The next few weeks will be busy across South Mississippi as Wednesday marked the opening of the early junior college signing period.
Below is a collection of Coast signees:
West Harrison trio’s headed to JUCO ranks: West Harrison softball standouts Sydney-Brooke Sims and Braxon DeWitt signed with Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and Hinds Community College respectively. Kasey Donaldson signed to play baseball at Pearl River Community College. As a junior last year, Sims hit .333 with six extra-base hits and 12 RBIs. DeWitt was 0-2 with a 4.61 ERA and one save. Donaldson led regulars last year with a .378 average and 34 RBIs. He also hit three homers and 13 extra-base hits. On the mound, Donaldson was 3-2 with a 2.59 ERA. He struck out 24 batters against 12 walks in 24 1/3 innings.
Long Beach’s Beets signs with PRCC: Long Beach soccer player Maddie Beets has signed with PRCC. As a junior last season, Beets one one of the state’s top goal scorers with 28. She also collected four assists.
Ocean Springs duo stays close to home: Ocean Springs’ Britt McKay and Garrett Watson signed with PRCC and MGCCC respectively. McKay led OSHS with a .347 average. He recorded 12 doubles and three triples. He also compiled a .479 on-base percentage and 1.016 OPS. Watson was 2-1 on the mound with a 2.30 ERA. He also struck out 24 batters against 17 walks in 27 1/3 innings.
MGCCC adds versatile player with Biloxi signee: Biloxi two-way standout Christine Marsland signed with Gulf Coast to play softball. For BHS last season, Marsland hit .303 with six extra-base hits, a .346 on-base percentage and .741 OPS. In the pitcher’s circle, Marsland was 3-12 with a 5.55 ERA. She struck out 71 batters in 87 innings.
Four Gulfport Admirals are headed to next level: Four Admirals have secured their spots at the next level. Clint Verrett will play tennis at MGCCC. Softball standouts Catherine Burns and Whitney Seymour are headed to Meridian Community College and PRCC respectively. Allison Rivers inked a bowling scholarship to Ottawa (Kan.) University.
Warrior signs with Southwest: D’Iberville catcher/infielder Trey Forsythe has signed with Southwest Mississippi Community College. Last season, Forsythe hit .281 with 14 RBIs, five doubles and three homers. He also boasted a team-best .910 OPS with a .410 on-base percentage and .500 slugging percentage.
Red Rebel turned Bulldog: Harrison Central outfielder D’Artagnan Hawthorne has signed with MGCCC. As a junior, Hawthorne hit .338 with 18 runs scored, 11 RBIs, six extra-base hits,and team-highs with 18 stolen bases and a .924 OPS. Hawthorne also proved to be a stopper on the mound, boasting a 2.86 ERA with two saves in six appearances. He struck out 11 in 7 1/3 innings.
Vancleave’s Barnett is headed to PRCC: Vancleave softball standout Gracie Barnett signed with Pearl River Community College. Last season, Barnett boasted a 3.32 ERA with 149 strikeouts and 43 walks in 128 2/3 innings.
Long Beach keeper signs with JCJC: Long Beack goalkeeper Alexis Wilson has signed with Jones County Junior College. Wilson made 39 saves a year ago, allowing 17 goals in 16 games. She also recorded six shutouts.
Picayune duo’s headed to JUCO ranks: Picayune softball standouts Sarah Walker and Devin Frierson signed junior college scholarships recently. Walker is headed to play at Northwest Mississippi Community College, while Frierson is headed to Southwest Mississippi Community College. Walker hit .185 with 13 runs scored, 12 hits and three RBIs as a junior. Her sophomore year she hit .307. Frierson hit .163 last season with six runs scored and four RBIs.
GCHS Rebel headed to ECCC: George County pitcher Brooklyn King signed with East Central Community College. King was 11-3 with two shutouts and one save in 20 appearances last season. She boasted a 3.08 ERA and 82 strikeouts against 33 walks in 77 1/3 innings.
