Jones College celebrates the 2001 MACJC Championship Football Team at “Jones Family Homecoming 2021” Festivities

ELLISVILLE – The 2001 MACJC Championship Football Team is the epitome of the Jones College Homecoming Theme, “Jones Family.” This team overcame numerous obstacles, including the impact of the attacks in New York City on September 11, 2001, to its head coach being injured during a scrimmage game prior to the first game of the season. Some players also had to overcome personal issues. Through this groups’ trials, a bond was formed that holds them together still today.

Rashad Phillips, Ed Smith, and Ralph Davis at 2016 Football Reunion

Some of the key players from the 2001 team, Ralph Davis of Quitman and current Mobile, Alabama resident and Rashad Phillips of Ellisville and current Pensacola, Florida resident shared their insight along with 2001 Football Assistant Coach, Ed Smith as they celebrate their third Homecoming Reunion as Grand Marshals of the Homecoming Parade with festivities on October 8 and 9, on the Ellisville campus.

This team has the distinction of being the last Bobcat football team to bring home the MACJC State Championship. The road getting to that point was not easy. Various obstacles challenged a talented team, but it also created a bond that keeps many of them together, still today.

Head Coach Parker Dykes’ 1998 team may have earned a National Championship going 12-0, but according to Assistant Coach, Ed Smith, the 2001 Football Team was within reach of a National Championship too.

“The 2001 team didn’t get as much praise and press as the 1998 team, but they were right there with them as far as talent level. If Quarterback, Charles Hales of Ellisville, known as “Chachi” had not cramped up, missing the entire 3rd quarter of the first game against Northwest, the 2001 team would have been undefeated and we would have played for the National Championship,” said Coach Smith.

Charles “Chachi” Hales

Hales wasn’t the only one who left the game because of cramping. NJCAA All-American Honorable Mention and running back for the Bobcats 2001 team, Ralph Davis, and Rashad Phillips, otherwise known as “Thunder and Lightning” passed each other leaving the field. Additionally, Head Coach Parker Dykes was dealing with a torn ACL after being run over during a scrimmage game prior to the first game of the season against Northwest CC. Dykes was coaching from a golf cart and on crutches for the first half of the season. He also had to climb the stadium stairs to the press box, said Coach Smith.

“I think seeing the head coach tough it out like that made an impression on the players. He was not quitting.”

Before the first game of the 2001 season, a winning spirit had already been birthed in Ralph Davis. While watching his brother, Corey Wallace play and win the National Championship in 1998 and the Golden Isles Bowl Game, Ralph was inspired to pursue being a winner too. Unfortunately, Davis didn’t get a call from JCJC Coach “P.D.” his senior year of high school because a technicality kept him from graduating. One year later, somehow, Coach Dykes tracked him down at his girlfriend’s house and invited Davis to Jones in 2000.

Ralph “Thunder” Davis

“I literally packed my bags and told my dad to drop me off in Ellisville, I was playing football for JC,” said Ralph Davis. “I don’t think my dad believed me, but he realized I was going to follow my dream.”

The first game of the 2000 season for Davis and the football team was anything but a dream. After witnessing the 1999 team finish with a losing season (3-7) after going 12-0 in 1998, Davis said he was determined the 2000 team would repeat the success of the 1998 team. However, the Northwest Rangers had other plans for the Bobcats and crushed them with a stinging 72-7 loss in the opening game of the 2000 season. (NOTE: Northwest CC was penalized for practicing before the season and not eligible for the playoffs.)

“I have never seen that many points on a team in my life!” said Davis. “That game changed my perception about everything. I made it my goal then, to never lose like that again. It was a real eye opener for me. Not just losing but realizing the importance of the team’s attitude. We have to play as a team.”

2001 JCJC Football Team at “Challenge Country”

Coach Dykes and assistant coaches, Ed Smith, Eddie Pierce, Steve Boyd, and graduate assistant coach, Chris Robinson had a formula for team building which included a day at “Challenge Country.” The obstacle course and team building skills at the Ellisville facility instilled a bond and created a brotherhood that remains today, according to Davis.

