Panola College

December 13, 2018 - Panola College's Head Volleyball Coach, Amber McCray, has been named the new Head Volleyball Coach at Louisiana Tech University. She will be starting her new position in January of 2019.

"We are excited for Amber and the opportunity that she has been given by Tech. We definitely have mixed emotions because she has contributed so much to Panola College and our community, however, it is exciting to know that we had the opportunity to watch her grow as a coach and person and mature into the person that she is now, and now has this great opportunity," noted Don Clinton, Vice President of Student Services/Athletic Director.

Coach McCray states, "I am thrilled about the opportunity to become the next head coach of Louisiana Tech Volleyball, but it is also a bittersweet moment knowing what I am leaving behind. I am eternally grateful to Dr. Gregory Powell and Coach Don Clinton for always blessing me with the love and support needed to grow in this field as a head coach, as well as the whole Panola College family for being my home in more ways than one."

"The memories I have made and the relationships formed over my time at Panola are incredibly dear to me, and the best part is knowing they won't end just because my tenure here is done. There are so many things about Panola College that make this a unique and special place, but what I was able to sell to recruits over all these years and absolutely what I will miss most are the people."

"It has been an absolute honor to lead this program for the past 8 years, and I can't wait to follow all the success I know Fillies Volleyball will continue to have in the future. It was important to me when exploring the possibilities of the Division I level that I could find a place with a family atmosphere similar to the one I have loved being a part of PC, and Louisiana Tech delivered. I am excited to bring my passion to help revitalize a program I believe is fully capable of reaching new heights with another work family I know and trust will do all they can to help us get there."

Coach McCray posted a record of 169 wins and 45 losses over the 6 years at Panola College as the head coach. She led her teams to two back to back National Tournaments in 2016 and 2017, NJCAA nationally ranked each year, 6 straight NJCAA Regional playoff berths, and one conference championship. She was selected Region XIV District I Coach of the Year in 2017, and Region XIV Coach of the Year in 2014 and 2016. She had two players earn NJCAA All American honors, 28 All Conference selections, and 19 Academic All-Conference selections. Off the court her teams excelled in the classroom as she had a 100% graduation rate for student-athletes enrolled in Panola for the full 4 semesters and each of her six teams maintained a gpa of 3.10 or higher each year.

Coach McCray felt that community service was also part of her team responsibility in order to have a winning program and they participated in many events over the 6 seasons, including: 2011-2018 Head Coach and Board Member of East Texas Juniors (local youth volleyball club); 2018- Mentor at Lifecode Mentoring Program; 2013-2018 Annual Dig Pink Fundraiser benefiting the Side-Out organization for breast cancer awareness; 2013- 2018 Partnership with AYEP (Afterschool Youth Enrichment Program) which includes regular visits to the program, monthly in-season and bi-weekly in off-season; 2018 Veterans Day Dinner; 2017 and 2018 “Read Across America” at Libby Elementary; 2016 Designer Purse Bingo; 2015-2018 Junior Fillies Club (weekly clinics with area youth hosted each spring); Carthage’s Annual Trunk or Treat (2015 and 2017); 2015-2018 Spearheaded Annual Champions for Light Volleyball Clinic to raise funds and awareness for Refuge of Light, an anti-domestic minor sex trafficking organization; 2016 Baskets of Hope fundraiser for Mission Carthage; 2013 and 2014 Spirit of Hope 5K; and the 2013 Salt Walk.

"Panola College is proud of Coach McCray, her accomplishments, and the national recognition she brought us. During her tenure at Panola College she was named Coach of the Year three times and took our Volleyball Team twice to the National Tournament. Always a class act, we will miss Coach McCray but we are excited for her new opportunity at Louisiana Tech. Coach McCray will be a Filly Forever, regardless of where her professional opportunities take her," stated Panola College President Dr. Gregory Powell.

December 10, 2018 Carthage, TX - On Wednesday of this week, double digit scoring from four different players help the Fillies out up an impressive 77-46 showing against the Paris College Dragons. Maryia Adashchyk (20), Daryna Barchkarova (13), Mikayla Etienne (11), and Kellymar Ramirez (11) contributed 55 of the teams 77 points. The Fillies also pulled down 41 rebounds, led by Alicia Falkowska who posted a new career high (9) rebounds. Falkowska also recorded 4 blocks.

The Panola fillies improve to 3-0 in conference after a Saturday afternoon Region 14 battle in Carthage. The Fillies overcame a 19-point first half deficit, coming out with the 3-point victory behind a huge scoring serge in the second half.

Down 13 going into the third quarter, the lead was eventually cut to 8 with 2:35 left in the third. Out of the timeout, a three pointer by Barchkarova and a layup by Ramirez with: 10 seconds left in the quarter cut the deficit to 3 going into the fourth quarter.

