Jehovah’s Fitness Wins 2nd Intramural Championship / by: Kyle Hamrick, Editor in Chief

The intramural team Jehovah’s Fitness secured their 2nd intramural title after a chilly and competitive contest against team Eric Prather on Thursday night, November 7.

It was a cold and misty night for flag football, but the stands of Robinson-Hale were filled with fans. The dreadful breeze bit at every cheek as it undulated with the mist in the air like a swarm of spirits. The spectators, clad in blankets and scarves and coats, huddled in groups like emperor penguins in a Netflix documentary to keep warm. We were soon assisted by Whataburger honey butter chicken biscuits lobbed to us by a pair of referees, a brilliant promotion to get folks out. After this the game was on.

As the two teams took the field, half the stands roared for sophomore Brady McDaniel of Jehovah’s Fitness. He strode somberly onto the field, the praise lapping at his feet like ocean waves. He was, without a doubt, the crowd favorite, a distinction he would hold for the rest of the night.

The best way to describe the game that followed is a great tug-of-war. Both teams put up solid defense and offense strategies, thus making it a bout of push and pull that entertained us all. This was not one of those boring steamroll games where one team soundly defeats the other. No, the 40-0 victory was bought with strategy and cunning.

“Each night they’ve continued to show more and more progression with their trick plays,” said Luke Williams, a junior who has watched Fitness all semester. Indeed, peppering the forward charge of Fitness was a wide-variety of misdirections that paved the way for many players to score by large runs; for instance, sophomore Carter Halbert contributed his touchdown with a 50 yard dash seemingly out of thin air.

After more push and pull and cunning, Fitness earned their victory. In a brief interview conducted on the damp field, sophomore Jacob Ginn said, “Big-time players make big-time plays. Will Edwards gave us momentum with the first touchdown, Brady McDaniel stepped in for Josh Fulton and helped our defense. It was an all around great game!”

Will Edwards, who got the touchdowns rolling and founded Jehovah’s Fitness over a year ago as a freshman, said, “I feel blessed and honored to be able to play the beautiful sport of flag football with my bros! Jehovah’s Fitness is not just on the field, it’s off the field – it’s a part of all our lives.”

photo creds: Isaac Davis

Dr. Ron Howard Receives Award of Excellence/by Kyle Hamrick

Dr. Ron Howard has a passion for learning. It was cultivated in his childhood growing up on a small family farm in East Tennessee. His parents did not have much education, but they instilled in young Howard a desire to achieve in ways they weren’t able to.

Looking back, Howard mused, “I’ve always thought there is something divine about the learning process.”

Howard has served Mississippi College since 1977 in a variety of ways. He began as a professor in the department of history and political science, teaching survey courses in American history before forging an academic legacy in his signature class – Constitutional Development, better known as “Con-D.” His passion quickly carried him up the ranks, rising to department chair before serving as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in 1995. He was still teaching “Con-D” when he became the Vice President for Academic Affairs in 2003. 

Fifteen years later, Howard made university history as MC’s first provost; and now he’s making history again as this year’s recipient of the Mississippi College Award of Excellence.

Focusing Howard’s passion for learning is his love of studying history. “Studying history allows one to live vicariously in another time and another place one can’t live in otherwise,” he said. According to him, history is full of patterns that offer a glimpse into the larger human experience. While historians interpret the past differently, causing many to doubt the study’s ability to discern the truth, Howard said, “the truth is found in the whole and complexity of it all.” 

Howard’s interest in history was cultivated by his elementary school principal Robert Couch, “one of the best teachers I’ve had in any school.” Couch thought it important his students learn about the past, and the many different people and cultures that inhabit it. The fire kindled by Couch would fuel Howard all the way to Carson Newman University, to the mentorship of Dr. Milton Klein. Klein was Howard’s major professor and thesis director who was “an exciting teacher with a real passion for students” that challenged him to look at subjects beyond the surface level. By the guidance of these two great mentors, Howard graduated magna cum laude with a degree in political science and history, and through his master’s and doctoral programs at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 

Howard knows the power of a good mentor, that’s why he was able to be one to so many students.

