A Look Back at the Past Year For MC Athletics / Jace Aymond
It would be a massive understatement to say that the past year has presented us all with many obstacles. From our own personal battles, family members, local businesses, and even this great campus of Mississippi College, it seems like everyone was impacted by the coronavirus one way or the other. One of the main groups impacted on campus was that of Choctaw Athletics, as no sport on campus had a traditional season like years before. But, like always, they charged through it, and many positives emerged from the chaos that last year presented.
The only fall sports on campus that did not have to change their original season schedule were cross country and golf. Even with this, three of the seven meets the cross country teams were set to compete in were cancelled, but they had lots of success in the meets they did get a chance to compete at. Later in the year, the track and field teams were also able to compete in several events, and five athletes earned All-American honors. One of these was Tytavia Hardy, who placed 11th in the triple jump at nationals and was selected as the 2021 Most Outstanding Indoor and Outdoor Field Performer.
During the strange semester, women’s golf launched into their first year as a sport on campus with freshmen Sarah Hodson and Jenna Belton leading the charge, competing in four tournaments throughout the year. The men’s side was also successful as they competed and placed well in nine tournaments. Football’s normal fall season was entirely cancelled, but the Choctaws picked up a few scrimmages against Arkansas Tech, Arkansas Southern, and Tarleton State.
For the other fall sports that were cancelled such as soccer, volleyball, and basketball, the Gulf South Conference implemented a “Spring Championship Series” for these activities so the teams could salvage some part of their season. Basketball got the experience and playing time they needed in the shortened season to prepare for this winter. Both soccer teams performed well with the men making it to the conference semifinals and the women winning it all in an undefeated season. Finally, volleyball had a historic season and made it to the conference semifinals as well, making it the furthest in program history.
The baseball and softball season went as planned, with only a few COVID-related cancellations along the way. Baseball finished the year 16-20 and although they missed the postseason, they are extremely ready and prepared for the season ahead. Softball on the other hand finished at 21-22 and made an impressive run all the way to the GSC championship game. Because of this, they were selected into the South Region of the NCAA Tournament held at Valdosta State.
Finally, the tennis teams saw lots of action this past spring as the men went 3-13 but made the conference tournament where third-ranked Valdosta State cut their season short. The ladies ended their season sitting at 9-7 overall and also made the GSC tournament. They made it all the way to the semifinals but were defeated by a top-10 West Florida team.
The fall sports happening now and those set to get going in the near future can all agree on one thing: all of them are extremely excited to return to a sense of normalcy, and the students, faculty, and fans of Mississippi College Athletics could not be more in agreement.