SGTC recognizes sophomores as part of Alumni/Sophomore Day
A day of celebration was the best way to describe the South Georgia Technical College Alumni/Sophomore Day ceremonies held recently when the Jets and the Lady Jets matched-up against Georgia Highlands College as part of the college’s 70th anniversary festivities
There were a total of 14 sophomores recognized during the “Sophomore Day” presentations between the men’s and women’s games. The Americus-Sumter County Chamber of Commerce cooked free hamburgers and hotdogs for the faculty, staff, students, alumni, retirees, and others who attended the festivities. A special alumni game featuring former Jets and Lady Jets players was held and the college also gave away free t-shirts to individuals in recognition of the college’s 70th anniversary. South Georgia Tech first began offering classes in 1948 and this year marks the 70th anniversary of that milestone.
In the alumni game, the Red team defeated the Gray squad 84 – 77. Nearly 50 former players had agreed to come back and support that game. Then the Lady Jets upended the Georgia Highlands team 70 – 43 and the Jets gave up a narrow 82 – 80 loss in the final match-up of the day to the top-ranked Georgia Highlands Chargers.
South Georgia Technical College President Dr. John Watford thanked all the sophomore players and their families for committing their athletic careers to the Jets and Lady Jets programs. He also recognized the former Jets and Lady Jets players, retired faculty and staff and alumni who came back to help celebrate the college’s 70th anniversary this year.
There were seven Lady Jets and six Jets and a manager honored during Sophomore Day. Dakata Toney, Kayla Holmes, Esther Adenike, Houlfat Mahouchiza, Kanna Suzuki, Sceret Ethridge, and Davesha Murray were the Lady Jets recognized. Mike Boone, Emeshuan Offord, DeVante Foster, Rico Simmons, Marquel Wiggins, and Dawan Bass along with manager Wayne Bell were spotlighted as the sophomore Jets.
“This is a unique group of young people,” said President Watford. “They have given us their all on the court as well as in the classroom. We are honored to recognize them as well as the other outstanding alumni, retirees, and faculty and staff who are with us today. We wish these young people much success as they continue their academic and athletic careers at the next level. As we celebrate our 70th anniversary year in 2018, this is truly a merging of the proud past and promising future of South Georgia Tech!”
Sophomore Davesha Murray, who played for the Lady Jets in 2016 – 2017 before sustaining a career ending knee injury, came back as a sophomore this season and worked as a student coach. She is from St. Simons Island, GA and was escorted by her father, David Murray, and her mother, Glenda Murray. She will graduate in May with an associate’s degree in Sports and Fitness Management. She will continue her education at the University of South Carolina next year.
Kayla Holmes, from Atlanta, GA, is a sophomore guard. She was escorted by her mother Katherine Holmes and Aunt Linda Dorsey. She is second in the GCAA in assists per game and has a 3.3 GPA. She will also graduate in May with her Associates Degree in Sports and Fitness Management. She plans to continue her academic and athletic career at a four-year institution.
Dakata Toney is a sophomore from Redford, MI, and was escorted by Lady Jets assistant coach Kezia Conyers. Toney shoots 42% from the field and is averaging eight points and three rebounds per game. She was voted Player of the Week once this season. She has a 3.4 GPA and will graduate in May with an Associate’s Degree in Sports and Fitness Management. She also plans to continue her academic and athletic career at a four-year institution.
Returning for the second year is sophomore Houlfat Mahouchiza fom Nice, France. She was escorted by Sylvia Thompson. Houlfat was a member of the Lady Jets team that advanced to the National Tournament in 2016 – 2017. She is currently third in the GCAA in field goal percentage shooting and is also in the top ten in rebounding. She has a 3.5 GPA and will graduate in May with an Associate’s Degree. She has signed a National Letter of Intent to continue her education and basketball career for the University of Minnesota.
Kanna Suzuki, a sophomore guard from Hamamatsu, Japan, was recognized next. She tore her ACL prior to the season and has been diligently working hard in rehab. In 2016 – 2017, Kanna was voted as the GCAA Freshman of the Year and helped the Lady Jets advance to the NJCAA National Tournament in Texas. She averaged 10 points and five assists per game last season. She has a 3.8 GPA and will graduate in May with an Associate’s Degree. She plans to continue her education and athletic careers at a four-year institution. She was escorted by her Americus host dad, Jerone Dodd.
Sceret Etheridge from Argyle, GA, a sophomore forward was recognized and escorted by her father Larry Mincey and brother Duke Ethridge, a former SGTC Jet. Sceret scored a season high 13 points against Central Georgia Tech recently and shoots 50% from the field. She has a 3.2 GPA and will graduate in May with an Associate’s Degree in Sports and Fitness Management. She was also a member of the Lady Jets 2016-2017 team that advanced to the National Tournament in Texas.
