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PJC’s Hodge named Region XIV Coach of the Year

Published or Revised March 21, 2007

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The Paris Junior College Dragons, 2007 NJCAA Region XIV conference champion, has landed four players on the All-Region team, and first-year head coach Ross Hodge has been named “Coach of the Year.”

“It is a great honor and a big surprise,” Hodge said after Region XIV coaches cast their votes for the year’s top players and coach. “It is also important that several of our players are named to the All-Region team after winning the conference.”

It was quite a year for Hodge, a former PJC student and basketball player who served his first year as a head coach. He had spent the 2005-2006 season as an assistant coach under Bill Foy. Hodge also served as an assistant coach for two years at Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Hodge’s Dragons won the conference with a 19-3 record, posted a 26-5 season mark, and went 1-1 in the post-season tournament.

Three of Hodge’s sophomores from the previous season’s conference championship team were named to the All-Region lineup.

Sophomore Ramon Clemente, who averaged 13.9 points per game as the leading scorer for the Dragons, was named to the first All-Region team. Clemente, a 6-6 forward, also led the Dragons in rebounding by averaging 9.4 per game.

Clemente’s rebounding average was second in the conference and he was 14th in the conference in scoring. He also hit 55 percent of his field goals to place in the top 15 in the conference.

Named to the third All-Region team were sophomores DeUndrae Spraggins and Earnest Jones. Spraggins averaged 11.3 points and pulled down 5 rebounds per game. He also hit 44 percent of his three pointers and 85 percent from the free-throw line. Jones averaged 10 points and 5 rebounds per game.

Clevin Hannah, a freshman, was an honorable mention on the All-Region Team. Hannah, a 6-0 guard, averaged 10.8 points per game, hit 39 percent of his three-pointers, and handed out 127 assists (over four per game) to rank fifth in that department in the conference.

Hodge said he was proud of this year’s team, particularly the four sophomores who provided great leadership. He pointed out that Spraggins, Clemente, Jones and Derek Fugate have been members of two consecutive Region XIV championship teams. In their two seasons at PJC the four have helped post a win-loss record of 50-12 during regular season and 37-7 in conference play.

“We’ll miss them, but we have some talented freshmen who will be our sophomore leaders next season,” Hodge added.

NJCAA All-Region XIV Team

Most Valuable Player: Marcus Thornton (Kilgore)

Coach of the Year: Ross Hodge (PJC)

All-Region XIV Team
1st Team: Ramon Clemente, Paris Junior College; Booker Woodfox, San Jacinto College; Lamont Mack, Angelina College; Kyndal Dykes, Navarro College; Tyrone Cole-Scott, Tyler Junior College.

2nd Team: Warrell Span, Navarro College; Nate Garner, Tyler Junior College; Jonathan Clark, Trinity Valley Community College; Tyson Johnson, Blinn; James Legan, Lon Morris College.

3rd Team: DeAndre Spraggins, Paris Junior College; Kyle Cannon, San Jacinto College Central; D’mond Grismore, Lee College; Earnest Jones, Paris Junior College; Ashton Hall, Angelina College; Marcus Anderson, Jacksonville College; Corey Jefferson, Lee College.

Honorable Mention: Tristan Worrell, Angelina College; Royce Gaye, Jacksonville College; Arthur Zulu, Jacksonville College; Larry Handy, Kilgore College; Dominique Keller, Lee College; Mike Hall, Lon Morris College; Troy Mathis, Lon Morris College; C. J. Clark, Panola College; Justin Dennis, Panola College; Don Riley, Panola College; Dominique Whatley, Panola College; Clevin Hannah, Paris Junior College; Jenad Fleming, San Jacinto College; Shavar Burch, San Jacinto College; David Devezin, San Jacinto College.

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