SCOOBA – For the fourth time in the last six years, East Mississippi Community College will be represented in the NJCAA Division II Men's Golf National Championship. EMCC freshman Hunter Harmon begins competition Tuesday in the four-day (May 20-23) national tournament being held at Swan Lake Resort in Plymouth, Ind.
Harmon, a Vardaman native, qualified for this week's NJCAA Championship by ranking eighth among the MACJC's regular-season leaders with his team-leading 76.5 stroke average. Harmon, who claimed last year's Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class A state championship at Calhoun Academy, has posted top-20 individual finishes in all six tournaments in which he has participated as a collegiate rookie. Having played his way onto the MACJC's 2014 All-State Second Team for his season-long efforts, Harmon placed eighth at the MACJC State Golf Championship held at Pine Burr in Wiggins.
Harmon becomes the eighth golfer in school history to represent East Mississippi Community College in the NJCAA Championship. A year ago at Goose Pond Colony Golf Course in Scottsboro, Ala., former Lion linkster Miles Respess became East Mississippi's first-ever NJCAA All-American in golf by recording the highest national tournament finish (T-17th) and lowest tournament round (68) in school history. Currently competing at Delta State University, Respess collected second-team All-America honors and made the all-tournament team at nationals a year ago as an EMCC sophomore.
Previously under the guidance of veteran EMCC golf coach Dale Peay, Weston Wallace and Zack Bailey participated in the 2011 NJCAA Division II Men's Golf National Championship at Goose Pond Colony. In 2009 at Goose Pond, EMCC's Hal Larkin tied for 53rd place at the national tournament.
Prior East Mississippi golf participants to compete in the NJCAA Championship were Gary Sheppard (2004 in Arizona), Matt King (2001 in Texas) and Drew McBrayer (1999 in North Carolina).
More than 140 junior college golfers representing 43 schools from 18 states will be participating in this week's NJCAA Division II Men's Golf Championship. Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College will again represent the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) as seven-time reigning NJCAA Region 23 team champions.
Along with the MGCCC team and EMCC's Harmon, the MACJC will also be represented individually at this week's national tournament by Jones County's Patrick Dickson, Jordan Cole of Hinds, Ryan Desormeaux of Copiah-Lincoln, and East Central's Sawyer Williams.
Set to be hosted by Indiana-based Ancilla College, this week's NJCAA Division II Men's Golf National Championship will be contested on the 7,112-yard, par-72 layout of Swan Lake Resort's Black Course. The facility also hosted the national tournament two years ago.
Following practice rounds on Sunday and Monday, the participating teams and individual golfers will be treated to a tournament-opening banquet Monday evening. Daily results will be available online on Ancilla College's athletics website at http://www.ancillachargers.com/f/NJCAA_Golf_Tournament/Home_Page.php.