SGTC’s Lady Jets ranked ninth in nation in NJCAA preseason poll
Published 9:31 pm Monday, October 25, 2021
By Su Ann Bird
AMERICUS – The South Georgia Technical College Lady Jets were ranked ninth in the nation in the National Junior College Athletic Association’s (NJCAA) 2021 – 2022 DI Women’s basketball poll released recently. The Lady Jets ended last season with a 14th place ranking in the NJCAA final poll and qualified for the NJCAA National Tournament in Lubbock, Texas.
Fans can get a preview of the 2021-2022 Jets and Lady Jets in scrimmage games in the Hangar on Tuesday, October 26. The Lady Jets will host Albany State University in a scrimmage beginning at 6 p.m. and the Jets will match-up with Middle Georgia Prep at 8 p.m.
“Preseason rankings are great but I think they are based off the programs performance the year before and who they have returning player wise,” said South Georgia Technical College Athletic Director and Lady Jets head coach James Frey. “It is an honor that the NJCAA poll committee has such high expectations for us. Now we have to maintain or earn that ranking and it definitely gives us something to work for.”
SGTC President John Watford, Ph.D, agreed with Coach Frey and stated, “we appreciate the respect that the NJCAA has for our program, players, and coaching staff to put us in the top 10 nationally in the preseason poll. However, we need to build on that respect by performing in the classroom and on the court.”
Northwest Florida State College, the defending national champions, were ranked 1st nationally followed by powerhouses Tyler Junior College, Chipola College, Jones College and New Mexico Junior College to round out the top five. Shelton State Community College, South Plains College, Three Rivers Community College, South Georgia Technical College and Casper College closed out the sixth through 10th spots. Georgia Highlands College in Rome was the only other Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association College in the top 25 nationally and they were ranked 12th.
The Lady Jets earned their fifth consecutive trip to the NJCAA National Tournament in Lubbock, Texas in 2021 in a COVID-19 shortened season. The Lady Jets brought a 22 -3 record into the tournament where they lost to Tyler Texas Junior College and finished in the Sweet Sixteen with a final 22 – 4 overall record. The Lady Jets were ranked sixth in the nation going into the tournament after a win over Spartanburg Methodist in the NJCAA Region 17 tournament.
Coach Frey admitted that this year’s team has some big shoes to fill. The Lady Jets have only three players returning from last season and has 10 freshmen. Sophomore Kamya Hollingshed from Locus Grove, GA, was redshirted for most of the last two seasons with injuries. She along with point guard Maikya Simmons from Stafford, VA, and Tena Ikidi, center, from Lagos Nigeria, are the only returners. Ikidi is currently nursing an injury but hopes to return to the court soon.
Rounding out the rest of the 2021 – 2022 Lady Jets roster includes freshmen: Luana Leite from Sao Paolo, Brazil; Majormary John Ubi from Cross River State Nigeria; Alexia Dizeko from Sion, Switzerland; Susana Posada from Medellin, Columbia; Loes Rozing from Hailoo, Netherlands, Mame Thiaw from Dakar, Senegal; Cintiz Lopez-Bevia from Alicante, Spain; Laurie Calixte from Quebec, Canada; Fanta Dansokho from Mataro, Spain; and Camryn James from Macon, GA.
Coach Frey led the Lady Jets to the National Tournament in his second season at the helm of the Lady Jets in 2013 – 2014 and then took them again in 2014 – 2015. That year, they posted their first win at the national tournament and finished in the top 16 teams in the nation. The Lady Jets fell one game shy of advancing to the national tournament in 2015 – 2016, but have qualified for the national tournament for the past five years.
Following the October 26th match-ups, the Lady Jets will face New Horizon Prep on Monday, November 1st at 5:30 p.m. and then the two teams will have a double-header at home on Friday, November 5th. The Jets will host Franklin Prep Academy at 4 p.m. and the Lady Jets host Denmark Tech at 5:30. Both team splay again on Saturday, November 6th when the Jets host New Rock Prep Academy at 12 noon followed by the Lady Jets hosting DME Prep at 2 p.m. The Lady Jets begin their GCAA conference games on November 13th when they host Andrew College at 1 p.m. and then host Georgia Highlands College on November 16th at 5:30 p.m.