PRCC to induct 5 into Sports Hall of Fame

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POPLARVILLE – Pearl River Community College will induct five new members into its Sports Hall of Fame here Saturday (Oct. 23) as part of the college 2010 homecoming celebration.The list includes women soccer star Ashley Chrisman (2002-03) of Kiln, the school first-ever soccer inductee into the Sports Hall of Fame. PRCC began playing soccer in 1999.Other inductees include former football star Joel Pigott of Picayune, who was an All-State and All-American fullback and cornerback at PRCC from 1962-64, former men basketball star Garland Smith (1955-57), former baseball star Rhyne Hughes (2002-04) and former women basketball star Elaine Powell (2002-04).Induction ceremonies for the Sports Hall of Fame members will be held at 9 a.m. at the Technology Center on the PRCC campus.All five, along with Allen Anderson, the 2010 Alumnus of the Year, and the 2010 Distinguished Service Award recipients, the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation and Coast Electric Power Association, will be recognized during the alumni luncheon set for 11:30 a.m. in the Crosby Hall Cafeteria and during halftime of the PRCC-Hinds football game at Dobie Holden Stadium.Ashley ChrismanChrisman was an All-Region 23 player for two seasons at PRCC and an All-American in 2003. She was instrumental in the Lady Wildcats winning back-to-back South Division championships under coach Adam Breerwood. PRCC was 30-7 over that two-year period, including a perfect 16-0 in division games.Chrisman scored a total of 59 goals in her career, 28 as a freshman and 31 as a sophomore.”Ashley was highly recruited, so we were very fortunate to get her,” said Breerwood. “She was a catalyst and team leader on and off the field. She could do anything on the soccer field. Our offense revolved around her. She will be one of the best soccer players to ever play at Pearl River.”Soccer is something that has always been a part of her life. “I played varsity soccer from the 7th through 12th grade,” said Chrisman. “We won state championships my sophomore, junior and senior years.”She attended William Carey University for one year before transferring to PRCC, where she became an instant star.”Pearl River was definitely a home away from home for me,” said Chrisman “Coach Breerwood made it real comfortable for us. I went there with a friend of mine from high school. Most of us on that team grew up playing together when we were younger.”Chrisman suffered a foot injury near the end of her sophomore season. According to Breerwood, “She played hurt prior to the state tournament and still scored crucial goals for us.”Garland SmithSmith came to PRC from McNeill, via the military in 1955. He graduated from high school in 1951 and enlisted in the Air Force.”I spent four years in the service,” said Smith. “I was 23 when I got out and came back to school. I was knocking around with all these young scholarship guys, playing root hog or die. They would say, no sir or yes sir to me and I would tell them I am not that old.”Jack Gallagher was the coach at the time. He was only two or three years older than me. He watched me play, thought I had some potential, so he gave me a scholarship.”Smith wound up being the team starting center for two years, standing 6-foot-5. He was one of the team leading scorers and received honorable mention JuCo Little All-American as a sophomore. The Wildcats finished fourth in the state tournament each year.”Coach Gallagher was a good coach. He was pretty tough on us in practice,” said Smith. “I lived on campus at the time. Pearl River was a big part of my family. My dad worked as a security guard on campus for about 20 years back in the 1940s and 50s. My mom and dad had seven kids and five of us attended Pearl River.”After graduating from PRC, Smith went to McNeese State in Lake Charles, La., and played basketball for one year. He returned home to Poplarville to work in a garment factory before deciding to return to school at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. He played one more year of basketball.He graduated from UAM in 1962 with a degree in forestry. He spent 30 years working for the United States Forest Service before retiring. He and his wife, Marilyn, live in McCrory, Ark.Joel PigottPigott, a Pearl River County native from Picayune, played football for Coach Dobie Holden 1962 and 1963 teams. He started both seasons at fullback and cornerback.The 1963 team was Holden last undefeated season and won the state championship while finishing 9-0-1. Pigott was selected as honorable mention all-state as a freshman and first-team All-Mississippi Junior College Conference in 1963. He was also selected to the 1963 Junior College All-American Team by the Los Angeles Times and The All-American gridiron index.Pigott graduated from PRC in 1964 with a degree in pre-engineering and was selected Mr. PRC for