Hall of Fame: Class of 2022 breaks new ground

Published 12:01 am Thursday, September 15, 2022

By Mike London

SALISBURY —  The Salisbury-Rowan Hall of Fame class for 2022 has been finalized.

This is the 20th class for a Hall of Fame that began in 2001.

The Class of 2022 is a double class that includes 10, instead of the standard five electees, from the main ballot.

That expanded number is to help compensate for no inductees in 2020 and 2021. COVID canceled all committee meetings those two years.

The latest Hall of Fame class includes huge names. You don’t get much more famous in the local sports world than Javon Hargrave and K.P. Parks.

Also elected by the Hall of Fame committee were Romar Morris, Daniel Moore, Ernest Wiggins, Sappia Venn, Ricky Holt, Todd DeSorbo, Devon Williams Jarvis and Lisa Staton Dyer.

Gilbert Sprinkle led the way in the balloting for senior candidates.

Sprinkle’s long coaching, multi-sport coaching  career at East Rowan included basketball championships in 1973-74 and 1974-75.  As a an athlete, he starred in basketball at North Rowan and Appalachian State.

The late Carl Marlin Jr., a J.C. Price graduate and a long-time youth football and basketball coach, will be honored as the Fred M. Evans Community Service Award winner.

Wayne Hinshaw, whose award-winning photographs have been used by the Salisbury Post for 50 years, will be honored as the Horace Billings Lifetime Achievement Award winner.

The new class will raise the local Hall of Fame’s membership to 138. Jarvis and Dyer are the 13th and 14th women to be elected.

The Hall of Fame membership includes 22 “contributors” who have been honored with either the Billings or Evans awards.

Thirty-two Hall of Fame members have been elected primarily for their work as coaches.

That means 84 (a little over four individuals per year) have been elected for their achievements as athletes. Some college All-Americans will be inducted this year, while more college All-Americans are still waiting.

There was some groundbreaking voting.  The first soccer player (Venn), the first fast-pitch softball player (Jarvis) and the first swimmer (DeSorbo) were elected.

The 2022 inductees:

• Venn (Salisbury, Class of 1994) is considered by many to be the best soccer player in Rowan history. He scored 151 goals for the Hornets, still seventh all-time in the NCHSAA.

He was an Umbro All-American. He played on a national championship team at Spartanburg Methodist and was a national leader in assists for UNC Greensboro in 1997.

• Jarvis (West Rowan, Class of 2005) was MVP of the 3A State Championships in 2002 and 2003 as a pitcher/third baseman. Those were the only Rowan teams ever to win state titles in the sport.

Playing shortstop as a senior, she led a new group of Falcons to a state runner-up finish.

She went on to play four years in the ACC and was a four-year starter for Maryland.

• DeSorbo (Salisbury, Class of 1995) won three individual state titles and led the Hornets to Rowan’s only team state championship in swimming in 1995.

He had great success as a collegiate swimmer at Kentucky and UNC Wilmington, where he broke school records and won conference titles.

As the head coach of the Virginia men’s and women’s programs, he is recognized as one of the nation’s best. Virginia’s women won the team national championship in 2021, and DeSorbo was an assistant coach for Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics.

• Dyer (Salisbury, Class of 1979) is only the second woman elected to the Hall of Fame for track and field.

She won high school state titles in the triple and long jumps.

At UNC, she excelled in sprints as well as jumps. She broke program records and placed seventh in the long jump in the 1981 indoor nationals.

She holds the distinction of being UNC’s first female track All-America.

• Wiggins (South Rowan, Class of 2000) was a late-bloomer who became Rowan’s fastest sprinter.

Wiggins clocked a long-standing county record 10.22 as a senior in the 100 meters in the Rowan County Championships and won regional titles in the 100 and 200.

He enjoyed a legendary career at Appalachian State where he broke program sprint records for 55 meters, 60 meters and 100 meters.

He was a two-time All-American for the Mountaineers, a six-time Southern Conference champion and the school’s Male Athlete of the Year for 2004.

He was an alternate for the USA 4×100 team for the 2004 Olympic Games and competed as a pro for many years.

• Moore (North Rowan, Class of 2000) is the 15th to be elected to the Hall of Fame for his exploits as a baseball player.

His 306 strikeouts for Rowan County American Legion rank fourth all-time.

In high school, the lefty pitcher was a two-time Rowan County Player of the Year and a two-time Central Carolina Conference Player of the Year.

He led North to a 2A state runner-up finish as a senior and was the Gatorade Player of the Year for the state.

He was UNC’s Most Valuable Pitcher in 2003 and was a second-round draft pick by the San Diego Padres.

• Holt (Salisbury, Class of 1978) was a solid, three-sport athlete for the Hornets and played football for Catawba, but his Hall of Fame election comes mostly for his long list of achievements after his playing days.

He launched a coaching/teaching career at West Rowan Junior High in 1985. He coached conference championship basketball teams at A.L. Brown and  state champion football teams at Carver High in Winston-Salem.

He capped his career as the athletic director who steered Winston-Salem Prep to 10 state titles in hoops and track.

• Parks (West Rowan, Class of 2010) was the most prolific offensive football player in Rowan County football history.

He helped start a celebrated, 46-game West Rowan winning streak

His staggering career numbers put him on national leaderboards. He had 1,370 carries for 10,945 yards and scored 158 touchdowns.

His senior season alone included 59 touchdowns and  3,794 rushing yards. He was Associated Press North Carolina Player of the Year.

He starred at Virginia and is fifth in program history with 3,219 rushing yards and fourth with 29 rushing TDs.

* Morris (Salisbury, Class of 2011) was the NCHSAA Male Athlete of the Year for 2011.

His high school accomplishments include five individual track and field state championships for the sprints and two Most Outstanding Performer awards.

In football, he’s Salisbury’s career leader with 58 touchdowns and holds the school record with 1,789 rushing yards.

He was Central Carolina Conference Player of the Year and state championship game MVP.

He scored 14 touchdowns for UNC and six in the Canadian Football League.

• Hargrave (North Rowan, Class of 2011) made the Pro Bowl last winter and is recognized as one of the top defensive tackles in the NFL.

He has 100 professional games under his belt.

As a high school player, he set Rowan County records for fumble recoveries in a season (8) and a career (18).

He turned in a monumental college career at South Carolina State and was the top defensive player nationally at that level.

A third-round draft pick, he’s had sustained success with the Pittsburgh Steelers and now withthe Philadelphia Eagles.

Induction ceremonies will take place on Saturday, Nov. 12, at the Salisbury Civic Center.