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NORTHEAST TO INDUCT FOUR STANDOUTS IN NINTH SPORTS HALL OF FAME CLASS
Release Date:9/22/2016
Northeast Mississippi Community College

BOONEVILLE, Miss. - Northeast Mississippi Community College has selected the ninth class of dignitaries to enter into its prestigious Sports Hall of Fame.

Anthony Anderson, John Cunningham, Ronnie Key and Maurice Stafford are set for enshrinement during a ceremony in the Claude Wright Room of the Haney Union at 4 p.m. on Thursday, September 29.

These four individuals will also be recognized prior to the 7 p.m. kickoff of the Tigers’ homecoming football game against league opponent Coahoma Community College.

This group of men together account for two National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-American awards, three Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) All-State selections and multiple postseason appearances in their respective sports.

Tickets are on sale for the event and its accompanying meal at a cost of $15. For more information, contact athletic director Kent Farris at 662-720-7309 or by email at wkfarris@nemcc.edu.

Anthony Anderson (Men’s Basketball, 1981-82, 1982-83)

Anthony Anderson is still one of the top roundball athletes to ever suit up for the tradition-rich men’s basketball program at Northeast Mississippi Community College.

Anderson had several double-digit performances during his freshman campaign, including 20 points in a huge 107-69 win over Meridian Community College and 16 points in a triumph at rival Itawamba Community College.

The East Union High School graduate guided the Tigers to a 21-4 regular season mark during the 1981-82 campaign. That included two wins at the Tip Off Tournament hosted by Jefferson State (Ala.) Community College.

Anderson scored a team-high 14 points to lift Northeast to the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) North Division Tournament crown in a 42-39 triumph over Northwest Mississippi Community College inside legendary Bonner Arnold Coliseum.

He followed that with 13 points three nights later in a tight 56-55 MACJC State Tournament semifinal victory over Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College on the campus of Utica Junior College, which is now part of the Hinds Community College system.

Anderson and the Tigers delivered once again the following evening against the host Bulldogs. He tallied 16 points to help Northeast secure its third state championship in program history with an 86-78 decision at Utica.

He was one of four sophomores that came back for the 1982-83 campaign. That team started on a slightly rocky note with a 5-5 record near the Christmas break, but the Tigers pulled together and compiled another 20-win season.

Northeast wrapped up Anderson’s final year in the City of Hospitality with a 21-12 mark and as the MACJC North Division runner-up. The Tigers eventually hosted the inaugural National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 23 Tournament.

Anderson was simply phenomenal in the regional opener against Delgado (La.) Community College. He amassed a game-best 45 points and was an incredible 20 of 22 from the free throw line for a Northeast squad that posted 112 total points.

But Mississippi Gulf Coast eliminated the Tigers in their following contest in a tight 88-80 contest. Anderson concluded his career with 26 points, which was more than any other player in the matchup.

Anderson finished as the leading scorer in NJCAA Region 23 and was recognized as the Babe McCarthy Junior College Player of the Year, which was awarded to the top athlete at the two-year level in the Magnolia State.

He also became the eighth NJCAA All-American in program history after ranking among the 10 best rebounders in the region. Anderson was voted by his peers and head coach Richard Mathis as Northeast’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) as well.

The Blue Springs native completed his Associate’s degree in business administration from Northeast and later wrapped up his education at Middle Tennessee State University beginning in the fall of 1983.

He has devoted his professional life to the field of criminal justice. Anderson worked with the Union County Sherriff’s Office for over a decade and was the Chief of Police in Verona for three years.

Anderson and his wife Connie have three children, Anna, Ebony and William, and are members of Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church. He is presently employed by the Northeast Campus Police Department.

John O. Cunningham (Sports Supporter)

John O. Cunningham joins an elite group of supporters that have been elected to the Northeast Sports Hall of Fame. He joins Malcolm Kuykendall and Earline “Woodsie” Woods with this distinction.

Cunningham was an established businessman that was known as a tireless advocate for the Lady Tigers and Tigers. He remains as one of Northeast’s biggest backers even in retirement.

The Baldwyn native owned Cunningham’s Food Mart in his hometown for several years and was highly successful in that venture. His prosperity has seemingly gone hand-in-hand with the affluence of Northeast’s nine intercollegiate athletic programs.

He became a member of the Northeast Board of Trustees in 1995 and still serves in that capacity. Cunningham currently holds the position of secretary for the 15-member board.

Cunningham also fulfills duties as part of the Northeast Development Foundation Board of Directors. He is one of four representatives from Prentiss County on this 20-person committee.

He and others on the board helped assemble an athletic giving program through the Northeast Development Foundation that has generated over $1 million for the institution over the past 16 years.

Cunningham is a familiar sight at Northeast sporting events. He can usually be found at courtside inside Bonner Arnold Coliseum or in a folding chair during the spring at either baseball or softball doubleheaders chatting about his beloved Tigers.

Ronnie Key (Football, 1979, 1980, Baseball 1980, 1981, Baseball Coach 1986-1991)

Ronnie Key immediately became a popular student-athlete upon his enrollment in 1979. He was selected as Mr. Northeast Mississippi Junior College during his sophomore year while playing both baseball and football.

Key was a standout defensive end for the Tigers in one of the best two-year periods in program history. Northeast compiled 15 victories during his tenure on the gridiron.

The Tigers captured six wins during Key’s freshman season, which was tied for the most by any Northeast team in the previous 10 campaigns, and finished as runner-up in the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) North Division.

Among the victories that year were three consecutive matchups with Coahoma Community College, Hinds Community College and Holmes Community College. Northeast eventually lost at Jones County Junior College in its second-ever state playoff contest.

Key and the Tigers bounced back with perhaps the best season in school history. Northeast captured nine victories in 1980, which is still the second most in a single year ever, and its inaugural MACJC North Division championship.

The Corinth native helped the Tigers compile a perfect 6-0 mark in league play. They clinched the MACJC North Division title with a 26-0 blanking of Northwest Mississippi Community College.

Northeast rose to as high as No. 2 in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) poll and was the top ranked team in the entire country at one point according to JC Gridwire. Those remain as the highest rankings ever for the Tigers.

Key’s final outing on the gridiron was during a 19-3 setback to Jones County in the first postseason game hosted by Northeast inside the friendly confines of Tiger Stadium.

He made an even deeper impact on the baseball program at Northeast. Key was a MACJC All-State selection and was voted as the Tigers’ Most Valuable Player (MVP) during each of his two campaigns.

NJCAA Hall of Famer W.B. “Bill” Ward recognized Key with the Tiger Award for football following his freshman year while head coach William Southward gave him the same honor twice for his leadership and efforts on the diamond.

Key returned to the Booneville campus in 1984 and was named the ninth head baseball coach at Northeast since the program was reinstated in 1961. His squads were known to be consistently competitive on a yearly basis.

The Corinth High School alumnus set a new program record with 24 victories in 1989 on the way to third place in the MACJC North Division. That mark stood for 11 years when the Tigers posted 26 triumphs in 2000.

He led the Tigers to five consecutive winning seasons and finished his tenure with 113 victories, which places him as the third winningest headman in program history. His Northeast teams missed the postseason by one game for three straight years from 1989-91.

Key was selected to coach the Athletes in Action international tour while with the Tigers in both 1985 and 1989. It was a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ International that was formed to share life-changing faith with sports fans across the world.

His team trained in Reno, Nev., before visiting sites in northern California and Central America. Key’s crew also visited local hospitals and churches as a means of serving others during their summer tours.

He left his alma mater to take the same position at Montreat-Anderson (N.C.) College in 1991. Key quickly retreated to the Magnolia State in 1991 after accepting an opening at Lamar School in Meridian.

Key remained at Lamar for the next two decades and served in various roles such as head baseball and golf coach, assistant football instructor, athletic director and guidance counselor.

He is presently in his fifth season as the golf coach at Meridian Community College. Key was the 2014 MACJC and Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC) Coach of the Year after guiding the Eagles to a state title on the links.

Key’s teams have captured 15 tournament crowns over the last four campaigns. Each of those squads were selected as Farmer’s Insurance All-Academic Teams as well.