Dr. Steven Patterson, a professor in the history department, remembers, “He was always really compelling in the classroom, and he was the first professor at MC who really took an interest in me.” Patterson was undecided until his sophomore year, and Howard’s mentorship led him to pursue a degree in history. “He is the reason I am a history teacher,” said Patterson, “and I’m really thankful for him.”

David Parker teaches classes at Mississippi College School of Law and “Con-D” here. Also a former student, Parker recalled, “Taking Constitutional Development from him as an undergrad helped me realize that I found the law interesting enough to become an attorney. Even more importantly, he offered me the chance to teach ‘Con-D’ after him, an incredible class he built over many years. I’m still thankful. For me, it’s the gift that really changed everything. He’s one of the ‘greats’ because he’s spent a lifetime fostering not just a love of learning in his students but developing their gifts and goals and dreams so that they can live with purpose and passion. I hope I can learn to do those things even just half as well as he has.”

Howard is humbled and grateful for his award. “This university, its students, faculty and staff, that means the world to me,” Howard said. “I really feel so blessed to have made my career at MC because it has allowed me to dedicate myself to something larger, rather than my petty self-interest.” He is proud to have been a member of this university’s mission to cultivate “faith for living and learning for life.”

When not helping make MC the quality institution it is, Howard enjoys spending time with his family and grandson. He has authored several books and innumerable articles, and is currently researching a book on contemporary Chinese history. 

 

Authentic Eats at Los Amigos/by Kyle Hamrick

Along with a Dollar General and a generations old gas station, no Southern town would be complete without a Mexican restaurant. I practically grew up on “cheese dip” and fuh-gee-tas served in dimly lit cantinas decorated with ceramic peppers and sombreros. And Taco Bell…c’est magnifique! It is therefore no surprise my tastes are hardwired to Uncle Sam’s selective and rudimentary attempts at “authentic” Mexican cuisine.

Bearing this in mind, I was slightly concerned when my friend Chandler Moore approached me Wednesday, Oct. 9, and suggested Los Amigos for lunch. Los Amigos is a grocery and cafe restaurant nestled in the corner of Clinton Square on Highway 80 mere moments away from campus. It sells authentic Mexican groceries, and, the rumor goes, authentic Mexican food. Several faculty and students have lauded the place for the rare and exceptional delicacy of their menu.

Our lunch was a late one at about 1:30 in the afternoon. To our surprise, the store’s lunch rush was still in full swing. The place was alive with conversations, mostly in Spanish, and a steady sizzle poured into the crowded air from the kitchen in the corner. The diners were seated in the midst of the shelves overflowing with sundry products; some brands were familiar, but the majority were not. I was, however, very familiar with Jarritos, a brand of soda made with real cane sugar unlike its American counterparts. Drinks are not on the menu, so I grabbed a glass bottle Jarritos cola from the fridge and sat down at a table. Chandler grabbed a Mountain Dew equivalent and joined me.

Perusing the menu, which was written in Spanish, I found several of the favorites I’ve known my whole life: quesadillas, tacos, enchiladas; but also ones I never heard of, like tortas and chilaquiles. Chandler ordered two chorizo tacos in soft shells. I figured I could be safe and order a chicken quesadilla, like so many of my forebears in Instagram stories have, or I could branch out and try one of their specialties. I opted for the latter, and asked our waitress what was her favorite. The answer was a hearty endorsement of the enchiladas with grilled chicken. I agreed, and our waitress took our orders in shorthand on a note to the kitchen behind us. 

Chandler’s arrived first. His tacos overflowed with blackened chorizo, shreds of lettuce, and a garnish of white cheese. A small side of spicy guacamole/salsa verde came with it, along with a half of a lime. After dressing the tacos thus, Chandler took a bite. “It slaps, it’s really good,” he said before finishing them off like a starved animal, clearly relishing the delicacy.

