The COVID-19 pandemic abruptly ended the 2019-20 athletics season at Jones College and schools across the world.
Before the shutdown in mid-March, the Bobcats once again had another excellent season on the fields and courts.
The Bobcat men’s soccer team won its second consecutive MACJC championship and the women’s basketball team captured its fourth straight Region 23 title. Football, women’s soccer and men’s basketball also qualified for postseason play.
Seasons in softball, baseball and men’s and women’s tennis were cut short because of the pandemic.
Overall, Jones had a 119-43-1 record for a .733 winning percentage.
Jones had never won a state title in men’s soccer until 2018.
Now, they have two conference championships in a row.
Head coach Brendan Connolly’s team captured the title in dramatic fashion, winning by penalty kicks (4-3) over Mississippi Gulf Coast. The game was tied at 2 after regulation and two overtime periods.
Jones had beaten East Central 7-0 and Hinds 1-0 in the first two tournament games. The Bobcats fell at LSU-Eunice, 4-0, in the Region 23 championship game and dropped a 3-0 decision at No. 6 Tyler Junior College (Texas) in the NJCAA Gulf South District Tournament.
The Bobcats ended the season at 12-6-1.
Head coach Missy Biilderback’s team enjoyed another stellar season.
Jones won the Region 23 crown with a 94-60 victory over Northwest on March 6 at Mississippi College. They had defeated Copian-Lincoln, 81-65, and LSU-Eunice, 84-72, in the first two games of the event.
On March 9, Jones was chosen as the No. 8 seed heading into the NJCAA Division I National Tournament in Lubbock, Texas.The event was originally scheduled for March 16-21.
However, the NJCAA initially postponed the tournament to late April and then canceled it entirely because of the coronavirus.
The Bobcats also advanced to the MACJC Tournament final for the fourth straight year, but lost a heartbreaking, 87-73 double-overtime decision at East Mississippi.
Jones ended the season at 24-4 and ranked No. 10 in the final NJCAA rankings.
Jones advanced to postseason play for the ninth consecutive season.
Head coach Dolores Deasley’s team defeated East Central 2-1 (3-2 in penalty kicks) in the opening round of the conference tournament. They then lost 5-1 to eventual champion Holmes in the semifinals.
Despite a rash of injuries to key players, Jones posted a 12-7 record and was ranked as high as No. 14 at one time during the season.
Jones finished second in the MACJC South Division and reached postseason play for the third straight season.
The Bobcats fell at Northwest, 24-17, in the conference semifinals.
Head coach Steve Buckley’s team ended the year at 7-3 and was ranked No. 10 in the final NJCAA poll.
The Bobcats had another solid season on the court.
Jones won a 70-65 decision at East Mississippi in the first round of the MACJC Tournament before dropping a tough, 90-86 overtime decision to Pearl River in the semifinals.
In the Region 23 Tournament, the Bobcats beat LSU-Eunice 67-52, and Northwest 79-69, to reach the finals. Jones lost 75-62 against Pearl River in the region title game.
Head coach Randy Bolden’s team ended the year at 20-7.
The Bobcats were primed for another postseason run before the season was stopped by COVID-19.
Pitcher Lauren Stringer was selected a CoSIDA Academic All-American.
Head coach Chris Robinson’s team was 15-3 and ranked No. 4 when the season ended.
The Bobcats were cruising along at 12-0 and had defeated every MACJC team when the coronavirus hit.
Also, Danielle Viljoen of Jackson was selected the winner of the prestigious ITA Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award. Judith Mills of South Pontotoc was recognized as Region II Most Improved Player.
Head coach Brooks Buffington’s team was ranked No. 16 in the final ITA poll of the season.
Jones was enjoying its best season in years on the men’s side, posting an 11-2 record.
Like the women’s team, the Bobcats had earned victories over every MACJC team when the season concluded.
In addition, sophomore James McWilliams of Northwest Rankin was chosen the winner of the ITA Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award and Region II Most Improved Player. He also was selected a CoSIDA Academic All-American.
The baseball Bobcats played the final games of the athletics season for any Jones team.
Jones swept Baton Rouge Community College, 11-1 and 4-3, on March 11 at Community Bank Park.
Head coach Chris Kirtland’s team was 6-11 at the time and had yet to play a conference game.