He and his wife Leigh Ann have two children, Casey and Easton. Key is a board member for district five of Mississippi’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and attends worship at Meridian’s Northcrest Baptist Church.

Maurice Stafford (Men’s Basketball 1980-81, 1981-82, Assistant Men’s and Women’s Basketball Coach 2003-13)

Maurice Stafford started what turned into a blossoming career in the sport of basketball after signing with then-Northeast Mississippi Junior College as one of the highest touted prep athletes in the Magnolia State.

Stafford immediately showed amazing potential during his inaugural matchup in a black-and-gold uniform on November 10, 1980 at home against Dyersburg State (Tenn.) Community College. He nearly accounted for a double-double with 16 points and eight rebounds during a decisive 103-84 victory by the Tigers.

The Biggersville High School graduate was frequently the leading scorer for Northeast during his freshman campaign in jersey No. 44 while under the watch of head coach Noel Akins.

His first such instance as top scorer for the Tigers was in a tight 92-89 triumph over Northwest Alabama Community College, which is now Northwest-Shoals Community College. Stafford was one of five Tigers to reach double figures that night with 26 points.

Stafford helped Northeast win its initial five contests that year with 25 points at Dyersburg State and 30 points during his first rivalry matchup with Itawamba Community College on December 2, 1980.

He and his teammates went on to win the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) North Division Tournament crown with a 61-50 triumph versus Northwest Mississippi Community College. Stafford had 13 points in the Tigers’ title victory over the Rangers.

Northeast eventually lost in the state championship contest to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and qualified for the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 7 Tournament that was held on the campus of Paducah (Ky.) Community College, which is currently known as West Kentucky Community and Technical College.

Stafford, who was one of four returning sophomores, and the Tigers gained their revenge one season later by capturing the 1982 MACJC State Tournament title under the direction of first-year headman Richard Mathis.

Northeast edged past Mississippi Gulf Coast in the semifinals by a 56-55 margin thanks in part to 27 points from Stafford. The Tigers then bested host Utica Junior College 86-78 with Stafford notching 15 points before hoisting the championship trophy.

Stafford was selected to the MACJC All-State team and became the seventh NJCAA All-American in program history after leading both the state and region with approximately 23 points per game.

The Rienzi native was also the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 1981 Tip Off Tournament in Birmingham, Ala., where Northeast won the crown over Lurleen B. Wallace (Ala.) Community College.

He signed with the University of North Alabama after his tenure with the Tigers and found even more success on the hardwood. He led the Lions in scoring and field goal percentage both as a junior and senior.

Stafford was a two-time All-Gulf South Conference (GSC) selection and was the 1984 GSC Player of the Year. That same season he led North Alabama to a 27-7 overall mark, a GSC and NCAA South Regional championship plus a berth to the NCAA Division II Final Four.

He shot 75 percent from the floor during his senior campaign, which at the time was a NCAA Division II record. That incredible feat was broken three years later, but still remains fourth all-time at that level.

Stafford’s career stat line for the Lions included 922 points, 382 rebounds, 95 assists, 70 steals and 32 blocks. He later returned to Florence, Ala., as an assistant coach for North Alabama’s women’s program. His playing career might have concluded with the Lions, but his passion for roundball continued through his time as a coach. His first position came at the University of Tennessee at Martin from 1989-95.

Stafford was heavily involved in recruiting, monitoring the academic status of players, game preparation and the development of post players while at UT Martin, North Alabama and the University of Memphis (Tenn.).

Some of the standout athletes he instructed were Tamika Whitmore, who went on to play for the Indiana Fever of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) after starring at Memphis, and North Alabama’s inaugural first-team All-American in Serita Gaulding.

Stafford returned to Booneville to conclude his coaching tenure at Northeast. He was the first ever assistant for the women’s basketball program and assisted the men as well over a decade starting in 2003.

He assisted the Lady Tigers in capturing a pair of state championships plus the 2006 NJCAA Region 23 title. Stafford tutored NJCAA All-Americans Jessica Hooker and Krystal Robinson during that special season that saw Northeast reach the NJCAA Division I National Tournament for the third time ever.

Stafford, who is also a member of North Alabama’s Hall of Fame, is married to the former Karyn Miller of Jumpertown. They have a daughter, Sascha, and one grandson, D’Kylin.


Men's Basketball Headlines
Latest Men's Basketball Story

NORTHEAST TO INDUCT FOUR STANDOUTS IN NINTH SPORTS HALL OF FAME CLASS
Release Date: 9/22/2016
Northeast Mississippi Community College

BOONEVILLE, Miss. - Northeast Mississippi Community College has selected the ninth class of dignitaries to enter into its prestigious Sports Hall of Fame.

Anthony Anderson, John Cunningham, Ronnie Key and Maurice Stafford are set for enshrinement during a ceremony in the Claude Wright Room of the Haney Union at 4 p.m. on Thursday, September 29.

These four individuals will also be recognized prior to the 7 p.m. kickoff of the Tigers’ homecoming football game against league opponent Coahoma Community College.

This group of men together account for two National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-American awards, three Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) All-State selections and multiple postseason appearances in their respective sports.

Tickets are on sale for the event and its accompanying meal at a cost of $15. For more information, contact athletic director Kent Farris at 662-720-7309 or by email at wkfarris@nemcc.edu.

Anthony Anderson (Men’s Basketball, 1981-82, 1982-83)

Anthony Anderson is still one of the top roundball athletes to ever suit up for the tradition-rich men’s basketball program at Northeast Mississippi Community College.

Anderson had several double-digit performances during his freshman campaign, including 20 points in a huge 107-69 win over Meridian Community College and 16 points in a triumph at rival Itawamba Community College.

The East Union High School graduate guided the Tigers to a 21-4 regular season mark during the 1981-82 campaign. That included two wins at the Tip Off Tournament hosted by Jefferson State (Ala.) Community College.

Anderson scored a team-high 14 points to lift Northeast to the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) North Division Tournament crown in a 42-39 triumph over Northwest Mississippi Community College inside legendary Bonner Arnold Coliseum.

He followed that with 13 points three nights later in a tight 56-55 MACJC State Tournament semifinal victory over Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College on the campus of Utica Junior College, which is now part of the Hinds Community College system.

Anderson and the Tigers delivered once again the following evening against the host Bulldogs. He tallied 16 points to help Northeast secure its third state championship in program history with an 86-78 decision at Utica.

He was one of four sophomores that came back for the 1982-83 campaign. That team started on a slightly rocky note with a 5-5 record near the Christmas break, but the Tigers pulled together and compiled another 20-win season.

Northeast wrapped up Anderson’s final year in the City of Hospitality with a 21-12 mark and as the MACJC North Division runner-up. The Tigers eventually hosted the inaugural National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 23 Tournament.

Anderson was simply phenomenal in the regional opener against Delgado (La.) Community College. He amassed a game-best 45 points and was an incredible 20 of 22 from the free throw line for a Northeast squad that posted 112 total points.

But Mississippi Gulf Coast eliminated the Tigers in their following contest in a tight 88-80 contest. Anderson concluded his career with 26 points, which was more than any other player in the matchup.

Anderson finished as the leading scorer in NJCAA Region 23 and was recognized as the Babe McCarthy Junior College Player of the Year, which was awarded to the top athlete at the two-year level in the Magnolia State.

He also became the eighth NJCAA All-American in program history after ranking among the 10 best rebounders in the region. Anderson was voted by his peers and head coach Richard Mathis as Northeast’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) as well.

The Blue Springs native completed his Associate’s degree in business administration from Northeast and later wrapped up his education at Middle Tennessee State University beginning in the fall of 1983.

He has devoted his professional life to the field of criminal justice. Anderson worked with the Union County Sherriff’s Office for over a decade and was the Chief of Police in Verona for three years.

Anderson and his wife Connie have three children, Anna, Ebony and William, and are members of Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church. He is presently employed by the Northeast Campus Police Department.

John O. Cunningham (Sports Supporter)

John O. Cunningham joins an elite group of supporters that have been elected to the Northeast Sports Hall of Fame. He joins Malcolm Kuykendall and Earline “Woodsie” Woods with this distinction.

Cunningham was an established businessman that was known as a tireless advocate for the Lady Tigers and Tigers. He remains as one of Northeast’s biggest backers even in retirement.

