs in 2003 and boast three division crowns. Neither squad had ever won a regional title or a berth in the district playoffs prior to 2012.
POPLARVILLE - Pearl River Community College today received a $10,000 gift from Coast Electric Power Association and CoBank.
Coast EPA, a long-time supporter of PRCC, gave the college $5,000 which was matched by CoBank through its Sharing Success program.
“I don’t know what to say ... we don’t often get folks coming in with $10,000,” said Dr. William Lewis, PRCC president. “We’ll decide how best to use this gift.”
Robert J. Occhi, president and chief executive officer of Coast EPA, and Doran Dennis, a CoBank vice president, presented the gifts. CoBank, headquartered near Denver, Colo., provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states.
“They said they’ll match whatever the co-operative gives to a charity of its choice,” Occhi said. “We feel very close to this institution.”
Coast EPA is one of the founders of the PRCC utility lineman technology program advisory board and employs a number of graduates of the program.
“It has been a good partnership with Coast Electric,” Lewis said. “We’ve done some special things with Coast Electric and the other electric power companies who helped develop the utility lineman program.”
CoBank established a $3 million charitable fund, called Sharing Success, to match contributions by its cooperative customers to non-profit organizations in 2012.
“It really was a pleasure for us to be able to partner with folks,” Dennis said. “Our mission is to serve rural America. We were excited when Coast decided to take advantage of the program.”
Photo caption: Dr. William Lewis, president of Pearl River Community College, fifth from left, accepts $5,000 gifts from Coast Electric Power Association and CoBank on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Pictured are, from left, Ernie Lovell, executive director of the PRCC Foundation; Doug Mooney, Coast Electric board member; Robert J. Occhi, president and CEO of Coast Electric; Doran Dennis, CoBank vice president; Richard Dossett and Frank McLendon, Coast Electric board members; and John Holston, comptroller for Coast Electric. PRCC Public Relations photo
POPLARVILLE _ Students willing to trade their traditional time off school for a fast course will now have that opportunity at Pearl River Community College.
Starting in December for the first time, PRCC will offer two-week mini-term classes at both the Poplarville campus and the Forrest County Center in Hattiesburg.
“Our observation is that students who come home for the holidays have expressed an interest in getting an accelerated course out of the way,” said Dr. Martha Lou Smith, vice president for General Education and Technology Services at PRCC.
“We expect these students to be high achievers who are looking for a way to finish their degrees,” she said. “It is a sacrifice for the students during the holidays but they understand how important it is to stay on track.”
Mini-term classes will begin Dec. 10 and end Dec. 21 with finals being Saturday, Dec. 22. They will meet five days a week, four and one-half hours a day. These are not online classes.
Forrest County Center classes that will meet from 8 a.m. till 12:30 p.m. include English Composition I and II, World Literature I, General Psychology, Cultural Anthropology and Public Speaking I.
Poplarville classes that will meet from 8 a.m. till 12:30 p.m. include Music Appreciation (non-music majors), General Psychology and Public Speaking I. World Literature I will meet from noon to 4:30 p.m. Two Child Development Technology classes will also meet during this time.
Dr. Smith believes mini-term classes offer some students an academic advantage. “The student does not have a lot of time to forget the material that was presented the day before,” she said. “It tends to give them immersion in whatever discipline it is.”
She said it takes a commitment from students. “Missing a day would be like missing two weeks of classes,” said Dr. Smith. “These will be intense classes.”
She expects these mini-term classes to be attractive to four-year college students home for the holidays. “Some of them may have found it hard to get a class at a bigger school,” said Dr. Smith. “This way they can come home and take a class.”
PRCC students can apply the mini-term courses to their spring financial aid. Otherwise, the cost is $115 per credit hour plus any applicable fees.
If you are currently a PRCC student, enroll in the classes by logging into RiverGuide and registering. If you are not a current PRCC student, go to the PRCC website and select “Future Students.” From there, select the appropriate link to enroll as a student at PRCC.
