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From the soccer pitch to the football field, local student athletes doing well this fall
By RUSSELL TURNER
A host of former Greene County Wildcats are shaking things up this fall in Mississippi junior college athletics.
Local fans need to look no further than the campus of Pearl River Community College in Poplarville to see a group of five Wildcats claiming headlines in separate sports. On the gridiron, former GCHS standouts Noah Mitchell and Hayden West are making an impression for PRCC, which claimed a huge 35-31 victory on the road at Itawamba last Thursday to open the 2019 season 1-0.
West earned the starting nod for Pearl River, anchoring an offensive line that drew praise from Head Coach Ted Egger after helping lead PRCC to 180 yards rushing against the Indians. West and his mates on the offensive line also and provided good protection for quarterback Terrence Humphrey, who tallied 254 passing yards and three touchdowns, including a strike to receiver Jaylon Wilson for the go-ahead score with 16 seconds left to play.
Mitchell was just as solid on the defensive side for PRCC. Mitchell started at linebacker and led his team with 14 tackles. Mitchell, who reportedly made plays all over the field for the Wildcats, was the only PRCC defender with double digit tackles. The effort earned him the PRCC Defensive Impact Player of the Week award.
With big upsets in the MACJC, including losses by No. 1 ranked East Mississippi and No. 4 ranked Jones College, the MACJC appears to be wide open this season. The Wildcats will have the opportunity really make a statement this week when they return to action this Thursday with a road tilt at East Mississippi.
Across campus, Greene County student athletes Peyton Rounsaville, Kaitlyn Snyder and Tylee McCan have helped lead coach Henrik Madsen to a 2-0-1 start in his first season as the Lady Wildcats’ skipper. Rounsaville (center back) and Snyder (midfielder) are sophomore starters for PRCC. McCann, a freshman forward, has not started, but has seen a great deal of playing time and made an impact while on the field. McCann scored her first goal of her PRCC career in a 1-1 tie with LSU Eunice last week. She pushed in her second goal on Friday as Pearl River cruised past Meridian 4-1 at the PRCC Soccer Complex.
Up in Decatur, two former Wildcats started on defense for the Warriors of East Central Community College in the season opener against No. 9 Northwest. While turnover ended up being the difference in a 26-13 loss to the Rangers, GCHS graduates Anthony Blakely and Fred McGee stood out on the defensive side and were among their teams’ top tacklers. Anthony started at linebacker and posted eight tackles, while McGee started at cornerback for ECCC and had six tackles.
Alex ‘AJ’ McGee is also at ECCC and seeing playing time. The freshman made an impact on special teams in the ECCC opener and is competing for playing time in the Warriors’ defensive secondary.
Across campus, freshman Daniel Zehner is making his presence known for the Warriors soccer program. Zehner, a midfield/defender, has played in all three ECCC games as the Warriors are off to a 2-1 start to the 2019 campaign.
In Ellisville, three more former Wildcats are getting things done on the gridiron and the soccer pitch.
Sophomore Justis Casey has five goals and three assists for the soccer Bobcats, who are off to a 3-2 start to the season. Casey was pivitol for Jones on Thursday as the Bobcats whipped Southwest Community College 9-1 to improve to 1-1 in MACJC South Region play. Casey had a hat trick with three goals and also added two assists in the win.
Sophomore Jordan Chapman has earned the starting position at left tackle for Coach Steve Buckley’s Bobcat offense. Unfortunately, the fourth-ranked Bobcats had a difficult season opener last week and dropped an 18-10 decision at Coahoma. The Bobcats had five turnovers, two blocked field goals and mustered only 134 yards of total offense as they fell to the Tigers.
Blake Daughdrill, a defensive tackle that starred for GCHS last season, is competing for playing time on the JCJC defensive line.
To learn more about these former Wildcat standouts, visit their schools’ athletic department websites, for upcoming schedules, stats on the year and opportunities to watch them play via live stream broadcasting of their games.
For Pearl River, visit PRCCAthletics.com and PRCCMedia.com. For East Central, log on to ecccathletics.com. And, for Jones, check out https://jcjcathletics.com/.