Pearl River announces star-studded Hall of Fame class

Pearl River announces star-studded Hall of Fame class

POPLARVILLE, Miss. — The stars will be out in full force July 26 when Pearl River Community College celebrates its latest Athletics Hall of Fame class.

PRCC is proud to announce five new inductees that comprise its Class of 2024: Jack Byrd, Emil Jones, Pamela Munger, Nick Smith, and Walt Thomas.

This year's Spirit of a Wildcat Award recipients are Marjory Thrash and Bobby Thrash.

Additionally, PRCC will recognize four championship teams at the banquet: 2003 men's soccer, 2003 football, 2003-04 men's basketball and 2004 baseball.

In addition to the banquet, PRCC will host its annual four-person scramble golf tournament at The Bridges at 9 a.m. July 26.

That evening, PRCC will host a social hour at the Hollywood Casino at 6 p.m., with banquet set for a 7 p.m. start.

Tickets for the banquet are $100. Golf teams are $600. Tickets to the golf tournament and banquet can be secured at Tickets can ONLY be purchased in advance. No walk-up tickets will be available.

Byrd arrived at PRCC as a football player but really found his calling on the soccer field as a coach.

From 2008 to 2018, Byrd coached the PRCC women's soccer team, amassing a 158-34-9 record. He won MACCC championships in 2009, '12, '14 and '15, with South State titles in '09, '11 and '15. He was a four-time MACCC Coach of the Year selection and added Region Coach of the Year honors in '12, '14 and '15. He coached the men in 2009, finishing with a 10-7 record.

Byrd was also a kicker for PRCC's football team in 1999 and 2000. After graduation, Byrd played at Ouachita before returning to PRCC.

Jones was one of the best two-sport athletes to ever represent The River, leading both the football and men's basketball teams.

In two seasons as the starting quarterback in 2008 and '09, Jones totaled 4,738 yards and 38 touchdowns. Jones also played two seasons for coach Richard Mathis on the men's basketball team: 2009-10 and 2010-11.

As a freshman, Jones averaged 7.0 points and 6.0 rebounds as he helped PRCC earn a MACCC title with a 24-5 record.

He took his game to another level as a sophomore, averaging 18.3 points and 7.9 rebounds to earn All-MACCC and All-Region 23 honors. The 'Cats finished that year with a 23-5 record and were MACCC runner-up.

Jones went on to star as a basketball player at Troy; his biggest moment came when he hit the game-winning jumper to lift Troy over Mississippi State in the debut of the new Trojan Arena.

Munger will make Pearl River history on July 26 as the school's first tennis inductee.

Munger was a standout on the tennis court during her time at PRCC between 1999 and 2001. In 2000, Munger won the MACCC Singles Championship, the only one in school history.

During her championship singles run that year, Munger earned a 6-1, 6-1 Round 1 win, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 win in Round 2 and then toppled her opponent from East Central 6-0, 2-6, 6-3 in Round 3 to advance to the Championship. In the Championship, Munger defeated Copiah Lincoln's Sara Joy 6-3, 6-4.

That same postseason, which was hosted at the City Park Courts in Tupelo, Munger teamed up with Ilene McCombs to advance to the second round of the No. 1 doubles competition.

Munger's 10 points from her No. 2 singles Championship helped PRCC finish fourth in the state.

Smith represented PRCC's baseball team proudly in 2007 and '08, earning All-MACCC and All-Region 23 honors as a sophomore. As a freshman, Smith hit .312 with nine doubles, 39 RBIs and 12 stolen bases. He dialed up the production in his sophomore campaign, hitting .394 with 13 doubles, three triples and six home runs. He also stole a whopping 42 bases.

Following his prolific career at PRCC, Smith went on to play at Southern Miss.

Thomas was a prolific goal scorer and leader on Pearl River's first MACCC Championship team in 2003. Thomas played regularly as a freshman in '02 but really found another gear as a sophomore when he formed a formidable tandem at the top of the formation with teammate and current PRCC men's soccer coach Drew Gallant.

Not only was he clinical with his feet in front of goal, but he also used his size and strength to his advantage, heading in several more goals.

Marjory and Bobby Thrash truly embody what it means to be a Wildcat supporter. The couple were long-time instructors at PRCC who, even after retirement, continue to support The River and all its student athletes. Whether they're working with the Athletics Department or even on their off days, the Thrashes rarely miss a Pearl River sporting event. Bobby Thrash, who taught computer science at PRCC, runs the scoreboard at home basketball games. Marjory Thrash, who taught English, is an integral member of PRCC's ticketing team.

The 2003-04 school year was certainly one to remember at The River. PRCC's four men's teams each won their respective MACCC (then MACJC) Championships.

On May 25, 2004, baseball coach Jay Artigues, Mathis, football coach Tim Hatten and men's soccer coach Dr. Adam Breerwood were honored by the Mississippi House of Representatives via House Resolution No. 8. The document was authored by the House delegation from Marion, Hancock, Forrest, Lamar, Jefferson Davis and Pearl River counties.

Previous inductees who are planning to attend this year's banquet are encouraged to contact Mary Alice Chandler at or 601-403-1193 to provide their jacket size. The deadline to submit jacket information is June 1, 2023.

Anyone who registers before the deadline can pick up their jacket at the 2024 ceremony.

Former inductees who are planning to attend the banquet are encouraged to wear their jackets.

Sponsorship packages are available for both the banquet and golf tournament.

To secure your sponsorship package or donate to the event, contact Chandler at or 601-403-1193.

Know a former Wildcat who you believe should be considered in the future? Nominate by visiting or visiting and clicking the nomination form link at the top of the page.

For the latest on Pearl River Community College athletics, follow us on X (@PRCCAthletics) and Facebook (PRCCAthletics).