February 1, 2016
The Mississippi College athletic programs saw great success throughout 2015 in every aspect. From winning titles, getting a new on-field personality, and continuing the transition into Division II, the Mississippi College Athletic Department has experienced considerable growth. The department received exceptional support from the student body, faculty and staff, alumnus, and the Clinton community as a whole. Not only has this spark in development influenced people to become more involved with the university’s athletic program, but it has garnered an abundant amount of support among many people who are involved with Mississippi College.
Anna Grace Govero, a native of Clinton, Miss., won two national championships in the spring semester. Govero won the Indoor Pentathlon and the 2015 National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Heptathlon for the Choctaws. Govero, as well as several other talented athletes, are looking forward to more success in their 2016 campaign. Coach Butch Ard said, “the future looks bright for us.”
With their move to Division II, the MC Choctaws welcomed back old foes to their home turf. The Choctaws football team hosted Delta State University at Robinson-Hale Stadium for the first time in 21 years. Aside from moving into Division II, the athletic department made vast strides and experienced great success.
The women’s athletic programs excelled in 2015. The women’s tennis team advanced to the semifinals of the NCCAA tournament in early May. The team fell short to the Shorter University Hawks in the match.
The women’s soccer team also had a stellar season. The team finished with a 14-4-4 overall record and was named the #1 seed in the NCCAA Tournament. The team advanced to the National Championship game in Kissimmee, Fla, but fell short against Houghton College in a penalty kick shootout.
The women’s softball team finished their season at the NCCAA Division II Softball National Championship in Troutville, Va. The Choctaws finished fourth in the tournament and won over 30 games. The 2015 team was just the fourth team in MC athletic history to win 30 games.
Tom A. Hawk, the new mascot and face of MC, made his first appearance at the last football game of the season against Delta State during halftime. Mary McRae, president of MC’s Student Government Association, said, “we felt as though the student body of MC needed something to rally around at sporting events, and based on student reactions this past Saturday, Tom has done his job well. I am excited to see Tom added to the MC family, and I can’t wait to watch how he continues to bring school spirit to athletics!” Tom A. Hawk has proved thus far to be a lively character who will rally the spirit of MC students who show their support at Choctaw sporting events.
MC has continued in the transitioning stages of moving from a Division III school to Division II throughout the past year. By July 2016, the school will confirm whether or not they have successfully completed the transitioning stages and be prepared with a plan for the 2016-2017 academic year. The future of the athletic department at MC is bright. Those involved with the MC athletic department have seen the progress in 2015 and look forward to what 2016 holds.
-Samantha Kilgore, Contributing Writer
this article appeared in Vol. 97, Issue 7 of The Mississippi Collegian