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© 1998-2003 by Pearl River Community College
Department of Public Relations & Sports Information
Poplarville, Mississippi
All rights reserved.
Contact: Webmaster

Last Update 9-16-2003
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Sports History
(Note:  This section is incomplete.  All research has not been completed.  We are posting the new information as our research progresses.  If you have any helpful suggestions or information email the webmaster.)

Pearl River Community College's Athletic tradition spans most of this century and includes some prominent and memorable sports figures, athletes, and coaches. 

Football

Pearl River County Agricultural High School played its first football game in 1911, according to information gathered by former Director of Public Relations, Larry Stanford, for the Wildcat’s Roar sports magazine:

 ...Making its debut in 1911, the first-ever Wildcat team finished with a 2-1-1 record under head coach Blonde Williams (See Note Below.)  The first game ever played by Pearl River (County Agricultural High School) was against Laurel in a hard-fought defensive battle that ended in an uncharacteristic 5-5 tie.  Later in the debut season, halfback and Captain George Pearson scored Pearl River’s first touchdown...Besides Pearson, other members of the Wildcats’ inaugural squad included tackle Basil Breland, tackle Ned Cooper, center Seancy Davis, guard Clyde Fulton, quarterback L.A. Hurst, guard John Lumpkin, end Tom Pearson, fullback Luther Smith, end Clarence Stewart, and halfback Hubert Strahan.

Editor's Note:  Blonde Williams, it is discovered, was not the first coach, but was listed as the coach for Mississippi Normal College's (now USM) football team and served as a referee at this game.  The first football coach was Mr. L. A. Hurst.  Mr. Hurst served as the school's second Agricultural teacher.  During those times, the coach would often play as well.  Hurst played on and coached the Pearl River "Aggies," as the team was known.  This inaugural football team, after beating Laurel 6-3 claimed the State prep school championship.  Their claim was not challenged.

In 1912, the "Aggies" met defeat against Laurel, then trounced the Hattiesburg Boy Scouts 9-0.  They then met the Tulane scrub (second string) team and soundly defeated them 22-6.  The following week, the Aggies beat powerhouse Gulfport Military Academy 21-0.  These were the only scores reported by the Poplarville Free Press during the 1912 season.

Over the next several years, the “Aggies,” as the team was known, began to gain a reputation.  By 1914, the Aggies became a veritable powerhouse, winning every game that year, including a 51-0 trouncing of the Harrison County A.H.S. (Perk) in the very first meeting with that team.  Not only did they win every game except the 0-0 tie game with Mississippi Normal College (now USM) but their defense kept every team from crossing the goal line.  In the fall of 1921, the high school team was coached by J. A. Huff, the school's superintendent.  "Daddy" Huff, as he was known to his students, led the team to a perfect season in regular play, with 7 wins against scoreless opponents.  The only score against them occurred when they faced the north Mississippi champs in the state show-down.  An early touchdown by the Okolona team was quickly answered by the Pearl River Aggies and the game remained deadlocked 7-7 for the remainder of the game.  That stellar season's scores were:  Pearl River, 31-Jones County, 0; Pearl River, 68-Bogalusa, 0; Pearl River, 7-Gulf Coast Military Academy, 0; Pearl River, 91-Jones County (rematch), 0; Pearl River, 40-Mississippi Normal College, 0; Pearl River, 42-Pike County. 0 (south championship).  This stellar season saw a total score of 278-0 and the final game of the season (against Okolona) would see Huff's champs end the season at 285-7. 

Editor's Note: Although the newspaper's tally of games played and points scored does not add up, the declaration of no score against the Aggies bears up, and it is even possible that the Aggies scored more than the 285 points, since the newspaper pointed out that the Aggies had played in 8 games scoring 278 points, but the 7 games' scores listed above totals 286 points.

Edwin W. “Goat” Hale took the helm as the Aggies head coach in 1922 and tallied a 7-1 season.  Hale won his nickname “Goat” when he ran through an end zone fence after scoring a touchdown for his high school team, Jackson Central.  Hale was considered the greatest running back in the history of Mississippi football and has been inducted into four Halls of Fame, including Pearl River’s.  Hale's 1923 and 1924 teams saw perfect seasons (8-0 and 7-0).  When he left PRCAHS he did so with a 22 and 1 record. 

The 1924 season marked the debut of the college team. Pearl River trounced Delgado, Clark College, Louisiana College (LSU) freshmen, State Teachers College (USM), Gulf Coast Military Academy, Mississippi College, and St. Stanislaus, allowing only 9 points to be scored against them the entire season while scoring 293 points against the hapless teams.  The team’s motto was “they shall not pass” and the teams mascot was “William the Goat.”

