2023 Regular Session
By: Representatives Foster, Blackmon, Bailey, Anthony, Denton, Osborne, Straughter
A RESOLUTION COMMENDING AND CONGRATULATING THE TOUGALOO COLLEGE "BULLDOGS" MEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM AND HEAD COACH ERIC STROTHERS FOR WINNING THE 2022-2023 GULF COAST ATHLETIC CONFERENCE (GCAC) REGULAR SEASON AND TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONSHIPS AND THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETICS OPENING ROUNDS CHAMPIONSHIP.
WHEREAS, the Tougaloo College "Bulldogs" Men's Basketball Team clinched the 2022-2023 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) Regular Season and Tournament Championships titles, making them back-to-back GCAC Regular Season and Tournament Champions, and clinching the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Opening Rounds Championship; and
WHEREAS, the Bulldogs close out the climactic regular season with an incredible 32-2 season record, the team's first 30-plus games winning season, which entailed a perfect 14-0 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference record, marking a major feat for the program and one of many firsts in Tougaloo's history of existence, in addition to the college's first NAIA National Tournament Opening Rounds Championship and first NAIA National Tournament Quarterfinals appearance; and
WHEREAS, the Bulldog's ascent to the top pitted them against well-contended and equally zealous opponents in hard-fought battles on both sides of the ball, but the Bulldogs dug their heels in during each match with a tenacious drive and mettle to amplify their efforts to reign victorious; and
WHEREAS, the Tougaloo College "Bulldogs" Men's Basketball Team is comprised of the following talented athletes: Antonio Patterson, Cameron Copeland, Andre' Brunt, Trajan Fielder, Antwan Beans, Cameron Woodall, Tyler Berryhill, Tyler Crump, John Wesley Taylor, Darian Pierce, Jr., Jamal Wiley, Karl Johnson, De'Arius Henyard, Kevin Byrd, Darryl Jones, Demarcquize Washington, Ze'Terrius Rice and Chavis Banks; and
WHEREAS, the team's statistics were impressive this season, but the key to the team's remarkable success has been the constant atmosphere of unity, year-round hard work and outstanding performances by several players, which led to the receipt of numerous individual honors and recognitions, including: the selection of Cameron Copeland as 2023 GCAC Player of the Year, All-GCAC First Team, Tournament MVP and 2023 NAIA All-America Second Team; the naming of Trajan Fielder to the All-GCAC Second Team and recipient of the NAIA Champions of Character Award; the naming of Cameron Woodall to the All-GCAC Second Team; and the naming of Darryl Jones to the All-GCAC Second Team, All-Defensive Team and All-Tournament Team; and
WHEREAS, the Bulldogs have been superbly coached and inspired by Head Coach Eric Strothers and Assistant Coaches Thomas Billups, Chris Stephens and John Neal, who have each broadened the players' knowledge of the game, while refining their skills in execution; and
WHEREAS, Coach Strothers and the assistant coaches continue to build upon the legacy of superior play and true sportsmanship forged by the tenacious and undaunted spirit of each team member, as evidenced in their ability to produce high caliber players and by the team's successful season, which also proved rewarding for Coach Strothers, who was tapped as the 2023 GCAC Coach of the Year, and Assistant Coach Thomas Billups, who was named 2023 GCAC Assistant Coach of the Year; and
WHEREAS, it is the policy of the House of Representatives to recognize this special group of collegiate student-athletes who have reached the pinnacles of collegiate basketball excellence and have brought honor to their learning institution, their community and to the State of Mississippi:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby commend and congratulate the Tougaloo College "Bulldogs" Men's Basketball Team, Head Coach Eric Strothers and assistant coaches for winning the 2022-2023 GCAC Regular Season and Tournament Championships titles and clinching the NAIA Opening Rounds Championship, and extend to the athletes and coaches best wishes for continued success.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to Head Coach Eric Strothers, Assistant Coaches Thomas Billups, Chris Stephens and John Neal, President Carmen J. Walters and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.