HATTIESBURG - Professor and author Dr. Andrew Wiest of Hattiesburg considers it his duty to make the Vietnam war history for today’s and tomorrow’s students. Wiest, Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Southern Mississippi, spoke about the “Legacy of Vietnam” during the Pearl River Community College Veterans Day program on Nov. 8 at the Forrest County Center. The author of “The Boys of ‘67: Charlie Company’s War in Vietnam,” Wiest studied World War I when he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from USM but that topic wasn’t his first choice. “When I went to college, people didn’t teach about Vietnam,” he said. As a student, Wiest traveled to the battlefields of Europe as part of study-abroad programs. He developed a life-long devotion to the memory of veterans when he and his classmates were the only people visiting an American cemetery in France. “That was a very formative experience in my life,” he said. “It’s pretty emotional for students to stand in those places. It can be overwhelming. I made it my business that day to make sure our veterans are not forgotten. “If each of us does our part to cherish the memories of our veterans, maybe the next time I go to a cemetery I won’t be the only one there.” Wiest went on to receive his doctorate from the University of Illinois in 1990 and returned to Hattiesburg. He founded the Center for the Study of War and Society at USM in 1992 and continues to serve as its director as well as leading students and veterans on study-abroad trips to both Europe and Vietnam. “We take veterans with us, usually two or three,” he said. “Their job is to pick out a place they want to see again and we go with them. It’s usually a battlefield and they usually want to say good-bye to a buddy who didn’t make it home. It’s a very emotional thing. “Vietnam is not history yet. It’s my job to make it history. Vietnam vets got too bad a wrap about what happened there and after.” The typical veteran spent a year in Vietnam before being dropped back into a society that was becoming increasingly vocal against the war, he said.
“That was a brutal war,” Wiest said. “That one year of war is critical to their lives. It defines who they are. Veterans rarely talk about themselves. It’s always about the bravery of others.” Wiest encouraged the audience to talk to family and friends who are veterans and to preserve their stories. The Forrest County Center’s annual Veterans Day observance was dedicated to Army 1st Lieutenant Donald Glenn O’Quinn, a PRCC graduate who died in a military helicopter crash in 1988 at Fort Hood, Texas. The program included a devotion written by Dr. Benny Hornsby, PRCC social sciences instructor, who retired from the U.S. Navy as a captain. Much of his 36-year career in the Navy was as a chaplain. Those attending the program were given the opportunity to speak about the veterans in their lives. Student Courtney McKean of Hattiesburg spoke of the anger felt as a child when her father, John McKean, was away from home in the Army. He will soon be deployed to Afghanistan, she said. “Anything like this, I always get real emotional,” she said. “I can’t imagine what the families go through who lose a soldier. That’s my biggest fear - that my daddy won’t come back.”
Photo captions: Veterans and family members of veterans are recognized on Thursday, Nov. 8, during the Forrest County Center's Veterans Day program. At right is Donna O'Quinn, PRCC assistant director of financial aid. The Veterans Day program was dedicated to her twin brother, Donald Glenn O'Quinn, a PRCC graduate who died in an Army helicopter crash in 1988. PRCC Public Relations photo
POPLARVILLE - The RiverRoad show choir at Pearl River Community College will host the River Run race on Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Wellness Center on the Poplarville campus.
Proceeds from the race, The 5K to Broadway, will go toward the show choir’s March trip to New York City.Medals will be awarded to the overall male and female winners and to the Grand Masters (over 50) male and female winners. First, second and third places will be awarded to males and females in the following age groups: 10-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 and 60-69.
Early registration is $20 ($15 for PRCC students with Ids) and must be received by Monday, Nov. 26. Registration on Dec. 1 will be $25 ($20 for PRCC students). Pre-registered participants are guaranteed to receive t-shirts; race day registrants will receive shirts as long as they are available.