Mine arrived in state on a rectangular platter. The three enchiladas were covered in a green salsa verde – and looked very, very good. I took a bite and was immediately hooked by the perfect smokiness of the chicken and the refreshing zest of the salsa. Unlike my cohort, I savored mine slowly for the flavor and for the speed by which they filled me up. I could only make it through two, so I gave the last to Chandler for him to try. They were just too delicious. 

I will be returning to try some of their other house specialties. For substantial and savory Mexican food for around $10 a lunch, head to Los Amigos!

A Call to Coach: The Story of Mike Jones’s Return to the Court/by Meeby Ballard

Mississippi College is proud to welcome Coach Mike Jones back to the court for his return as the head men’s basketball coach. Coach Jones has known from the start of his career that coaching basketball was more than just a job, it was an opportunity to make a difference and support young athletes. Now, he’s going into his twentieth year of coaching with more championships under his belt than he has fingers, and he’s ready to lead this year’s team. “I have come to know him as a leader on our campus, and his love for our student-athletes is exemplary,” said MC President Dr. Blake Thompson. “I am excited that Mike Jones has agreed to return to his calling of coaching.”

Coaching has been a lifelong endeavor for Coach Jones. “I knew at an early age that was what I wanted to do,” he said. His father passed away when he was only fifteen years old. “I had to grow up fast. Athletics were a big part of my life, and I had great high school coaches that were like fathers to me.” He worked hard in school to secure scholarships and played basketball at a junior college and then at Mississippi College. He continued his education at MC, earning his master’s degree, and then continued on to the University of Southern Mississippi to complete thirty hours in athletic administration beyond his master’s. Coach Jones’s coaching career began at Mississippi College as a graduate assistant before he continued on to be an assistant coach at Southern Miss. “I left there and went back to Co-Lin Community College, coached there for four years, and then the head coaching job at Mississippi College opened here in 1988. I came here and I’ve been here ever since,” he said. Coach Jones has coached at MC for sixteen seasons, and he has also served as the Athletic Director since 2008.

Coming out of retirement was not in the playbooks for Coach Jones, but as he tells it, the higher power had other plans. “Everywhere I tried to get a door closed, God opened it,” he said. Dr. Thompson paid him a visit and asked him to pray about returning as the head coach. Coach Jones had triple bypass heart surgery several years ago, so he was concerned about how the return to the sidelines would affect his health. However, his doctor informed him that he was in great health. “I knew I was in a situation where I was going to have to make a decision. I prayed and prayed, and my kids liked it, and my wife liked it,” he said with a smile, “and I just thought maybe God was calling me back, and so I chose to do it. You never know what God’s got for you, but I’ve already seen, in my opinion, God being able to use me. It’s been a blessing.” 

Coach Jones will continue to serve as the Athletic Director. He oversees all the sports here on campus. “I make sure the budgets stay in line, I’m actually the overseer of our compliance director and our academics, and I help make certain that everything is going the way it’s supposed to,” he explained. “The beauty of being the Athletic Director and a coach is that I have such wonderful people and smart people who are my coworkers, and people who are accountable who take a big load off of me.” Coach Jones has the support of his staff, as well.

“We’re excited to see Coach Jones back on the sideline, leading our men’s basketball team,” said David Nichols, the Sports Information Director here at Mississippi College. “He’s a Mississippi Sports Hall of Famer and an MC Hall of Famer.  He’s been a great boss as the Athletic Director, but it’ll be great seeing him in his new role. He’s always been an outstanding leader within our athletic department, so I have no doubt that will translate well leading our men’s basketball team.” 

The first game for the 2019-2020 season is right around the corner. “We’ve got a great group of young men,” Coach Jones said. “I have really enjoyed being around them. They have bought in. I think that they listen; they’re very attentive; they’ve been working very hard. I like the floor. I like teaching on the floor. I like the relationships with the kids. Those are the things I really like more than anything else.” He values the young men he coaches for more than just their athletic ability. “I think it’s my ministry to be able to help young people, not just in coaching, but in their lives. That’s what God called me to do.”

The Choctaws will return to A. E. Wood Coliseum on Nov. 8 as they host Belhaven at 8 p.m. 