“Coach Dykes was a father figure to a lot of us guys,” said Davis. “He instilled in us a real bond, a brotherhood. At Challenge Country, we had to climb walls and we were going to do it together, even the coaches. We were going to conquer this obstacle course together. That is what started a special bond and it was our destiny to succeed.”

Even though the first game against Northwest CC didn’t end the way they would have liked it, 30-20, the Bobcats finished the season with a 10-1 record. The winning streak began with the Itawamba CC win, 23-7. Then the Bobcats seemed unstoppable as they easily outscored Southwest MS CC (26-0), Pearl River CC (24-14), Mississippi Gulf Coast CC (24-14) and East Mississippi CC (30-6). Then, the East Central CC Warriors tried to upend the Bobcat’s winning season. Leading 34-10 in the fourth quarter, East Central not only closed the gap but took the lead, 36-34 late in the game.

“We were up by three touchdowns and suddenly we’re down by two points with a minute and a half left to play. It came down to a fourth-down and 10, and Chachi hit Davon Rodgers on a 60-yard touchdown pass, winning 40-36,” said Coach Smith.

The Bobcats closed the regular season with wins over Hinds CC 28-7, and Copiah-Lincoln CC 7-3. In the playoffs, Jones got revenge for their only loss of the season by defeating the NWCC Rangers, 24-10.

In the State Championship game, JCJC traveled to Moorhead to face Mississippi Delta CC. A field goal by Nickolas Terracina tied up the score 3-3 before Ralph Davis added 6 points with a 2-yard touchdown run. Before the end of the first half, the Trojans kicked a 49-yard field goal to go into halftime ahead, 9-6. The Bobcats extended the lead to 16-6, with 11:29 to play in the fourth quarter on a 20-yard touchdown run by Hales. Jones clinched the championship when Rashad Phillips ran 87 yards for a score in the final minutes to give Jones a 22-6 victory.

Rashad “Lightning” Phillips

“They don’t call me Lightning for nothing! I was fast and Ralph loved to look for people to block and hit; that’s why he’s called Thunder and I’m Lightning!” said Rashad Phillips.

Coach Ed Smith said Phillips inherited some of that athleticism from his dad, Robert Phillips Sr, who was known as “Train” during his days at Jones. Robert Phillips Jr. was known as the “Little Train” and Rashad Phillips was known as the “Choo-Choo.”

Robert “Little Train” Phillips, Jr.

“When Robert Phillips Sr. hit you, they said it was like being hit by a train. His sons played the game the same way. Rashad had a touchdown run and Robert Jr., our nose guard picked up a fumble and returned it for a touchdown in the playoff game against Northwest CC. It was pretty neat to see both brothers score in the same game,” said Ed Smith. (Side Note: The Phillips’ brothers also have a younger cousin, who played at Jones College and just made the Houston Texans roster, Scottie Phillips-JC 2016-17.)

The 2001 season ended with a few honors including, defensive back, David Scott was an NJCAA All-American First Team and defensive lineman, Fred Blueford was an NJCAA All-American Second Team member. Davis earned NJCAA All-American Honorable Mention honors with 1334 yards rushing on 212 carries-the state’s top rusher in 2001. According to Davis, he overheard the conversation with Parker Dykes and the Georgia Military coach discussing Bowl Games.

“I could not believe what I heard!” said Davis. “The Georgia Military coach said he didn’t want to play us because they always lose against Jones! No one wanted to play us!”

Even more than the honors and incredible season, Davis said he appreciates two people at JCJC who were not a part of the football team. Dr. Randolph and Anne Strickland of Ellisville “adopted” Davis and treated him like a son. As an instructor and program director for displaced homemakers, Anne helped Davis earn his GED and Machining Certificate and prepared him for academic classes.

“She adopted me, took care of me and kept me on the right path. She even made a scrapbook with all my newspaper stories and pictures. Dr. Strickland (Dean of the College) was also like a grandfather. They loved me like a son which meant so much to me. They really helped me start a new life because I didn’t know what I was doing,” said Davis.

