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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

ECCC Enters NJCAA Top 20 Football Poll

For the first time since 2015, the East Central Community College football team is ranked in the National Junior College Athletic Association Top 20 Football Poll.

The Warriors came in at No. 20 in the latest poll released today.
It is the first time East Central has been ranked since the final poll of the 2015 season when the Warriors finished No. 10.

East Central is 2-1 on the season. After a season-opening loss at current No. 5 ranked Northwest, the Warriors upset No. 14 Itawamba on the road before defeating Southwest last week in Bailey Stadium Decatur.

The Warriors are on the road again this Thursday, Sept. 20, to face Pearl River in Poplarville. That game kicks off at 6 p.m.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

ECCC Warriors Stop Late Southwest Drive for 28-21 South Division Win

Sparked by the two touchdowns and the running of James Smith III, the East Central Community College Warriors held on to defeat the Southwest Mississippi Bears 28-21 in the home football opener Thursday, Sept.13, in Bailey Stadium in Decatur.

Smith out of Velma Jackson High School in Camden rushed for 138 yards and one score and raced 62 yards with a screen pass for another touchdown to power the East Central offense.

The Warriors held a 28-14 lead with less than two minutes to go in the game and had to survive a Southwest touchdown and a fumbled kickoff in the waning seconds for the MACJC South Division win.

With the win, the Warriors are off to their best start since the 2015 season when East Central made the state playoffs for the first time in 14 years and played in the C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl.

East Central is now 2-1 on the season and 1-0 in MACJC South Division play. Southwest dropped to 1-2 overall and 0-1 in the league.
Freshman linebacker Payton Rogers 

It was Be Our Guest night in Bailey Stadium as hundreds of area high school students were in attendance as guests of East Central.

After both teams opened the game with two punts each, the Bears got on the scoreboard first with a five-yard touchdown run from Zarious Keyes late in the first quarter. The Warriors answered almost immediately. On the second play of its ensuing drive, quarterback Brady Anderson (Brandon) hit Smith with a screen pass and he raced 62 yards for the score. The PAT was no good, and Southwest led 7-6.

East Central took the lead for good in the second quarter on a seven-play, 64-yard drive that ended with quarterback Mario Asagunla (Hillcrest Christian, Jackson) sneaking in from the one. Freshman running back JohnTavis McClelland (Lamar School, Meridian) carried for the two-point conversion and the Warriors led 14-7. The running of Smith and a 14-yard pass from Asagunla to freshman tight end Jamarvis Echols (North Panola) were keys in the drive.

The Warriors extended their lead to 21-7 with 5:56 to go in the first half on a four-yard run by Smith. Sam Cox (Starkville Academy) kicked the extra point. The two-play drive began on the Southwest 21 after a low snap and partial block on a Bear punt attempt.

East Central missed two other scoring opportunities in the first half when the offense was unable to convert on a fourth and one from the Southwest five-yard line and a fourth down on the Bear 29.

The Warrior defense forced seven Southwest punts in the first half and forced a couple of fumbles.
 East Central Warrior defenders

Running the spread option offense, the Bears took the second half kickoff and consumed nearly 10 minutes of the clock on a drive that ended on the Warrior 26 and a missed 43-yard field goal attempt.

The Bears would find the end zone however on the first play of the fourth quarter on a three-yard run by quarterback Da’Byran Magee. The PAT was no good and the Warriors led 21-13.

The Warriors answered on their next drive when Asagunla hit Echols from 13 yards out for the score and the 28-13 lead. It was Asagunla’s seventh touchdown pass in the first three games.

Southwest would make the game interesting with a seven-yard touchdown pass from Magee to Ladarrious Williams with 1:17 to play. The two-point conversion made the score 28-21. The Warriors fumbled the ensuing kickoff, giving the Bears one final opportunity with a first down and 10 at the East Central 24. The Warrior defense would prevail as freshman linebacker Payton Rogers (Forest) batted a pass away on fourth and 12 with 18 seconds to play.

Linebacker Kendrick Abney (Sylva Bay Academy, Heidelberg) had a second half interception for the Warriors.

East Central will go on the road again next Thursday for the third time in four games. The Warriors will face the Pearl River Wildcats in Dobie Holden Stadium in Poplarville. Kickoff is at 6 p.m.

