2017 Motlow State Baseball News

Former Motlow State baseball coach Don Rhoton to be inducted into TCCAA Hall of Fame Jan. 13

Dec. 21, 2016

Former Motlow State Community College head baseball coach and athletic director Don Rhoton will be inducted into the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) Hall of Fame on Friday, Jan. 13, at Nisbett Center on Motlow's Moore County campus.

The ceremony will be held at halftime of the women's basketball contest between the Motlow Lady Bucks and visiting Walters State. Both teams are nationally ranked and the winner will be in sole possession of first place in the TCCAA standings. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., with the men's game to follow.

"We are extremely proud to welcome Coach Rhoton back to Motlow and to see him finally receive this honor of being inducted into the TCCAA Hall of Fame," said Scott Shasteen, athletics director at Motlow. "Don built a baseball powerhouse here and helped change the lives of hundreds of young men. We invite all of his former players and those who have followed his successful career to come out and support him on this memorable night."

Rhoton was the head coach of the Motlow baseball program during its most successful stretch. From 1989 until 2006, Rhoton's teams won 669 games while losing only 268. He also served as Motlow's athletic director from 1995-2006.

His teams won TCCAA/Region VII championships in 1998 and 2000, and finished as the national tournament runner-up in 2000, falling to San Jacinto, Texas in the national championship game. The 2000 team posted a school-best 57-13 record and recorded a program record 17-game winning streak.

Rhoton was named the TCCAA Coach of the Year three times, and his teams won seven consecutive Eastern Division titles from 1994-2000. Sixteen of his former players made it to the professional ranks, including current San Francisco Giants pitcher Bryan Morris. During Rhoton's 18 years at Motlow, he coached 114 players who continued their careers as student-athletes at four-year institutions.

Prior to his career at Motlow, Rhoton coached the Franklin County High School baseball team for 11 years, compiling a 213-97 record and winning five district titles and two region championships. He is currently the athletic director at Franklin County High School in Winchester.

Rhoton joins three other members of the Motlow State athletics family who have been inducted into the TCCAA Hall of Fame. Joe Daves started the men's basketball program and coached it for nine years from 1969-78, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987. Carr McCalla, former Motlow men's basketball head coach and athletics director, was inducted in 1998, and former Bucks baseball player and professional baseball player David Weathers was inducted last January.

Don Rhoton
Don Rhoton compiled an amazing 669-268 record during his 18 years as head baseball coach for Motlow State Community College from 1989-2006. Rhoton, currently the athletics director at Franklin County High School, will be inducted into the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association Hall of Fame on Friday, Jan. 13, at Nisbett Center on Motlow's Moore County campus. Photo provided.

Motlow State baseball's Helton, Gilmer earn national academic recognition

June 23, 2016

Motlow State Community College student athletes posted another strong performance in the classroom during the 2015-16 year, led by a pair of baseball players who were recently honored by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).

Sophomore Charter Helton earned the Superior Academic Achievement Award, which goes to student-athletes who post a grade point average between 3.80 - 3.99. Helton played his high school baseball at Lewis County in Hohenwald. He was injured for much of the season and received a medical hardship, giving him an additional season of eligibility.

Classmate John Reese Gilmer, who played at Coffee County Central High School in Manchester and transferred to Motlow following his freshman season at Tennessee Temple University, earned the Exemplary Academic Achievement Award from the NJCAA, recognizing those who post a grade point average between 3.60 - 3.79.

Motlow's softball team led the school's four athletic programs in overall classroom performance, posting a team GPA of 3.0. Overall, 66 percent of Motlow's sophomore student athletes graduated in May, with multiple others scheduled to complete their associate degree in August.

Bucks' Region VII Tournament run ends at hands of Jackson State

May 12, 2016

The Motlow Bucks made a strong showing at the TCCAA/Region VII baseball tournament this week, advancing from the play-in game to the third round before falling to Jackson State 9-1 Wednesday morning at Columbia State Community College in Columbia.

The Bucks finished the season with a 20-37 record, the seventh time they have won 20 or more games in the previous eight seasons. Despite the loss to Jackson State, which leads the nation in runs scored this season, the Bucks played their best baseball of the year at the tournament.

After entering the tournament as the No. 10 seed and forced into Sunday's play-in game, the Bucks took care of business when they out-slugged Volunteer State 15-13 Sunday. Motlow built a 10-2 lead, then held off a furious charge by the desperate Pioneers.

The win propelled the Bucks into Monday's opening round, where they fell to No. 2 Dyersburg State 9-5, forcing Motlow into the elimination bracket, where they faced a difficult task against No. 3 Cleveland State.

The Bucks were up to the challenge though, beating the Cougars 7-4 behind the pitching of RJ Moore, JR Gilmer, Bryce Bub and Connor Boyd. The win advanced the Bucks to day three, where the Generals ended Motlow's season by scoring six runs in the second inning.

Head Coach Dan McShea completed his tenth year at the helm of the Bucks' program with an overall record of 229-280-1. Recruiting for the 2017 season is already in full swing, and McShea has signed a number of impressive prospects that should help lead the Bucks back into conference title contention in 2017.

Visit the official website of Motlow Athletics at www.motlowsports.com for rosters, schedules, stats and more. Interact with Motlow Athletics on Facebook and Twitter.

Bucks baseball
Motlow State freshman Camron Harper lines a base hit during a contest earlier this season at the Driver Baseball Complex on Motlow's Moore County campus. Harper played his prep baseball at Smyrna High School and is one of over a dozen freshman that could return in 2017 to form the nucleus of next season's baseball squad. Motlow's 2016 season ended in the third round of the TCCAA/Region VII Tournament in Columbia. Jeff Reed Photography.
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