From COAHOMA COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Press Release by Melody Dixon
While songs normally heard during ball games blasted through the building, cheers from supportive family and friends of the contestants filled The Pinnacle. On one side of the stage, students began chanting, ‘Hey! Go Dierdra!’ to the rhythm of a tune that has become an anthem among the Tiger Family. A decorated neon poster that read ‘Jessica Haygood for Miss Coahoma Community College’ was raised throughout the entire event.
Four outstanding students participated in the newly established Mr. and Miss CCC Competition. Two young men, Hardest Vaughn of Tunica, Mississippi and Russell Furr, Jr. of Marks, Mississippi and two contending ladies, Jessica Haygood of Marks, Mississippi and Dierdra Gooden of Tunica, Mississippi kicked off the event with a striking routine in maroon and black attire.
After formally introducing themselves to the audience, the contestants proceeded to model their fitness and swimwear to the five-judge panel, making up 10 percent of their total score. They were interviewed privately by the judges before the event. The students also participated in a talent showcase, evening wear and an on-stage question segment. The students were critiqued on a scale from 1 to 10 during eacb part of the competition.
Haygood, a rising sophomore majoring in biology, was crowned the winner by Miss CCC 2018-2019 J’Terrica Trotter. She sang a gospel song titled “You Are” by recording artist Kurt Carr for her talent. Being named Miss CCC is indeed an unforgettable moment she will forever cherish.
She was, at first, very hesitant about agreeing to contend for the title but is now excited about what’s in store while serving in her new student leader role.
“Everybody was trying to persuade me but I just wasn’t sure,” said the Honors College and Phi Theta Kappa honor society member. “But I went ahead and decided I should do it. I decided not to worry.”
“It feels great to have won the title. It doesn’t feel ordinary because this is not something I would usually do, but I’m glad I stepped outside of my comfort zone and I’m really just still surprised.”
Furr, who will be entering the fall semester a sophomore at Coahoma, is a sports medicine major aspiring to become an athletic trainer. He expressed that the road to the competition was pure enjoyment, describing the practices as lots of “laughter and jokes.”
Before the announcement of the winners President Valmadge Towner encouraged freshmen to participate next year, reminding them that the experience develops them as students. He stated that the four contestants were all winners in his book.
“God has more destined for you than being in this room where you are,” he said, emphasizing that their participation is not about the probability of losing.
Assistant Director of Student Engagement LaShasa Griffin said she’s already looking forward to next year’s competition.
“Any of them could have won,” she said. “So, I’m pleased with however the outcome came because they had the nerve to do it and it was a great, great competition.”