Hall of Fame: Class of 2023 announced

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 9, 2023

Staff report

SALISBURY — The Salisbury-Rowan Hall of Fame Class of 2023 has been announced.

Induction ceremonies will take place at the Salisbury Civic Center on Aug. 12.

Six former athletes were elected from a large pool of nominees.

• Fred Campbell (Salisbury, Class of 1988) was the Player of the Year for 2A basketball in 1988 and MVP of the 1987 state championship game. He played basketball in the Big East at Providence.

• Janetta Heggins Andrews (South Rowan, Class of 1999) was a three-sport standout in high school basketball, track and field and volleyball and scored more than 1,700 points in basketball. She had a fine college basketball career at Western Carolina.

• Maggie Rich Hatch (East Rowan, Class of 2004) was a basketball and volleyball standout in high school and was Rowan County Female Athlete of the Year in 2004. She’s the all-time leading basketball scorer at East with 1,917 points and played college basketball for Campbell.

• Eric Saunders (Salisbury, Class of 1993) was one of the county’s all-time tennis greats and is the first male tennis player elected to the Hall. He had a record of 115-3 in high school and won three individual state titles. He played at a high level in college for both N.C. State and UNC.

• Chris Smith (West Rowan, Class of 2010) was a three-sport athlete at West Rowan and one of the memorable performers during the Falcons’ long winning streak and run of 3A state football championships. He was a football standout at Arkansas and played in 72 NFL games. Smith was elected posthumously.

• Mark Sturgis Jr. (North Rowan, Class of 2004) was a standout back in football but his greatest accomplishments were in track and field. He won two high school state titles and five Southern Conference triple jump championships at Appalachian State. He was named to the 100th anniversary team for Southern Conference track and field.

Elected in the division for athletes whose high school careers were 50 or more years ago was Howard Barnhardt (Landis High, Class of 1960) who had an All-America football career at Lenoir-Rhyne, and Allen Simmons (West Rowan, Class of  1973). Simmons was a football/basketball standout for the Falcons and went on to a Catawba Sports Hall of Fame career in football.

Ronnie Gallagher, Salisbury Post sports editor from 1997 until his death in 2013, is the Horace Billings Award winner.

Wilson Cherry, who has provided a lifetime of service to Rowan County athletics in many capacities is the Fred Evans Service Award winner.

More on this class will be in the Post’s print editions.