RiverRoad, made up of 30 students selected by audition, was chosen as a host choir for the 2013 Show Choir National Championship Series for high school choirs in New York City. PRCC students will be assigned to the high schools and will be with them throughout the competition. RiverRoad will do an exhibition performance before the awards ceremony.
LaDona Tyson is the RiverRoad director.
Entry forms can be found on the PRCC website at http://www.prcc.edu/files/pdfs/riverrun_flyer.pdf, on the college’s Facebook page and at the bookstore, Wellness Center, math lab and choir room on the Poplarville campus. They should be returned to Pearl River Community College, Attention: LaDona Tyson, 101 Highway 11 North, Poplarville, MS 39470 or at the Wellness Center.
POPLARVILLE - Following five weeks of fall workouts, Pearl River Community College baseball coach Josh Hoffpauir feels pretty good about his 2013 Wildcat squad, which will be his third. His first team in 2011 was 28-21 and reached the MACJC state playoffs. His second team was 24-19 but failed to make the playoffs. “Last year was disappointing, but our sophomores this year are using it as a positive,” said Hoffpauir. “We got off to a great start and then some things happened. The guys started pressing and they put too much pressure on themselves. They are playing now with a chip on their shoulders.” He gives his team a winning grade for their efforts this fall, which included a 3-1 record. “We have a good group of guys,” said Hoffpauir. “In my 10 years as a coach, this is the most fun group that I have been around. They enjoy coming out every day to work.” Successful teams sport strong pitching staffs and Hoffpauir believes he has the nucleus of a good staff. Some of the proof came during the early signing period for colleges and universities. Three of his players signed grant-in-aid scholarships early. Right-handed pitcher Ryan Deemes of Holy Cross High in Chalmette, La., signed with Nicholls State (La.) University and Christian Talley of Hancock High, another righthander, signed with the University of Southern Mississippi. Deemes was a key starter in 2012, boasting a perfect 4-0 record. He pitched 45 innings, struck out 32, and finished his freshman year with a 4.2 earned run average. Talley finished the 2012 season with a 4-1 record in 57 innings of mound work. He struck out 39 batters and had a team-best 2.37 earned run average. Also, center fielder Braxton Lee of Picayune signed with Ole Miss. Lee was an All-MACJC and All-Region 23 performer last season and sported a second_best .362 batting average. He played all 42 games, finished with 50 hits, a .461 on-base percentage, and 29 stolen bases - all team-high totals. His stolen base percentage was 93.5 and he drove in 20 runs. Throw in Jacksonville, Fla., transfer Brandon Fry, a sophomore lefty, returning relief pitcher Anthony Lusco of Bay St. Louis, along with incoming freshmen Trevor Bennett of Hancock and Jake Brumfield of Natchez, and Hoffpauir believes he has the makings of a solid staff. “We have big expectations for Ryan and Christian, and Fry has some Division I offers on the table,” Hoffpauir said. “Our top reliever is back and two good freshmen stepping in. These will be the guys we count on the most for our pitching.” The catching chores will be handled by sophomores Krisjon Wilkerson of St. Stanislaus and Forrest Dungan of Columbia, who will split doubleheaders. “We expect both of those guys to have good years at the plate,” said Hoffpauir. Carlos Gonzalez of Warren Central has the inside track at third base and Andrew Wilkes of Pearl at shortstop. Both are freshmen. Darien Brown of Hattiesburg and Paul Pickerrell of Elizabethtown, Ky., are battling at second and Nathan Pugh of Starkville, another freshman, is at first. Lee has the centerfield job. Kollin Cannon of St. Stanislaus, Darius Knight of Pearl, and Pickerrell are among a group that will play in the outfield. “Right now, we have a lot of options in the outfield,” said Hoffpauir. “We are pretty athletic, so that will help if we have to move guys around. It’s a freshman-oriented bunch but it’s also a good, strong class.” This fall has not been without its challenges for the baseball team. The field house suffered water damage from heavy storms early in the semester. The renovation has included new lockers, offices and players’ locker room. “We didn’t have the field house for two months this fall, but these guys never complained,” said Hoffpauir. “It’s almost finished. We are excited about it.” The 2013 Wildcats will open the season Feb. 9 with a pair of nine-inning games against Baton Rouge, La., in Vidalia, La. “I haven’t been this excited about a team in a long time,” said Hoffpauir. “We may not be as talented as we have been, but it is a close group. We play in a tough conference, but I am looking forward to the season.” Assistant coaches for the Wildcats are former PRCC pitching star Kyle Lindsey and Jeff Long. The manager is Cody Ladner.