 

Falling for Autumn Activities/by Meredith Stratmann

It’s October, almost November, and you know what that means. It’s finally fall! By this point, everything is falling: leaves, grades, and rain. But in the midst of a flurry of midterms, papers, and presentations, arguably the best season of the year has descended on us. There is no shortage of fall activities in which to participate, which brings me to the question at hand. What is the best fall activity?

Now being from the Midwest myself, I truly miss the traditional fall where the leaves change color and it gets under 60 degrees. The lack of this hasn’t stopped me from embracing fall to the greatest extent. Although, given 18 years of experience in a “true” fall setting, I do consider myself something of an expert.

This is why I can say the best fall activity is undeniably apple picking. Am I paying to do work for which other people get paid? Yes. Does that make it any less fun? No. There’s something about hand picking apples and riding on the little wagon pulled by a tractor that is wholly autumn. It’s an activity that can be enjoyed by all ages. People take their kids apple picking, people go on dates apple picking, and girl gangs go apple picking. It’s just fun. Not to mention you get as many free apples as you can eat while you’re out there.

Now I love fall, so I don’t want to discredit other quality activities. Pumpkin carving is a close second, and bonfires would come third. Emilee Johnson, a nursing major, agrees with bonfires, saying, “My favorite fall activity is a good bonfire. I love being outside in the cold, next to the warm fire, enjoying quality time with my friends.” There’s also something to be said for corn mazes and cozy nights in, watching scary movies. 

Some people, like junior Sarah Romines, tend to take the side of the spooky aspects of fall. Romines says, “The best fall activity by far is going to a haunted house! It’s something you can do with anyone whether it’s your friends, family or whoever. Also the pricing is never really too outrageous, so it’s great if you’re out here ballin’ on a budget like most college students are!”

I personally have a history of unintentionally hitting actors and actresses when they pop out to scare me, but nevertheless, haunted houses are still a fun fall favorite. 

The only fall activity I don’t support is pumpkin picking. I know this sounds shocking as I’m such a hypewoman for apple picking. The difference is that nine times out of 10, all of the pumpkins have been picked already, so companies buy pumpkins and simply place them in the fields. It’s “picking” a pumpkin, but it’s really no different than if you were at a grocery store. 

In the end, autumn brings so much needed change to life. Different outfits to wear, different foods to eat, different movies to watch, and different activities in which to participate. While I believe apple picking is the best activity by far, there is never a shortage of things to do in this season. The most important thing is to get out and enjoy the changing weather with the people that matter most to you, regardless of what you’re doing.

MC’s Own TV Personality/by Austin LaBrot

Dr. Glenn Antizzo will make his eighth television appearance on Nov. 5, 2019, to discuss election results and offer insight to Magnolia State politics.

The Mississippi College political science professor has been making appearances on ABC affiliate WAPT-16 since the early 2010s, promoting America’s second-oldest Baptist university well.

“I try to put politics into plain English,” said the Cornell graduate. Antizzo first made his television debut thanks to Ross Adams from WAPT.

Adams worked at Mississippi College for Star 93.5, the campus’s former radio station, before working with WAPT. MC sold the radio station a few years ago, and Adams was out of work. Adams found work with the Jackson station and has worked ever since.

When the station was looking for political commentators, Adams recommended his good friend Antizzo. Ever since, Antizzo has been a go-to analyst for the station.

Abbie Hunter, a junior political science major, said, “I think it’s really cool to have a professor who is so respected by the community that they want to hear his opinion. Not many students can say that.”

Many local colleges and universities have showcased professors on air, but Antizzo is a prominent face on WLBT, along with political science colleague D’Andra Orey from Jackson State University.

“It has been a very positive experience. The people at the station have been very kind to us,” Antizzo said. He added, “Orey and I do a straight analysis. I think the viewers enjoy two scholars respectfully explaining the mechanics of the process.”

Antizzo and Orey will discuss the highlights of the highly contested gubernatorial race between Republican frontrunner Tate Reeves and Democratic nominee Jim Hood. Reeves is currently the Lt. Gov. for Mississippi and has been endorsed by current Gov. Phil Bryant. Reeves beat former Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller in the primary elections.

