East Mississippi announces plans to reinstate men’s and women’s soccer in fall of 2023 – Picayune Item

SCOOBA — With assistance from the NJCAA Foundation, East Mississippi Community College has announced plans to reinstate its men’s and women’s soccer programs beginning in the fall of 2023.

The NJCAA Sport Opportunity Grant will provide $2,000 to assist in the rekindling of EMCC’s soccer programs that previously fielded teams on the Scooba campus from 1998 to 2009.

“East Mississippi Community College is very pleased to announce the reinstatement of our men’s and women’s soccer programs,” EMCC President Dr. Scott Alsobrooks said. “Soccer continues to be one of the most popular sports worldwide, and it will give many more students the opportunity to be engaged in a group on our campus. Research shows that the likelihood of student success increases when they are engaged as part of a group. We are very grateful to the NJCAA Foundation for this Sport Opportunity Grant.”

EMCC Director of Athletics Sharon Thompson echoed Dr. Alsobrooks’ sentiments about the importance of creating more scholarship opportunities for student-athletes at EMCC.

“We are excited to announce the return of our men’s and women’s soccer programs, while at the same time we’re very appreciative of the NJCAA Foundation for selecting EMCC as one of the recipients of the Sport Opportunity Grant.” Thompson said. “Soccer is an exciting sport and is one of the most recognized sports in the world. We are ecstatic about the opportunity to provide soccer for student-athletes in our district and state. This will afford opportunities for those student-athletes to earn scholarships and continue their careers on the collegiate level.”

Following a 13-year hiatus from the Mississippi community college soccer scene, East Mississippi will compete at the NJCAA Division II level within Region 23. EMCC will join 11 other members of the Mississippi Association of Community Colleges Conference presently fielding men’s and women’s soccer teams. As of last season, the division alignment for soccer within the MACCC had East Central, Hinds, Holmes, Itawamba, and Northwest Mississippi competing in the North Division, along with Copiah-Lincoln, Jones, Meridian, Mississippi Gulf Coast, Pearl River, and Southwest Mississippi making up the South Division.

“The NJCAA Foundation is excited to further support the growth of NJCAA member colleges and the sport programs they offer through the newly-created NJCAA Sport Opportunity Grant,” said Brian Luckett, NJCAA Foundation Executive Director. “The ability to provide this funding for the first time ever is a testament to the importance and growth of two-year collegiate athletics. The NJCAA Foundation looks forward to this initiative’s impact as NJCAA member colleges continue to create opportunities for student-athletes across the country.”

Set to begin MACCC competition in the fall of 2023, EMCC’s home soccer games will be played on the newly resurfaced artificial turf football playing field at Sullivan-Windham Field on the Scooba campus.

“We have made the investment to include soccer on our new athletic field turf at Sullivan-Windham Field so that these incoming student-athletes will have the opportunity to play and practice on the best possible field conditions,” Alsobrooks added.

Announced by the NJCAA Foundation last October, the Sport Opportunity Grant provides two-year institutions a way to support the addition, growth, and sustainment of NJCAA sports. The NJCAA Sport Opportunity Grant is available to NJCAA member colleges looking to expand sport offerings on their campuses while increasing student-athlete access and achievement. The grant is awarded based on need and allotted funding.

About NJCAA Foundation

The mission of the NJCAA Foundation is to enhance the NJCAA national organization, student-athletes, member colleges and local communities through financial support, scholarships, program initiatives and community service.

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