The back and forth battle would continue throughout most of the fourth with the Fillies getting within 2 with 4:30 seconds The first lead of the game for the Fillies would come at the 3:23 mark with Adashchyk scoring two back to back buckets to put the Fillies up 3 with 2:50 left in the game. Kilgore would later come down and tie the game with a bucket of their own.

Down 1 with 45.2 seconds left in the quarter, Kilgore up one, Adashchyk would score in the paint putting the Fillies up 2 with 26.8 ticks left on the clock. Kilgore would respond with a bucket of their own, tying the game with 19.6 left. A late foul with 10.1 second sent Kilgore to the free throw line, where they would go 1 of 2, making the score 72-73 Kilgore.

With 10.1 ticks left on the clock, Weronika Nowakowska would score the game winning bucket; going the length of the court and drawing the and 1, to give the Fillies a 75-73 lead with 3.0 left in the game. The Fillies would force a turnover and make 1 of 2 free throws to end game victorious, 76-73.

Adashchyk would lead all scorers with 17, followed behind by Nowakowska (15), Ramirez (14), and Bachkarova (13). Jolie Williams would round out the scoring with 9 of her own, including two big second half three pointers. Ramirez had a team high 11 boards.

The Fillies finish out 2018 7-4 on the season and 3-0 in conference. They will return to action January 2 in the BPCC Classic. 

Ten-year service awards went to, from left, Teresa Brooks, Jason Cook, Mark Dickerson, Trellis McCann, Jo Ellen Russell, Stevie Stewart, Kathy Thames, Laura Vance and Denise Welch. (Not pictured, Kasi Broussard.)

December 7, 2018 - Panola College honored 15 faculty, staff and board members for service awards that totaled 230 years. The Wednesday, Dec. 5, luncheon meeting was held in the Frances B. Ross Ballroom of the Charles C. Matthews Foundation Student Center.

Dr. Greg Powell presented Charlene Johnson with a service award recognizing her 35 years with Panola College. Hal Palmer, a board member, was honored for 30 years of service. Mike Edens and board member Richard Thomas both have 25 years of service. Christina Lambright Oldham has been with Panola for 15 years.

Ten employees were recognized for having achieved 10 years of service. They include Teresa Brooks, Kasi Broussard, Jason Cook, Mark Dickerson, Trellis McCann, Jo Ellen Russell, Stevie Stewart, Kathy Thames, Laura Vance and Denise Welch.

Dr. Greg Powell presents a 15-year service award to Christina Lambright Oldham.

Dr. Greg Powell presents a 25-year service award to Mike Edens. (Not pictured is Richard Thomas.)

Board member Hal Palmer, accepts a 30-year service award from Dr. Greg Powell.

Charlene Johnson received a 35-year service award from Dr. Greg Powell.

Colby Taylor of Carthage asked Maggie Sims of Center to be his bride during the Christmas in Carthage performance.

December 6, 2018 - There were singers and dancers and musicians playing, but the highlight of the 2018 Christmas in Carthage was an unexpected “Love, Actually” moment when band member Colby Taylor walked on the stage, took the hand of choir member Maggie Sims, and proposed to her.

She said, “Yes,” much to the delight of the audience.

Christmas in Carthage was held this year on Tuesday, Dec. 4, at the Carthage Civic Center. The event is a local tradition, started by the late Larry Brumley, who conceived of the idea as a way for Panola County to usher in the holiday season, explained Dwaine Hubbard, master of ceremonies and instrumental music professor at Panola College.

The Panola College Choir performed Christmas favorites.

This year’s program included performances by the Panola College Choir and Panola Pipers, under the direction of Sandra Bauer, vocal music professor, along with the Concert Band and Jazz Band. In addition, dancers from the Carthage High School Bulldog Belles, Rowe Performing Arts, and singers from the Gary ISD Junior High School Choir performed.

Dr. Greg Powell, Panola College president, welcomed everyone to the event, and Freddy Mason, retired Panola College dean and speech professor, provided a reminder of “the reason for the season” with a reading of “One Solitary Life.”

Bulldog Belles included Savanna Gwinn, Shelby Walters, Emily Pyle, Constance Barber, Taylor Barton and Mary Kathryn Smith.

Students performing included from Rowe Performing Arts: Constance Barber, Brooke Cabello, Molly Windham, Madison Dunn, Ainsley Piedra, Jeriona Williams, Sh’Jerian Williams and Addison Pope.

Gary ISD Junior High singers, directed by their teacher Kristy Cawthon, were Bailee Lilly, Abi Kate Cawthon, Aubrey Kennedy, Katrina Pugh, Alyssa Thompson, Samantha Griffith, Jordan Brown and Michael Duron.

The Panola College Jazz Band played “Now Rock, Ye Rested Gentlemen.”

