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Georgia Northwestern Inks Ridgeland (GA) 6-Footer For 2013 Volleyball


By Scott Herpst/NPCO

When Ridgeland senior Layna Jenkins began playing competitive volleyball in the seventh grade, she had no idea that the sport would be a part of her future after high school.

However, that’s the reality for Jenkins after signing a letter of intent with Georgia Northwestern in front of family and friends at Ridgeland High School this past Wednesday.

“It’s an exciting day because I get to start college and keep doing one of my favorite things,” she explained. “I knew I wanted to play for (GNTC) Coach (Carrie) Powell after I met her because she’s really sweet. The school is also close to home and wanted I stay close to home.”

Jenkins was the top offensive player for the Lady Panthers in her senior season, finishing with 109 kills and 15 aces to go with 79 digs, earning her first-team status on the Walker County Dream Team.

“I’m just really excited for her that she’s getting this opportunity to work on her game and go on to the next level,” said Ridgeland head coach Kari Cooper, who also played volleyball in college. “I know she wasn’t ready to quit playing volleyball, so I’m happy she’s getting this chance.”

“She’s a great hitter and she has a great personality,” said Powell, who added she first met Jenkins on the club ball circuit. “She’s fun to be around, easy to get along with, and very coachable.”

Powell said the signing of the 6-foot Jenkins also helps fill a glaring need for the Lady Bobcats.

“All the girls I’ve signed so far this year have been hitters, with the exception of one setter that we needed,” explained Powell, who did not have a player taller than 5-8 on last year’s roster. “We lacked in that department last year, but we’re taking care of that this year.”

Jenkins played club ball with the North Georgia Rage on a team that included three of her future Lady Bobcats teammates, Victoria Sprouse and Rachel McGill of Ringgold and Casey Chapman of North Murray.

“It’s good to go into this having people there you already know,” Jenkins added. “I wanted to play volleyball in college, but I really didn’t know much about the program (at GNTC). “But when I found out they were signing there, I talked Coach Powell and decided it would be a good fit for me.”

Powell added that being a Ridgeland alum herself, the signing of Jenkins was “special”.

“All the signings are special, but this one even more so because I went to Ridgeland and played here,” she added. “It’s neat to come over here and walk the halls again. I’m glad to say I’ll have a Ridgeland alum on the team.”

Jenkins plans to major in education and take her core classes at GNTC before transferring to another school to finish her degree.

Courtesy: NPCO

Lady Cats Continue To Grab Region’s Best Hitters


(Chatsworth, GA) – State girls’ volleyball quarter-finalist North Murray High School (GA) loses seven seniors to graduation this month. Two of those Lady Mountaineer leaders have now inked with another North Georgia Volleyball power in Georgia Northwestern.

Hitters Casey Chapman and Hannah Jones made the move this month to sign with the Lady Cats who have made a name for themselves on the national junior college level over the past six years. “Signing Casey and Hannah is a huge step towards making 2013 an amazing year for us,” said Georgia Northwestern Head Women’s Volleyball Coach Carrie Powell.

Powell, a 6-foot hitter herself for the college’s first team in 2008, helped lead the program to key wins over several Southeastern Conference women’s club programs. “This year appears to be shaping up to eclipse that inaugural season,” said Powell. “We’ve got some great power and size coming in to the ranks this summer.”

After a hard-fought 15-15 season in GHSA’s 4-AAA, North Murray Head Girls’ Volleyball Coach Connie Hudgins has big holes to fill. “Casey did whatever was needed to take care of business,” said Hudgins. “Losing experience like what Casey had is going to be tough. I mean, she’s 5-foot-10. But she played like a solid 6-foot-2 hitter. It will be hard for us to lose her.”

As for Jones, Hudgins loses big power in the service column. “Hannah has killer serves with serious placement ability,” said Hudgins. “Plus, she is incredibly strong on the right side. That’s rare,” said North Murray’s second-year coach.

Jones, a 5-foot-2 right-side hitter, has filled slots on the front and back lines. However, the Lady Cats will show her time in the right hitter slot, as well. “She’s a lefty and a right side hitter. You hardly ever see that. It’ll be nice to come at them from both sides.”

Chapman and Jones will bring chemistry to the collegiate court. However, these signees have also played on the travel circuit with several other Lady Cat incoming freshmen in Ringgold’s Rachel McGill and Victoria Sprouse and Ridgeland’s Layna Jenkins. “They were locked in on going there and I really enjoy playing with them in travel ball,” said Chapman. “We are really solid together. We communicate well on the court.”

Jones is happy to be getting a shot at playing at the next level without going far from home. “Georgia Northwestern gives me a great chance to take my core classes and keep things affordable, too,” said Jones. The 2013 season for the Lady Cats Women’s Volleyball program is entering its sixth season of intercollegiate volleyball participation.