Davis earned a B.S. in Sociology from Louisiana Tech University where he played football. He continued his career in football playing for the Edmonton Eskimos, after playing on the practice squad for the Atlanta Falcons. His goal was to play for the NFL, “But I guess God had other plans,” said Davis.

One of his JCJC teammates, Chauncey Davis of Bartow, Florida, did find success in the NFL playing for the Atlanta Falcons in 2005 until 2010, after playing for Florida State. Chauncey also played for the Chicago Bears for one season after that. He was inducted into the JC Hall of Fame in 2013. JC football teammate, Dr. Mark Barron of Laurel, and current Brookhaven resident was inducted into the JC Hall of Fame on September 9, 2021. Regardless of their achievements, Coach Dykes always said he was most proud of “his guys” for other reasons.

2016 Reunion-Ryan Higdon, Assistant Coach Ed Smith, Jonathan Robertson, Patrick Craig, Head Coach Parker Dykes, Darian Parks and Mark Barron.

“This will be our third reunion with this team and the turnout for the others has been great. It’s really special to see how these guys, who were a great team, have turned out to be great fathers and husbands and just overall really good people. That is what Coach Dykes was the proudest of,” said Coach Ed Smith.

This will be the first reunion Coach P.D. will miss. He passed away in July 2020, after battling cancer. Ralph Davis said Parker still lives in the guys who really became Parker’s sons, and who now also make up the Bobcat Football Nation.

“I owe Coach Dykes a lot,” said Davis. “I was going nowhere when he invited me to play for Jones. He was so positive, and his signature sign-off, ‘Go Bobcats!’ is something I’ll always remember about him.”

Davis said he regularly talks with about 30 of his brothers or teammates from the 2001 MACJC State Championship Team. Parker coached a lot of winning teams, but his guys became a family on earth and in Heaven, which was Parker’s ultimate goal.

Last Reunion with Parker Dykes,  2020

Jones College selects Wayne Folkes as 2021 Honor Alumni

ELLISVILLE – Jones College’s 2021 Alumni Association Honor Alumni of the Year, Wayne Folkes is a JCJC 1981 graduate, a native of Seminary and a current resident of Oak Grove. He will be recognized during Homecoming, on Saturday, October 9, at the Alumni Luncheon at 11:30 in the A.B. Howard Gymnasium and during halftime of the JC Football Game against Southwest Mississippi Community College. For more information and to reserve tickets for the Alumni Luncheon, contact the JC Alumni and Foundation Office at 601-477-4145 by October 6.

“I am extremely proud to be selected as an Honor Alumnus. There are so many former Bobcats that are deserving of this recognition. As I look back at the legacy of this great institution and the people who were impacted by JCJC, I am proud of how Jones gives opportunities for students to excel, succeed, learn, develop lifelong friendships and become successful in all walks of life,” said Folkes.

The Chief Operations Officer and Assistant Superintendent for the Lamar County School District has been an educator for 39 years. He began his career in education in 1983 coaching everything at Oak Grove High School. He was also teaching Life and Physical Sciences classes at Oak Grove High School before becoming an administrator. For more than 16 years, Folkes has served his alma mater as a JCJC Foundation Board Member, and as an Alumni Association Vice President and President. Currently, he is serving as the Foundation Nomination Committee Chairperson.

“Not only has Wayne Folkes devoted his life to educating others, but he has also served his community and Jones College with unmatched dedication. He has helped the college in various volunteer, leadership capacities over five decades beginning when he was a student here. Additionally, Wayne Folkes is a true representative of the Homecoming Theme, ‘Jones Family 2021.’ His family’s loyalty to the college and their outstanding dedication to the education profession are qualities we wanted to honor with Wayne Folkes as the best representative to be the 2021 Honor Alumni,” said Joel Cain, Vice President for Advancement and Athletics.

