Football and Soccer Recruits Sign With Mississippi College
February 7, 2014
Joseph Satcher heard the Mississippi College sales pitch from head football coach Marc Herrington. But a visit to the Clinton campus convinced the McLaurin High running back to become an MC Choctaw.
“I really liked the campus – it was super nice,” says Satcher, who’s among the first group of student-athletes participating in Mississippi College’s first National Signing Day in nearly 20 years.
His recent meeting with MC Choctaws new head football coach John Bland solidified his decision to sign a letter of commitment February 5. It comes as the Christian university makes the transition this year to return to NCAA Division II ranks and the Gulf South Conference.
“He’s had a good bit of national success,” Satcher said when asked about Coach Bland on the McLaurin campus near Florence. “He seems like he knows what he’s talking about.”
The former head coach at the University of the Cumberlands in Kentucky, Bland guided the team to a 70-21 record over the past eight years. That included a 13-1 showing for the Patriots in 2013 and a trip to the NAIA national championship game in December.
Bland was named MC’s head coach in late December and with his team of assistant coaches immediately hitting the recruiting trail.
Long hours by MC coaches on the road, and working the phones is paying off. MC athletic officials reported 16 football players had signed this week along with nine track and field athletes and five women who will join the Lady Choctaws soccer team.
Seven of the new MC football players will be transfers from Mississippi community colleges, including East Mississippi, Itawamba, Copiah-Lincoln and Southwest. Other players are coming from high schools in Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, and Georgia.
Herrington, a standout offensive lineman with the MC Choctaws when they were GSC members, was pumped about seeing one of his top players sign with his alma mater. “This is pretty exciting,” he said.
The McLaurin High student council president, Satcher should enjoy his Mississippi College experience on the field at Robinson-Hale Stadium and in the classroom, Herrington said. “It’s close to his home. He will get a great education and excel on the playing field,” added the McLaurin Tigers athletic director at the Rankin County school.
The 5’11” 190-lb son of Ray and Rita Satcher, Joseph plans to study kinesiology at the Baptist-affiliated university enrolling more than 5,000 students. A McLaurin running back the past four years, the senior racked up 230 yards on the ground against Crystal Springs on September 21, including a couple of touchdowns, his best game of the season. He’s a member of the McLaurin Tigers track and powerlifting teams. McLaurin High Principal Scott Rimes raves about new MC signee, “Joseph Satcher is one of those student athletes who is a role model to his fellow students and a great ambassador for McLaurin High School.”
There were other Mississippi College connections as school supporters watched with interest at the university’s first National Signing Day in nearly two decades. MC is presently an NCAA Division III member of the Texas-based American Southwest Conference.
MC vice president Jim Turcotte, a former kicker on the university’s 1979 team that won its first Gulf South Conference championship in 1979, was happy to see one of his relatives sign with his alma mater.
Matthew Turcotte is a stellar punter with Neshoba Central High in Philadelphia. Some experts consider him to be the second best punter in Magnolia State high school ranks.
“I have recruited him a lot to come to MC,” Turcotte said. “Matthew is the type of student we all hope to see at MC for his academics and personal faith. He was selected as one of the top 100 high school football players in Mississippi this past year.”
Matthew “had other options, but chose us for the best kind of reasons,” says Turcotte, MC’s vice president for enrollment management and dean of students. “He wanted to succeed in his studies and he likes our student environment. He is a good student and a wonderful person.”
By going to NCAA Division II, MC is able to offer athletic scholarships.
A soccer star with the Clarksville High Lady Wildcats in Tennessee, senior Amber Colvin signed her letter with Mississippi College. “I am just looking forward to getting to play the game that I love.”
Playing under Lady Wildcats soccer coach Jeff Jordan, Amber scored over 60 goals the past two years. She will play for MC Lady Choctaws Coach Darryl Longabaugh, who’s won more than 200 games during his 17 years at the school in Clinton. The Lady Choctaws finished the 2013 season with a 13-6-1 record, including a trip to the NCCAA Mid East Regional Tournament.
For more information on National Signing Day, go to the MC athletics website, www.gochoctaws.com
Photo: McLaurin High student-athlete Joseph Satcher signing with Mississippi College. Seated (L to R): Ray Satcher, Joseph Satcher, Rita Satcher; Standing: Christy Walker, McLaurin High School Counselor; Dr. Scott Rimes, McLaurin High School Principal; Marc Herrington, Athletic Director and Head Football Coach