POPLARVILLE - Pearl River Community College President William Lewis calls it a “progressive step for our students.” Ben Scaggs, Gulf of Mexico Program director at Stennis Space Center, says “this relationship with Pearl River Community College is just one step in helping us raise awareness of environmental issues with the Gulf of Mexico. The journey begins here.” Lewis and Scaggs signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) Monday to increase cooperation between PRCC and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Gulf of Mexico Program in areas of mutual interest. The PRCC Honors Institute and the Gulf of Mexico Program will collaborate to further the missions of both entities. The collaboration will include internships, co_ops and research opportunities for Honors Institute students, lectures by Gulf of Mexico Program staff and community outreach. The Honors Institute will provide students an enriched and challenging curriculum designed to foster individual scholarship and research, according to Dr. Stephen Black, director of the Honors Institute. “The partnership will offer tremendous opportunities for our students and the program,” said Black. “The partnership allows for student participation in service learning that benefits the community. “The Honors Institute will sponsor lectures on ecology and environmental preservation on our campus. This agreement will help make our students environmentally sensitive to the needs of our community. Another benefit is in providing internship possibilities that will benefit our students both intellectually and economically.” PRCC sophomore Sofia Tent of Carriere worked as a summer intern in the Gulf of Mexico Program office for 10 weeks and received the Student Diversity Intern Program Excellence Award for the EPA’s southern region. “It was a really great experience,” said Tent. “You learn how to work in a professional field. Not everybody my age gets a chance to do that before they enter the workforce. You learn a lot of skills. When you do this internship, you attend a bunch of seminars, help organize conferences, and help work on projects like the Gulf Restoration Project. “I would recommend an internship for anybody. You learn a wide variety of skills; not defined to any one thing. You work in such a small office, so everybody helps with everything.” By partnering with the Honors Institute, the Gulf Program seeks to raise awareness on issues impacting the Gulf of Mexico and the citizens who rely either directly or indirectly on this critical resource. “Some of these students might find their way into the EPA field,” said Scaggs, “but regardless, the program will give them an awareness of the environmentalism as it relates to the Gulf of Mexico. Dr. Lewis said the gulf impacts the Mississippi economy and a way of life. He said this partnership creates a new opportunity for learning in PRCC’s education programs. “The opportunity for our students to participate in this co-op program with Stennis Space Center is remarkable,” said Dr. Lewis. “It is an honor and a privilege for us and it is long-lasting and tremendously meaningful. We have a big vision for our honors program and this is one step in that process.”
POPLARVILLE - Pearl River Community College President William Lewis (seated right) and Ben Scaggs (seated left), Gulf of Mexico Program director at Stennis Space Center, signed a memorandum of understanding Monday to increase cooperation between PRCC and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Gulf of Mexico Program. The PRCC Honors Institute and the Gulf of Mexico Program will collaborate to further the missions of both entities. PRCC Honors Institute students attending the signing included from left: Standing - Sofia Tent of Carriere, William Walley, Chastity Polk and Shelby Sattler, all of Poplarville, Trevor Creighton of Carrick Fergus, Northern Ireland, and Kevin Grzenia of Chicago.