The 1979 Seminary High School graduate excelled academically and on the basketball court. He was voted Most Intellectual in 1979 and played baseball and basketball, earning All-Conference honors in both sports. Continuing to play basketball for the JCJC Bobcats, Folkes earned the JCJC Bobcat Basketball Award in 1981.

“Jones afforded me the opportunity to continue my education as I received a scholarship to play basketball at JC and my family had a long-standing tradition of attending Jones County Junior College.  The path was paved for my career in coaching, education and administration. JCJC is family to me. The friends and the relationships that were built here at JC continue to this day. I am thankful for the impact Jones made in my life,” said Folkes.

After graduating from Jones County Junior College in 1981, he continued his education at the University of Southern Mississippi, earning his bachelor’s degree in science education in 1983, and his master’s degree in school administration in 1991. During his career as an educator and administrator for the Lamar County School District, Folkes also served in various capacities with the Mississippi High School Activities Association.

In 2010, as the principal for Oak Grove High School, Folkes began serving on the National Interscholastic Advisory Committee for the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security or NCS4. Oak Grove High School became the first High School Pilot Test Site for the NCS4. Folkes assists the agency still today, in exploring the best practices for spectator sports while serving on the committee with other international and national professional and college sports representatives

He was honored for his work in education and athletics with the NCS4 and received the NCS4’s “Friends of NCS4” Award. Additionally, he earned the Mississippi Association of Secondary School’s Principal of the Year Award in 2006 and the Mississippi Association of Secondary School’s Assistant Principal of the Year Award in 2000. The Lamar County School District recognized his work by naming Folkes as the Lamar County Educator of the Year in 2007. Moreover, Folkes earned the “Salute to Leadership” Award through the United States Department of Education in 2004, and the Martin Luther King Leadership Award from the Lamar County Concerned Citizens Organization.

Despite his many professional-related affiliations and work with numerous organizations, Folkes found time to devote to his community and church as a member of the Concerned Citizens of Lamar County. He used his leadership abilities to serve as the Forrest/Lamar County Heart Walk Chairperson for the Lamar County School District. Plus, Folkes serves as a deacon and on the Widows Ministry and Greeting Ministry at Temple Baptist Church.

Billy and Sarah Folkes seated with Madelyn Folkes Lofton, and Wayne Folkes standing

Most important to Wayne Folkes is his family’s long legacy at Jones County Junior College. His parents, Billy Folkes and Sarah King Folkes met at Jones while riding the bus from Covington County to Ellisville. His father graduated from JC in 1958 and his mother attended JC in 1956-1957. His sister, Madelyn Folkes Lofton came to Jones for two years, 1978-1980 and was on the Lady Bobcat Basketball team.

Wayne’s wife Karen Aultman Folkes was in the band’s colorguard and she also graduated from JCJC in 1981. Karen continued her education at USM. She is currently working at Forrest General Hospital as a Nutrition Support RN, BSN, MSN. Their children, Katie and William continued the legacy and were JC campus leaders. Katie was a member of the colorguard in the band and she served in the Student Government Association as President in 2011-12. She is currently teaching History at Oak Grove High School. William Folkes came to Jones in 2013 and was elected as the SGA Vice President in 2014-15. He is currently working for WFTV news as a multi-media platform producer in Orlando, Florida.

Will, Karen, Katie, and Wayne Folkes

“The good Lord has had His hand in my life and has blessed me with numerous good people who have poured into me, like Carolyn Lott Adams. She mentored me as a new Oak Grove High School administrator. JCJC instructor and Dean of the College, Dr. Randolph Strickland and his wife, Anne also helped me along the way. Being the 2001 Jones College Honor Alumni is really an honor that reflects the blessings of so many people in my life. They poured into me and that’s why I pour into others. I’ve been very blessed,” said Folkes.

Jones College students select Mr. & Miss JC

ELLISVILLE –Cali Le of Bay Springs and Wyatt Reid of Laurel were recently voted as Mr. & Miss JC by their peers. The sophomores competed for the titles to represent Jones College students and are considered to be the best representation of the student body.