The Baldwyn native owned Cunningham’s Food Mart in his hometown for several years and was highly successful in that venture. His prosperity has seemingly gone hand-in-hand with the affluence of Northeast’s nine intercollegiate athletic programs.

He became a member of the Northeast Board of Trustees in 1995 and still serves in that capacity. Cunningham currently holds the position of secretary for the 15-member board.

Cunningham also fulfills duties as part of the Northeast Development Foundation Board of Directors. He is one of four representatives from Prentiss County on this 20-person committee.

He and others on the board helped assemble an athletic giving program through the Northeast Development Foundation that has generated over $1 million for the institution over the past 16 years.

Cunningham is a familiar sight at Northeast sporting events. He can usually be found at courtside inside Bonner Arnold Coliseum or in a folding chair during the spring at either baseball or softball doubleheaders chatting about his beloved Tigers.

Ronnie Key (Football, 1979, 1980, Baseball 1980, 1981, Baseball Coach 1986-1991)

Ronnie Key immediately became a popular student-athlete upon his enrollment in 1979. He was selected as Mr. Northeast Mississippi Junior College during his sophomore year while playing both baseball and football.

Key was a standout defensive end for the Tigers in one of the best two-year periods in program history. Northeast compiled 15 victories during his tenure on the gridiron.

The Tigers captured six wins during Key’s freshman season, which was tied for the most by any Northeast team in the previous 10 campaigns, and finished as runner-up in the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) North Division.

Among the victories that year were three consecutive matchups with Coahoma Community College, Hinds Community College and Holmes Community College. Northeast eventually lost at Jones County Junior College in its second-ever state playoff contest.

Key and the Tigers bounced back with perhaps the best season in school history. Northeast captured nine victories in 1980, which is still the second most in a single year ever, and its inaugural MACJC North Division championship.

The Corinth native helped the Tigers compile a perfect 6-0 mark in league play. They clinched the MACJC North Division title with a 26-0 blanking of Northwest Mississippi Community College.

Northeast rose to as high as No. 2 in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) poll and was the top ranked team in the entire country at one point according to JC Gridwire. Those remain as the highest rankings ever for the Tigers.

Key’s final outing on the gridiron was during a 19-3 setback to Jones County in the first postseason game hosted by Northeast inside the friendly confines of Tiger Stadium.

He made an even deeper impact on the baseball program at Northeast. Key was a MACJC All-State selection and was voted as the Tigers’ Most Valuable Player (MVP) during each of his two campaigns.

NJCAA Hall of Famer W.B. “Bill” Ward recognized Key with the Tiger Award for football following his freshman year while head coach William Southward gave him the same honor twice for his leadership and efforts on the diamond.

Key returned to the Booneville campus in 1984 and was named the ninth head baseball coach at Northeast since the program was reinstated in 1961. His squads were known to be consistently competitive on a yearly basis.

The Corinth High School alumnus set a new program record with 24 victories in 1989 on the way to third place in the MACJC North Division. That mark stood for 11 years when the Tigers posted 26 triumphs in 2000.

He led the Tigers to five consecutive winning seasons and finished his tenure with 113 victories, which places him as the third winningest headman in program history. His Northeast teams missed the postseason by one game for three straight years from 1989-91.

Key was selected to coach the Athletes in Action international tour while with the Tigers in both 1985 and 1989. It was a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ International that was formed to share life-changing faith with sports fans across the world.

His team trained in Reno, Nev., before visiting sites in northern California and Central America. Key’s crew also visited local hospitals and churches as a means of serving others during their summer tours.

He left his alma mater to take the same position at Montreat-Anderson (N.C.) College in 1991. Key quickly retreated to the Magnolia State in 1991 after accepting an opening at Lamar School in Meridian.

Key remained at Lamar for the next two decades and served in various roles such as head baseball and golf coach, assistant football instructor, athletic director and guidance counselor.

He is presently in his fifth season as the golf coach at Meridian Community College. Key was the 2014 MACJC and Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC) Coach of the Year after guiding the Eagles to a state title on the links.

Key’s teams have captured 15 tournament crowns over the last four campaigns. Each of those squads were selected as Farmer’s Insurance All-Academic Teams as well.

He and his wife Leigh Ann have two children, Casey and Easton. Key is a board member for district five of Mississippi’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and attends worship at Meridian’s Northcrest Baptist Church.

Maurice Stafford (Men’s Basketball 1980-81, 1981-82, Assistant Men’s and Women’s Basketball Coach 2003-13)

Maurice Stafford started what turned into a blossoming career in the sport of basketball after signing with then-Northeast Mississippi Junior College as one of the highest touted prep athletes in the Magnolia State.

Stafford immediately showed amazing potential during his inaugural matchup in a black-and-gold uniform on November 10, 1980 at home against Dyersburg State (Tenn.) Community College. He nearly accounted for a double-double with 16 points and eight rebounds during a decisive 103-84 victory by the Tigers.

The Biggersville High School graduate was frequently the leading scorer for Northeast during his freshman campaign in jersey No. 44 while under the watch of head coach Noel Akins.

His first such instance as top scorer for the Tigers was in a tight 92-89 triumph over Northwest Alabama Community College, which is now Northwest-Shoals Community College. Stafford was one of five Tigers to reach double figures that night with 26 points.

Stafford helped Northeast win its initial five contests that year with 25 points at Dyersburg State and 30 points during his first rivalry matchup with Itawamba Community College on December 2, 1980.

He and his teammates went on to win the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) North Division Tournament crown with a 61-50 triumph versus Northwest Mississippi Community College. Stafford had 13 points in the Tigers’ title victory over the Rangers.

Northeast eventually lost in the state championship contest to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and qualified for the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 7 Tournament that was held on the campus of Paducah (Ky.) Community College, which is currently known as West Kentucky Community and Technical College.

Stafford, who was one of four returning sophomores, and the Tigers gained their revenge one season later by capturing the 1982 MACJC State Tournament title under the direction of first-year headman Richard Mathis.

Northeast edged past Mississippi Gulf Coast in the semifinals by a 56-55 margin thanks in part to 27 points from Stafford. The Tigers then bested host Utica Junior College 86-78 with Stafford notching 15 points before hoisting the championship trophy.

Stafford was selected to the MACJC All-State team and became the seventh NJCAA All-American in program history after leading both the state and region with approximately 23 points per game.

The Rienzi native was also the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 1981 Tip Off Tournament in Birmingham, Ala., where Northeast won the crown over Lurleen B. Wallace (Ala.) Community College.

He signed with the University of North Alabama after his tenure with the Tigers and found even more success on the hardwood. He led the Lions in scoring and field goal percentage both as a junior and senior.

Stafford was a two-time All-Gulf South Conference (GSC) selection and was the 1984 GSC Player of the Year. That same season he led North Alabama to a 27-7 overall mark, a GSC and NCAA South Regional championship plus a berth to the NCAA Division II Final Four.

He shot 75 percent from the floor during his senior campaign, which at the time was a NCAA Division II record. That incredible feat was broken three years later, but still remains fourth all-time at that level.

Stafford’s career stat line for the Lions included 922 points, 382 rebounds, 95 assists, 70 steals and 32 blocks. He later returned to Florence, Ala., as an assistant coach for North Alabama’s women’s program. His playing career might have concluded with the Lions, but his passion for roundball continued through his time as a coach. His first position came at the University of Tennessee at Martin from 1989-95.

Stafford was heavily involved in recruiting, monitoring the academic status of players, game preparation and the development of post players while at UT Martin, North Alabama and the University of Memphis (Tenn.).

Some of the standout athletes he instructed were Tamika Whitmore, who went on to play for the Indiana Fever of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) after starring at Memphis, and North Alabama’s inaugural first-team All-American in Serita Gaulding.

Stafford returned to Booneville to conclude his coaching tenure at Northeast. He was the first ever assistant for the women’s basketball program and assisted the men as well over a decade starting in 2003.

He assisted the Lady Tigers in capturing a pair of state championships plus the 2006 NJCAA Region 23 title. Stafford tutored NJCAA All-Americans Jessica Hooker and Krystal Robinson during that special season that saw Northeast reach the NJCAA Division I National Tournament for the third time ever.