Panola College singers are Susan Adewale, Ronke Ajoniloju, Toluwani Ayodele, Boluwatife Babalola, Samiat Fashola, Charles Felix, Latifat Opeodu, and Ademola Sanni, all of Nigeria; Funminihi Alabi, Loma Linda, CA; Loren Caserta, Beckville; Victor Chinaka, Dallas; Kaitlyn Cox, Hallsville; Afrikina Dotson, Center; Lucy Eke, Carthage; Latiffannie Gardner, Center; Michaela Garrett, Center; Joel Martinez Gonzalez, Tenaha; Jamya Gossett, Nacogdoches; Emma Harden, Tyler; Joy Jekayinoluwa, Arlington; Kacia Johnson, Tatum; Abigail Joseph, Kenya; Carrie Lilly, New Caney; Destiney Miller, Ore City; Makayla Miller, Ore City; Hunter Moon, Beckville; Pamela Nichole Painter, Marshall; Whitney Ramsey, Center; Mia Sartor, Carthage; Maggie Sims, Center; Kailey Stephens, Carthage; Sydnee Taylor, Carthage; Aaron Tello, Center, and Jaren Whitton, Etoile.

Panola College band members include on flute: Ma’Kayla Campbell, Henderson; Madison Cichoracki, Tatum; Jessica Coats, Henderson; Maricruz Gonzalez, Center; Savana Hanaway, Carthage; and Perla Mateos, Center.

On clarinet: Chelsea Ener, Hemphill; Kirsten Mayfield, Garrison; Destiney Miller, Ore City; Emily Ortiz, Carlisle; Samantha Stilley, Hallsville. On bass clarinet: Lucero Luna of Tatum. On contra-alto clarinet: Megan Gilley, Hallsville. On bassoon: Whitney Ramsey, Center; on saxophone: Kassi Orbaugh, Carthage; Elijah Johnson, Shelbyville; Selena Mendoza, Tenaha; Alex Rodriguez, Tenaha; and Lydia Woods, Beckville. On tenor saxophone: James Lilly, Jasper; and Whitney Ramsey, Center. On baritone saxophone, Somali Fletcher, Hallsville.

On trumpet: Sarah Allen, Henderson; Kaleb Baker, Carthage; America Cabriales, San Augustine; Ruben Hernandez, Tenaha; Miguel Mendoza, Tenaha; Makayla Miller, Ore City; Mahiko Moreno-Flores, Nacogdoches; Brandon Renteria, Tenaha; Maggie Sims, Center; and Josh Wood, Carthage.

On French horn: Sarah Allen, Henderson; Mauricio Alejaldre, Center; Dakota Brown, Marshall; Erica Lee, Center; Jose Torres, Center, and Maddox Whitaker, Hallsville. On trombone: Dakota Brown, Marshall; Jaime Gonzalez, Carthage; Hernan Hernandez, Center; Tressie Key, Henderson, and Eder Nunez, Center. On bass trombone: Carrie Lilly, New Caney, and Steven Sierra, Hallsville. On baritone: Colby Taylor, Carthage; Jessye Massey, Shelbyville; Makayla Bell, Garrison; Demetrius Cooper, Carthage, and Andres Leon, Center.

On tuba: Martravian Williams, Tenaha; A.J. Bowers, Carthage; Steven Sierra, Hallsville, and Daniel Quetzala, Garrison. On percussion: Nicklaus Powell, Shelbyville; Itzel Farias, Garrison; Moses Sangowoye, Lagos, Nigeria; Godwin Adewale, Lagos, Nigeria; and Crystal Whitehead, Marshall. On piano: Carrie Lilly, New Caney.

Sponsors for 2018 Christmas in Carthage were First State Bank & Trust Co.; First United Methodist Church; Bauer Furniture; Central Baptist Church; KGAS Radio; Pippen Motor Co.; State Farm Insurance, Tate Barber and Patsy Meck, local agents; Kay and Dwaine Hubbard; Sarah and Mike Isbell; the Panola College Foundation, and Complete Printing & Publishing.

December 6, 2018 - After a back and forth affair, Panola was able to pull away with a 79-71 victory over Lamar State Port Arthur. The Ponies led 33-31 at halftime. Lamar State came out hot in the 2nd half and were able to build a 69-61 lead with 5:16 left in the game. It was all Ponies from there on out. An 18-2 run to finish the game, pushed the Ponies to 10-3 overall and 1-1 in Region XIV play.

Tylan Dean led the Ponies with 22 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Lenell Henry had another double double effort with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Tariq Simmons added 12 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. Kamari Brown came off the bench to add 10 points, 7 rebounds, and a game winning steal and assist with just over a minute to play. The Ponies now have the rest of December idle, and will return to the court on January 1st at 7pm in a nonconference matchup.

The cast of “I Gelosi” take a bow.

