Dennis set tone for history of JCJC athletics
Written By: Shawn Wansley
Email Address: email@example.com
Date Submitted: 2011-09-19 14:39:28
By Shawn Wansley
JCJC Sports Information Director
ELLISVILLE – Wilmer Dennis is as much a part of the history of Jones County Junior College athletics as anyone.
Dennis, who turned 102 years old on Aug. 17, was a member of the first JCJC football team in 1929 and was also a member of the first baseball team the following year.
Dennis, along with Dale Crowder, Parker Dykes, Elmer Higginbotham and Kenneth Schulte, comprise the 2011 Class of the Bobcat Sports Hall of Fame. They will be inducted in a ceremony at 5 p.m. on Saturday during a banquet in A.B. Howard Gymnasium.
The inductees will then be honored as honorary captains for the 7:30 p.m. football game against Co-Lin Community College that evening and will be recognized again at halftime.
Dennis was born in Ellisville on Aug. 17, 1909. He now resides in New Augusta.
He graduated from Ellisville Agricultural High School in 1927 and then graduated from Jones in 1929.
He remains a loyal Bobcat to this day.
“Two years ago, we had him up here at Jones to honor him at one of the football games,” said Dan Ready, a member of the JCJC Board of Trustees. “I went by his home to pick him up and he had all kinds of Jones’ baseball caps.
“When he was driving around New Augusta in his golf cart, he would always have on a Jones’ baseball cap. He is a true Bobcat fan.”
After leaving JCJC, Dennis went to Southern College in Hattiesburg, now known as the University of Southern Mississippi. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1931 and then obtained his master’s degree from the University of Alabama.
He was a teacher and coach in Covington County and later held jobs as a teacher, principal and coach in Jefferson Davis County, Georgia and Florida. His last job was as a principal and coach in Sumrall in 1975.
Dennis moved back to Perry County and became mayor of New Augusta in 1985.
He married his wife, Lucille, in 1933. She passed away in 1998. They had three children: Beth, Cynthia and Murray.
Bobcat Sports Hall of Fame
Class of 2007 – Sim Cooley, Joe Flowers, A.B. Howard
Class of 2008 – Randall Boone, John Perkins, Gene Tullos
Class of 2009 – Gwen Magee, L.D. Ready, Jerry “Sally” Smith, Aubrey Wade, Patricia Waldrup
Class of 2010 – Mike McClellan, Carlos McDaniel, Dr. Joe-Michael Robertson