Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

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May 16, 2014

SGTC Jets, Lady Jets thank Booster Club, community

AMERICUS — The South Georgia Technical College (SGTC) Jets and Lady Jets both posted their best seasons ever in 2014, and earned trips to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I men’s and women’s national basketball tournaments in Hutchinson and Salina, Kans., recently. The Lady Jets finished the season with a 30-5 record and the Jets wound up 29-5.

This was the first time ever that two teams had qualified to attend the national tournament in the same year from SGTC and possibly from this community. The Jets, Lady Jets, coaches, faculty, staff and administrators from SGTC thank the many individuals from this community who helped support the team this season and also helped fund the national tournament trip.

“On behalf of everyone at South Georgia Technical College, I would like to say thank you,” said SGTC President Sparky Reeves. “The outpouring of support for the Jets and Lady Jets has been awesome.  We appreciate the support that we have received all season as well as over the past few weeks.  It is a tremendous honor to have students earn the right to compete at the national level and this community recognized their efforts by responding with an outpouring of support and financial resources for these student athletes.”

SGTC had less than two weeks from qualifying for the national tournaments to find the financial support needed to send two teams to the national tournaments. The college had budgeted funds for the likelihood that one team would qualify, but was thrilled to learn that not one but two teams had earned the right to compete in the national tournaments, even though it doubled the costs.

“I was very pleased with the way that the Jets and Lady Jets and their coaches represented our college, the local communities, the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA), Region XVII, and District J,” said Reeves. “We went to Kansas and competed against other outstanding colleges from around the nation. Both teams ended up in the top 16 teams in the nation and that is quite an accomplishment. I am also appreciative of the support that these student-athletes received from their fellow students, faculty, staff and the community.”

The Jets Booster Club is the fund-raising arm of the men’s and women’s basketball teams at SGTC. Their main purpose is to provide additional funding for the basketball teams and to encourage and support the men and women who participate in athletics at SGTC. The Booster Club conducted several fund-raising activities to provide funds for the trip, such as a cake drawing, half & half drawing and a drawing for a pedicure/manicure and massage gift certificate from The Cutting Edge Salon.

Martha Arrington is the president of the Jets Booster Club and she is assisted by board members Janis Webb, Buddy Guth, Sherrill House, Michele Ragsdale, David Finley and Vanessa Wall. The Booster Club has various levels of membership including the President’s Club ($1,000), Jets Club ($500), Red/Black Club ($250), Family Club ($125) and Individual Club ($75).

The members of the President’s Club include Sparky and Allene Reeves, Dr. Lou and Candy Riccardi, 2 Dukes BBQ, Accelerated Physical Therapy, Burger King, Carter’s Fried Chicken, Citizens Bank of Americus, The Kinnebrew Company, Phoebe Sumter Medical Center, Pickle Construction, SB&T, Shiver Lumber Co., State Farm Insurance, Technology One, and Wright Electric.

The Jets Club includes Parker’s Heating and Air, George and Jan Williams and Citizens Bank of Americus. The Red/Black Club members include   Chambliss, Sheppard, Roland, Baxter CPA; Wally and Brenda Summers, Buddy and Cherlyn Guth, Torbert Electric, Rotary Club of Americus, Austin Urethane, and Chattahoochee Turf Products.

The Family Club members are Pete and Martha Arrington, Mike and Su Ann Bird, Mike and Janice Davis, Farmer’s Seed and Feed, Seen & Heard, Sumter Broadcasting, Jimmy and Wadean Thaxton, Julian and Janis Webb, Clinic Drug Store, Don and Sybil Smith, Ameris Bank, Tom Shemwell, and Paul and Marilyn Wright.

Individual Club members are 1800 Mexican Restaurant, Sherrell Bailey, Milton Barnes, Bucky Clanton, Larry and Sherri Divers, Electric Wholesale Supply, Mary Ann Hunter, Kiwanis Club of Americus, Michele Ragsdale, Janet Sides, Chet and Dana Summers, Stephen and Weatherly Summers, Addie Shimandle, David and Miriam Finley, Vanessa Wall, Barry and Tami Blount, Mike Shattles, Americus/Sumter County Airport, Sherrill House, Bo and Mary Lynn Sullivan, Clint and Lisa Holloway, Sunbelt Ford, Bob and Midge Schuster, and The Harrod Group.

Additional donations were also received. These individuals and businesses who contributed included The Cutting Edge Salon, Windsor Parlour, Crook’s Paint Center, Mary Todd, Watson-Giddens Funeral Homes, Bucky Clanton, Bill and Sue Dupree, Larry Carpenter, Sunbelt Ford, SB&T, and Perry Brother Oil Co.

Members of the SGTC student body also voted to support the trip with funds from the student activities funds.

The SGTC Jets and Lady Jets both won the GCAA regular season titles in 2013-2014 and captured the NJCAA Region XVII tournament titles. The Lady Jets also captured the NJCAA District J championship. Jets coach Steven Wright and Lady Jets coach James Frey were both named GCAA Coach of the Year.  Frey also received the District J Coach of the Year award. Anthony “Duke” Ethridge from the Jets and Shameekia “Polly” Murray from the Lady Jets were both recognized as the GCAA Players of the Year and MVP’s of the Region XVII tournaments. Both Jets and Lady Jets players were named to All Conference teams and All Tournament teams.

The Lady Jets amassed the most wins in a single season ever at SGTC with  20 consecutive wins. The Jets had their most wins in a single season this year with 29.

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