Eight-member class to be inducted into EMCC Sports Hall of Fame during Homecoming weekend

Eight-member class to be inducted into EMCC Sports Hall of Fame during Homecoming weekend

SCOOBA – In conjunction with East Mississippi Community College's Homecoming festivities this coming weekend (Oct. 25-26) on the Scooba campus, eight new members will be formally inducted into the EMCC Sports Hall of Fame.

EMCC's 2019 Sports Hall of Fame inductees will be honored with a Friday night (Oct. 25) reception and banquet to be held at the F.R. Young Student Union.  The eight-member class is also scheduled to be recognized Saturday afternoon (Oct. 26) at EMCC's Sullivan-Windham Field during halftime activities of the two-time reigning national champion Lions' 2 p.m. Homecoming football contest against the Northeast Mississippi Community College Tigers.

The 2019 induction class of the EMCC Sports Hall of Fame consists of Rodney Batts, Chris Chism, Martin Francis, Ikeler M. (Boy) Latimer, Richard Poole, John Rice Sr., Bo Wallace and David H. White Jr.

East Mississippi Community College will also honor the school's 2019 Alumnus of the Year (Dr. Glenn Peters) and Distinguished Service Award recipients (Buster and Jeanie Orr) during Homecoming weekend in Scooba.  Dr. Peters along with Mr. and Mrs. Orr will be honored during EMCC's alumni luncheon set to take place Saturday at 11:30 a.m. at the F.R. Young Student Union on the Scooba campus.  The award recipients are also slated to be recognized during Homecoming halftime festivities of Saturday afternoon's EMCC-Northeast football contest.

In addition, East Mississippi Community College's 2009 MACJC state championship football team is also slated to be recognized during Saturday's Homecoming activities.  Players and staff members from the Lions' 2009 state championship team are encouraged to contact EMCC Athletics through the school's social media accounts or by contacting EMCC's Director of Athletic Digital Communication Ginnie Cody via email (mcody@eastms.edu).

For additional information about EMCC's 2019 Homecoming weekend on the Scooba campus, please visit www.eastms.edu.



RODNEY BATTS – Rodney Batts teamed with fellow 2019 EMCC Sports Hall of Fame inductee Chris Chism first at New Hope High School and then at EMCC as a versatile all-region and all-state performer for Coach Bill Baldner before taking his baseball talents to Delta State University.  Batts was an All-Gulf South Conference second baseman at DSU and a 1996 NCAA Division II World Series participant before returning to the Cleveland campus to begin his baseball coaching career.  Following 17 seasons as an assistant coach for the Statesmen, Batts spent the past five years serving as the head baseball coach at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College before returning to his alma mater this past July as Delta State's 10th head baseball coach.   

CHRIS CHISM – Chris Chism teamed with fellow 2019 EMCC Sports Hall of Fame inductee Rodney Batts at New Hope High School and then as team co-captains at EMCC.  After earning all-region and all-state honors as an EMCC sophomore, Chism completed his collegiate baseball career at the University of Florida.  As UF's starting centerfielder, Chism helped lead the 1996 Gators to a College World Series appearance and a share of the SEC regular-season championship.  Following a 12-year teaching/coaching career, Chism has steadily worked his way up the Mississippi public school administrative ladder during the current decade.  The 2018 State Administrator of the Year by the Mississippi Association of Secondary School Principals is currently the principal at Pearl High School.                    

MARTIN FRANCIS – Martin Francis' career choice took shape on EMCC's Scooba campus as a banking and finance major.  Three decades later, the Meridian native and former Lamar High School football standout is now firmly established in the banking business as First Vice President with Trustmark National Bank in the Jackson metro area.  As a two-year starter at linebacker and sophomore team captain for Coach Randall Bradberry's EMCC Lions, Francis was selected as an Honorable Mention All-American and participated in the 1986 Mississippi Junior College All-Star Game.  He went on to become a two-year letterman at Mississippi College, where he served as a graduate assistant football coach while earning his master's degree in business administration before beginning his banking career.      

IKELER M. (BOY) LATIMER – The late Ikeler M. "Boy" Latimer worked four years in the Civilian Conservation Corps, a public work relief program founded by President Franklin D. Roosevelt that gave young men employment on environmental projects during the Great Depression, before lettering in football and basketball at what is now known as East Mississippi Community College.  Following graduation from Mississippi State, Latimer worked for the United States Soil Conservation Service in Heflin, Ala., before enlisting in the United States Army during World War II.  After his service to our country, he returned home to the Philadelphia area, where he taught agriculture before serving a pair of four-year terms as the Neshoba County Superintendent of Education.     

RICHARD POOLE – Major General Richard Poole's decorated military career began in 1955 during his senior year at DeKalb High School when he enlisted in the Mississippi Army National Guard.  He later spent three and a half years on active duty and served a total of 42 years in the military before ultimately retiring as a Major General (State of Mississippi) in 1997.  After attending EMCC as a member of the Lions' baseball and basketball teams, Poole received his bachelor's degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and attended Officer Candidate School while earning a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Mississippi Army National Guard.  He is the recipient of numerous federal and state awards, medals and citations during his distinguished military service.          

JOHN RICE SR. – Starkville's John Rice Sr. continues to be one of East Mississippi Community College's most avid supporters after ranking as one of the Lions' most powerful and productive offensive backs of the 1990s.  The former all-district performer for Coach Tommy Lucas' Starkville High School Yellow Jackets then produced a pair of 1,000-yard rushing seasons for Hall of Fame football coach Tom Goode at EMCC as a 1993 MACJC All-Star Game participant before concluding his collegiate playing career at Eastern Michigan University.  After spending five years working for the Columbus Police Department, Rice currently serves as a deputy with the Oktibbeha County Sheriff's Office.  He ran for the sheriff's office this past summer in the August primary election.

BO WALLACE – Tennessee native Bo Wallace has been an integral part of national football championships at EMCC both as an NJCAA All-America quarterback and most recently as the Lions' quarterbacks coach.  After transferring from Arkansas State, Wallace directed Coach Buddy Stephens' unbeaten EMCC Lions to the school's first national championship as the 2011 NJCAA Offensive Player of the Year.  He went on to become a three-year starter at Ole Miss in leading the Rebels to three straight bowl game appearances.  Wallace later returned to Scooba to serve as EMCC's quarterbacks coach during the Lions' undefeated 2017 national championship season.  He currently serves as the offensive coordinator at Fayette-Ware High School in Somerville, Tenn.    

DAVID H. WHITE JR. – The late David H. White Jr. played center for EMCC Sports Hall of Fame Coach Keyes T. Currie and was a primary reason why the 1951-52 Lions basketball team advanced to Mississippi's junior college state championship game.  The 6-foot-6, hook-shot artist returned to his home state of Arkansas to help lead Arkansas Tech to back-to-back Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference championships and consecutive appearances in the NAIA National Tournament.  White was also a member of a Blytheville-based (Ark.) AAU state basketball championship team in 1959.  After serving our country for two years in the United States Army, White spent his 34-year teaching/coaching career divided between his hometown of Luxora, Ark., and Valdosta, Ga.