Esther Adenike, a sophomore forward from Lagos, Nigeria, was escorted by Lisa Frey, Coach Frey’s wife. She was also a member of the Lady Jets 2016 – 2017 team that finished in the sweet sixteen in the NJCAA National Tournament in Texas. She is averaging a double/double for the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds. She leads the GCAA in field goal percentage shooting at 60%. She is also ranked in the top ten in scoring, rebounding, and blocked shots. She scored a season high 31 points versus East Georgia this season. She has been voted Player of the Week three times and has a 3.5 GPA. She will graduate in May with an Associate’s Degree and will continue her academic and athletic careers at a four-year institution.
Following the recognition of the Lady Jets, Coach Travis Garret recognized the Jets and their manager. Wayne Bell, the Jets’ manager, is a sophomore from Atlanta, GA and has been the manager for the Jets for the last two years. He is working toward an Associate Degree in Sports and Fitness management and hopes to get involved with the Basketball program at his next college.
The other six sophomores recognized by the Jets included Dawan Bass, a sophomore from Baltimore, Maryland. He scored 23 points, had eight rebounds, three assists and one block against Central Georgia Tech this season. He is working toward his associate degree in Sports and Fitness Management and plans to continue his academic and athletic career at a four-year institution. He was escorted by parents Evon Daniels and Shamar Bass.
Devante Foster, a sophomore from Stockbridge, Ga, came to South Georgia Tech in 2017 from Central Florida Community College. In his best game this season, Foster had 15 points, seven rebounds, and two assists against his former college, Central Florida. He has signed a letter of intent to play for Troy University in Troy, Alabama. He was escorted by his parents, Troy and Maria Foster. He is pursuing an Associate Degree in Sports and Fitness Management.
Torico “Ricco” Simmons is a sophomore from Toombsboro, GA. He was a part of the Jets 2015 – 2016 team and the 2017 – 2018 team. He scored 42 points, had six rebounds, two steals, and seven assists against Miami Dade this season. He set a new South Georgia Tech record for most points scored in a game that night. He also has the record for the most assists in a game with 16. He has been named Player of the Week twice this season. He is also working towards an Associate Degree in Sports and Fitness Management. He was escorted by Xavier Whipple.
Another two-year player for the Jets is Mike Boone, a sophomore from Charlotte, NC. His best game as a Jet had him with 26 points, five rebounds, six assists and three steals against Georgia Highlands. He was escorted by his mom, Penny Boone. He plans to earn an Associate Degree in Sports and Fitness Management and continue his athletic and academic career at a four-year institution.
EmeShaun Offord, a sophomore from Albany Georgia, has been a part of the SGTC Jets program for one year. He scored 20 points and had two rebounds and two assists against Central Georgia Tech this season. He is also being recruited by a number of four year institutions and plans to continue his academic and athletic career. He was escorted by his mother Jackie Offord.
Two-year Jets sophomore Marquel Wiggins from Oglethorpe was recognized at the event as well. The Macon County High School graduate was escorted by his parents Janice and Kenny Wright and his sisters. His best game was against Tallahassee Community College where he scored 31 points, had 20 rebounds, one assist and one block. Marquel made the all-tournament team as a freshman and this season, he tied the school’s record for the most rebounds in a game with 20. He has been named Player of the Week twice this season. He is working toward an Associate Degree in Sports and Fitness Management and plans to continue his academic and athletic career at a four-year institution.
Both the Jets and Lady Jets will play at home on Wednesday, February 14th against Atlanta Metro. Then the Jets will host South Georgia State College on Wednesday, February 21st at 7 p.m. before both teams travel to Albany on Saturday, February 24th to take on Albany Tech. The Lady Jets will host the eighth ranked team in the GCAA in the first round of the playoffs on Tuesday and then the Jets will host South Georgia State at 7:30 p.m. Thursday February 25th. That will wrap up the Lady Jets regular season but the Jets will host Gordon State College at 7 p.m. on February 28th. The Lady Jets will host the NJCAA Region XVII Tournament semi-final and finals on March 2nd and March 3rd. A quarter-final region XVII game is set for February 27th but as the top seed, the Lady Jets will draw a bye. The second, third, and fourth place teams will each host their games against the seventh, sixth, and fifth place teams in order to earn the right to advance to the semi-final round. The Jets tournament will begin March 6th and then the top seed team will host the Semi-Final and Final round on March 9th and 10th.