For more information on Bobcats Athletics at Georgia Northwestern Technical College, contact the Office of Sports Information at 706.764.3813, through, or by e-mail to Georgia Northwestern Technical College is the largest college in Northwest Georgia educating more than 10,000 students every year. GNTC offers more than 200 programs on five different campuses and online throughout the year.

Georgia Northwestern Begins Region Play, Breast Cancer Push

Lady Cats Shock Oakwood University

COURTESY: News Publishing Company / Dateline: November 16, 2012

The Georgia Northwestern Lady Bobcats even their record at 3-3 on the season with a 77-75 home win over Oakwood University (Ala.) at the Winthrop-King Center at Shorter University on Thursday.

Tied 35-35 at halftime, and knotted up again late, GNTC’s Keesha Wise hit a pair of free throws with 4.8 seconds left to lift the Lady Bobcats over the four-year program from Huntsville.

Wise had 15 points, five rebounds, and four steals in the win, while Kierra Parks led all GNTC scorers with 21 points. She also added six boards and five steals.

Oakwood’s Courtney White would lead all scorers with 29 points.

GNTC’s next game is Nov. 27 at home in Rome against visiting Gadsden State (Ala).

Crown College 66, GNTC men 49

Visiting Crown College shot above 50 percent from the field on the night, held GNTC to 31 percent from the floor, and coasted to a 66-49 victory in Rossville on Thursday.

Alex Miller was only double-figure scorer for the Bobcats (1-4). The sophomore finished with 12 points.

Collin Hickman had 14 for Crown, while Nate Humphrey added 13.

GNTC’s next game against Sewanee will now be played at the Rossville Athletic Center on Monday at 7 p.m. The rematch will be played at Sewanee on Dec. 10.

Georgia Northwestern Launches Cheerleading, Golf In Season Six

NJCAA Volleyball Tryouts Begin August 1 in Cats Country

Lady Cats Volleyball
“Now beginning season six of intercollegiate varsity competition at Georgia Northwestern, tryouts begin August 1 for one of the college’s original athletic offerings in Women’s Volleyball. Shown here in the college’s pilot season in 2008 are, from left, Katie White (LaFayette), Carrie Hawkins (Ridgeland), and Melissa Long (Ridgeland).”

(Northwest Georgia) – With five full seasons in the books within Georgia Northwestern’s athletic department, Cats Country claws open two new NJCAA sports beginning this year.

                As of this week, Georgia Northwestern has announced job openings as the search is officially underway for Bobcat golf and cheerleading coaches at the NJCAA Region XVII power. “This is a strong next step as we solidify our place in the NJCAA as not only a committed participant, but a future contender,” said Georgia Northwestern Athletic Director David Stephenson.

                Intercollegiate varsity cheerleading squads will begin this fall at Georgia Northwestern. However, with the Lady Cats basketball program playing out of Rome, Georgia and the Bobcats basketball program playing out of Rossville, Georgia, the college will facilitate two separate cheer squads to be available for both athletic programs. Tryout dates for the first Georgia Northwestern cheer squads have not yet been set.

                Intercollegiate varsity men’s golf will begin competition in spring of 2013. The squad will be housed on the Floyd County Campus of Georgia Northwestern. Tryout dates have not yet been determined. “The addition of men’s golf and cheerleading are two logical next steps in building the program,” said Stephenson. “If we continue to do this right and keep these programs growing, we hope to announce the addition of more intercollegiate offerings in the near future.”

                For information as it becomes available on tryout dates, locations, and times on these two new additions to Cats Country Athletics, check out the athletics page at

                As for programs already established at Georgia Northwestern, Women’s Volleyball will begin tryouts on August 1 at The R.A.C., Rossville Athletic Complex. They’ll be held several days in August with the times to be announced in the near future. The dates are August 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, and 16. A final tryout / first day of practice will be held on August 20. Players can attend any of the tryout dates to be considered for this year’s roster.

                Lady Cats Volleyball will open their 2012 campaign with a road trip test to Dayton, Tennessee against Bryan College on August 28. Among the opponents on this year’s 17-date schedule are Oakwood University (Huntsville, AL), Covenant College, and Reinhardt University.

For more information on Bobcats and Lady Cats Athletics at Georgia Northwestern Technical College, contact the Office of Sports Information at 706.764.3813 or e-mail to

Georgia Northwestern Technical College serves Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Floyd, Gordon, Murray, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield counties in Georgia with campuses located in Floyd, Gordon, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield counties. Approximately 26,000 people benefit from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs, making it the largest college in Northwest Georgia and the fourth largest technical college in Georgia.

