East Georgia State College is celebrating its 50th anniversary. I am old enough to remember the opening and early years of the 70’s. Things were much different in 1973 than 2023. The college has grown over the past 50 years, but the connection and vitality of the relationship with Swainsboro has always been meaningful. East Georgia College is one of the most valuable resources in Swainsboro. The college and community have always supported each other. The current President, Dr David Schecter, has focused on continuing and strengthening that partnership.
Growing with the college has been the athletic department. I recall when the gym was one small room with a basketball goal and a weight bench. The basketball team played intramural games with the Men’s League of the Emanuel County Recreation Department. Today, there is a beautiful gymnasium and sports complex with several successful athletic teams.
Athletic Director Theo Howard is also building on the partnership with Swainsboro by tapping into the Swainsboro athletic talent. Several former Tigers are on athletic teams at East Georgia College. Basketball season is about to begin, and Swainsboro players are on the men's and women's teams. The coaching and support staff include Swainsboro High Athletic Hall of Fame member Yvette Roberts Mercer along with former Tigers, Quintin Dukes, and Joe Pearson.
Serah Kelly, a 2023 Swainsboro High graduate, starts her freshmen season. Serah came up through the Swainsboro middle school system and was a 4-year starter and All-State player at Swainsboro High. Derrick Jones is a 2021 graduate and member of the Swainsboro High 2020 State Championship team. Derrick's family is deeply rooted in Swainsboro and has a long basketball legacy. Also, on the roster is Jasmyn Strobridge. Jasmyn attended high school in Mississippi, but her father and his family attended Swainsboro High and are longtime Emanuel County residents.
Coach Howard is extending a personal invitation to fans in Swainsboro and surrounding areas to come out and enjoy some good basketball while supporting these former Tigers and, more importantly, helping give East Georgia State College that home-court advantage.
The below message is from Coach Howard.
BOBCAT BASKETBALL IN THE BORO!
East Georgia State College Athletics (EGSC) would like to officially invite the Swainsboro community to come enjoy the excitement and fast pace of college basketball at the beautiful Physical Education Complex on the EGSC campus. Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams have reached the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA) championship games in recent years. The Lady Bobcats ended the 2022-23 season ranked #24 in the nation. There is no question that teams with a great fan-base consistently win more games, which leads to Championships.
The Lady Bobcats hosted their home opener on November 10, against Southern Union College, and both the men’s and women’s basketball teams will play on November 15, at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. in a huge double-header against the University of South Carolina-Salkehatchie. The theme was Military Appreciation Day honoring the local heroes known as Swainsboro’s “Veterans at the Library” and all those who have served our great nation’s military. Admission was free with military ID on Military Appreciation Day.
EGSC is a D1 NJCAA program that recruits talented athletes that can compete at the highest level. The men’s and women’s head basketball coaches have a combined 60 years of coaching experience. EGSC’s team rosters also currently include some local talent (Derrick Jones and Serah Kelly from Swainsboro High School). Jasmyn Strobridge, whose father is a Swainsboro native is also the starting point guard for the Lady Bobcats. Jasmyn is the reigning GCAA Player of the Week averaging 24.5 points per game and 8 rebounds per game through the first two road games of the season.
Come support Bobcat basketball! Together we win!
Jasmyn Strobridge was recognized today as the GCAA Player of the Week. She averaged 24.5 points per game and 8 rebounds per game in the first week of the 2023-24 season leading her team to a win against a tough Daytona State opponent. Jasmyn is a sophomore point guard for the Lady Bobcats and has been chosen as team captain to help lead the team this season. Jasmyn is an honor roll student at East Georgia and following a strong freshman campaign that culminated with her leading the team in scoring (17pts) in the GCAA championship game last year, she has become a legitimate D1 prospect that 4-year schools are paying attention to.
She has a very interesting backstory with ties to Swainsboro. Jasmyn’s father (Mr. Virgil Strobridge) is a Swainsboro native that attended Swainsboro High School. He is one of 17 siblings and many of them are still local and are prominent community members. Needless to say, Jasmyn has a pretty significant fan club at home games. Mr. Strobridge retired from the Navy, so Jasmyn was not raised locally. She was a standout high school athlete at St. Patrick High Catholic School in Biloxi, Mississippi. When it came down to Jasmyn’s recruitment to East Georgia, the huge family presence in the area made Swainsboro attractive. “Jasmyn was a huge get for our program, because she is an elite three-level scorer and a tenacious defender”, says head coach Theo Howard. Jasmyn was a versatile player that played forward in high school because of her ability to rebound. Arriving at college she was quickly told that she would play a more prominent role facilitating the offense. Hence, Jasmyn had to transition to the point guard position where she is currently thriving. When asked how it felt to be named POTY Jasmyn said, “It feels great to be recognized. It’s good that my hard work is transitioning to the court in the games.” Her favorite quote is “the greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.”