Lady Bobcats seek MACJC, Region 23 repeat

Written By: Shawn Wansley
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Date Submitted: 2011-08-26 14:13:59

 By Shawn Wansley

JCJC Sports Information Director

ELLISVILLE – The Jones County Junior College Lady Bobcats had a record-setting season in 2010.

Head coach Dolores Deasley’s Lady Bobcats posted a 15-3-1 record and captured their first-ever MACJC and Region 23 soccer titles. They advanced to the NJCAA District E Tournament in Tyler, Texas, where they fell to the top-ranked Lady Apaches of Tyler Junior College.

So, what does 2011 hold for the Lady Bobcats?

“We definitely have high expectations this year,” she said. “We are going into the season with a target on our backs. We were kind of the underdog for several years, but now we’ve been getting better and better.

“Obviously, we had a great season last year and everybody wants to beat us. There is some added pressure, but the girls have been fantastic. They’ve worked very hard during preseason and they’ve got that mindset that they want to be successful.”

JCJC opens the season with a difficult opponent.

The Lady Bobcats host Hinds Community College at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Bobcat Soccer Field. JCJC defeated Hinds 1-0 in overtime to win the state championship on their home field.

Deasley expects the Lady Eagles to bring a talented game to campus for the opener.

“Obviously, with us beating them for the state championship last year, they will be out for blood this year,” she said. “I think Hinds felt it was there for them to win last year. They have a good team and last year’s game could have gone either way.

“I think they feel confident coming here, but it’s not easy to play us at home.”

Individually, the Lady Bobcats boast several talented players, including returning All-Region 23 performers Danica Roberts of Liversedge, England, and Audrey Borchardt of D’I’berville. Returning All-MACJC players are Macey Endris of Madison Central, Trahrissa Monroe of Long Beach and Michelle Brumfield of Theodore High School in Mobile, Ala.

Roberts had 18 goals and six assists last year at forward, while Borchardt and Monroe are defenders. Endris is also at forward and Brumfield is at goalkeeper.

“Danica was a top goal scorer last year and she is back,” Deasley said. “She is an outstanding player and it has taken her a year to get used to everything over here, but she has really embraced it. Trah and Audrey are both great leaders on the back on defense. Macey is an active player and Michelle has been solid in preseason.”

Other returning sophomores are midfielders Chelsea Wooten of Madison Central, Sarah O’Quinn of Oak Grove and twins Brandee Kovacevich and Britnee Kovacevich of D’Iberville.

“Chelsea has been slowed during preseason with a groin pull, but we hope to have her back for the season,” said Deasley. “Sarah is a good player and we’ve got the twins who do a good job for us, too.”

Sophomore defenders are Leslie Masters of Horn Lake and Krista Smith of Oak Grove.

“Leslie has worked really hard over the summer and has improved a lot,” Deasley said. “She is a delight to have around. Krista is a walk-on and has been outstanding. She has really surprised me and is a good character person, too.

“All in all, it’s a good group of sophomores and they will have to play a huge role for us this year. They are all going to have to step up for us.”

Deasley is excited about her freshmen class.

That includes Oak Grove’s Haley Crosby and Cassidy Brinson at defender, along with Kimberly Murray at a forward. Two more freshmen are at keeper – Kristen Pittman of George County and Aundrea Borchardt of D’Iberville.

“The freshmen are doing exceptionally well during preseason,” she said. “We have the Oak Grove contingent and those kids are no strangers to winning state championships. They’ve played for Hattiesburg Select where they have won a lot of championships. They want to do well and that’s extremely important.

“Kristen and Aundrea give us some depth at goalkeeper, which we have not had in the past. They are pushing for playing time and challenging Michelle.”

Other freshmen are forwards Morgan Pace of Northeast Jones and Jessica Caldarelli of Long Beach, defenders Temple Hughs of Presbyterian Christian School and Kendal Smith of South Jones, along with midfielders Sydney King of Greene County and Hayley Davidson of Northeast Jones. Davidson injured a knee against East Central in a scrimmage and is out for the season.

“Morgan went to Mississippi College, but decided to come back to Jones,” Deasley said. “She will do well this year and score a lot of goals. Jessica is also a very talented forward. Kendal is probably one of the top ACT kids we’ve ever had. She will see playing time in the back as well.

“Temple is outstanding. She got a lot of votes for team captain as a freshman, which shows her leadership abilities. She is the type of kid that will give you 100 percent, no matter what. She is always super positive. Sydney is a great kid who gives good effort.”

Hughs and Roberts were voted by the players as team captains.

Deasley also points out that her players perform well in the classroom. Last year’s team had a 3.35 team GPA and was named an NJCAA Academic Team of the Year.

“We try to recruit smart kids,” Deasley said. “My players are extremely smart and could go anywhere, but they choose to come here.  That speaks leaps and bounds for Jones academically as an institution.

“Most of my girls aspire to go into the medical field, whether it’s athletic training or physical therapy or pharmacy or nursing. Our faculty does an outstanding job to help us when girls visit on recruiting trips.”

Assisting Deasley this year will be Brendan Connolly.

“We are delighted to have Brendan here,” she said. “He will be spending the majority of his time working with the goalkeepers and it’s always good to have an extra set of eyes out there.”

Deasley, who is entering her fourth year as head coach, knows the rest of the state will be gunning for her Lady Bobcats. But she believes the team is more than capable of having a solid season.

“Hard work and discipline is the key for us,” she said. “We worked hard last year and we want to do the same this year. But the competition is tougher this year.

“I think Pearl River and Gulf Coast will be very strong. It won’t be easy, that’s for sure.”

The Lady Bobcats have played two scrimmages, defeating the JCJC Alumni team, 5-1, and East Central, 9-0, before a pair of good crowds at home.

Deasley added that the addition of lights at Bobcat Soccer Field is a major plus when it comes to attracting larger crowds to their games.

“I think pushing the time back later enables more people to get here after work,” she said. “We had a great turnout for the East Central game. I was sitting there doing the scoreboard during the men’s game and noticed all of those people sitting in their pickup trucks across from us.

“It was a fun atmosphere. We are just trying to add things here and there and make our field that much better.”

The Lady Bobcats open South Division play at home at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 10 against Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.


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