December 5, 2018 - Panola College theatre students earned 27 awards at the 2018 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival held recently.

Five student actors were nominated for the Irene Ryan Award, which qualifies them for an invitation to the 2019 regional festival. These include Shelby Watson, Justin Gonzales, Sarah Owens, Jasmine Ryan and Cody Osburn.

Jasmine Ryan and Cody Osburn starred in “Gruesome Playground Injuries.”

Earning meritorious achievement honors were Maelbi Calderon, dramaturgy and festival coordinator; Nathaniel Endsley, dramaturgy and festival management; Lacie Sepulvado, costume design; Tailer Chong, sound design; Kyree Williams, directing; Angel Kammer, Kassidy Weatherford, Bethany Crowe, and Madison Spence, festival hospitality; Kassandra Escobar, Keath Kibbey, Peyton Proffitt and Brenton Humphries for technical support excellence; and Karen King, festival hosting.

In addition, the Panola College cast and crew of “I Gelosi” received a meritorious achievement award for production ensemble, and were invited to showcase a scene at the 2019 regional festival. Panola College also earned the Director’s Choice award for “Gruesome Playground Injuries.”

From left, Aaron Tello, Center, Bass 2, Kacia Johnson, Tatum, Alto 2; Loren Caserta, Beckville, Soprano 2; Nichole Painter, Marshall, Soprano 1; Sydnee Taylor, Carthage, Alto 1, and Hunter Moon, Beckville, Tenor 1, were selected to the All-State Choir.

December 4, 2018 - Six Panola College students auditioned and were selected to perform with the 2019 Texas Two-Year College All State Choir.

“I am so proud of these fine singers,” said Sandra Bauer, director of vocal music at Panola College. “They worked hard to prepare for the audition, and I’m thrilled that they were selected for this honor.”

The students include Aaron Tello, Center, Bass 2; Kacia Johnson, Tatum, Alto 2; Loren Caserta, Beckville, Soprano 2; Nichole Painter, Marshall, Soprano 1; Sydnee Taylor, Carthage, Alto 1, and Hunter Moon, Beckville, Tenor 1.

The students will join other college singers from across Texas at the 2019 TMEA Clinic and Convention, February 13-16, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio.

Bauer is serving as president of the Texas Two-Year College Choral Directors Association for 2018-2019. “It’s quite an accomplishment to be selected as All-State Choir members. At this event in February, my students will have the opportunity to meet other college musicians and learn from some of the best in the State.”

Beginning Yoga

December 4, 2018 - Panola College/Shelby College Center is offering Beginning Yoga classes. The class will meet Monday and Wednesday: January 7 – February 13, from 5:05 pm – 6:05 pm, at the Shelby College Center. The cost of the class is $50.00 and pre-registration is required. For more information, contact Shelby College Center at 936-598-9543 or email

Zumba® Gold

Panola College/Shelby College Center is offering Zumba ® Gold. This class takes the Zumba formula and modifies the moves and pacing to suit the needs of the older participant. The class will meet Monday and Wednesday: January 7 – February 13, from 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm, at the Shelby College Center. The cost of the class is $50.00 and pre-registration is required. For more information and to register, contact Shelby College Center at 936-598-9543 or email:

December 3, 2018 Brenham, TX - The Fillies opened up conference play today with a 69-54 win against Blinn.

Panola would jump out to a 25-0 lead and not look back. Tight defense early would lead to multiple transition baskets in favor of the Fillies. The Buccaneers would not go away easy. They would outscore the Fillies 26-13 in the second period leading into the breakdown 41-29.

At the start of the second half the Fillies would jump out to a blistering start again. A triple in the corner by freshmen Jolicia Williams and three transitions lay ups my Daryna Barchrova would help the balloon to 26. The Fillies would close the game and secure the win.

Barchova lead the Fillies posting a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Williams would come off the bench and pour in 14. Maryia Adashchyk posted a game high 11 boards.

They Fillies return to AJ Gym Wednesday, December 5th, to take on Kilgore College at 530pm.

December 3, 2018 - After a tough 85-75 loss to Jacksonville College to open Region XIV play, the Ponies returned back to the friendly confines of the AJ Gymnasium, racing to a 99-52 win over DFW Prep in a non conference tuneup. The Ponies jumped to an early lead and were up 52-30 at half. The lead continued to grow until the final buzzer sounded. 

The Ponies were lead by Franklyn Penn with 18 points and 7 rebounds. Lenell Henry added a double double with 15 points and 15 rebounds. Josh Williams, Tariq Simmons, and Kamari Brown all chipped in double figure scoring efforts with 13, 12, and 10 respectively. 

The Ponies return to the hardwood on Wednesday night at AJ Gym on the campus of Panola College facing region XIV foe Lamar State-Port Arthur. Tip is at 7 pm.