Hood has served Mississippi as the Attorney General since 2004. He defeated seven other candidates for the Democratic nomination. Antizzo and Orey will arrive at WLBT an hour and a half beforehand to discuss results and take notes with anchors. 

Originally from Port Jefferson, NY, Antizzo made Clinton his home in 2009 when he was hired at MC. He received his Ph.D. at Louisiana State University and formerly worked at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La.                 

The Band PACIFIC Rocks MC/by Naomi Taylor

On Oct. 18, 2019, up-and-coming alternative rock group The Band Pacific performed a concert on Mississippi College’s campus to raise money for Batson Children’s Hospital of Mississippi Dance Marathon. The Freshman Leadership Initiative Program (FLIP) decorated the Caf patio with shimmering lights in all the trees and bushes, creating a very MC and aesthetically pleasing atmosphere. Pacific brought their own light show which was programmed to change with the beat of the music, along with a bright LED “PACIFIC” sign that flashed on and off. The band played a variety of their original songs, adding a few well-known covers in their set list to get the crowd hyped up. They played covers such as “Year 3000” by the Jonas Brothers and “Stacy’s Mom” by Fountains of Wayne. These crowd pleasers had the entire audience dancing and singing along.

They then went “unplugged” and went into the audience. They taught the crowd a part to sing and encouraged them to join in and help them out! This created community between the audience and the band, adding to the personal aspect of such a small-scale concert. Pacific has a very nostalgic alternative rock vibe to their music. One song that stuck out to me was their original song called “Yours,” a melodic, lyrically-driven soft rock love song. 

I had the chance to speak with them after the show, and besides being unbelievably talented, they are very kind people who really seem to care about their audience. After every show they take pictures, sign posters, and have meaningful conversations with their fans. Each band member makes an effort to remember names even after one show! They mentioned how even though they are not from here, it “felt like home” because of the fans. 

Being a musician myself, it was cool recognizing their passion and soul through their music. As an athlete leaves everything they have on the field, The Band Pacific leaves everything they have on the stage. The message of acceptance and freedom that Pacific sends through their music, performances, and interactions leaves MC students feeling like they don’t have to pretend to be people they aren’t. Overall, The Band Pacific put on an amazing performance for Mississippi College’s campus!

Women’s Soccer Looking to Finish Well/by Elliot Reeder

The Mississippi College women’s soccer team has shot all the way up to number six in the latest United Soccer Coaches Poll for Division 2, mainly thanks to a double-digit game win streak that currently has them in first place in the GSC. 

It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for the Lady Choctaws though as they suffered a defeat in their first game of the season at the hands of Saint Leo. Senior defender Liza Wise thinks that the early loss actually has helped the team down the stretch, “I think at first, the loss was a good thing. We didn’t think that at first, but it humbled us. It made us realize that, yeah, we are talented, and there are a lot of skilled players and great girls on this team, but unless we put the work in, we are not going to get the results.”

The Lady Choctaws’ head coach Darryl Longabaugh thinks there are a plethora of reasons that his team has gone on the long win streak, saying “one of the main reasons is just the talent level we have on the team. The girls, their desire to win these games and to go further than before, is driving them. The experience we have in the starting lineup and the girls that come off the bench have been fantastic.” He also pointed to how several teams have “parked the bus” (which is when a team is willing to sit back and defend heavily, and not make an effort to get numbers forward) against his team as a means to minimize the MC offense, but the Lady Choctaws have still found ways to win those games. 

Wise points to the leadership on the team as a big reason for MC’s success. Her fellow seniors make up ten members of the Lady Choctaws roster, and most of the ten log significant minutes for the squad. She added, “I think that a huge thing for us is definitely the leadership from the seniors.  We have 10 seniors on the team this year, and each one of them plays a huge role on this team. Our mindsets are all the same. It’s really hard to get a big group of girls to be on the same page. Going forward everyone wants the same thing, we have the same passion and we are kind of doing it for each other.”

