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Northeast Mississippi Community College’s softball program continues to plan for its first-ever alumni weekend.
Northeast head coach Jody Long set the date for the weekend to coincide with the 2010 Homecoming at the college and also with the induction of former Lady Tiger softball coach David Carnell into the Northeast Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday, October 16.
“We did it for three reasons,” Long said. “First, it is the 10-year anniversary of the program. Second, our fall games were removed so all we can play now is against our own players -- intrasquad -- or against our alumni. Finally, Coach (David) Carnell is being inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame and my hope is that some of the former players will come in early to attend Coach Carnell’s induction.”
Carnell, who helped transition the Lady Tigers from a slow-pitch unit into a fast-pitch power, will be inducted into the Northeast Sports Hall of Fame alongside Tiger football player Mike Grier, Lady Tiger basketball players Kunshinge Sorrell and Phyllis Stafford and Tiger basketball player Jack Martin.
Long and Carnell have been the only Northeast coaches to guide the fast-pitch program and Long said this is a way to give back to the players that helped build the program.
Carnell helped guide the Lady Tigers to a 28-12 record during their first year of fast-pitch competition in 2000-01 and captured a share of the North Division championship while finishing third in the state/ region tournament.
Northeast softball continued to dominate the North Division and became a player on the national scene when the Lady Tigers won the Region XXIII Tournament and advanced to the National Junior College Athletic Association’s (NJCAA) National Softball Championships in 2003.
Northeast came close to a return trip to the national tournament in 2004 and 2005 finishing as the Region XXIII runner-up.
Northeast’s softball team not only excelled on the diamond but in the classroom as well and was awarded as the NJCAA's Academic Team of the year in 2000-01 -- Northeast's first year of fast-pitch competition -- and was among the top academic teams in the country in 2002, 2003 and 2004.
As a way of giving back to those that helped build the program, Long has invited all former players back for the game and has also offered a free cookout to the alumni and current players following the alumni versus current players game.
Northeast’s softball alumni event on Sunday, October 17 will help culminate the 2010 Homecoming events that kickoff starting with Kent Farris‚ baseball alumni game on Saturday, October 9.
Also on tap for homecoming week, is the Northeast Development Foundation and Alumni Association’s “Friends of the Tiger” golf tournament on Friday, October 15, the induction of the third class of the Northeast Sports Hall of Fame at 11 a.m. on Saturday, October 16 and Northeast’s homecoming game against Coahoma Community College at 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 16.
Deadline to enter the Northeast softball alumni weekend is October 8. For more information about the weekend or to register, former players can contact Long at 662-720-7305 or email email@example.com.