Five to join Alexander Sports Hall of Fame



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Five to join Alexander Sports Hall of Fame

The Alexander County Public Education Foundation and the Alexander County Sports Hall of Fame has announced the Fourth Hall of Fame Class of inductees.

The Hall of Fame was established in 2012 to recognize, honor and memorialize those individuals who have made noteworthy contributions to sports in Alexander County and who have lived a life of exemplary character.

Once a person is nominated, his or her nomination remains permanent and will receive selection consideration each year by the selection committee.

Nomination forms are found on the Education Foundation link on the Alexander County Schools’ webpage www.alexander.k12.nc.us) and are due by June 1 each year.

Alexander County Sports Hall of Fame Committee members include John Bruce (Chairman), Dennis Smart (Treasurer), Brigette Rhyne (Secretary), Andy Anderson, Alvin Burke, Anna Ferguson, Mike Millsaps, Donny Pennell, Bobby White, and Larry Yoder.

The Alexander County Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2015 will be inducted on Monday, November 23, at 6:00 pm at Brushy Mountain Golf Club in Taylorsville. Tickets will be $20 per person, which will include dinner along with the induction ceremony.

The Alexander County Public Education Foundation is pleased to announce the selection of the following persons for induction in the Class of 2015:



MITZI DAVIS

A 1979 graduate of Alexander Central High School, Mitzi Davis was a member of the first state championship softball team at the school in the spring of 1979. Davis was a standout athlete for the Cougars, starring in volleyball, basketball, and softball. She was voted the NWC Player of the Year in 1976-1979 in softball and was named the Most Valuable Player in Alexander’s state final wins over Cape Fear. Following high school, Davis attended East Carolina University on a volleyball/softball scholarship. She currently resides

in Texas, where she is a member of the USSSA Softball Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame achievements:

• NW Conference Softball Player of the Year, 1976-1979;

• Most Valuable Player of 1979 NC Softball State Championship Series vs. Cape Fear;

• All-time letter winner, MVP, and All State at East Carolina University 1979-1983;

• USSSA Softball Texas Hall of Fame - 1998;

• 1996 US Olympic Festival participant.

ROBIN HARRIS

For years, Robin Harris dominated short track racing in Alexander and surrounding counties. During a decorated 26-year, short-track, racing career, Harris appeared in 871 races, posting 355 wins and 171 career poles. He placed in the top-five in 739 of his 871 career starts.

Harris earned 10 dirt track championships and three paved track titles in his racing career.

He posted track titles in the three major divisions at Hickory Motor Speedway, winning the 1997 Limited Sportsman, 2000 Limited Late Model, and 2005 NASCAR Late Model Super Truck championships. A 1978 graduate of Alexander Central High School, he won four go-kart track championships at local tracks from 1981-1985.

Some of his Hall of Fame achievements include:

• Started 871 total races in a 26-year short track career;

• Claimed 355 career wins, 171 poles, and 739 top-five finishes in career;

• Winner of three major championships at Hickory Motor Speedway;

• Winner of four go-kart track championships in Alexander County from 1981-1985;

• 1978 Graduate of Alexander Central High School.



SHENA BOWMAN HOLLAR

Shena Bowman Hollar is a 1991 graduate of Alexander Central High School. While at ACHS, she was a standout athlete, excelling in volleyball, basketball, and slow-pitch softball. She earned All-Conference honors in all three sports, and despite being injured, was a member of the 1991 ACHS Softball State Championship Team. In 1990, she set a North Carolina softball record with 10 RBI in a single game.

Following high school, she attended Wingate College and played volleyball and softball for the Lady Bulldogs, earning Second Team All-Conference honors in 1993. She graduated from Wingate in 1996 and entered the coaching profession in 1998 when she became the head softball coach at Newberry College. She spent two seasons at Newberry before accepting the head softball job at Lenoir-Rhyne University in 2000.