Stafford, who is also a member of North Alabama’s Hall of Fame, is married to the former Karyn Miller of Jumpertown. They have a daughter, Sascha, and one grandson, D’Kylin.


Women's Basketball Headlines
Latest Women's Basketball Story

NORTHEAST TO INDUCT FOUR STANDOUTS IN NINTH SPORTS HALL OF FAME CLASS
Release Date: 9/22/2016
Northeast Mississippi Community College

BOONEVILLE, Miss. - Northeast Mississippi Community College has selected the ninth class of dignitaries to enter into its prestigious Sports Hall of Fame.

Anthony Anderson, John Cunningham, Ronnie Key and Maurice Stafford are set for enshrinement during a ceremony in the Claude Wright Room of the Haney Union at 4 p.m. on Thursday, September 29.

These four individuals will also be recognized prior to the 7 p.m. kickoff of the Tigers’ homecoming football game against league opponent Coahoma Community College.

This group of men together account for two National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-American awards, three Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) All-State selections and multiple postseason appearances in their respective sports.

Tickets are on sale for the event and its accompanying meal at a cost of $15. For more information, contact athletic director Kent Farris at 662-720-7309 or by email at wkfarris@nemcc.edu.

Anthony Anderson (Men’s Basketball, 1981-82, 1982-83)

Anthony Anderson is still one of the top roundball athletes to ever suit up for the tradition-rich men’s basketball program at Northeast Mississippi Community College.

Anderson had several double-digit performances during his freshman campaign, including 20 points in a huge 107-69 win over Meridian Community College and 16 points in a triumph at rival Itawamba Community College.

The East Union High School graduate guided the Tigers to a 21-4 regular season mark during the 1981-82 campaign. That included two wins at the Tip Off Tournament hosted by Jefferson State (Ala.) Community College.

Anderson scored a team-high 14 points to lift Northeast to the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) North Division Tournament crown in a 42-39 triumph over Northwest Mississippi Community College inside legendary Bonner Arnold Coliseum.

He followed that with 13 points three nights later in a tight 56-55 MACJC State Tournament semifinal victory over Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College on the campus of Utica Junior College, which is now part of the Hinds Community College system.

Anderson and the Tigers delivered once again the following evening against the host Bulldogs. He tallied 16 points to help Northeast secure its third state championship in program history with an 86-78 decision at Utica.

He was one of four sophomores that came back for the 1982-83 campaign. That team started on a slightly rocky note with a 5-5 record near the Christmas break, but the Tigers pulled together and compiled another 20-win season.

Northeast wrapped up Anderson’s final year in the City of Hospitality with a 21-12 mark and as the MACJC North Division runner-up. The Tigers eventually hosted the inaugural National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 23 Tournament.

Anderson was simply phenomenal in the regional opener against Delgado (La.) Community College. He amassed a game-best 45 points and was an incredible 20 of 22 from the free throw line for a Northeast squad that posted 112 total points.

But Mississippi Gulf Coast eliminated the Tigers in their following contest in a tight 88-80 contest. Anderson concluded his career with 26 points, which was more than any other player in the matchup.

Anderson finished as the leading scorer in NJCAA Region 23 and was recognized as the Babe McCarthy Junior College Player of the Year, which was awarded to the top athlete at the two-year level in the Magnolia State.

He also became the eighth NJCAA All-American in program history after ranking among the 10 best rebounders in the region. Anderson was voted by his peers and head coach Richard Mathis as Northeast’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) as well.

The Blue Springs native completed his Associate’s degree in business administration from Northeast and later wrapped up his education at Middle Tennessee State University beginning in the fall of 1983.

He has devoted his professional life to the field of criminal justice. Anderson worked with the Union County Sherriff’s Office for over a decade and was the Chief of Police in Verona for three years.

Anderson and his wife Connie have three children, Anna, Ebony and William, and are members of Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church. He is presently employed by the Northeast Campus Police Department.

John O. Cunningham (Sports Supporter)

John O. Cunningham joins an elite group of supporters that have been elected to the Northeast Sports Hall of Fame. He joins Malcolm Kuykendall and Earline “Woodsie” Woods with this distinction.

Cunningham was an established businessman that was known as a tireless advocate for the Lady Tigers and Tigers. He remains as one of Northeast’s biggest backers even in retirement.

The Baldwyn native owned Cunningham’s Food Mart in his hometown for several years and was highly successful in that venture. His prosperity has seemingly gone hand-in-hand with the affluence of Northeast’s nine intercollegiate athletic programs.

He became a member of the Northeast Board of Trustees in 1995 and still serves in that capacity. Cunningham currently holds the position of secretary for the 15-member board.

Cunningham also fulfills duties as part of the Northeast Development Foundation Board of Directors. He is one of four representatives from Prentiss County on this 20-person committee.

He and others on the board helped assemble an athletic giving program through the Northeast Development Foundation that has generated over $1 million for the institution over the past 16 years.

Cunningham is a familiar sight at Northeast sporting events. He can usually be found at courtside inside Bonner Arnold Coliseum or in a folding chair during the spring at either baseball or softball doubleheaders chatting about his beloved Tigers.

Ronnie Key (Football, 1979, 1980, Baseball 1980, 1981, Baseball Coach 1986-1991)

Ronnie Key immediately became a popular student-athlete upon his enrollment in 1979. He was selected as Mr. Northeast Mississippi Junior College during his sophomore year while playing both baseball and football.

Key was a standout defensive end for the Tigers in one of the best two-year periods in program history. Northeast compiled 15 victories during his tenure on the gridiron.

The Tigers captured six wins during Key’s freshman season, which was tied for the most by any Northeast team in the previous 10 campaigns, and finished as runner-up in the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) North Division.

Among the victories that year were three consecutive matchups with Coahoma Community College, Hinds Community College and Holmes Community College. Northeast eventually lost at Jones County Junior College in its second-ever state playoff contest.

Key and the Tigers bounced back with perhaps the best season in school history. Northeast captured nine victories in 1980, which is still the second most in a single year ever, and its inaugural MACJC North Division championship.

The Corinth native helped the Tigers compile a perfect 6-0 mark in league play. They clinched the MACJC North Division title with a 26-0 blanking of Northwest Mississippi Community College.

Northeast rose to as high as No. 2 in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) poll and was the top ranked team in the entire country at one point according to JC Gridwire. Those remain as the highest rankings ever for the Tigers.

Key’s final outing on the gridiron was during a 19-3 setback to Jones County in the first postseason game hosted by Northeast inside the friendly confines of Tiger Stadium.

He made an even deeper impact on the baseball program at Northeast. Key was a MACJC All-State selection and was voted as the Tigers’ Most Valuable Player (MVP) during each of his two campaigns.

NJCAA Hall of Famer W.B. “Bill” Ward recognized Key with the Tiger Award for football following his freshman year while head coach William Southward gave him the same honor twice for his leadership and efforts on the diamond.

Key returned to the Booneville campus in 1984 and was named the ninth head baseball coach at Northeast since the program was reinstated in 1961. His squads were known to be consistently competitive on a yearly basis.

The Corinth High School alumnus set a new program record with 24 victories in 1989 on the way to third place in the MACJC North Division. That mark stood for 11 years when the Tigers posted 26 triumphs in 2000.

He led the Tigers to five consecutive winning seasons and finished his tenure with 113 victories, which places him as the third winningest headman in program history. His Northeast teams missed the postseason by one game for three straight years from 1989-91.

Key was selected to coach the Athletes in Action international tour while with the Tigers in both 1985 and 1989. It was a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ International that was formed to share life-changing faith with sports fans across the world.

His team trained in Reno, Nev., before visiting sites in northern California and Central America. Key’s crew also visited local hospitals and churches as a means of serving others during their summer tours.

He left his alma mater to take the same position at Montreat-Anderson (N.C.) College in 1991. Key quickly retreated to the Magnolia State in 1991 after accepting an opening at Lamar School in Meridian.

Key remained at Lamar for the next two decades and served in various roles such as head baseball and golf coach, assistant football instructor, athletic director and guidance counselor.

He is presently in his fifth season as the golf coach at Meridian Community College. Key was the 2014 MACJC and Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC) Coach of the Year after guiding the Eagles to a state title on the links.

