Northeast Mississippi Community College’s athletics proved that it not only belong among the top part of the Mississippi Association of Community/Junior Colleges (MACJC) on the field during the 2011-2012 seasons, but the Tigers and Lady Tigers proved that they belonged among the top echelon of the MACJC in the classroom when the state governing body handed out its academic awards.
Northeast led the North Division in athletes receiving academic awards with 23 individual honors from the MACJC and was fourth in the state behind Copiah-Lincoln (29), Miss. Gulf Coast (29) and Jones County Junior College (27).
Northeast’s nearest North Division counterpart was Northwest Mississippi which finished with 19 honors and East Mississippi came in with 17 awards.
During the 2011-12 seasons, Northeast saw seven of its nine varsity sports qualify for the Mississippi Association of Community/Junior Colleges (MACJC) state tournaments or playoffs and two teams reach the National Junior College Athletic Association Region XXIII Tournaments.
For Northeast, the women led the way with 16 of its 23 awards coming via a female sport.
Jody Long’s Lady Tiger softball team – which finished thirteenth in the nation in team grade point average (GPA) according to the National Junior College AthleticAssociation – had 10 of its 17-member roster honored by the MACJC.
Lynn Smither’s six-member women’s tennis team saw four of its six players honored by the MACJC and Brian Alexander’s women’s basketball squad had two players selected.
Booneville’s Hannah Hastings led the way for softball with a 3.96 GPA while Hamilton’s Katie Beth Dahlem was just one-one hundredth of a point behind Hastings with a 3.95 GPA.
NickiWhitten (Booneville) helped the Lady Tiger softball team have three Distinguished Academic awards with a 3.90 GPA while Raleigh Downs (Booneville) 3.77; Ellen Tarrant (New Albany) 3.76; Haley Knepp (Kossuth) 3.75; KimberlyJumper (Etta) 3.67; Kelsie Follin (Kossuth) 3.61; Claire Wilkerson (Myrtle)3.57 and Madeline Hickman (Booneville) 3.53 rounded out the 10 softball players that received awards from the MACJC.
On the women’s tennis side, Marcey Anne Sykes of Iuka was awarded a Distinguished Academic honor for a perfect 4.0 grade point average while Emily Burk (Holly Springs) had a 3.61; Leigh Ann Mock (Belmont) finished with a 3.34 and Monica Pruitt (Corinth) marked in a 3.25 GPA for the 2011-12 academic year.
Alexander made the most of the Lady Tigers two selections for the women’s basketball team with both Bree Harris (New Site) and Anna Brooke Page (Belmont) picking up Distinguished Academic awards. Harris finished with a 3.96 GPA while Page had a 3.89 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.
On the men’s side, Kent Farris’ baseball team led the way with three selections – all Distinguished Academic Award honorees.
Pontotoc’s Blake Littlejohn was just one of 16 student-athletes in the state to record a perfect 4.0 while Booneville’s Drew Cristo had a 3.9 grade point average. Kyle Stephenson of Booneville kept the baseball streak alive with a 3.84 grade point average.
Mike Anderson’s golf team sported a pair of honorees from the MACJC with Booneville’s Easton Cartwright finishing with a 3.37 grade point average and Taylor Trimble (Thrasher) sporting a 3.3 GPA.
Smither picked up two more selections to the MACJC Academic team as two Tiger tennis players were awarded for their work in the classroom.
Corinth’s Ben Nhek was named a Distinguished Academic with a 3.82 GPA while Booneville’s Taylor Dees finished with a 3.56 GPA.