Since 2000, Hollar has compiled a 648-225-2 mark as the Bear mentor and is easily the school’s all-time winningest coach. Under Hollar, Lenoir-Rhyne has captured nine South Atlantic Conference Regular Season Championships. She has been named the SAC Coach of the Year five times. In addition to her coaching duties, she also serves as the Associate Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and as Senior Woman Administrator at Lenoir-Rhyne University.

Some of her Hall of Fame achievements include:

• 1991 Graduate of Alexander Central where she earned All-Conference honors in volleyball, basketball, and softball;

• Has compiled a 648-225-2 record in 16 seasons as the head softball coach at Lenoir-Rhyne University;

• Five-time South Atlantic Softball Coach of the Year;

• Has led LRU to nine SAC Softball Conference Championships;

• Serves as Associate Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and as Senior Woman Administrator at Lenoir-Rhyne University



CHRIS KITE

During his playing career, Chris Kite was known across Alexander County and North Carolina as one of the top golfers in the sport. A 1982 graduate of Alexander Central High School, Kite starred for the Cougar Golf Team, earning NWC Player of the Year honors two times.

Following a stellar high school career in Taylorsville, Kite traveled to Winston-Salem and became a member of one of the nation’s top college golf programs at Wake Forest University. Kite was a leader on the Deacon Golf Team during his four seasons in Winston. He earned NCAA All-American honors as a member of the WFU team.

In 1986, Kite fired a 66 in the final round of the NCAA National Championship to lead the Deacons to the Division I Golf Championship.

He competed as a member of the United States Walker Cup Team in 1987 and finished as the US Amateur runner-up in an event played in Shoal Creek, Alabama, in 1986. Kite also competed in the 1987 Masters in Augusta, Georgia.

Some of his Hall of Fame achievements include:

• A 1982 graduate of Alexander Central High School, where he earned NWC Golfer of the Year honors two times;

• Two-time NCAA All-American at Wake Forest University;

• Member of the 1986 Wake Forest Golf Team which captured the NCAA Championship;

• Member of the 1987 US Walker Cup Championship Team;

• Participated in the 1987 Masters in Augusta, Georgia.

EDWIN GAIL

SQUIRREL” THOMAS

A professional baseball player for more than a dozen seasons, Edwin Gail “Squirrel” Thomas was a standout prep player during his playing days at Hiddenite High School. He is a 1952 graduate of Hiddenite where enjoyed a stellar career in baseball and basketball. He graduated from Gardner-Webb University in 1954 and was a captain of the Bulldogs’ Baseball Team.

In 1953, Thomas started his professional baseball career when he inked a contract with the Cincinnati Reds for a signing bonus of $3,500. After two seasons in the Reds Organization, Thomas entered the United States Army and served his country from 1956-1958.

Following his stint in the military, Thomas returned to professional baseball where he played for the Statesville Owls from 1959-1960. He played for the Los Angeles Angels Organization from 1960-1965 and spent time with the Major League Club during his tenure with the Angels.

Some of his Hall of Fame achievements include:

• Graduated from Hiddenite High School in 1952;

• Starred as a basketball and baseball player at Hiddenite High School and earned a spot at Gardner Webb University as a member of its baseball and basketball teams;

• Signed his first professional contract with the Cincinnati Reds in 1953;

• Enjoyed a 12-year professional baseball career which included Major League appearances with the Los Angeles Angels Organization;

• Served three years in the United States Army from 1956-1958.

ALEXANDER SPORTS

HALL OF FAME

INDUCTEES

2012

Heath Bost

Harry Gant

Kay Wilson Hammer

Thurmond Teague

David Elder

Pat Gainey

(posthumously)



2013

Joan Gilreath Sykes

Scooter Grinton

Dave Jolly (posthumously)

Raeford Thomas

Glenn Wilson

Rex White

2014

Gary Lail

Angelle Foust Pennell

Richard Mash

Gary Walker

Tickets now available at the following locations:

• Brushy Mountain Golf Club

• People’s Drug in Taylorsville

• Office Practice of Pharmacy In Taylorsville

• Nationwide Insurance - Hiddenite

• Statesville Historical Collection

• PJ's Seafood and Steak - Bethlehem



• Alexander County Board of Education Building


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