HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - In college sports only one team can claim the title of national champion. Despite this, there are countless team and individual accomplishments that can't be denied.
This speaks to the Jones County Junior College women's basketball program. The Lady Bobcats made history in 2017, playing in the national tournament for the first time ever.
They represented well too, advancing to the elite eight before losing to Salt Lake Community College.
"Well it was just really an enjoyable year and just a remarkable season all together," Lady Bobcats coach Missy Bilderback said. "I mean going into the year if you told me we would have finished 30-2 and won the state and region and had a chance to go to the elite eight of the national tournament, I couldn't have dreamed that up."
In what was a dream season, Bilderback continued to show why the Jones administration hired her in 2015 after a successful run at PCS.
She won over 400 games on the high school level. She's 49-9 two years in the college game. It's this sustained success that matches the standard of JCJC athletics.
"That's one thing I'm just really appreciative of this team and just the standard that they set," she said. "You know I mean Jones already has a standard to live up to as far as athletic program of not only just winning but doing things the right way. Our kids all year competed hard, they had a great attitude, they gave their best effort and so they've certainly have set the bar high for the teams in the future."
In college sports players move on and a fresh crop of talent arrives to be developed.
Bilderback will welcome back a strong core including talented scorer Alexis Tolefree. The incoming freshman class is promising as well with speedy West Jones' guard Breonca Ducksworth joining the fold.
"We're losing a lot," Bilderback said. "We are. We have a lot of talent coming back that we're super excited about. We feel like we've done a great job. My staff, coach (Brooke) Rhodes and coach (Devin Cooper)) Coop, have done a great job of putting together a really great freshman class. We need a few more slots to fill but we're equally excited about the future."