PRCC athletes earn Academic All-State honors

Published 3:29 pm Wednesday, July 5, 2017

By Stan Caldwell

PRCC Sports Information

POPLARVILLE – The 2016-17 school year was another banner year for student-athletes at Pearl River Community College, as 52 Wildcats were selected as Academic All-State by the MACJC.

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Athletes who posted a 3.25 grade-point average or better were eligible for the recognition, and those student-athletes who finished the year with a GPA of 3.80 or better were honored as Distinguished All-State selections.

PRCC athletes earning Distinguished All-State honors were Gage Clark, baseball (4.0); Jerrod Rigby, men’s basketball (4.0); Kristen Martin, softball (3.96); Sarah Walden, women’s soccer (3.92); Kayla Nobles, women’s soccer (3.90); Jordan Ahlgren, women’s soccer (3.85) and Tyler Polderman, men’s soccer (3.83).

“One thing we’re extremely proud of is the success of our student-athletes in the classroom,” said PRCC athletic director Jeff Long.

“This is something we’ve really focused on the last year or two, and that’s being students first. This recognition shows that that emphasis has paid off across the board with all of our sports.”

In addition to the individual honors, the Wildcat women’s soccer team and the baseball team were named as All-State Academic Team of the Year after finishing the year with the highest team GPA of any MACJC school in their respective sports.

The Lady Wildcat soccer team posted a team GPA of 3.47, while the baseball Wildcats finished with a GPA of 3.21.

“In my 10 years here, we’ve been in the 3.3s a few times, but we’d never broken 3.4, and to not only do that, but finish above 3.45 is something we’re extremely proud of,” said veteran Lady Wildcats coach Jack Byrd. “We’re going to strive to do better than that next year.”

In all, 13 players from the Lady Wildcat soccer team made the All-State list. The Wildcat softball team also had 13 players on the All-State list, along with 12 baseball players, nine men’s soccer players, three from women’s basketball and two from football.

“This is something I take a great deal of pride in,” said Michael Avalon, who recently completed his first season as PRCC baseball coach.

“During my five years at Mississippi Delta, we were either first or second, and ranked nationally, all five years, and that was one of my goals for us when I came here.”

Other Academic All-State honorees were: Mikel Anderson (football), Taylor Anderson (men’s soccer), Brody Bray (baseball), Luke Bradley (baseball), Rylee Dawsey (softball), Sarah Depperschmidt (softball), Parker Dungan (baseball), Ilyssa Easton (softball), Kyle Estess (men’s soccer), Rylee Foster (women’s soccer), Jason Garrett (baseball), Karsen Gildea (women’s soccer), T.J. Gines Jr. (men’s soccer), Caroline Grafe (women’s soccer), Travis Harper (men’s soccer), Abby Henderson (women’s soccer), Olivia Holley (softball), Mark Johnson (men’s soccer/football), Kaley Lambert (softball), Peyton Lee (baseball), Spencer Martin (men’s soccer), Austin Moffett (baseball), Olivia Moger (women’s soccer), Kyla Malone (women’s basketball), John Moore (baseball), Susan Morgan (softball), Noah Nicaud (baseball), Lacey Polderman (women’s soccer), Kyle Rankin (men’s soccer), Mia Richardson (women’s soccer), Mary Rieger (women’s soccer), Krista Robles (softball), Alycia Schwartz (women’s soccer), Madison Scoggin (softball), Jackie Shows (softball), Brook Smith (softball), Melly Snyder (women’s soccer), Kiersten Stanford (softball), Adyn Strickland (women’s basketball), Ramee Taylor (softball), Parker Thoms (baseball), Dylan Usry (baseball), Charisma Walker (women’s basketball), Logan Walters (baseball) and Brian Wright (men’s soccer).