No. 19 Bobcats expect to have good season

Written By: Shawn Wansley
Email Address: shawn.wansley@jcjc.edu
Date Submitted: 2010-08-30 18:08:09

 By Shawn Wansley

JCJC Sports Information Director

ELLISVILLE – Expectations are always high for Jones County Junior College football.

And this year is no exception.

Fifth-year head coach Eddie Pierce’s team enters the 2010 campaign rated No. 19 in the nation, according to the NJCAA preseason rankings, and No. 25 in the country, according to JCfootball.com/JC Gridwire.

Jones is coming off a 6-4 season, which saw them lose their first two games, respond with six straight victories and then drop a heartbreaking, 20-17 contest to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in the final regular season game of the year. JCJC then fell 26-16 to eventual MACJC champion East Mississippi Community College in the opening round of the playoffs.

The Bobcats enter this year with 35 freshmen on the roster and 20 sophomores. But JCJC has experience where it counts – in the trenches.

On offense, JCJC looks to Heidelberg sophomore Jeremy Pierce (6-5, 295) at left tackle, while Oak Grove sophomore Cameron Morgan (6-1, 290) and Raleigh sophomore Eric Thurman (6-3, 280) are vying for the starting slot at left guard. Enterprise sophomore Caleb McGruder (6-5, 300) is at center, while Desoto Central sophomore Michael Curry (6-3, 300) is at right guard and Laurel sophomore Brandon Bender (6-3, 285) will be at right tackle.

Offensive line backups include freshmen McKay Tingle of Greene County at right tackle, Stacy Graham (6-4, 270) of Laurel at left tackle, J.T. Myers (6-2, 280) of Perry Central at right guard and Brett Saul (6-3, 270) of West Jones at center. Also in the mix is South Leake freshman Patrick Sparkman (6-5, 300).

The Bobcats will have a newcomer at quarterback. Itawamba Community College sophomore transfer Tromarcus Toney (6-2, 220) has stepped in as the starter. Greene County freshman Mitchell Brown (5-10, 200) is the backup

In the backfield, the Bobcats have been relying on Quitman freshman DeAnthony Pickens (6-0, 205), followed by Bay Springs’ sophomore Justin Gaines (5-10, 180) and Lake City, Fla., freshman Lavoris “Tiger” Powell (6-1, 210), who signed with the University of South Florida out of high school.

At tight end, the Bobcats will count on South Jones’ freshman Keghan Livingston (6-3, 225), along with Bay Springs’ freshman Ronald Payton (6-1, 230).

Laurel sophomore Kylan Pollard (6-1, 175) returns as a wide receiver. Wayne County freshman Calvin McDougle (5-10, 170) and Warner Robins, Ga., freshman Rashad Wynes (6-2, 210) will see plenty of playing time, along with Deuce Coon (5-11, 190), a highly-regarded freshman from Redemptorist High School in Baton Rouge, La.

Several other freshmen will also be counted on as wideouts for the Bobcats, including Malik Lofton (6-0, 180) of Wayne County, Jonathan Ducksworth (6-3, 205) of Bay Springs, Alec Barlow (5-8, 180) of Northeast Jones, Kendall Moffett (5-8, 170) of Collins and Ray Price (6-5, 205) of Desoto Central.

Defensively, the Bobcats will be solid up front.

Sophomore end Ryan Robinson (6-5, 255) from Mill Creek High School in Buford, Ga., along with sophomore tackles Mario Owens (6-0, 290) of Collins and Jo’nal White of Ruston, La., all played quite a bit in 2009. Bay Springs’ sophomore Josh Herring (6-2, 235) and Anthony Wilson (6-3, 225), a freshman from Midfield High School in Birmingham, Ala., are battling for the other end position.

Cecil “CC” Hartfield (6-4, 215), a freshman from Forrest County AHS, is a reserve end. Freshman Andre Rankin (6-0, 275) from Wayne County, freshman Michael Ross (5-10, 275) from Taylorsville and sophomore McKenzie Moffett (5-10, 280) from West Jones are the backup tackles.

JCJC will have some experience at linebacker, as well.

Heidelberg sophomore Santonio Jones (5-11, 215) is at the ‘mike’ linebacker slot, while Oak Grove sophomore Kewon Hunter (6-1, 200) and Taylorsville sophomore LeRoyce Keyes (5-10, 195) will both see plenty of playing time at ‘will’ linebacker.

Reserve linebackers include Wayne County freshman Jerrell Gandy (6-1, 215) and Quitman freshman Greg Moore (6-2, 200).

In the secondary, the Bobcats will have several new faces.

Presently, sophomore Cory Cooley (6-1, 200) from West Jones and Coffeyville Community College (Kan.) freshman transfer Antonio Parker (5-11, 185) are the cornerbacks, while Laurel freshman Chris Smith (5-10, 195) is the starter at the ‘Bobcat’ position. Sophomore Roderick McCullum (5-11, 200) of West Jones is at free safety and Desoto Central freshman Martrez Townes (6-1, 210) is at strong safety.

Freshmen De Neco Hathorn (5-8, 170) of Collins, Cortez Nixon (5-9, 180) of Heidelberg and Jordan Walker (5-9, 180) of West Jones are the reserve cornerbacks. Oak Grove sophomore Jared Quinn (5-10, 185) is the backup ‘Bobcat’ and free safety. Bay Springs’ freshman Leslie Agee (5-9, 180) is also a backup free safety, while Mize freshman Chavez Sims (6-2, 220) is a reserve strong safety.

JCJC will be all new in the kicking department.

Oak Grove freshman Dylan Sobiesk (5-9, 200) is the placekicker, while Quitman freshman Slater Smith (6-3, 205) is the punter. South Jones’ freshman Robert Hanna (5-9, 230) is the deep snapper.

Coon and Parker are the top punt returners, while Lofton has been returning kickoffs.

The Bobcats will also play a challenging schedule.

JCJC goes on the road for lengthy trips to start the season, visiting Mississippi Delta on Sept. 2 and 25th-ranked Coahoma on Sept. 9. The Bobcats host fifth-ranked Gulf Coast at 7 p.m. on Sept. 18 in their annual ‘Hall of Fame’ game. JCJC visits Co-Lin on Sept. 23 and will entertain Holmes on Sept. 30.

The Bobcats host Hinds for Homecoming at 2 p.m. on Oct. 9 and travel to East Central on Oct. 14. JCJC goes to Southwest on Oct. 23 and ends the regular season at home at 2 p.m. on Oct. 30 against No. 13 Pearl River.

All JCJC home games will be shown live on JCJC-TV. All fans have to do is to simply log on to www.jcjc.tv. All games will air (audio only) on www.jcjc.tv and on WGDQ-FM, 93.1. Airtime will be 30 minutes before each game.

Lance Pittman will be doing play-by-play and Mark Easley will provide commentary.

 

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