Key’s teams have captured 15 tournament crowns over the last four campaigns. Each of those squads were selected as Farmer’s Insurance All-Academic Teams as well.

He and his wife Leigh Ann have two children, Casey and Easton. Key is a board member for district five of Mississippi’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and attends worship at Meridian’s Northcrest Baptist Church.

Maurice Stafford (Men’s Basketball 1980-81, 1981-82, Assistant Men’s and Women’s Basketball Coach 2003-13)

Maurice Stafford started what turned into a blossoming career in the sport of basketball after signing with then-Northeast Mississippi Junior College as one of the highest touted prep athletes in the Magnolia State.

Stafford immediately showed amazing potential during his inaugural matchup in a black-and-gold uniform on November 10, 1980 at home against Dyersburg State (Tenn.) Community College. He nearly accounted for a double-double with 16 points and eight rebounds during a decisive 103-84 victory by the Tigers.

The Biggersville High School graduate was frequently the leading scorer for Northeast during his freshman campaign in jersey No. 44 while under the watch of head coach Noel Akins.

His first such instance as top scorer for the Tigers was in a tight 92-89 triumph over Northwest Alabama Community College, which is now Northwest-Shoals Community College. Stafford was one of five Tigers to reach double figures that night with 26 points.

Stafford helped Northeast win its initial five contests that year with 25 points at Dyersburg State and 30 points during his first rivalry matchup with Itawamba Community College on December 2, 1980.

He and his teammates went on to win the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) North Division Tournament crown with a 61-50 triumph versus Northwest Mississippi Community College. Stafford had 13 points in the Tigers’ title victory over the Rangers.

Northeast eventually lost in the state championship contest to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and qualified for the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 7 Tournament that was held on the campus of Paducah (Ky.) Community College, which is currently known as West Kentucky Community and Technical College.

Stafford, who was one of four returning sophomores, and the Tigers gained their revenge one season later by capturing the 1982 MACJC State Tournament title under the direction of first-year headman Richard Mathis.

Northeast edged past Mississippi Gulf Coast in the semifinals by a 56-55 margin thanks in part to 27 points from Stafford. The Tigers then bested host Utica Junior College 86-78 with Stafford notching 15 points before hoisting the championship trophy.

Stafford was selected to the MACJC All-State team and became the seventh NJCAA All-American in program history after leading both the state and region with approximately 23 points per game.

The Rienzi native was also the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 1981 Tip Off Tournament in Birmingham, Ala., where Northeast won the crown over Lurleen B. Wallace (Ala.) Community College.

He signed with the University of North Alabama after his tenure with the Tigers and found even more success on the hardwood. He led the Lions in scoring and field goal percentage both as a junior and senior.

Stafford was a two-time All-Gulf South Conference (GSC) selection and was the 1984 GSC Player of the Year. That same season he led North Alabama to a 27-7 overall mark, a GSC and NCAA South Regional championship plus a berth to the NCAA Division II Final Four.

He shot 75 percent from the floor during his senior campaign, which at the time was a NCAA Division II record. That incredible feat was broken three years later, but still remains fourth all-time at that level.

Stafford’s career stat line for the Lions included 922 points, 382 rebounds, 95 assists, 70 steals and 32 blocks. He later returned to Florence, Ala., as an assistant coach for North Alabama’s women’s program. His playing career might have concluded with the Lions, but his passion for roundball continued through his time as a coach. His first position came at the University of Tennessee at Martin from 1989-95.

Stafford was heavily involved in recruiting, monitoring the academic status of players, game preparation and the development of post players while at UT Martin, North Alabama and the University of Memphis (Tenn.).

Some of the standout athletes he instructed were Tamika Whitmore, who went on to play for the Indiana Fever of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) after starring at Memphis, and North Alabama’s inaugural first-team All-American in Serita Gaulding.

Stafford returned to Booneville to conclude his coaching tenure at Northeast. He was the first ever assistant for the women’s basketball program and assisted the men as well over a decade starting in 2003.

He assisted the Lady Tigers in capturing a pair of state championships plus the 2006 NJCAA Region 23 title. Stafford tutored NJCAA All-Americans Jessica Hooker and Krystal Robinson during that special season that saw Northeast reach the NJCAA Division I National Tournament for the third time ever.

Stafford, who is also a member of North Alabama’s Hall of Fame, is married to the former Karyn Miller of Jumpertown. They have a daughter, Sascha, and one grandson, D’Kylin.


Football Headlines
Latest Football Story

Delor's Two Goals Help Bears Get Record Win At Itawamba
Release Date: 9/24/2016
Southwest Mississippi Community College

Jaime Delor’s two first-half goals held up as the Bears escaped with a 2-1 win over the Indians of Itawamba Saturday afternoon in Fulton. The win, their fourth in a row, left the Bears with a program-best 8 wins (against 3 losses).

Delor’s first goal, just 1:19 into the game, came after he got a through ball from Michael Escobar, took a couple of touches and slotted it to the bottom left of the goal.

Delor and Escobar connected again in the 40th minute when Escobar send another great through ball that made the Itawamba keeper commit. Delor then curled the ball around the keeper and into the goal. Delor now has 18 goals on the season. Itawamba (5-5) avoided the shutout when Cameron O’ Daniel scored with 12:07 left in the game.

“It was one of the toughest wins of the season,” said Bears head coach Zach Mills. “Itawamba has some real talent, but, as always, the hard work (by the Bears) paid off. The team held strong and played for one another.”

“Kade (Jenkins) had an incredible game (Friday) against Northwest,” Mills went on, “and I believe he showed today that it wasn’t just luck (the Bears’ freshman keeper, from North Pike High School, had seven saves in the win against the Rangers Friday and nine in the win at Itawamba). Jaime, of course, continues doing well for us and I appreciate Michael stepping up.”

Mills said it “feels unreal to beat the old SMCC record of seven wins in a season. But, I must give credit to my players. They’re a great group of guys and their determination has made this season extremely enjoyable so far. I know they’re not done and I’m excited to see them keep pressing forward.”

The Bears will now take a few days off before returning to action, on Friday, September 30 at 4:00, for their final non-division game of the season against the Bulldogs of Holmes.


Golf Headlines
Latest Golf Story

ICC Golf Finishes Sixth In MACJC Opener At Wolf Hollow
Release Date: 9/19/2016
Itawamba Community College

WESSON, MS - The Itawamba Community College golf team finished sixth in the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) opening match hosted by Copiah-Lincoln Community College at Wolf Hollow Country Club in Wesson over the weekend.

Brandon Walker (Vardaman) finished 23rd overall after carding a 151 (+7) for the tournament. On Saturday, the freshman turned in a 76 (+4) and rebounded with a 75 (+3) on Sunday.

Andrew McDonald (Fulton) opened the tournament with a round of 78 (+6) before carding a team-best 74 (+2) on Sunday to finish tied for 24th with a two-day total of 152 (+8). Kirk Reeder (Tupelo) and Nick Brown (Mooreville) finished tied for 41st at 161 (+17) with Mark Tipton (Hamilton) finishing tied for 43rd at 162 (+18) Todd Harrell (Calhoun City) turning in a 177 (+33) to finish 56th for the tournament.

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College took home the tournament victory with the low combined score of 569, followed by host Co-Lin (579), Meridian Community College (589), Northwest Mississippi Community College (606), East Mississippi Community College (613), ICC and Hinds Community College (625), Northeast Mississippi Community College (627), and East Central Community College (640).

Gulf Coast’s Logan Leary was the tournament medalist with a two-day total of 140 (-4).

ICC will be back in action in the Northwest Invitational at North Creek Golf Club on Sunday, September 25 and Monday, September 26 in Horn Lake.

For more information on ICC golf and the nine other intercollegiate athletic programs, follow ICC Athletics on Twitter (@LetsGoICC) and visit LetsGoICC.com.


Rodeo Headlines
Latest Rodeo Story

PRCC Rodeo Team Makes Historic Debut At Missouri Event
Release Date: 9/20/2016
Pearl River Community College

POPLARVILLE – The Pearl River Community College rodeo team will make history this weekend, when the Wildcats travel to Marshall, Mo., for the squad’s inaugural event in its debut season.

