Bobcats optimistic heading into 2011 season
Written By: Shawn Wansley
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date Submitted: 2011-08-29 14:51:22
By Shawn Wansley
JCJC Sports Information Director
ELLISVILLE – The Jones County Junior College Bobcats always have high expectations when it comes to football.
And the 2011 season is no different.
Sixth-year head coach Eddie Pierce is optimistic heading into Thursday’s season opener at home against Mississippi Delta Community College.
“We had a great summer, I thought,” he said earlier this month. “The kids worked very hard and we are in great physical shape going into the season. We are going to have to depend on some freshmen to step up and play early, especially in the offensive and defensive lines and at quarterback. But there again, they have had great summers and we feel good going into the season.
“We have a great attitude. I like this team. If the summer is any indication, I believe we are going to have a pretty good football team.”
On offense, the Bobcats will have experience at wide receiver and running back, but will be young in the offensive line and at quarterback.
At the wideouts, sophomores Deuce Coon (5-11, 200) of Baton Rouge, La., Malik Lofton (6-0, 195) of Wayne County, Jonathan Ducksworth (6-2, 200) of Bay Springs and Alec Barlow (5-9, 175) of Northeast Jones return, while transfer Jamaal Montague (6-2, 200) of Lake City, Fla., provides a boost.
Freshmen receivers will be Stephanio McNair (6-1, 190) of Purvis, Ray Sims (6-2, 190) of Mize, Quartez Cooks (6-1, 180) of Quitman and walk-ons Martez Nixon (5-8, 170) of Taylorsville and Shelby Phillips (5-10, 170) of South Jones.
At running back, sophomore Tiger Powell (6-1, 205) of Lake City, Fla., returns, along with freshman Jovontae Thurman (5-8, 180) of Florence. West Jones freshman Devontay Barnett (6-1, 190) could also see action at running back.
In the offensive line, Greene County sophomore McKay Tingle (6-5, 280) returns at right tackle. Freshman Devin Crosby (6-3, 275) of Collins is also vying for playing time there. Freshmen David Brown (6-1, 290) of Stringer and Justin Booth (6-2, 320) of Taylorsville are battling at right guard, while freshmen J.T. Myers (6-3, 280) of Perry Central and Ross Sullivan (6-5, 270) are competing at center.
Freshmen Fredrick Moore (6-5, 280) of Heidelberg and Joshua Thigpen (6-1, 260) of West Jones are at left tackle, while freshmen Lavelle Hartfield (6-1, 285) of Moss Point and Anthony Benjamin (5-11, 285) of Greene County are at left guard.
South Jones sophomore Keghan Livingston (6-2, 230) and Laurel freshman Felton Collins (6-2, 225) are at tight end.
At quarterback, West Jones freshman Ben Stevens (6-2, 190) leads the way, along with fellow freshmen signees Davin Burch (6-1, 185) of Mize and Eric Godette (6-0, 175) of Quitman.
Defensively, the Bobcats have experience in the secondary and are young in the line and at linebacker.
Cornerbacks will be sophomores Antonio Parker (5-11, 195) of New Orleans, La., and Deneco Hathorn (5-9, 185) of Collins, while freshman Deon Fairley (6-1, 200) of Taylorsville is at free safety. Greene County sophomore Mitchell Brown (5-10, 200) and Barnett are battling at strong safety.
Laurel sophomore Chris Smith (5-11, 205) is the starting ‘Bobcat’ in the secondary.
Freshmen Fernando Hamilton (5-9, 180) of Taylorsville, Michael McLaurin (6-2, 180) of Collins and Corey Trim (5-10, 175) of Baton Rouge, La., are also working at cornerback, while Ducksworth moves over from offense to provide depth at free safety.
Phylandus Powe (5-11, 195) of Quitman is also seeing time at the ‘Bobcat’ slot.
Wayne County sophomore Jerrell Gandy (6-1, 220) returns at strongside linebacker, while Tulsa University transfer Brion James (6-2, 210) of Killona, La., will be at weakside linebacker. Freshmen Marcus Mayers (6-2, 225) of Taylorsville and Chavez Sims (6-2, 225) of Mize will see action at linebacker, while Anthony McGilberry (6-2, 190) of Laurel and Marion Chapman (6-1, 210) of Wayne County are providing more depth to the position.
In the defensive line, sophomore Anthony Wilson (6-3, 230) of Birmingham, Ala., is at left end, along with Derrek Upshaw (6-2, 270) of Darien, Ga., at left tackle. Freshmen Antonio Ducksworth (6-0, 285) of Bassfield and Jadarius Garner (6-2, 230) of Clarksdale are at right tackle and right end, respectively.
Providing depth will be four more freshmen – Shaquille Smith (6-2, 260) of Jackson Lanier and Lazarius Chase (6-0, 240) of Hollandale Simmons at the ends and Kadarian Moore (6-2, 270) of Stringer and Cameron McLeod (6-3, 285) of Greene County at the tackles.
Quitman sophomore Slater Smith (6-4, 225) returns as the punter and Greene County freshman Logan Brewer (5-11, 210) is the placekicker. Robert Hanna (5-11, 230) returns as the deep snapper.
In addition to head coaching duties, Pierce also serves as running backs coach. Assistant coaches are Steve Boyd (defensive coordinator/defensive backs), Brad Griffin (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks/running backs), Ron Brewer (offensive line/tight ends), Anthony Maddox (defensive line), Donavan Baucum (linebackers), Lacon Sheppard (kicking/offensive line/tight ends) and graduate assistant Randy Craft (defensive backs).
The Bobcats open the season at home at 7 p.m. on Thursday in Bobcat Stadium/Sim Cooley Field against Mississippi Delta Community College. The game will be televised on www.jcjc.tv and can be heard on WGDQ-FM, 93.1. Lance Pittman will call the play-by-play and Mark Easley provides commentary.