Booneville, Miss. – Student athletes from two of Northeast Mississippi Community College’s most successful athletic programs during the 2012-13 academic year received accolades for their hard work in the classroom.
The Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) announced that ten Tigers and two Lady Tigers were named to the Academic All-State teams for their respective sport.
The dandy dozen of Northeast honorees is led by baseball players Riley Alef and Kyle Stephenson, who were recognized as MACJC Distinguished Academic All-State student athletes for having an above-3.8 grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale.
Alef (3.84), a New Albany native, returns to lead a Tiger team which will defend its MACJC North Division championship under the direction of head coach Kent Farris, while Booneville’s Stephenson (3.86) advanced his playing career to the University of North Alabama for his junior campaign.
Eight other members of the baseball team finished the year with GPA’s between 3.25 and 3.79 and were selected to the MACJC Academic All-State team.
The octet include Jake Beck (Alcorn Central) 3.4, Josh Drake (Hopkinsville, Ky.) 3.26, Hunt Halford (Oxford) 3.7, Easton Hall (New Albany) 3.32, Josh Mills (Lafayette County) 3.46, Dalton Sims (DeSoto Central) 3.66, Luke Stanley (Lafayette County) 3.29 and Drew Wray (New Albany) 3.41.
“I’m extremely proud of the way our kids performed in the classroom,” said Farris. “Being a student athlete at this level, you have to handle your time wisely and there are so many sacrifices you have to make to excel. I think it says a lot for them and their work ethic both on and off the field.”
Brian Alexander’s women’s basketball team had two award winners as well. The duo of Kossuth’s Katie Garvin (3.78) and Natchitoches, La., product Talisa Boyd (3.44) were both on the MACJC Academic All-State team.
Garvin and Boyd were the only sophomores on a Northeast team that qualified for the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region XXIII Tournament and finished as runner-up in the MACJC State Tournament.
Boyd will continue her playing days on the hardwood after signing at McNeese State University.
“The entire Northeast family is excited for Katie and Talisa receiving this honor,” Alexander said. “They are tremendous people that bought into our philosophy on and off the court and they reaped the benefits from it.
“Katie and Talisa will both become productive citizens and positive role models in the communities in which they choose to live.”\
The MACJC honors student athletes from each community college in the Magnolia State. Overall, 238 men and women were honored as Academic All-State for the 2012-13 season.
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College led the state in athletes receiving academic awards with 41 individual honors from the MACJC. Northwest Mississippi Community College had 26 winners to lead the North Division.