Jackson State picked up an unexpected bye week due to the game against MS VALLEY STATE being rescheduled due to COVID test results. Student athletes will have to quarantine, thus delaying the game this Saturday.
53 to 0! Jackson State kicked off the season February 21st with a blowout win over Edward Waters in their season opener. It was also the home opener for the Tigers. Amassing 435 yards of total offense while allowing only 104 yards, JSU handled the NAIA team with no problem. The defense engineered the first shutout since 2014. Looking fast, dominate, and methodical, the “Darkside Defense” did not hold back. Tymetrius Patte led the defense with 8 tackles. Edward Waters, Roshard Branch was 9 for 21 with 83 yards. He ran the ball 11 times for -9 yards. While Branch struggled, JSU quarterbacks, Jalon Jones and Quincy Casey thrived, combing for 252 yards, completing 25 of 33 passes. Jones was 17 of 19 for 163 yards with 2 touchdowns, Casey was 8 for 14 for 89 yards with 1 touchdown. Kymani Clarke was the workhorse on the ground for Jackson State, rushing 18 times for 92 yards and 2 touchdowns. Greg Williams gained 57 yards on 11 carries.
Coach Sanders was all smiles as he was doused in gatorade at the conclusion of the game. Sanders also received the trophy for winning the WC Gorden classic. Tiger fans in attendance left the game feeling positive about the upcoming season. A season that excludes Alcorn State University, who opted out of the season due to COVID concerns and lack of practice. All of Alcorn’s scheduled opponents will receive an automatic win. Next up for Jackson State is Mississippi Valley State. Game time is set for 2:00 pm.
From 1400 Murrah Drive to 1400 J.R. Lynch Street. Former Murrah Lady Mustang and Former Jackson State Lady Tigers Graduate Assistant coach, Tomekia Reed returns home to lead the Lady Tigers, this time as the head coach. Coach Reed has been coaching for a span of 14 years. Beginning at the junior college level at South Georgia Technical College, Coach Reed realized she wanted to be involved with women’s basketball in some way. She came to Jackson State as a graduate assistant, within 30 days, she was promoted to second assistant coach and the following year, first assistant coach. From JSU, she moved on to University of Louisiana Lafayette for a season. Coach Reed came back to Mississippi working in Hattiesburg at Southern Mississippi. While there, USM had the number 1 recruiting class in the state, with Coach Reed being an integral part of the recruiting. Coach Reed would have stops at Louisiana Tech and the University of New Orleans before landing the head coaching job at Hinds Community College.
Taking over at Hinds was a challenge. The women’s program had not been respected in over 15 seasons. Losing was a part of the norm. Reed’s first season (2015-2016), she finished 10 & 13. First time Hinds’ lady bulldogs reached double digit victories in a long time. Pounding the pavement, Coach Reed and her coaching staff, brought in more recruits, instilled work ethic and discipline and went on to have one of the most successful seasons in Hinds’ history. They finished the regular season, 18 & 5, and reached the NJCAA Region 23 Title Game. Hinds did not reach the championship game this past season, but still managed to have a winning season. They won their first 10 games of the season, to reach 10 & 0 for the first time in school history. During her tenure at Hinds, Coach Reed won over 45 games in 3 seasons.
When she left JSU, she knew she wanted to come back one day as the head coach. Described as her “Dream Job”, coach Reed takes over the reigns from Surina Dixon. Dixon went 82-93 overall and 55-53 in the SWAC in 6 seasons. Coach Reed explained her vision for the program. Some of the goals outlined by Coach Reed are (1) Graduate all her students on time (2) Provide a quality college experience, wants players and former players to be excited about the program and help recruit (3) Develop women for life after college, character development will be big (4) Culture of discipline (5) Set the bar back high, JSU was on top when she was an assistant coach.
Candidates from all over the country applied for the women’s basketball job. Assistant coaches from SEC schools, former head coaches, current head coaches of programs as well. Jackson State University President, Dr. Bynum commended the committee on their diligent work.
Now the fun begins. One of the first things Coach Tomekia Reed has to do is recruit players. It’s late in the game for next season, but isn’t entirely over. Most top players have committed and signed. Coach Reed made mention that she wanted to get to know the players currently on roster, learn their strengths and weaknesses. Tiger fans can expect a high-octane team next season. Up tempo offensive, in your face defense. Coach Reed is an energetic coach who gets after it. She will be able to attract local players to stay home as well as bring players from other parts of the country. Expectations will be high, but if her tenure at Hinds is an indication, success will be high also.