South Georgia Tech Booster Club honors Jets and Lady Jets
South Georgia Technical College President Dr. John Watford quoted lyrics from the song “We May Never Pass This Way (Again) by Seals & Crofts when he described how much the college appreciates the sophomores from the 2018 – 2019 Jets and Lady Jets basketball teams and the successes that they have had while they were student athletes at South Georgia Tech during the Jets Booster Club banquet held in the John M. Pope Industrial Technology Center recently.
“We hope that you feel the same way we do about what a special time this has been,” said President Watford. “While many of you will be leaving to continue your academic and athletic careers at the next level, we want you to realize how special the time that you have had at South Georgia Technical College has been. When you look back you may think of the words from the song, ‘We May Never Pass This Way Again by Seals and Croft.’ So, on behalf of myself and everyone else at South Georgia Tech, we thank you and wish you the best in the next leg of your journey.”
Jets Booster Club President Martha Arrington also expressed her appreciation for being able to work with this program and the athletes involved with the Jets and the Lady Jets. “I know you are going on to the next level and we are excited about what is to come for these sophomores and also looking forward to the freshmen coming back. Congratulations to each one of you that play the game. I think each one of you are special and I have enjoyed watching you give it all that you have.” She also thanked the members of the Jets Booster Club for their support of the program and athletes.
Freshman guard Justin Johnson was singled out by Jets head coach Travis Garrett as the Jets 2018-2019 Most Valuable Player and sophomore guard Mari Hill received the Most Valuable Player of the Year honors for the Lady Jets. All six Lady Jets sophomores, Ricka Jackson, Alyssa Nieves, Mari Hill, Fatou Pouye, Aubry Maulden, and Bigue Sarr as well as Jets sophomore Sam Matice were recognized for being named GCAA All-Academic team members.
Lady Jets head coach James Frey also announced that Lady Jets sophomore guard Alyssa Nieves was named as an NJCAA All-American. This is the sixth consecutive year that the Lady Jets have had a player receive the NJCAA All-American honors.
Other recognitions included GCAA All-Conference team players, Alyssa Nieves, Bigue Sarr, Ricka Jackson, and Fatou Pouye as well as Mari Hill for being selected as the NJCAA Region XVII All-Tournament MVP and Ricka Jackson for being named to the NJCAA Region 17 All-Tournament team. Justin Johnson was also named to the GCAA All-Freshman team for the Jets.
The Lady Jets finished the 2018 – 2019 season with the best record in the history of the men’s or women’s basketball programs with 30 wins and four losses. They also made their third consecutive trip to the NJCAA National tournament in Lubbock, Texas and their fifth trip within six years. The Lady Jets captured the GCAA regular season conference title, the NJCAA Region XVII Tournament championship and won the NJCAA District J title for 2018 – 2019 to earn the repeat trip to the national tournament.
In recognition of the 2019 National Tournament selection, the Lady Jets presented South Georgia Technical College President Dr. John Watford with a framed autographed basketball signed by the members of the 2018 – 2019 Lady Jets and their coaches.
The Jets finished the 2018 – 2019 season ranked fourth in the GCAA end of the season standings and wound up 10 – 6 in the conference and 14 – 17 overall after playing the third toughest schedule in the country. This was the third consecutive season that they advanced to the NJCAA Region XVII tournament under head coach Travis Garrett.
“This has been an outstanding season overall,” said SGTC Athletic Director and Lady Jets head coach James Frey. “We have a lot of people to thank for the success of this program. There are very few two-year college programs that enjoy the support that we have here. I am grateful to the athletes and to each of you for making this a winning program. Winning consistently is hard. And we couldn’t do that without the support that we receive from administration, faculty, staff, booster club members and the community.”
Frey also gave credit to his assistant coach Kezia Conyers who has been with him six of the seven seasons he has served as head coach. “Coach Conyers works tirelessly in recruiting and developing the talent of our athletes. Without her, we would not have had the success that we have had. Together, we are 176 – 32 overall. We have only lost a total of 10 conference games in six years. That is a tremendous accomplishment and I thank her for her hard work.”
Coach Frey also showed a video of the SEED (Sports for Education and Economic Development) Project from Senegal, Africa. Three of SGTC’s Lady Jets came through the SEED Project and this is the 20th anniversary of the project that has helped serve more than 8,000 students in grades kindergarten through college in Senegal and the United States.