Mississippi College Alumni Magazine | Summer 2011

Choctaw Sports Round Up

MC's clay shooting club pulls the trigger on its second season this fall with fund-raising events and fun-filled activities

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Gearing Up for the Gridiron

Familiar rivals Millsaps and Belhaven are back on the schedule for the first two games of the Choctaws’ 2011 football season.

The Choctaws kick off on September 3rd at Robinson-Hale Stadium in the always-anticipated Backyard Brawl against the Millsaps Majors. Claiming victories in 2009 and 2010, MC hopes to make it a three-peat against the Choctaws’ closest Division III neighbor. Just one week later, the Choctaws will make the short drive along I-20 to face the Belhaven Blazers. Other exciting pigskin match-ups include MC vs. Hardin-Simmons, Louisiana College, Mary Hardin-Baylor, Howard Payne, and Texas Lutheran.

Let’s go, Choctaws!

Taking the Reins

The Lady Choctaws equestrian team wrapped their fourth regular season by winning first-place honors in March competition at Murray State University in the heart of Kentucky horse country. MC topped Sewanee and Vanderbilt, who finished tied for second place, and MC freshman Heather Hays finished as the high point rider. The final performance of the competition by the Lady Choctaws represented quite an improvement over their fifth place among the eight schools competing just the day before.

“This competition was a great way to end our season,” assistant coach Lauren Moore said. “Going into next season, we’re looking forward to working with a team that has a whole season under its belt, as well as a lot of interest from new riders.”

A Goal Made for MC Soccer

This summer, the doors will open on a new MC soccer field house already recognized as one of the premier facilities in the American Southwest Conference (ASC). The 5,000-square-foot building will include spacious locker rooms for men and women, a media room in which to watch game film, a training room, a 40-person meeting room, coaches’ offices, and other amenities sure to enhance the MC soccer program.
The new field house was made possible by a generous gift from Texas businessman and MC alumnus Robert Girling III. Girling’s daughter, Kathy Girling Odom, is also an MC alumnus and a close friend of MC women’s soccer coach Darryl Longabaugh.

“The Robert G.W. Girling III Soccer Building and the new facilities it offers will be a blessing to our program and a tremendous asset in recruiting,” Longabaugh said. “I’ve been waiting on this for three years. It’s awesome, and I am pumped.”

Table Tennis Team Travels to Nationals

Mississippi College’s table tennis team earned their fourth straight trip to the national championships in Rochester, Minnesota, in mid-April. The Choctaws finished in fifth place at nationals for the second year in a row, besting teams from larger schools including Ohio State, Maryland, Princeton, Columbia, and Brown. Table tennis powerhouse Texas Wesleyan emerged as the national championship team.

The perennial winners in the Dixie Division, the Choctaws were led by Captain Ken Qiu and a cast of veteran players including Bill Cai, Yang Yu, Zhicheng “Johnson” Liang, all natives of China, and MC junior Ben VanHorn of Clinton. Also making the trip to the finals was newcomer Zijun Yang, a recent transfer to Mississippi College from China and the only female on the team.

This fall, MC will again host the Dixie Division regional during Homecoming weekend in October at the Baptist Healthplex.

MC Students Shoot It Out and Make a Splash

MC’s bass fishing and clay shooting clubs enter their second season with a calendar filled with fund-raising events and fun-filled activities.

The two student organizations raised $15,000 last fall at an event at Providence Hill Farm. This year, MC alumni and friends will have even more opportunities to support the organizations and have a good time in the great outdoors. Providence Hill Farm will host a fund-raiser for the clay shooting team on October 28, 2011 and a fishing tournament to benefit the bass fishing team in the spring of 2012.

Jim Turcotte ’83, vice president for enrollment management and student affairs and a longtime outdoor enthusiast, serves as the bass club’s faculty advisor.

“MC alumni and friends can support these organizations in many ways, from attending a fund-raising event to making a contribution of cash, shotguns, or bass boats,” said Turcotte.

“If companies who make their livelihood off of outdoorsmen won’t support these kinds of teams’, then who will?” says Rick Looser, owner and chief executive officer of Longleaf Camo, the teams’ leading sponsor. “Longleaf is proud to play a small part in bringing these new and exciting sports to MC.”

To make a donation or learn more about the organizations, contact Jim Turcotte at 601.925.3809 or turcotte@mc.edu.

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