PRCC will be participating in the Missouri Valley College Rodeo, the first of 10 events on the schedule for the 2016-17 season.

“We’re pretty excited about it,” said Robbie Shaw, the team’s coach and advisor. “We’re still trying to work to get some kids cleared to enter, but we expect to carry a full team up there.”

Pearl River is competing in the Ozark Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association, the sanctioning body for college rodeo, The Wildcats are one of four college teams from Mississippi in the region, joining Mississippi State, Northwest Mississippi Community College and East Mississippi Community College.

Rodeo is unique in that there is no team practice time, and riders compete as individuals. But Shaw said he has worked to instill a team spirit among the 15 men and women on the team.

“We go to rodeos outside the college, and we try to build a family bond,” said Shaw. “We stay together and help each other out. So even though they are competing against one another, they are also competing together as one. It’s a fine line.”

The men on the team will compete in calf roping, steer wrestling and bull-riding. Women’s events are barrel racing, goat tying and breakaway roping. There are also men’s and women’s team roping events.

PRCC’s men include several of the top youth riders in South Mississippi, including Ryder Ladner of Kiln, Andrew Burks of Kiln and Kelton Tynes of Poplarville.

Other team members are Selena Broom of Purvis, Colleen Brown of Biloxi, Bryant Channell of Seminary, Nick Gonzales III of Carriere, Charles Hopkins of Carreire, Chelsey Johnson of Poplarville, Tyler Ladner of Poplarville, Lacy Lee of Long Beach, Raegan Lee of Picayune, Alex Nobles of Bogalusa, La., MiKata Jo Reid of Poplarville, Rebekah Rigby of Brooklyn and Michaela Riley of Poplarville.

“We’ve been saying all along that we should be competitive right from the start,” said Shaw. “I think we’re very strong in the calf roping and team roping events, and we have a couple of girls in the barrel racing that if they have their day, they can score well for us.” .

Preliminaries begin Thursday and continue on Friday, with the championship rounds scheduled for Saturday.

Men's Soccer Headlines
Latest Men's Soccer Story

Delor's Two Goals Help Bears Get Record Win At Itawamba
Release Date: 9/24/2016
Southwest Mississippi Community College

Jaime Delor’s two first-half goals held up as the Bears escaped with a 2-1 win over the Indians of Itawamba Saturday afternoon in Fulton. The win, their fourth in a row, left the Bears with a program-best 8 wins (against 3 losses).

Delor’s first goal, just 1:19 into the game, came after he got a through ball from Michael Escobar, took a couple of touches and slotted it to the bottom left of the goal.

Delor and Escobar connected again in the 40th minute when Escobar send another great through ball that made the Itawamba keeper commit. Delor then curled the ball around the keeper and into the goal. Delor now has 18 goals on the season. Itawamba (5-5) avoided the shutout when Cameron O’ Daniel scored with 12:07 left in the game.

“It was one of the toughest wins of the season,” said Bears head coach Zach Mills. “Itawamba has some real talent, but, as always, the hard work (by the Bears) paid off. The team held strong and played for one another.”

“Kade (Jenkins) had an incredible game (Friday) against Northwest,” Mills went on, “and I believe he showed today that it wasn’t just luck (the Bears’ freshman keeper, from North Pike High School, had seven saves in the win against the Rangers Friday and nine in the win at Itawamba). Jaime, of course, continues doing well for us and I appreciate Michael stepping up.”

Mills said it “feels unreal to beat the old SMCC record of seven wins in a season. But, I must give credit to my players. They’re a great group of guys and their determination has made this season extremely enjoyable so far. I know they’re not done and I’m excited to see them keep pressing forward.”

The Bears will now take a few days off before returning to action, on Friday, September 30 at 4:00, for their final non-division game of the season against the Bulldogs of Holmes.


Women's Soccer Headlines
Latest Women's Soccer Story

Delor's Two Goals Help Bears Get Record Win At Itawamba
Release Date: 9/24/2016
Southwest Mississippi Community College

Jaime Delor’s two first-half goals held up as the Bears escaped with a 2-1 win over the Indians of Itawamba Saturday afternoon in Fulton. The win, their fourth in a row, left the Bears with a program-best 8 wins (against 3 losses).

Delor’s first goal, just 1:19 into the game, came after he got a through ball from Michael Escobar, took a couple of touches and slotted it to the bottom left of the goal.

Delor and Escobar connected again in the 40th minute when Escobar send another great through ball that made the Itawamba keeper commit. Delor then curled the ball around the keeper and into the goal. Delor now has 18 goals on the season. Itawamba (5-5) avoided the shutout when Cameron O’ Daniel scored with 12:07 left in the game.

“It was one of the toughest wins of the season,” said Bears head coach Zach Mills. “Itawamba has some real talent, but, as always, the hard work (by the Bears) paid off. The team held strong and played for one another.”

“Kade (Jenkins) had an incredible game (Friday) against Northwest,” Mills went on, “and I believe he showed today that it wasn’t just luck (the Bears’ freshman keeper, from North Pike High School, had seven saves in the win against the Rangers Friday and nine in the win at Itawamba). Jaime, of course, continues doing well for us and I appreciate Michael stepping up.”

Mills said it “feels unreal to beat the old SMCC record of seven wins in a season. But, I must give credit to my players. They’re a great group of guys and their determination has made this season extremely enjoyable so far. I know they’re not done and I’m excited to see them keep pressing forward.”

The Bears will now take a few days off before returning to action, on Friday, September 30 at 4:00, for their final non-division game of the season against the Bulldogs of Holmes.


Softball Headlines
Latest Softball Story

NORTHEAST TO INDUCT FOUR STANDOUTS IN NINTH SPORTS HALL OF FAME CLASS
Release Date: 9/22/2016
Northeast Mississippi Community College

BOONEVILLE, Miss. - Northeast Mississippi Community College has selected the ninth class of dignitaries to enter into its prestigious Sports Hall of Fame.

Anthony Anderson, John Cunningham, Ronnie Key and Maurice Stafford are set for enshrinement during a ceremony in the Claude Wright Room of the Haney Union at 4 p.m. on Thursday, September 29.

These four individuals will also be recognized prior to the 7 p.m. kickoff of the Tigers’ homecoming football game against league opponent Coahoma Community College.

This group of men together account for two National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-American awards, three Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) All-State selections and multiple postseason appearances in their respective sports.

Tickets are on sale for the event and its accompanying meal at a cost of $15. For more information, contact athletic director Kent Farris at 662-720-7309 or by email at wkfarris@nemcc.edu.

Anthony Anderson (Men’s Basketball, 1981-82, 1982-83)

Anthony Anderson is still one of the top roundball athletes to ever suit up for the tradition-rich men’s basketball program at Northeast Mississippi Community College.

Anderson had several double-digit performances during his freshman campaign, including 20 points in a huge 107-69 win over Meridian Community College and 16 points in a triumph at rival Itawamba Community College.

The East Union High School graduate guided the Tigers to a 21-4 regular season mark during the 1981-82 campaign. That included two wins at the Tip Off Tournament hosted by Jefferson State (Ala.) Community College.

Anderson scored a team-high 14 points to lift Northeast to the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) North Division Tournament crown in a 42-39 triumph over Northwest Mississippi Community College inside legendary Bonner Arnold Coliseum.

He followed that with 13 points three nights later in a tight 56-55 MACJC State Tournament semifinal victory over Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College on the campus of Utica Junior College, which is now part of the Hinds Community College system.

Anderson and the Tigers delivered once again the following evening against the host Bulldogs. He tallied 16 points to help Northeast secure its third state championship in program history with an 86-78 decision at Utica.

He was one of four sophomores that came back for the 1982-83 campaign. That team started on a slightly rocky note with a 5-5 record near the Christmas break, but the Tigers pulled together and compiled another 20-win season.

Northeast wrapped up Anderson’s final year in the City of Hospitality with a 21-12 mark and as the MACJC North Division runner-up. The Tigers eventually hosted the inaugural National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 23 Tournament.

Anderson was simply phenomenal in the regional opener against Delgado (La.) Community College. He amassed a game-best 45 points and was an incredible 20 of 22 from the free throw line for a Northeast squad that posted 112 total points.