MC is looking to build off of what was a mesmerizing run through the NCAA tournament last season that saw them make it all the way to the Round of 16 before they suffered a heartbreaking loss to GSC foe Lee, whom they got a 3-1 revenge win over a few weeks ago, but the Lady Choctaws are not using that run as motivation. Wise added “making it to the Round of 16 was really awesome last year, but I think this year we are trying to just focus on where we are at the moment. Of course we have super high expectations for this team, but right now, we are taking it game by game and taking care of business whenever we can, because that is when we are most successful.”

Both Wise and Longabaugh said the mantra for the team moving forward is finishing. Wise said that “last year we got really close, and it kind of gave us a little glimpse of what could happen. This year, we are looking forward to giving it our all every game and towards the end, hopefully finishing every single game so that we can actually make it all the way.” Longabaugh added, “My expectations for the team going forward is to finish the year strong. To win the remaining games, go into conference on a real good win streak with real good momentum. I expect these young ladies to push even harder through these final games. There’s no easy games going forward. We just have to strap our boots on and go out there and give it everything we have.”

 

Meet the Campus Wildlife/by Elijah Cardenas

One of the most interesting features of Mississippi College’s picturesque campus is one that isn’t included in the tuition costs. The wildlife at MC continually provides a feeling of life and vitality to campus that other campuses in the area lack, no matter how different they claim their squirrels are.

A host of strange and curious creatures have called MC their home over the years – and that doesn’t even include the freshmen. One of the most curious encounters recently recorded was by MC student Laura Derrow, who recounted the time she saw an armadillo outside the Leland Speed Library.

“I was driving in front of the library and just saw this armadillo sitting in the grass outside of the library,” said Derrow. “I guess he was just trying to get that education.” Even the most relaxed MC students can relate to a hard working armadillo burning the midnight oil studying for midterms.

One familiar creature that haunts MC hollows is Whittington Hall’s very own Trash Cat. For over four years, Trash Cat has been a beloved member of the MC family and a friend to every Whittington resident. An elusive creature by nature, Trash Cat is rumored to still dwell in the bushes and trash cans near the Whit, maintaining its status as a benevolent mascot of MC.

However, some students believe that the animals at MC have a more nefarious purpose here then cranking out all nighters in the study pods. Lana Estes, another student at MC and a friend of Derrow’s, reported a disturbing incident involving the roaches at MC.

“I was with some freshmen and the sprinklers went off and all the sudden they started screaming and dancing around about roaches,” Estes claims. “They must have thought that the roaches were going to carry them off.” Estes goes on to explain that the reason behind this disturbing roach kidnapping scheme must be their envy for MC student’s rights to caf food. “They’ve got plans,” Estes assured The Collegian.

Now, an isolated incident like an attempted roach abduction can be overlooked fairly easily. However, roaches don’t appear to be the only animals on campus with dark designs in mind. Estes also previously encountered what she described as an “agitated bird, one of the only birds she recalls ever having seen at MC.

Estes, too, struggled to recall her last bird sighting for The Collegian. “I can’t remember the last time I saw a bird,” Estes confessed. “Maybe they’re right about birds being secret government spy drones.” With rumors of aggressive birds flying around campus, such conspiracies cannot be too closely examined.

But birds and roaches haven’t been the only crooked creatures detected on MC’s grounds. According to MC student Elijah Wilson, a prior resident of Whittington Hall, students should also keep a wary eye out for the squirrels at MC.

“There was one time the squirrels tried to kill me.” Wilson reports. “I think it’s a conspiracy.” Wilson went on to give The Collegian the inside scoop on the truth behind the MC variety of squirrels. “They’re larger than usual and hyper-intelligent.” Wilson, who has since been placed in protective custody, believes this to be connected to the government planted birds that Estes bravely informed The Collegian of.

With so many similar stories compiled side by side, a sinister narrative has begun to surface from the shadows under MC’s lush trees. Should students be concerned about an animal cabal at MC that is actively seeking their undoing? Whatever the case, students should keep both eyes open for the wildlife on the Mississippi College campus.