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Football movie to feature JCJC, Ellisville

Shawn Wansley
Posted: October 08, 2011 1:13 PM

 By Shawn Wansley

JCJC Sports Information Director

ELLISVILLE – So you want to be in the movies?

Jones County Junior College fans and supporters will soon have that opportunity.

A film crew will be on the JCJC campus and in the town of Ellisville shooting footage for “Mississippi Jucos: The Toughest Football League in America” on Oct. 14-15. The movie is based on a book of the same name, which is scheduled for release on Oct. 24.

“It’s an exciting project,” said Jackson attorney Mike Frascogna, who authored the book, along with X.M. Frascogna Jr. and Marty Frascogna, during a pre-visit meeting to the Jones’ campus on Thursday. “We will probably accumulate 20 hours of footage and use approximately 20 minutes on Jones for the movie. The rest of the footage will be coming to the college for its own use.”

The Frascogna family has authored several books about football in Mississippi, including Gridiron Gold, Y’all vs. Us, Bull “Cyclone” Sullivan and Gridiron Glory. According to a press release, this book is about junior college football in Mississippi – “…one of the oldest and most colorful leagues in America. Tucked away in Mississippi – arguably the most rabid football state of all – is a self-contained, highly unique football ecosystem. The Mississippi juco football league, or, as the locals refer to it, “juco ball,” or simply the “league,” consists of 14 junior colleges (now referred to as community colleges except for one) all inside the boundaries of Mississippi.”

The Oct. 14-15 time frame was chosen because that is Homecoming weekend at JCJC. This also happens to be the Centennial year for the school.

A 50-year Class Reunion will be taking place, along with a Football Player and Cheerleader Reunion. The annual Homecoming Parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday and will go through downtown Ellisville, a pep rally will be held and the JCJC Alumni Luncheon takes place in the A.B. Howard Gymnasium.

And, of course, the weekend is highlighted when the Bobcats host the East Central Community College Warriors at 3 p.m. on Saturday at Bobcat Stadium/Sim Cooley Field.

Frascogna said the film is a large undertaking.

“Typically, we will interview students, alumni, players, coaches and the school president,” he said, referring to JCJC President Dr. Jesse Smith. “We will talk with 8-10 students and we will interview 5-6 players after their walk-through practice on Friday. We will also have a list of alumni to interview.”

The crew will use 3-4 cameras during the filming. They will begin rolling at approximately 9 a.m. each day.

On Saturday, there will be extensive footage shot of the parade as it begins on campus, winds its way through town and back to the college. The Maroon Typhoon Marching Band, Touch of Gold dancers and Bobcat cheerleaders will be featured.

Local folks are encouraged to show up and line the parade route for a chance to be in the movie.

“We are looking for that ‘Mayberry’ shot,” said Cotton Yancey, who will direct the film.

As far as the game itself, JCJC head coach Eddie Pierce will be miked and the crew will tape his pregame speech in the lockerroom. JCJC announcers Lance Pittman and Mark Easley will also be miked, along with public address announcer Shawn Sellers.

Frascogna also noted the Bobcat mascot – South Jones freshman Shelby Thrash – will play a prominent role in the film.

“We want to spend at least an hour and a half with the mascot on Friday,” he said. “Previously, we have shown mascots walking through the cafeteria carrying a tray of food, going to the library or something like that on campus. Last week at Co-Lin, we had the Wolf mascot on the golf course.”

Several other aspects of campus and Ellisville – The Arbor, lake, Jones County Courthouse, etc. – will be highlighted in the film.

The movie will be shown in theaters, but a release date has not been announced.

The film will feature six other Mississippi junior colleges in addition to Jones: Co-Lin, East Mississippi, Itawamba, Hinds, Holmes and Pearl River.

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