Georgia Northwestern Plays One Game For Shot At National Championship Weekend

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Lady Cats Sweet 16, Bobcats Need Three In Three


            (Rome, Georgia) – “Great moments are born from great opportunity,” is a line from the 2004 movie ‘Miracle’ which gives the account of the 1980 USA Hockey Team and their underdog rise to the top.


            It’s a line that fits for the Georgia Northwestern Lady Bobcats Saturday in Rockville, Maryland. However, it’s going to take more than a great speech to make this miracle a reality and Lady Cats Head Basketball Coach Jim Williams knows it. “They’re bigger, they score a lot, and have been there before,” said Williams. “We have our work cut out.”


The Lady Cats will tip-off with #6 Montgomery College – Rockville (MD) at 2 p.m. Saturday.


            State of Georgia dignitaries stopped by to help send the Lady Cats off as they hit the road Thursday for Maryland. Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) Commissioner Ron Jackson, TCSG Board of Directors Chair Paul Holmes, and TCSG Board of Directors member Pepper Bullock hopped on the tour bus to wish them well. Holmes was a lineman for the University of Georgia football team in the 1960’s. “We are very proud of these student-athletes and what these kinds of opportunities mean for them, as well as the college.”


            It’s one game for one spot in the NJCAA National Championship Weekend next week in Rochester, Minnesota.

             The Sweet 16 match-up will be forty minutes of basketball with two seasons on the line with every shot. For the winner, it’s a date in the NJCAA’s Elite Eight. For the loser, it’s something to build on for the 2012-2013 season.


            They’ve been there before, though. The Lady Knights of Montgomery College-Rockville (MD) earned a spot in the final eight last year before making an early exit on the main stage.


            But that was last year. This year, sixth in the nation, Montgomery-Rockville (25-5) comes with all the bells and whistles you might expect from a nationally-ranked program. They possess an arsenal complete with multiple six-footers, one of the nation’s top scorers in the backcourt in 5-foot-3 Alex Silva (20 ppg), and an offensive output of over 80 points every time they hit the hardwood.


            After hitting the road for more than 12-hours Thursday, the Lady Cats will be taking it easy for most of Friday as they will get a tour of the nation’s capital before going over Saturday’s game plan. One that will assuredly center around the sophomore play of point guard Mia Morrow (Rome, GA) and forward Jessica Williams (Cherry Log, GA).


            As a co-captain in 2011-12, the 5-foot-2 Morrow led the NJCAA Region XVII champions with just over 10 points, six assists, and three steals per outing. Morrow was named to the All-Region First Team for her play this season. Williams, a 5-foot-11 sophomore, gave her new All-Region Second Team honors a spin in the NJCAA Region XVII title game last Saturday by leading the way with 16 points and 14 boards in the win.


            Playing just 25 minutes away from Washington, D.C., this is a special trip for more reasons than just the game. “Getting to see D.C. is an opportunity for these young women they may never have again,” said Williams. “We plan on taking it all in. Each of these student-athletes is very driven and focused on Saturday. Once the season ends, though, they have spring semesters to concentrate on, families to care for, and lives to lead. We are truly coming into this game as underdogs and we are embracing it.”


            The Lady Cats (5-15, 4-3) played one of the nation’s toughest schedules in the NJCAA. Facing traditional Division I powers in Gadsden State and Snead State (AL) and Cleveland State and Volunteer State (TN), Williams tried to lay out a plan that would prepare his squad for something like this weekend. “We took our lumps this season,” said Williams. “But in the end, we learned a lot and improved quickly. It really helped in region play.”


            — — — — — — —


            Beginning Friday at 7 p.m., the Georgia Northwestern Bobcats will have a huge mountain to climb, as well. Like any collegiate post-season tournament, every college has a shot. David Stephenson’s Bobcats have just that this weekend.


            The Bobcats face-off with Southern Crescent Tech in the NJCAA Region XVII Men’s Basketball Tournament quarterfinal Friday. In January, Georgia Northwestern (7-19, 0-8) took the Tigers to overtime on the road losing, 70-67. Four weeks ago, the Bobcats lost to the same squad at home by four, 59-55.


            With the opening round game tipping-off at 7 p.m. at tournament host Emory-Oxford College, Georgia Northwestern will have to win three games in approximately 38 hours to win their region and a birth to the NJCAA national tournament. The tournament title game is slated to begin at 2 p.m., Sunday.


            The Bobcats will bring freshman Alex Miller (Gordon Central) and his 13 points and eight boards a game to the party in Oxford, Georgia this weekend. Also on the guest list is the region’s top three-point gunner in Bobcat sophomore Ben Patton (Dade). The second-year sharpshooter has connected on 76 three-pointers in the 2011-12 season, 31 more than Zachary Lynn of Emory-Oxford who currently sits in second-place in the region’s long-range category.


