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Northeast CC sophomores qualify for Academic All-District honors

Credit: Northeast CC Sports Information

July 3 An outstanding group from Northeast Mississippi Community College’s 75th graduating class are reaping the rewards for their work both in the classroom and on the field of competition.

Fifteen sophomores representing four of Northeast’s athletic programs were recognized with Academic All-District® honors from the College Sports Communicators (CSC) organization.

Each sport had specific participation criteria that qualifying student-athletes met, but a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 was mandatory across the board.

Softball had the most winners with six while football’s four selections led the men’s sports at Northeast. Baseball registered three awardees while women’s tennis had a pair of recipients as well.

CJ Barney (Madison) was one of the top five tacklers for the Tigers in back-to-back seasons. The hybrid linebacker and defensive lineman accumulated 118 career takedowns, including 10.5 tackles for loss and four sacks.

Emma Callicutt (New Albany) was the leader of Northeast’s outfield with more than 50 games this spring in center. She had a solid .957 fielding percentage with only three errors in 69 total chances.

Caitlyn Carnathan (Saltillo) recorded the second most stolen bases in a single season at Northeast with 39 in 46 attempts. She was also in the top three on the team in batting average, on-base percentage, hits, runs scored, RBIs, walks, doubles and triples.

Cameron Dill (West Point) played in all nine contests at quarterback last fall and earned the starting nod against East Central Community College. He accounted for over 500 yards plus nine touchdowns between passing and rushing.

Hayden Donahue (Booneville) was second on the Tigers’ pitching staff this year with 59.1 innings and 59 strikeouts. The right-hander made 34 appearances overall at Northeast with 22 of them coming from the bullpen.

Jordyn Foster (Booneville) rotated around the lineup between the numbers one and four singles slots during her tenure with the women’s tennis program. She was in the top doubles flight for a majority of her final campaign as well.

Guy Gillespie (Booneville) won multiple conference accolades after leading the division with 21 punts inside the 20-yard line. He also made the longest field goal in the state this season with a 49-yarder at East Mississippi Community College.

Sarah Hindman (Birmingham, Ala.) participated in 99 games in a black-and-gold uniform. Her cumulative stats with the Tigers include a .300 batting average, 72 hits, 16 doubles, 12 home runs, 47 RBIs, 42 runs scored, 35 walks and 25 stolen bases.

Lee Ellen Kelley (Wheeler) is one of three Tiger Award honorees on the CSC Academic All-District® listing. She primarily took the court as the number three singles entrant and also as Foster’s doubles partner.

Ava Meeks (Kossuth) took on a much bigger role for Northeast with more than 100 at bats than her freshman campaign. She had 48 hits, including 19 for extra bases, offensively and tossed 89.2 innings over 27 outings in the circle as well.

Janna Shaw (Hernando) had the second-best earned run average and the fewest walks allowed by any Northeast pitcher in 2024. She posted a 6-4 record with a 2.70 ERA and just five free passes in 49.1 innings.

Brant Smith (New Hope) was a go-to reliever during his last year with the Tigers. He threw 30.2 innings over 18 appearances, which was tied for most on the team, with 24 strikeouts compared to 18 walks and a 5.28 ERA.

Kristian Sprawling (Olive Branch) finished sixth in the conference with a sensational .506 on-base percentage after reaching safely 91 times. He had a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh to lift Northeast to a victory over then top-ranked East Central.

Keaton Thomas (Jacksonville, Fla.) was a consensus first-team All-American as the nation’s leading tackler with 11.9 per contest. He also produced nine tackles for loss, two interceptions and returned a blocked punt for a touchdown.

Rylee Tittle (Tuscumbia, Ala.) broke the school record for most strikeouts in a season with 200 on the dot. She went 17-8 with four saves, which was tied for fifth best in the country, with 18 complete games and a sub-two ERA.

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