The MCC Athletics Blog

Officially the "unofficial" MCC Athletic Blog; created for all Eagle fans- so that they can keep tabs of their favorite JuCo team.



MCC Tennis Receives National Rankings

From School Reports

The Meridian Community College tennis program closed out the fall season with the highest ITA ranking the men’s program has garnered as a DI program. In the national Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings released on November 16, Meridian men were ranked #11 in the nation. Meridian’s men closed out the spring 2016 season after the NJCAA national tournament ranked #17. Meridian’s Jason Pimenta, who won the Southern JUCO Oracle/ITA Regional Championships in both singles and doubles, ended the fall season ranked #12 in the nation. He and doubles’ partner, Breno Goncalves, another returning sophomore, finished the fall ranked #7 in the nation as a doubles team.  Breno also finished with a national single’s ranking at #46. These two are joined by five other returning sophomores, who have contributed much to the program’s success last season and this fall: Noah James, Meridian; John Taylor Champion, East Webster; Nathan Hollis, Lafayette County; Will Irvin, Starkville High; and Alex Vaughn, Oxford.  Will Irvin and Jason Pimenta won All Region honors last season. Oxford High School’s duo of Will Swindoll and Callen Shinall have made huge contributions to the program in their first semester. They are ranked #23 as a doubles team. Will has played the #3 singles position most of the season and has been very successful.  Callen, returning from shoulder surgery his senior season, has played extremely well early in the season with this type of injury.  He has played the number four spot most of the season at singles and the number two doubles. 

Meridian’s women finished the fall season ranked #18 in the ITA DI end-of-season rankings. The girls have struggled this season with injuries but have played extremely well under the circumstances. They finished this fall as the highest ranked team in the MACJC/Region XXIIII with a win over a very competitive Gulf Coast team November 11.  This match was played with two of our returning sophomores out of the single’s lineup-Jordyn Hull and Hayden Hill. An East Webster graduate, Hayden, who played very well at regional ITA’s, is injured and has been out since the first of November. Freshmen Micah Gray, French Camp; Rachel Sollie, West Lauderdale; and Katherine Mitchell, Brandon really stepped up in this final match to help pull out a 5-4 decision. Sophomore teammates who were a part of the Region XXIII/MACJC championship team in the spring 2016 season are Shelby Zachry, Madison Central; Jordyn Hull, West Lauderdale; Kyra Holway, Alabama; and Taylor Miller, Texas.  Both teams will return to action February 3 with matches against Belhaven and February 4 with University of West Alabama.

MCC Golf Team Closes Out Fall Season With High Marks

From School Reports

The Meridian Community College golf team closed out the 2016 fall season with another run of great success and that success has been noticed by several major golf associations around the country. The MCC golf team completed the 2016 fall season by receiving a number five ranking in the latest poll which continues a long run of the program being ranked among the top teams in the nation by this long standing poll.

The golf team also learned that it will enter the spring season ranked number six according to the Bushnell Golfweek NJCAA Division II Coaches Poll. The Eagles have also been ranked consistently in the top ten according to the this poll over the past several seasons under the direction of head coach Ronnie Key. The Eagles closed out the fall portion of its schedule last month with a tournament title at the MACJC Event #4 in Saucier, MS at Grand Bear Golf Club in which former Lamar star Lance Strickland finished in a tie for second place to lead the squad to the tournament win.


MCC Baseball Players Ink Division I Schloarships

From School Reports

The Meridian Community College baseball team held a special signing ceremony on Tuesday afternoon and four members of the current MCC squad inked Division I scholarships. Luke Craig and JD Gann inked with the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, while Chase Coker and Caleb Yarborough signed with the University of South Alabama. The four players that signed Division I scholarships on Tuesday played a pivotal role for the MCC last season and will look to make their mark at the next level of collegiate baseball.

“We are extremely proud of each one of these guys in signing early and they really represent what our program is all about,” said MCC head baseball coach Dillon Sudduth. “We know their families are also very proud of them as well and this truly is a special day for each one of them.”