            Odds on favorite to win the region tournament belong to Middle Georgia Tech. The Titans (20-9, 6-2) outscore opponents by 10 points a game. However, Middle Georgia Tech, Emory-Oxford, and West Georgia Tech are all in a three-way tied for the regular season title with 6-2 marks in region play.


            “These are all teams we’ve had second-half leads against this season,” said Georgia Northwestern Men’s Head Basketball Coach David Stephenson. “We are bringing an eight-man roster to Oxford and we have to find a way to get the job done with these players. We have to play the smartest ball we’ve played all season to have a chance.”


            You can watch the NJCAA Region XVII Tournament in its entirety on


            For more information on Bobcats and Lady Cats Basketball at Georgia Northwestern, contact the Office of Sports Information at 706-764-3813. You may also e-mail Don Foley in the Office of Sports Information at For more information on Georgia Northwestern Technical College, visit their website at


            Georgia Northwestern Technical College educates more than 10,000 students each year online and on-campus. GNTC has campuses in five different counties across Northwest Georgia serving the people of Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Floyd, Gordon, Murray, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield Counties.

Williams’ Double-Double Leads Cats To NJCAA Automatic Bid

Williams’ Double-Double Leads Cats To NJCAA Automatic Bid

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(Oxford, Georgia) – Georgia Northwestern sophomore forward Jessica Williams dropped in 16 points and cleaned the boards for 14 rebounds as she led her Lady Cats to their first ever NJCAA Region XVII Title Saturday, 64-50. It’s a championship which comes complete with a region crown and an automatic bid into the NJCAA National Tournament.

“We came into the game just hoping to be consistent and keep up what we were doing in our last game,” said Georgia Northwestern Women’s Head Basketball Coach Jim Williams. “We hadn’t played since Valentine’s Day. Eleven days down is an eternity at this level.” This is the college’s first year in the NJCAA.

NJCAA Region XVII player of the year Ashley West of Middle Georgia Tech was held to only three points in the first half. However, the Perry, Georgia native would catch fire in the second half piling up 15 more points in the final twenty minutes of play.  Fellow Lady Titan Bridget Gonder would lead all scorers with 20 points in the loss.

The pair of Lady Titan scorers would not be enough to keep things close as Georgia Northwestern would claim the title on the neutral Williams Gymnasium hardwood at Emory-Oxford College in Oxford, Georgia. The Lady Cats move on to a first-round game at the district level on March 3. The opponent and site were yet to be determined as of press time.

After the first stanza, it was a two-point game. Georgia Northwestern was clinging to a 26-24 lead at the intermission. Lady Cat sharpshooters found their rhythm in the second half as their outside shooters would connect on three-pointers at a 50-percent click (4-of-8) in the final twenty minutes. Georgia Northwestern would connect 38-percent (8-of-21) of their shots from beyond the arc throughout the game.

Lilburn, Georgia native Kenisha Watkins would lead the sniper attack for Georgia Northwestern as she would connect on four-of-seven from the three-point line in the title win. The freshman would join her other first-year gunner, Emily Cole (Adairsville), with 14 points a pop in the championship game.

“Kenisha’s (Watkins) last three from the corner was with a hand in her face, she dropped the shot, and got laid out with a foul, too,” said Williams. “I was very impressed with her and the rest of the team today. They handled the pressure so well.”

Georgia Northwestern’s coaching staff is already preparing for the next round. “We won’t know exactly how to prepare for next week until the opponent is determined,” said Lady Cats Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach Robbie Nash. “The entire staff, Nanae (Consuelo Saxton), Emmanuel (Turner), Jim (Williams), and myself are really giving this our all. We are very proud.”

Georgia Northwestern’s men will play next week in the Men’s NJCAA Region XVII Tournament. It tips-off March 2 in Oxford, Georgia. The Bobcats will have a shot at the semi-finals of the region tournament if they can win a play-in game on Friday, March 2 versus Southern Crescent Tech. The Bobcats will have to win three region tournament games in less than three days to claim a national spot.

For more information on Bobcat Athletics at Georgia Northwestern Technical College, contact the Office of Sports Information at 706.764.3813 or e-mail to


Lady Cats Box Score

Georgia Northwestern (64) – Daughtry DNP, Emily Cole 14, Morrow 9, Kenisha Watkins 14, Philpot 6, McGee 5, Jessica Williams 16.

Middle Georgia (50) – Brown 4, Ashley West 18, Dwight 2, Bridget Gonder 20, Randall 6.

Halftime: 26-24, Georgia Northwestern.

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