“This honor allows me to become the embodiment and spirit of what Miss JC represents,” said Le. “I love Jones and I am blessed and excited to become the face of my new home.”

The nursing major is a graduate of Bay Springs High School where she was a cheerleader, Class President, Beta Club President, STAR Student, Historian of the 2020 Bay Springs High School and a Mississippi Governor’s School Scholar. At Jones, Le is also very active in Student Government Association where she serves as the Vice President, Bobcat Brigade, Diamond Girls for the Bobcat Baseball/Softball teams and she is a Resident Assistant. Additionally, Cali is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society and Honors College. Her future plans include transferring to USM and becoming a travel nurse. She is the daughter of Tony and Van Le.

Mr. JC is majoring in business administration with aspirations of earning his CPA credentials and becoming a lawyer. While being homeschooled through High School, Reid placed 9th in the nation in apologetic speaking in Speech and Debate tournaments and he earned multiple state titles in swimming in addition to playing basketball. During the summer months, Wyatt volunteers every year for the Abbie Rogers Civitan Camp for children and adults with special needs. At Jones, Reid is a member of the Bobcat Brigade and SGA. Besides being the PTK VP of Membership for the Rho Sigma Chapter at JC, Reid is also the Southern District Representative for the Mississippi/Louisiana Region, and he was voted Freshman Class President.

“Jones College is one of the best decisions I ever made. I came to Jones because of the benefits provided for its students. I can’t name another college that is affordable, personal and truly caring. The growth I discovered for myself could not have happened anywhere else. When I think of Jones College, I think of academic excellence and freedom,” said Reid.

Mike and Shelly Reid are Wyatt’s parents.

Sam Bruton Quartet pays tribute to jazz giant, Dave Brubeck at Jones College

ELLISVILLE – Jones College in Ellisville will host the only performance on a college campus of Sam Bruton Quartet’s, “Take Five: A Tribute to Dave Brubeck” on Tuesday, October 12, at 7 p.m. in the M.P. Bush Fine Arts Auditorium. The public is invited to attend this special evening of jazz music featuring the hits of the jazz pianist and composer for the admission cost of $10. Jones College students, faculty, and staff are admitted free with their Jones College ID.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have the talent of this caliber in our area and we are excited to welcome these musicians to our campus. You could go anywhere in the world and not hear better renditions of this music,” said, JC music instructor, Dr. Jennifer Bruton. “As a professional musician myself, I know the number of hours these performers have invested to be able to play the complex music of Brubeck, and somehow make it look effortless.”

Sam Bruton

The Quartet is composed of University of Southern Mississippi faculty who also perform professionally. Dr. Sam Bruton is a professor of philosophy at USM and

Larry Panella

plays piano in the Quartet. He is joined by Larry Panella on saxophone, who is also the Director of Jazz Studies at USM. Dr. David Pellow plays bass and is a USM instructor and Nathan Sanders plays drums and is a DMA candidate and graduate assistant at USM. Bruton explained, Dave Brubeck’s musical pieces are often complicated in meter, form, and rhythm but this Quartet makes it look easy to perform.

David Pellow

“Having come through a year and a half when so many live performances have been canceled, we eagerly anticipate the return of live music events like this one and I know that students and audiences of all ages will enjoy this music.”

Nathan Sanders

The Sam Bruton Quartet has performed this tribute as part of Festival South in Hattiesburg, and across the region. For more information, visit the JC website: or the Art, Music and Performance Department’s Facebook page,

Jones College celebrates the “Jones Family Homecoming 2021”

ELLISVILLE – Plans are underway to make Homecoming at Jones College a spectacular event this year involving reunions for the Band, Cheerleaders, 1970-71 JC 50-year class reunion, and the JCJC 2001 MACJC Championship Football Team. All activities will incorporate the Homecoming theme, “Jones Family 2021” throughout the week.

The JC Concert Choir will have its first concert of the year on Tuesday, October 5, at 7 p.m. in the M.P. Bush Fine Arts Auditorium. This performance is free and open to the public. Also, at 7 p.m., the Bobcat Soccer Team will host MS Gulf Coast Community College.