In 1925, J.F. “Rat” Stuart, an alumnus of PRCAHS and later president of the college took over for Hale who moved on to Mississippi College.  Stuart took the finely honed club to yet another championship in 1925.  In 1926, the newly formed Mississippi Junior College Athletic Association recognized the Pearl River Junior College Wildcats.  The team colors were maroon and gold.  The ‘Cats took the first ever MJCAA state championship crown that year, playing such teams as Gulf Coast Military College, Clarke College, Perkinston, Hinds, Loyola (freshmen), Jefferson College (in Natchez) and St. Stanislaus.  With only one loss to the Loyola freshmen, they allowed only 31 points to be scored while scoring 175 points against the opponents.  They posted a 6-1 record that year.  1927 saw the Wildcats win the state championship again, this time under coach D.L. Simmons (according to the 1928 Satsuma).  In 1928 the Wildcats shared the title with Sunflower (Mississippi Delta) and Clarke College.

The Wildcats went into hibernation for the next 21 years.  They would not win the state championship again until 1949, under the leadership of coach Thomas “Dobie” Holden. Over the next seventeen years, Coach Holden lead his team to the state championship 8 times, including 3 co-championships.  (1952 and 1953 co-champions with Hinds and 1960 co-champions with Northwest.)

In 1961, Coach Holden’s team went a perfect 10-0.  This “dream team” amassed an impressive 446 points against the opponents' 47 points.  This team placed two backs and a center on the JUCO All-American team: quarterback Mack Cochran of Hattiesburg, fullback J.E. Loicano of Bay St. Louis, and center Alvin Doyle of New Orleans.  The 1961 wildcats set a national junior college scoring record during the season and went on to win the National Junior College Championship.  Team statistics include 2103 yards running (compared to 836 yards by the opponents), 1980 yards passing (554 by the opponents) and picked up 226 first downs (64 by opponents).

Called the “master motivator”, Coach Holden led the wildcats from 1948 to 1966.  About his philosophy, Holden said, “My philosophy was simple.  I don’t coach bums.  A good football player is never a quitter.  He learns to take the bitter with the sweet.  Isn’t that what life is all about?” (The Picayune Item Profile, October 24, 1982)  After the 1966 football season, he retired to the athletic director’s position.  Holden led the Wildcats to 140 victories, while bowing to only 43 defeats and 7 ties.  During the 18 years he led the teams the Wildcats were always in the nation’s top ten.  Holden led the ‘Cats to 17 straight wins over Perk and won 4 of 5 bowl games.

Holden was one of the first coaches to recognize the potential of the forward pass, and his employment of the pro-set at Pearl River College in the 1950's was years ahead of other colleges and pro teams.  Before coming to Pearl River, Holden led the Picayune High School teams to 72 victories over a 10 year period.  He had a 37 game winning streak at one time during this period.  Honoring his life’s work, the Mississippi Legislature recognized him in House Concurrent Resolution No. 270 on April 5, 1986.

After Holden left, the Wildcats would again take the state championship in 1969 and 1970 under the field supervision of Head Coach John Russell, and in 1976 under the leadership of Head Coach J.C. Arban.

In 2002, new head coach, Tim Hatten, a PRJC alumnus took his team to the State playoffs but had to settle for South Division Championship.  His 2003 team had different plans, and on November 15, 2003 the Wildcats became MACJC State Champions for the 16th time.  The team went 10-1 losing only to Hinds, their worthy opponent for the championship game.  Even though both teams were 9-1 and evenly matched, the Wildcats were hungry for a victory.  It had been 27 years since the team had held the championship trophy and Hatten's group of 'Cats were hungry.  The final score was 21-17.  In 2004, Hatten led his team to 10 victories and ended the season, not only as state champion and number 2 in the nation, but as a contender for the NJCAA National Championship.  PRCC's Wildcats met the Butler CC Grizzlies at the Dalton Defender's Bowl in Coffeyville, Kansas.  With a 35-14 romp over the Butler team, Hatten expanded his winning streak to 19.

