Crowder humbled by selection to Bobcat Sports Hall of Fame

Written By: Shawn Wansley
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Date Submitted: 2011-09-21 14:30:54

 By Shawn Wansley

JCJC Sports Information Director

ELLISVILLE – Dale Crowder has been involved with Jones County Junior College for as long as he can remember.

“My granddaddy drove a school bus to Jones and I went there a time or two as a preschooler,” he said. “I guess you could say I’ve been associated with Jones for my entire life.”

Crowder later came to JCJC as a student in 1958-59 and was chosen as an All-American football player in 1959.

Crowder, along with Parker Dykes, Elmer Higginbotham, Kenneth Schulte and Wilmer Dennis, 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.

“It’s a great honor,” Crowder said of his selection to the Bobcat Sports Hall of Fame. “I don’t know if I am worthy to be mentioned with some of the names in the Hall of Fame. I can’t believe they remember me from over 50 years ago.”

Crowder, who now resides in Richton, was invited to tryout at JCJC by Coach Jim Clark. He became a starter for two years, playing guard and tackle under Coach Milton White and Coach A.B. Howard.

“Coach Howard coached me in high school and at Jones,” Crowder said. “He coached me for six years. Any success I had as a football player, I owe to him. He volunteered to coach us in high school and did not get paid for it.

“He taught four classes, coached basketball and football at track at Jones, and coached high school football and track, too. I don’t see how he had the time to do all of what he did. I have as much respect for Coach Howard as I do for anyone.”

In 1959, Crowder was voted Team Captain, named Junior College All-American and selected to play in the National Junior College All-Star Game in Albuquerque, N.M.

A few games stand out for Crowder at JCJC.

“I remember we beat Pearl River at their place (14-6 in 1958),” he said. “That was a big win. I also remember my last game against Co-Lin (a 41-6 loss in 1959).”

Crowder transferred to Louisiana College in Pineville, La., where he played for two years and helped coach one year under head coach Harold Knight. In 1960, he was an Honorable Mention selection for the Small College All-American team.

Crowder worked at Ingalls Shipyard from 1964-72 and for Sanderson Farms from 1973-2003.

In 1978, Crowder helped organize and promote the first-ever, Little Britches Rodeo in the Tuckers Crossing community. He was involved in the Mississippi High School Rodeo Association for 14 years. He has been a Master Mason for the past 40 years and has been involved in high school booster clubs for as long as his children were in high school.

He has been a member of the JCJC Alumni Association since 1994 and a member of the Bobcat Club since 1996. He also donates to the Coaches Scholarship Fund.

In 1960, he married the former Fay Robinson, a JCJC classmate. They have four children – David, Stacy, Jerry and Grant – 12 grandchildren and one great grandchild.

“I am looking forward to it,” Crowder said of the weekend’s festivities. “All of my family and a lot of my friends will be there.”

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


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