ELLISVILLE, MS (WDAM) - The Jones County Junior College women's soccer team was ranked 19th in the National Junior College Athletic Association preseason poll that was released Tuesday afternoon.
Coach Dolores Deasley's defending Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges/Region 23 champions were the only Mississippi and Region 23 squad named to the preseason national rankings.
The top five teams in the 2017 rankings included defending national champion Paradise Valley (Phoenix, Ariz.) Community College sitting atop the poll. The Lady Pumas were followed by Monroe (Rochester, N.Y.) Community College; Tyler (Texas) Community College; Laramie County (Laramie Wyo.) Community College; and Eastern Florida State College (Melbourne, Fla.).
The Lady Bobcats went 15-2 in 2016, advancing to the NJCAA District H playoffs. JCJC's losses were inflicted by Tyler CC and Eastern Florida State College.
JCJC will play three scrimmage games before opening the regular season at 5 p.m. Sept. 1 by hosting Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.
The Lady Bobcats will scrimmage at 3 p.m. Friday at East Central Community College. JCJC will host University of West Alabama at 6 p.m. on Aug. 25 and then wrap up the preseason at Delta State University at 3 p.m. on Aug. 28.
JCJC softball adds two to program
ELLISVILLE _ Jones County Junior College coach Chris Robinson has hired two staff members for the softball program.
Katie White comes to JCJC from Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, while former Lady Bobcat standout Brittany Seale returns after completing her softball career at the University of Memphis.
The pair replaced former JCJC assistant coach Carlos Castro and former student manager Christian Castro, who are both at the University of Southern Mississippi.
White, a Seale, Ala., native, helped guide Kirkwood CC to a 55-6 record, a number one national ranking, regional and district championships and an appearance in the National Junior College Athletic Association national tournament.
"We are very excited to add a person with Katie's credentials to our staff," Robinson said. "She brings a winning mentality to our program and a very successful career as a player. She also coached at one of the top junior colleges in the country last year and learned under a fantastic hitting instructor. We look forward to Katie helping the Bobcats maintain the success that we have had in years' past."
Seale attended North Pontotoc High School, where she was named Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal Player of the Year her senior year. At JCJC she played third base as a freshman and catcher as a sophomore.
She spent the next two years at Memphis, graduating this past spring with a bachelor's degree in Sport Science.
"It's an awesome feeling when one of our own wants to come back and be a part of something she says is so special," Robinson said. "We are thrilled to have Brittany Seale come back home to Jones County.
"Brittany brings Division I experience to our staff, as well as, familiarity with our program. She was one of the most intense competitors I have ever had the pleasure coaching and I look forward to her sharing her intensity with our team."