On Wednesday, October 6, at 7 p.m. in the Student Center Plaza, Jones Onstage is performing a “Decades of Music” with hits from the 60s through the 90s and beyond. The Jazz Band will wrap up the week of performances on Thursday, October 7, at 6 p.m. with a concert in the M.P. Bush Fine Arts Auditorium before the Homecoming pep rally.

Later Thursday evening, the Lady Bobcat Soccer team will face MS Gulf Coast Community College at 7 p.m. The “glow pep rally” will be held after the game on Thursday, October 7, at 8:45 p.m. at the Lake. This event is sponsored by the Student Government Association. Glow-necklaces and glow-sticks will be provided for everyone in attendance. This event will be canceled if there is inclement weather.

On Friday, October 8, the Homecoming festivities begin at 5 p.m. with the JCJC Band Reunion registration meeting in the Fine Arts Lobby before a 6 p.m. rehearsal and dinner in the Bobcat Football Stadium. The JCJC 2001 MACJC Football Team Reunion Dinner begins at 6 p.m. in the C.L. Neill Student Center, Faculty Dining Room.

Homecoming Day, Saturday, October 9, is slated with numerous activities for a day of fun for all ages. Events will begin at 9 a.m. with a brunch for alumni and friends on the front lawn of the Terrell Tisdale Library. Members of the Ellisville High School 1960-1965 classes, the JCJC 1970-71 classes, the JCJC 2001 Football Team, Band and Cheerleader reunions, can pick up nametags for their gatherings during the brunch.

At 10 a.m. the Homecoming Parade will wind through the streets of Ellisville and the campus beginning at the Terrell Tisdale Library. The parade features floats made by the student body incorporating the theme, as well as the Maroon Typhoon Marching Band, JC cheerleaders, Touch of Gold, and of course, the 2021 Homecoming Queen and her court. Parade Marshals are the JCJC 2001 MACJC Championship Football Team.

At 11 a.m. the public is also invited to join the Jones family for a pep rally following the parade in front of the C.L. Neill Student Center. At 11:30 a.m. the JCJC Alumni Luncheon will be held in the A.B. Howard Gymnasium.  During this luncheon, the JC Honor Alumnus, Wayne Folkes will be recognized as well as the 1970-71 alumni, the JC Homecoming Court and the Mr. and Miss JC students. Reservations for the luncheon can be made through the Alumni and Foundation Office at 601-477-4145 or by emailing,

Also, at 11:30 a.m., the JC Cheerleader Reunion will host a Meet and Greet until 12:30 p.m. in the D.O. Thoms P.E. Building.

Before the game, the Ellisville High School Reunion 1960-65 Classes and all the JCJC Reunion participants are invited to join the “Tailgating under the Tents” at the Sim Cooley Football Field, near the Tennis Complex beginning at 11:30. If you would like to join us for tailgating the cost is $10 per person with a reservation deadline of September 25, by calling 601-477-4145.

The public is encouraged to Tailgate Under the Trees behind the Bobcat Stadium on the Home Side outside the fence.  Bring your tent and your favorite foods before the game begins between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

The Homecoming pre-game festivities will begin at 1:30 p.m. with the marching band’s pre-game show, with Band Alumni, on the Sim Cooley Football Field at Bobcat Stadium. The game against Southwest Mississippi Community College will begin at 2 p.m.

At halftime, the Homecoming Court will be presented with the crowning of the 2021 Homecoming Queen, Melissa Bender. Also, during halftime, the 2021 Honor Alumni, Wayne Folkes of Seminary and current resident of Oak Grove, Mr. JC, Wyatt Reid of Laurel and Miss JC, Cali Le of Bay Springs, and the 2021 Jones College Cheer National Champions will be recognized. The festivities will end with a performance by the Maroon Typhoon and Touch of Gold. For more information call the Foundation and Alumni Office at 477-4145 or email