Harrison Central’s Hardy signs with JCJC: Harrison Central two-way standout Brendan Hardy has signed to play baseball at Jones County Junior College. The 6-foot-4 Red Rebel hit .261 as a junior last year with 10 RBIs and 11 runs scored. As a sophomore the year before, Hardy hit .333 with six RBIs and seven runs scored. He also had a .377 on-base percentage and .745 OPS. He was 2-1 on the mound that season with a 4.50 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 18 2/3 innings.
East Central’s top bat signs with ECCC: East Central standout Hannah Dufault has signed with East Central Community College. As a junior last season, Dufault led ECHS with a .440 batting average, recording 30 RBIs, 29 runs scored, 11 doubles and 17 extra-base hits in 29 games. She also boasted a 1.210 OPS and .485 OBP.
Meridian lands Vancleave Bulldog: Meridian Community College signed Vancleave’s Val Sentelle. The Bulldog hit .196 with 12 RBIs, 11 runs scored and six extra-base hits as a junior. Sentelle also hit .286 as a sophomore.
Rasberry’s headed to PRCC: George County softball player Hannah Rasberry signed with PRCC. Last year she hit .329 with five extra-base hits, 14 RBIs and 19 runs scored for the Rebels. Rasberry also had a .430 OBP and stole six bases.
St. Patrick twins stick together: St. Patrick’s Raylen and Raven Blackwell have signed to play softball at Jones County Junior College. Raven hit .453 as a junior a year ago with 55 hits, 31 RBIs, seven homers, 15 extra-base hits, 17 stolen bases and a 1.412 OPS. Raylen hit .301 with 35 runs scored, 25 RBIs, five extra-base hits and a .900 OPS.
Vancleave sends five to JUCO ranks: Vancleave’s baseball team had five players sign Monday. Hayden Robb signed with MGCCC; Bailee Hendon with JCJC; Evan Keith with ECCC; Gavin McKerchie with East Mississippi Community College; and Colton Hipp with Meridian C.C. The five Bulldogs all played big roles in Vancleave’s 2017 success. Keith hit .295 with six extra-base hits, 14 RBIs, six stolen bases and 18 runs scored. He was also 2-0 with a 0.95 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings. McKerchie was 101 with a 2.21 ERA and four strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. He also hit .181 with a .280 OBP and four stolen bases. Robb was 5-0 with a 0.21 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 33 2/3 innings. He also hit .203 with 10 RBIs and seven extra-base hits. Hipp hit .286 with three extra-base hits and 13 runs scored. He was also 1-0 with a 0.95 ERA. Hendon was 2-5 with a 4.07 ERA. He also hit .464 with 33 runs, 29 RBIs, 11 doubles and 13 extra-base hits.
Former GHS catcher signs with PRCC: Former Gulfport catcher C.J. Keckler signed with PRCC. Keckler hit .311 with six extra-base hits and 17 runs scored at Gulfport in 2016. He played at Next Level Academy in Montgomery, Ala., last year.
HCHS’s Morgan heads to EMCC: Harrison Central slugger Dillon Morgan signed a baseball scholarship with EMCC. As a junior last year, Morgan hit .317 with four homers, four doubles, 25 RBIs and 12 runs scored.
Cade twins choose to stay close to home: Harrison Central standouts Kayla and Kristen have opted to stay close to home and sign softball scholarships with MGCCC. Kristen Cade has been a workhorse in the circle for HCHS. As a junior, she was 18-5 with a 1.37 ERA and 121 strikeouts against 23 walks in 122 2/3 innings. She also hit .262 with 15 runs scored. Kayla Cade hit .260 with four homers, 11 extra-base hits, 31 RBIs and 17 runs scored.
Biloxi’s Finklea signs with ECCC: Biloxi center Robert Finklea signed a basketball scholarship with ECCC recently. The 6-foot-8, 225-pound senior is averaging five points, seven rebounds and two blocks this season.
St. Martin's Dismuke headed to MGCCC: Senior Yellow Jacket D.J. Dismuke signed Tuesday to play soccer at MGCCC. Dismuke plays all over the field for the Yellow Jackets, as a forward, center back and midfielder, and has tallied eight goals with five assists this season.
Coaches: If you have players who signed college scholarships, please email their information to firstname.lastname@example.org.