NOTE: This is Part 1 in a five-part series highlighting Pearl River's Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2019.
POPLARVILLE, Miss. — Michael Allizzo just had a knack for goal scoring. Regardless of the stakes at play or the situation, former Pearl River men's soccer coach Paul Martin could always count on the eventual NJCAA All-American during the 2012 and '13 seasons.
Allizzo will be honored as one of the five members of the Pearl River Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2019 during Homecoming festivities Oct. 12. Kickoff against Southwest at Dobie Holden Stadium is set for 2 p.m.
"I made a lot of good, long-lasting friends," said Allizzo, who also kicked for the football team. "It was probably the best time I had in college because we were always together and our team was all friends.
"You don't always get that."
Allizzo was a fixture for Martin early on as a freshman. The highlight of his season came in the Region XXIII Title Game, when the Ocean Springs native scored with 3:24 remaining to knock off Meridian 2-1.
What really sticks out to Allizzo from that stretch is the next game — a narrow 1-0 loss to Paris (Texas).
The fact a MACJC team went toe-to-toe with a team from Texas that had far fewer restrictions from a roster composition standpoint is a great sense of pride for Allizzo.
"I felt like we really could have won that game," he said. "Looking back, they could recruit anyone at that point and we couldn't so it was pretty neat that a bunch of Mississippians went toe to toe with them."
By the time Allizzo left Poplarville for William Carey he had collected two All-Region XXIII selections, was a 2013 NJCAA All-America Second Team selection and had won two MACJC titles in addition to the '12 Region XXIII hardware. He also left PRCC as the program's all-time leading goal scorer with 42.
Allizzo continued to stand out at William Carey, earning SSAC Scholar Athlete honors both years he suited up for the Crusaders.
Allizzo works in sales in Hattiesburg.
PRCC FOOTBALL BROADCASTS
All Pearl River football games are livestreamed at PRCCAthletics.com and PRCCMedia.com. Games will also be broadcast on WRJW 1320 AM, WCJU 1450 AM in Columbia, WCJU 104.9 FM in Prentiss, and both WHSY 950 AM and WHSY 105.9 FM in Hattiesburg.
Individuals who have an Amazon Fire Stick or Roku device can also stream PRCC broadcast by downloading the "Pearl River CC" channel from the app store.