But Mississippi Gulf Coast eliminated the Tigers in their following contest in a tight 88-80 contest. Anderson concluded his career with 26 points, which was more than any other player in the matchup.

Anderson finished as the leading scorer in NJCAA Region 23 and was recognized as the Babe McCarthy Junior College Player of the Year, which was awarded to the top athlete at the two-year level in the Magnolia State.

He also became the eighth NJCAA All-American in program history after ranking among the 10 best rebounders in the region. Anderson was voted by his peers and head coach Richard Mathis as Northeast’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) as well.

The Blue Springs native completed his Associate’s degree in business administration from Northeast and later wrapped up his education at Middle Tennessee State University beginning in the fall of 1983.

He has devoted his professional life to the field of criminal justice. Anderson worked with the Union County Sherriff’s Office for over a decade and was the Chief of Police in Verona for three years.

Anderson and his wife Connie have three children, Anna, Ebony and William, and are members of Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church. He is presently employed by the Northeast Campus Police Department.

John O. Cunningham (Sports Supporter)

John O. Cunningham joins an elite group of supporters that have been elected to the Northeast Sports Hall of Fame. He joins Malcolm Kuykendall and Earline “Woodsie” Woods with this distinction.

Cunningham was an established businessman that was known as a tireless advocate for the Lady Tigers and Tigers. He remains as one of Northeast’s biggest backers even in retirement.

The Baldwyn native owned Cunningham’s Food Mart in his hometown for several years and was highly successful in that venture. His prosperity has seemingly gone hand-in-hand with the affluence of Northeast’s nine intercollegiate athletic programs.

He became a member of the Northeast Board of Trustees in 1995 and still serves in that capacity. Cunningham currently holds the position of secretary for the 15-member board.

Cunningham also fulfills duties as part of the Northeast Development Foundation Board of Directors. He is one of four representatives from Prentiss County on this 20-person committee.

He and others on the board helped assemble an athletic giving program through the Northeast Development Foundation that has generated over $1 million for the institution over the past 16 years.

Cunningham is a familiar sight at Northeast sporting events. He can usually be found at courtside inside Bonner Arnold Coliseum or in a folding chair during the spring at either baseball or softball doubleheaders chatting about his beloved Tigers.

Ronnie Key (Football, 1979, 1980, Baseball 1980, 1981, Baseball Coach 1986-1991)

Ronnie Key immediately became a popular student-athlete upon his enrollment in 1979. He was selected as Mr. Northeast Mississippi Junior College during his sophomore year while playing both baseball and football.

Key was a standout defensive end for the Tigers in one of the best two-year periods in program history. Northeast compiled 15 victories during his tenure on the gridiron.

The Tigers captured six wins during Key’s freshman season, which was tied for the most by any Northeast team in the previous 10 campaigns, and finished as runner-up in the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) North Division.

Among the victories that year were three consecutive matchups with Coahoma Community College, Hinds Community College and Holmes Community College. Northeast eventually lost at Jones County Junior College in its second-ever state playoff contest.

Key and the Tigers bounced back with perhaps the best season in school history. Northeast captured nine victories in 1980, which is still the second most in a single year ever, and its inaugural MACJC North Division championship.

The Corinth native helped the Tigers compile a perfect 6-0 mark in league play. They clinched the MACJC North Division title with a 26-0 blanking of Northwest Mississippi Community College.

Northeast rose to as high as No. 2 in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) poll and was the top ranked team in the entire country at one point according to JC Gridwire. Those remain as the highest rankings ever for the Tigers.

Key’s final outing on the gridiron was during a 19-3 setback to Jones County in the first postseason game hosted by Northeast inside the friendly confines of Tiger Stadium.

He made an even deeper impact on the baseball program at Northeast. Key was a MACJC All-State selection and was voted as the Tigers’ Most Valuable Player (MVP) during each of his two campaigns.

NJCAA Hall of Famer W.B. “Bill” Ward recognized Key with the Tiger Award for football following his freshman year while head coach William Southward gave him the same honor twice for his leadership and efforts on the diamond.

Key returned to the Booneville campus in 1984 and was named the ninth head baseball coach at Northeast since the program was reinstated in 1961. His squads were known to be consistently competitive on a yearly basis.

The Corinth High School alumnus set a new program record with 24 victories in 1989 on the way to third place in the MACJC North Division. That mark stood for 11 years when the Tigers posted 26 triumphs in 2000.

He led the Tigers to five consecutive winning seasons and finished his tenure with 113 victories, which places him as the third winningest headman in program history. His Northeast teams missed the postseason by one game for three straight years from 1989-91.

Key was selected to coach the Athletes in Action international tour while with the Tigers in both 1985 and 1989. It was a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ International that was formed to share life-changing faith with sports fans across the world.

His team trained in Reno, Nev., before visiting sites in northern California and Central America. Key’s crew also visited local hospitals and churches as a means of serving others during their summer tours.

He left his alma mater to take the same position at Montreat-Anderson (N.C.) College in 1991. Key quickly retreated to the Magnolia State in 1991 after accepting an opening at Lamar School in Meridian.

Key remained at Lamar for the next two decades and served in various roles such as head baseball and golf coach, assistant football instructor, athletic director and guidance counselor.

He is presently in his fifth season as the golf coach at Meridian Community College. Key was the 2014 MACJC and Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC) Coach of the Year after guiding the Eagles to a state title on the links.

Key’s teams have captured 15 tournament crowns over the last four campaigns. Each of those squads were selected as Farmer’s Insurance All-Academic Teams as well.

He and his wife Leigh Ann have two children, Casey and Easton. Key is a board member for district five of Mississippi’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and attends worship at Meridian’s Northcrest Baptist Church.

Maurice Stafford (Men’s Basketball 1980-81, 1981-82, Assistant Men’s and Women’s Basketball Coach 2003-13)

Maurice Stafford started what turned into a blossoming career in the sport of basketball after signing with then-Northeast Mississippi Junior College as one of the highest touted prep athletes in the Magnolia State.

Stafford immediately showed amazing potential during his inaugural matchup in a black-and-gold uniform on November 10, 1980 at home against Dyersburg State (Tenn.) Community College. He nearly accounted for a double-double with 16 points and eight rebounds during a decisive 103-84 victory by the Tigers.

The Biggersville High School graduate was frequently the leading scorer for Northeast during his freshman campaign in jersey No. 44 while under the watch of head coach Noel Akins.

His first such instance as top scorer for the Tigers was in a tight 92-89 triumph over Northwest Alabama Community College, which is now Northwest-Shoals Community College. Stafford was one of five Tigers to reach double figures that night with 26 points.

Stafford helped Northeast win its initial five contests that year with 25 points at Dyersburg State and 30 points during his first rivalry matchup with Itawamba Community College on December 2, 1980.

He and his teammates went on to win the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) North Division Tournament crown with a 61-50 triumph versus Northwest Mississippi Community College. Stafford had 13 points in the Tigers’ title victory over the Rangers.

Northeast eventually lost in the state championship contest to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and qualified for the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 7 Tournament that was held on the campus of Paducah (Ky.) Community College, which is currently known as West Kentucky Community and Technical College.

Stafford, who was one of four returning sophomores, and the Tigers gained their revenge one season later by capturing the 1982 MACJC State Tournament title under the direction of first-year headman Richard Mathis.

Northeast edged past Mississippi Gulf Coast in the semifinals by a 56-55 margin thanks in part to 27 points from Stafford. The Tigers then bested host Utica Junior College 86-78 with Stafford notching 15 points before hoisting the championship trophy.

Stafford was selected to the MACJC All-State team and became the seventh NJCAA All-American in program history after leading both the state and region with approximately 23 points per game.

The Rienzi native was also the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 1981 Tip Off Tournament in Birmingham, Ala., where Northeast won the crown over Lurleen B. Wallace (Ala.) Community College.

He signed with the University of North Alabama after his tenure with the Tigers and found even more success on the hardwood. He led the Lions in scoring and field goal percentage both as a junior and senior.

Stafford was a two-time All-Gulf South Conference (GSC) selection and was the 1984 GSC Player of the Year. That same season he led North Alabama to a 27-7 overall mark, a GSC and NCAA South Regional championship plus a berth to the NCAA Division II Final Four.