Mississippi Junior/Community College Champions

1925 Pearl River 1964 Jones
1926 Pearl River 1965 Northwest
1927 Pearl River 1966 Mississippi Gulf Coast
1928 Pearl River, Sunflower*, Clarke 1967 Mississippi Gulf Coast
1929 Copiah-Lincoln 1968 Jones
1930 Copiah-Lincoln 1969 Pearl River
1931 Copiah-Lincoln 1970 Pearl River
1932 Copiah-Lincoln 1971 Mississippi Gulf Coast
1933 Copiah-Lincoln 1972 Mississippi Delta
1934 Copiah-Lincoln 1973 Mississippi Delta
1935 Holmes 1974 Mississippi Gulf Coast
1936 Holmes 1975 Itawamba
1937 Copiah-Lincoln 1976 Pearl River
1938 Copiah-Lincoln 1977 Itawamba
1939 East Central 1978 Jones
1940 Jones 1979 Jones
1941 Jones 1980 Mississippi Gulf Coast
1942 Perkinston** 1981 Holmes
1943 No State Champion due to WWII 1982 Gulf Coast & Northwest
1944 Hinds 1983 Jones
1945 Hinds & Holmes 1984 Mississippi Gulf Coast
1946 Hinds & Jones 1985 Copiah-Lincoln
1947 Jones 1986 Mississippi Gulf Coast
1948 Perkinston** 1987 Northwest
1949 Pearl River 1988 Hinds
1950 Holmes 1989 Northwest
1951 Jones 1990 Itawamba
1952 Hinds & Pearl River 1991 Northwest
1953 Hinds & Pearl River 1992 Northwest
1954 Hinds 1993 Mississippi Delta
1955 Jones 1994 Hinds
1956 Pearl River 1995 Hinds
1957 Hinds 1996 Hinds
1958 Southwest 1997 Hinds
1959 Pearl River 1998 Jones
1960 Pearl River & Northwest 1999 Northwest
1961 Pearl River 2000 Hinds
1962 Mississippi Delta 2001 Jones
1963 Pearl River 2002 Holmes
2003 Pearl River
 * Name change: Mississippi Delta—1960
** Name change: Mississippi Gulf Coast—1967

The Wildcat Record Book—FootballStatistics and Records from all recorded past games.

Basketball

Pearl River has competed in college basketball since at least 1927, when they won the state championship.  Although undocumented, the basketball team (men) were state champions in 1927, 1929, 1931, 1935, 1945, 1947, 1958, 1965. (Section incomplete) 

The 1957-1958 championship came with some controversy.  The old clock (c.1949) that hung in Shiver’s gym had a small problem.  It always started at 2 seconds after 0 and the buzzer always sounded the period at 2 seconds after 0.  Pearl River was trailing in a hard fought championship in 1958 against North Division leader, Itawamba.  In the last few seconds of the game, an Itawamba player fouled Donald Clinton just as the buzzer sounded.  The foul was called by the referee, and Itawamba’s coaches noticed that the clock was 2 seconds beyond the 0 mark.  A lengthy argument ensued as the Itawamba coaches contested the 2 second aberration.  After the official timekeeper assured the referees that the clock was accurate, having started 2 seconds after 0, Clinton took his free throws and Pearl River won the championship by one point.

In 2002-2003 the Wildcat Basketball team recorded a great year, capping it with the MACJC State Championship.  The Lady Wildcats missed the State Championship, but took the Region XXIII Championship.  The following year, the 2003-2004 Wildcat team took the State Championship again to record two in a row, the first time this feat had been accomplished on the hardwood court.

Baseball

(Section to be added later)

Soccer

Pearl River began playing soccer in 1999 under head coach Adam Breerwood.  Breerwood had never played or coached soccer before, but he was a good coach and this was only a minor inconvience for the young baseball star.  The 1999 teams recorded outstanding play all around.  Breerwood's girls were hungry and in 2000, 2002 and 2003 they took the south division titles.  The men's team came alive in 2003, after seeing the women's teams outdistance them for the previous four years, and took the south division championship, state championship and Region XXIII championship.
 
 


Wildcat Football:2003 State Championship Game (entire broadcast 3hrs. 55min. 45sec.) 

NoteThese are MP3 files.  For best results, use Internet Explorier 5.0 or better and have Windows Media Player installed on your computer.)

Part One 30:49 (Pre-game show and 1st part of the 1st quarter)
(Note:  The first PRCC touchdown was missed by the radio station taping the game)

Part Two 31:03 (2nd part of the 1st quarter and 1st part of 2nd quarter)

Part Three 26:42 (2nd part of the 2nd quarter and halftime show)

Part Four 32:35 (last of halftime show and 1st part of 3rd quarter)

Part Five 16:50 (2nd part of 3rd quarter and 1st part of 4th
quarter)

Part Six 16:59 (middle part of 4th quarter)

Part Seven 23:12 (end of 4th quarter and post-game includes an interview with Head Coach Tim Hatten)


If you have information about the history of Pearl River Community College that you feel would interest the readers or if you find an error in the information in this history, please state it briefly in the box provided.  Please include your name so that you can receive credit for the information you provide.

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Do you have pictures, memorabilia, or information about the history of Pearl River Community College?  If you do, and you would be willing to donate, loan or share this with us, contact Ronn Hague at the Office of Public Relations, Museum Project, PRCC, Highway 11 North, Poplarville, MS, 39470, ph. (601)-403-1316, email us, or use the form above.

The PRCC Story is a publication of the Department of Public Relations
Pearl River Community College
Poplarville, Mississippi
© 1998-2004 by Pearl River Community College
 

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