The game can be heard on WKOZ Cruisin 98.3 or via audio stream and live stream video at

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Kristen Sampson Joins ECCC Women’s Basketball Staff

Former Mississippi College standout Kristen Sampson is the new volunteer assistant women’s basketball coach at East Central Community College after most recently serving as a graduate assistant at her alma mater.

ECCC Head Women’s Coach LaTaryl Williams announced Sampson’s hiring as he begins preparations for his first season leading the Lady Warriors. “I’m excited to have Coach Sampson join our program,” said Williams. “As a former player in our league, she understands what it takes to be successful on and off the court and will be a valuable mentor to our players. She has been doing a tremendous job thus far, and I see a bright future for her as she begins her coaching career.”

A native of Jackson, Sampson etched her name in the Mississippi College record book as she ranks in the top 10 in career three-pointers made, three-pointers attempted, and three-point field goal percentage. She started 50 games for the Lady Choctaws and compiled 700 points during her two seasons in Clinton and averaged 13.7 points per contest along with 4.3 rebounds. She added to her accomplishments during the 2015-16 season as she scored a career-high 32 points en route to a 91-80 Mississippi College win over the University of North Alabama. The performance was the first 30-point scoring effort for a Lady Choctaw since 2008.

Before her arrival in Clinton, Sampson played two seasons at Meridian Community College, where she averaged 19.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.9 steals, and 2.6 assists per game for the Lady Eagles in 25 games. She scored in double figures in 24 of her 25 games. She was named Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges Player of the Week seven times. 

Sampson started her basketball career in Jackson as she prepped at Provine High School. She was an All-Metro selection for the Rams averaging 15.0 points and six rebounds. She received her Associate of Art at Meridian Community College in 2014 and earned her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Mississippi College in 2016.

She is currently working on her master’s degree in athletic administration from Mississippi College.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Mississippi Agriculture Commissioner Visits County

The Winston County Cattleman’s Association hosted Mississippi Agriculture Commissioner, Mr. Andy Gipson last Thursday evening. Prior to Commissioner Gipson’s speech to the Cattleman Association, Penny Barrier with our local USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office, planned a tour for the Commissioner to see some of Winston County’s Agricultural contributions to the state’s economy.

Agriculture is Mississippi’s greatest economic driver, boasting 36,200 farms, with a value of approximately $7.56 BILLION, from 10.7 million acres farmed. Winston County is a main stream contributor to Mississippi’s agriculture economy, with more than 80,000 acres in production, on an average of 500 privately owned farms. With Winston County having such a positive impact economically, there is a problem facing the agriculture community on the near horizon.

This problem was mentioned by Commissioner Gipson throughout the day as he toured our county. The problem facing us, is not unique to Winston, but the state and nation alike. The problem is our State’s farmer’s average age is 60, with more and more young people choosing other career paths.

Commissioner Gipson took time to meet, and talk with the FFA students attending the Cattleman’s meeting, and encouraged them to stay in school, make good grades, and explore all the opportunities agriculture can offer them, not only in technical careers, but the hundreds of professional careers absolutely crucial to the agricultural community.

Commissioner Gipson, was impressed with the diversity of agriculture commodities produced in Winston County. We toured a great cross-section of these commodities, to include row crop, beef, and poultry production. On behalf of MSU Extension, I’d like to thank the Winston Cattleman Association, USDA/NRCS office, Mr. Bobby Moody, Hugh Barrier, and Charlie Wilkes for representing Winston County Agriculture with great distinction. Lastly, I’d like to thank Commissioner Gipson for taking time from his undeniably busy schedule, to visit Winston County and encourage our agriculture community, and Winston County’s young people to take the reins of agriculture for the next generation.

Submitted by:  Jim McAdory, MSU Extension Agent

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Quilt on Display at Winston County Library

This beautiful quilt is on display at the Winston County Library through the months of September and October. The quilt was a gift to June Addkison of Louisville, by her second cousin Ann Whitfield Fox. Ann was raised in Shuqualak, but spent most of her adult life in Brandon, MS and the last two years in Durham, NC. The quilt features a deer, turkeys and other woodland wildlife and is called “Window of Love”.