the class of 1964.In 1964, Pigott entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and was a starter and letterman on Coach Paul Dietzel 1965 Army team. He played safety and led the team in pass interceptions with three during the 1965 season, all of them cutting off possible scores with the Navy interception in the end zone.He was also a starter on the 1966 team until a preseason injury prevented playing during the last year of eligibility.Following graduation from West Point in 1968, Pigott served in the Army with overseas tours in Vietnam, Germany and Korea. After military service, he worked for Lockheed Martin and retired in 2006.Rhyne HughesAs a freshman at PRCC, Hughes hit .369 with 20 home runs and 49 RBIs and was voted the team most valuable offensive player. As a sophomore, he hit .401, led the nation in home runs with 18 and 18 doubles, was third in the nation in RBIs with 70, and was named to the All-MACJC and All-Region XXIII teams for the second straight year.The lefthander showed his incredible versatility as he posted a 4-0 pitching record, while striking out 24 batters in 23 innings in 2004.The Wildcats were a combined 80-23 during Hughes time at PRCC, including a state championship in 2004. He was the only Division II All-American from the MACJC in 2004.”My sophomore year was a blast,” said Hughes. “My best friend, Matt Riser, was there with me. That was one of our better years, not only because we won the state, but it was the best group of guys I have ever been around.”Hughes signed to play ball at Ole Miss and then was drafted in the 8th round by Tampa Bay. Negotiations with the Rays were at a standstill for the most part and Hughes was ready to play for the Rebels. Then right before school began, the Rays signed Hughes.He is a member of the Baltimore Orioles organization today.Elaine PowellAs a 5-foot-9 guard at PRCC from 1993-95, she helped put the program on the national map.As a freshman, she averaged 27.5 points per game, tops in the nation. She was All-State, All-Region and NJCAA first-team All-American. She scored more than 40 points in three games, more than 30 points in eight games. She averaged 10 rebounds a game and shot 52 percent from the floor.As a sophomore, Powell averaged 31.6 points per game, tops in the nation. She was All-State, All-Region, NJCAA first-team All-American and Kodak All-American first team. She scored more than 50 points in a single game, more than 40 points in three games and more than 30 points in 19 games.Add it up and Powell scored 1,927 points in her two years at PRCC. The team won a state championship, a regional championship, participated in the National JuCo Tournament and finished with a 52-13 record.”Pearl River helped prepare me to go to a bigger university as well as prepared me for the world,” said Powell. “My teachers and teammates were so supportive as well as my coach (Polly Kirkland) in making sure I graduate on time and getting me ready to go to LSU.”She was the first player in LSU history drafted by the WNBA as the Orlando Miracle selected her in the fourth round of the 1999 draft. She spent three-and-half seasons in Orlando before joining the Detroit Shock midway through the 2002 season.As a member of the Shock, Powell became a valuable member of the organization by leading the team to three WNBA World Championships in 2003, 2006, and 2008.NAME: Rhyne HughesHOMETOWN: PicayuneFAMILY: Parents, John and Sheryl Hughes. Brother, Hoyt; sister, Bethany.EDUCATION: Graduated from Picayune High, 2002, graduated from PRCC, 2004.OCCUPATION: Professional baseball player, Baltimore Orioles organization.NAME: Joel PigottHOMETOWN: PicayuneFAMILY: Wife, Janice; two sons, John Maurice and Philip Joel.EDUCATION: Graduated from Picayune High, 1962; graduated from PRCC, 1964; B.S. from U.S. Military Academy, 1968; M.S. from American Tech University, 1977; MBA from Augusta College in 1987OCCUPATION: Systems engineer, Lockheed Martin, now retired.NAME: Ashley ChrismanHOMETOWN: KilnFAMILY: Parents, Mark and Lori Chrisman of Kiln.EDUCATION: Graduated from Our Lady Academy, 2002; attended from PRCC, 2002-04; graduated from USM, 2009.OCCUPATION: Administrator for Navigator Forklift.NAME: Garland SmithHOMETOWN: PoplarvilleFAMILY: Wife, Marilyn; two daughters, Kimberly Smith of New Smyrna, Fla.; Koleta Scott of Troy, Ala.EDUCATION: Graduated from McNeill High School, 1951; graduated from PRCC, 1955-57; attended McNeese State, 1958; graduated from Arkansas A&M, 1962.OCCUPATION: Retired; Forest ranger for 30 years in Arkansas and Alabama.NAME: Elaine PowellHOMETOWN: Monroe, La.FAMILY: Parents, James and Merlene Powell; sister, Karen; two brothers, Curtis and Cedric.EDUCATION: Graduated from Carroll High School, Monroe, La., 1993; graduated from PRCC, 1995; graduated from LSU, 2001.OCCUPATION: Assistant Women Basketball Coach, Grambling State University. Prior to that, played in the Women National Basketball Association.