He shot 75 percent from the floor during his senior campaign, which at the time was a NCAA Division II record. That incredible feat was broken three years later, but still remains fourth all-time at that level.

Stafford’s career stat line for the Lions included 922 points, 382 rebounds, 95 assists, 70 steals and 32 blocks. He later returned to Florence, Ala., as an assistant coach for North Alabama’s women’s program. His playing career might have concluded with the Lions, but his passion for roundball continued through his time as a coach. His first position came at the University of Tennessee at Martin from 1989-95.

Stafford was heavily involved in recruiting, monitoring the academic status of players, game preparation and the development of post players while at UT Martin, North Alabama and the University of Memphis (Tenn.).

Some of the standout athletes he instructed were Tamika Whitmore, who went on to play for the Indiana Fever of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) after starring at Memphis, and North Alabama’s inaugural first-team All-American in Serita Gaulding.

Stafford returned to Booneville to conclude his coaching tenure at Northeast. He was the first ever assistant for the women’s basketball program and assisted the men as well over a decade starting in 2003.

He assisted the Lady Tigers in capturing a pair of state championships plus the 2006 NJCAA Region 23 title. Stafford tutored NJCAA All-Americans Jessica Hooker and Krystal Robinson during that special season that saw Northeast reach the NJCAA Division I National Tournament for the third time ever.

Stafford, who is also a member of North Alabama’s Hall of Fame, is married to the former Karyn Miller of Jumpertown. They have a daughter, Sascha, and one grandson, D’Kylin.


Tennis Headlines
Latest Tennis Story

MGCCC Heads To Meridian For ITA Regionals
Release Date: 9/20/2016
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

Mississippi Gulf Coast heads off the ITA Small College Regional Championship in Meridian on Wednesday. It’s the top event on the fall schedule.

“This is a barometer we use to gauge not only our potential but also the potential of the other teams,” Gulf Coast coach Gary Bourgeois said. “The last three years, we’ve been very successful.”

There are four brackets at the event, singles and doubles draws for the men and women.

The Lady Bulldogs won the women’s doubles in 2013, with the Bulldogs doing the same the following year. Last year, Paulina Estrada won the singles and teamed with Katie Robinson to claim the doubles title.

“It’s a great platform for us to get on the national stage in the fall,” Bourgeois said. “It gives us the ability to see the young players and how they handle the speed of the ball, the nerves and how they put into play the things we taught them in a short period of time.”

The winners advance to the USTA/ITA National Small College Championships.

Estrada is back and teams with newcomer Katie Burrall in doubles. They will be seeded second.

“They lost to the No. 1 seed from Hinds in a tiebreaker last week, so it should be a good doubles draw. I feel Paulina has a stronger player as a partner this year, so I expect them to do well.”

Last season’s Bulldogs advanced to the NJCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Tournament in the spring. They finished 16th, winning two consolation finals.

The men’s team will be breaking in a lot of new talent in Meridian. Noah Tippen, who won the state title at No. 3 singles and No. 2 doubles, returns. Another Noah, Noah Rowell, is a freshman expected to be a top performer in Meridian.

“We have a lot of young players,” Bourgeois said. “We only have two players coming back from last year’s team that had the highest finish in NJCAA rankings from the MACJC. It’s going to be a big learning curve for these guys, and it’s going to be something we can build on the rest of the fall season and into the spring.”

For more information on MGCCC’s 10 intercollegiate athletic teams, follow @MGCCCAthletics on Twitter and BulldogLIVE on Facebook, and go to mgcccbulldogs.com.


Track & Field Headlines
Latest Track & Field Story

Mendoza, Lewis Claim Bobcat Hall Of Fame 5K Run Titles
Release Date: 8/27/2016
Jones County Junior College

ELLISVILLE – George Mendoza and Hannah Lewis, both of Laurel, captured the 10th annual Bobcat Hall of Fame 5K Run titles here Saturday morning.

It was Mendoza’s third straight time to win the event. The overall men’s winner finished in a time of 18:36.

Lewis was the overall women’s winner with a time of 24:20.

The run began and ended at Bobcat Stadium/Sim Cooley Field. The course was set up through the Jones County Junior College campus and downtown Ellisville.

Proceeds from this year’s event went to the Jones County Chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.



Bobcat 5K Run results

August 27

Ellisville



Overall Male Winner

George Mendoza, 18:36

Overall Female Winner

Hannah Lewis, 24:20

Male Masters Winner

Ray Henderson, 23:15

Female Masters Winner

Rhonda Gilbert, 27:47

Male GrandMasters Winner

Kenneth Hall, 23:25

Female GrandMasters Winner

Tammy Fowler, 29:44

Male 12 and Under

Payne McDonald, 42:39

Female 12 and Under

Christine Danford, 28:08

Male 13-19

1. Bo Henderson, 21:49; 2. Sam Houston, 24:53; 3. Creed Broom, 31:22

Female 13-19

1. Kara Christian, 33:36; 2. April Rudolph, 35:44; 3. Haile Kate, 36:36

Male 20-29

Kaleb Smith, 22:05

Female 20-29

Alison Rudolph, 41:11

Male 30-39

1. Richard Walley, 22:12; 2. Matthew Lowe, 33:59

Female 30-39

1. Brook Gatlin, 28:35; Kimberly Eavenson, 30:26; 3. Wendy Staples, 38:28; 4. Kandi Evans, 44:15.

Male 40-49

1. Joe Holifield, 26:56; 2. Mark Harris, 29:36

Female 40-49

1. Ginger McLemore, 30:24; 2. Mary Boleware, 30:46; 3. Adriana Tarver, 32:09. 4. Beverly Shows, 35:50; 5. Katie Shepherd, 44:26.

Male 50-59

1. Joe Danford, 30:31; 2. David McGowin, 31:43.

Female 50-59

Julia Sumrall, 34:46

Male 60 and over

1. Tom Smith, 27:55; 2. Jim Murdock, 27:59; 3. Bud Herring, 31:12; 4. Roger Swann, 48:22.

Female 60 and over

1. Beverly Swann, 32:38; 2. Brenda Burge, 42:48


Dance Cheer Headlines
Latest Dance/Cheer Story

ICC To Host Mini Cheer Camp In October
Release Date: 9/19/2016
Itawamba Community College

FULTON, MS - Area students ages 3 years of age through sixth grade will have an opportunity to participate in a Mini Cheer Camp from 9 a.m.-noon, Oct. 8, at the Itawamba Community College Fitness Center intramural gym on the Fulton Campus.

Cost of the camp, which is sponsored by ICC's cheerleaders, is $25 for those who preregister through Sept. 25 or $35 for those who register from Sept. 26-Oct. 8. Included in the fee is a t-shirt which will be worn during the group's halftime performance at ICC's football game on Oct. 13.

For a registration form or for more information, contact Emily Lamb at (662) 862-8173 or email eglamb@iccms.edu.

Registration forms and registration fees can be mailed to:




  • Game Photos
    Week 4 Football
    East MS vs.
    Itawamba

    Game Date: 9/22/2016
  • Game Photos
    Week 4 Football
    MS Gulf Coast vs.
    East Central

    Game Date: 9/22/2016
  • Game Photos
    Week 4 Football
    Northeast MS vs.
    Southwest MS

    Game Date: 9/22/2016
  • Game Photos
    Week 4 Football
    Northwest vs.
    MS Delta

    Game Date: 9/22/2016






All-Time Winningest NJCAA Coaches From
The Mississippi Association of Community & Junior Colleges (MACJC)

Gwyn Young
Co-Lin CC
Winningest Active Women’s Basketball Head Coach
Record: 887-249

Gene Murphy
Hinds CC
Winningest Active
Football Head Coach
Record: 170-69-5

George Sekul
MS Gulf Coast CC
1966-1991 - 26 Seasons
Two Football National Championships
Record: 205-77-5

Bobby Franklin
Northwest
1981-2004 - 25 Seasons
Two Football National Championships
Record: 201-57-6

Sim Cooley
Jones County JC
Football Head Coach
1961-1987 - 27 Seasons
Record: 187-92-5