Luke Craig and JD Gann will play next season for the University of Arkansas Little-Rock and will look to provide an offensive pop at the next level. Craig had a breakout freshman season in 2016 for the Eagles by batting .352 and led the team in home runs with nine. Craig also drove in 54 runs last season for the Eagles which was tops among the squad that finished 39-12. JD Gann will also look to provide his new team, Arkansas-Little Rock, with some offensive firepower next season. Gann hit .242 in his freshman season at MCC in limited action, but should play a key role for the Eagles this spring. Gann drove in 13 runs during his freshman season in an MCC uniform and scored nine runs.

The other two MCC sophomores that signed Division I scholarships on Tuesday were Chase Coker and Caleb Yarborough. The two MCC sophomores made their intentions known by signing with the University of South Alabama. Coker played in limited action last season for the Eagles and finished the season by batting .274 with nine RBI’s. Yarborough played a huge role on the MCC pitching staff during his freshman season with the Eagles and will look to do the same in his sophomore campaign this spring before heading off to South Alabama. Yarbrough appeared in 16 games out of the bullpen, earned one save, and collected 21 strikeouts in 23 innings pitched for MCC.


MCC Basketball Splits With Alabama Southern

From School Reports

The Meridian Community College basketball teams returned to action at the Graham Gymnasium on Monday night after an 11-day layoff to play host to Alabama Southern Community College out of Monroeville, AL. The Lady Eagles were able to escape with a 57-56 victory over Alabama Southern, while the MCC men dropped an 80-72 decision at the hands of the visiting Eagles. The MCC women moved their overall record for the season to 2-1, while the MCC men are now 0-2 for the season. The two teams will return to action on Friday with a road doubleheader at Faulkner State Community College beginning at 5:30 with the women’s contest and the men will take to the floor at 7:30.

Former Meridian High star Kashari Gordon drained a pair of free throws with less than five seconds remaining in the game to propel the MCC women a dramatic 57-56 victory over Alabama Southern. Gordon finished the contest with 11 points to help pace the MCC offense, while Trieshia Jackson also scored 11 points off the bench for MCC. Freshman Shannon Tate also had a solid night off the bench for MCC with nine points and Rashonae Rice finished the game with five points.

The MCC men didn’t fare as well on Monday by falling to Alabama Southern by a final count of 80-72. The Eagles were within striking distance in the closing minutes of the game, but Alabama Southern went on an 8-0 scoring run to silence any type of comeback effort by MCC. Ralphael Shaw and DJ Mitchell each finished the men’s game with 14 points, and Timothy Patton scored 12 points off the bench for the Eagles. Former Southeast Lauderdale High star Johnny Knox had nine points in the setback, while Tevin Smith also chipped in with nine points.

MCC Posts Top 25 Finish at Nationals

From School Reports

El Dorado, KS - MCC made their long awaited return to the NJCAA Cross Country National Championships this past Saturday in El Dorado, KS as the team posted a Top 25 finish as a team placing 23rd.

MCC went in to the meet not being ranked in the Top 25 in the final two weeks of the season.  MCC scored  599 points in their 23rd place finish.

“We had an okay day from a team aspect today,” said Head Coach Chip Gayden.  “I felt like our top three ran exceptionally well on a very narrow course.  We wanted to come in to this meet, and make it where we are nationally relevant in all three sports in cross country, indoor and outdoor track and we made great strides towards that today.”

MCC was led by three men who finished in the top 100 out of the 300 person field. Sophomore, Rogelio Araiza led MCC as he posted a 53rd place finish in a time of 26:47.20.  He was followed by Freshman Micah Britton who finished 69th in 27:07.10.   Rounding out the top 100, was Sophomore, Tim Hoodlebrink who finished in 27:31.01 for a 100th place finish.

Rounding out MCC’s scorers was Sophomore, Noah Smith and Freshman, Raymond Mion. Smith finished 214th with a time of 29:17.37 and Mion finished 218th with a time of 29:28.49.

MCC will now gear up for the indoor track season, with their first meet less than two months away on January 6, 2017 at the Purple Tiger Invitational hosted by LSU.