Co-Lin Athletic Alumni Association to induct five into Sports Hall of Fame
WESSON – The Copiah-Lincoln Community College Athletic Alumni Association will induct five members into the Sports Hall of Fame during Homecoming festivities Saturday, Oct 3.
Those to be honored are Jacob Blakeney of Magee, Jaris Patrick of Mendenhall, Ralph Sanders of Wiggins, David Smith (deceased) of Wesson, and Corey Verrett of Opelousas, Louisiana. The five will be inducted during the annual meeting of the Athletic Alumni Association at 9 a.m. in Rea Auditorium and later recognized during an alumni luncheon at 11 a.m. in the cafeteria and also during halftime of the ballgame.
Blakeney is a 2001 graduate of Co-Lin where he was a member of the 2000 Wolfpack College World Series baseball team and was named All-State, All-Region, and All-District. After Co-Lin, he attended Mississippi State University where he was a member of the baseball team and received the All-SEC Academic distinction. He played for the Atlanta Braves minor league team from 2003-2005 and was named Pitcher of the Week.
Blakeney received a bachelor’s degree from Mississippi State University, a master’s degree from Mississippi College, and obtained his teaching certification from William Carey University. He spent five years as a teacher and coach at McLaurin Attendance Center and Mendenhall Junior High School before joining Peoples Bank in Magee as a loan officer in 2013. He is involved in Simpson County 4-H, the American Heart Association, and the American Cancer Society. He is married to the former Amanda Tutor, and they have a three-year-old daughter, Annmarie.
Patrick is a 1967 graduate of Co-Lin where he was a member of the football team and was named All-State and All-American. After Co-Lin, he attended Delta State University where he lettered in football and was named Best Defensive Player. He received a bachelor’s degree from Delta State and began his career as a teacher and coach at Columbia City Schools in 1970. After a 20-year career as a private business owner, he returned to teaching and coaching in 1993 when he served as a head junior high football coach and assistant high school football coach for 11 years and as athletic director and head high school football coach with the Rankin County School District from 2005 until his retirement in 2014. During his coaching career he received numerous honors such as District Coach of the Year for seven consecutive years, WAPT’s Blitz 16 Coach of the Year, and was named The Clarion-Ledger’s Metro Coach of the Year twice. He led his teams to two state, three south state, and six district titles.
Patrick is a member of Mendenhall Baptist Church and is a member and officer of Mendenhall Jaycees, Mendenhall Athletic Booster Club, the Chamber of Commerce, Puckett Athletic Booster Club, and the Mississippi Association of Coaches. He is a volunteer fireman and serves as head of the city’s summer league baseball program. He and his wife Abbie are parents to four children, Jennifer Green (’92), Natalie Carter, Jessica Bartling (’98), and Nicholas Patrick, and seven grandchildren.
Sanders is a 1960 graduate of Co-Lin where he was a member of the football team and received All-State honors. He attended Delta State University where he lettered in football and earned a bachelor’s degree. He spent six years coaching and teaching in Mississippi and Louisiana before moving to Wiggins to enter into private business, operating a Sears catalog store and a successful real estate and appraisal business. He served in the Army National Guard for eight years, and has been active in his community serving on the board of directors for the Economic Development Partnership of Stone County where he served as chairman for many years. He is a charter member of Pine Burr Country Club where he served on the board of directors and is a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason and a member of Joppa Shrine. He is also a member of First Baptist church in Wiggins where he serves as a deacon. Sanders is married to the former Shelby Tolbert. He has two children, Sherri and Steve, and five grandchildren.
Smith was a 1980 graduate of Co-Lin where he served as an assistant for the softball team while a student. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and a master’s degree from Jackson State University. He began working at Co-Lin in 1982 as the assistant to the dean of student activities and served as cheer coach for eight years. He was head coach of the Lady Wolves softball team from 1992-2001, leading his teams to five division titles, two state championships and two runner-up finishes in the national tournament. He was named MACJC Coach of the Year twice.
Smith stepped away from coaching when slowpitch softball was eliminated. He served as an administrator of Copiah County Schools until illness forced him to retire. He was a lifelong member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church where he served as a deacon, a member of Wesson’s Lions Club and reinstated and led Wesson’s Boy Scout Troop 125. He was married to Ramona Higdon Smith (’79), and they have two children, Justin David Smith (’06) and Lauren Langham (’07), and two grandchildren.
Verrett attended Co-Lin in 1990 and 1991 where he was a member of the tennis team. He was a singles and doubles state and regional champion his freshman and sophomore years, and helped his team to state and regional championships and placed top 10 in the nation with an undefeated season in 1990. He achieved national ranking in singles and doubles. He is the only Co-Lin male tennis player ever to win eight individual state and regional championships.
Verrett received an associate in applied science degree in radiography from Co-Lin. After Co-Lin, he attended Delgado Community College where he received a certificate in nuclear medicine technology. He is the head nuclear medicine technologist at Regional Medical of Acadiana in Lafayette. He has served as a tennis instructor for over 20 years and offers free tennis clinics in his community. He has one son, Taylor, a sophomore at University of Louisiana-Lafayette.
The alumni luncheon is at 11 a.m. in the Henley Cafeteria. Tickets are $12 and may be purchased at morning registration at Rea Auditorium or at the door. Pre-game ceremonies begin at 2 p.m. at Stone Stadium. Kickoff for the Homecoming game against Pearl River Community College is at 2:30 p.m.
For more information contact the Co-Lin Alumni Office at 601.643.8498.