11/21/06 — Quintet comprises first MOC Athletics Hall of Fame class

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Quintet comprises first MOC Athletics Hall of Fame class

By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on November 21, 2006 1:47 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- The inaugural Mount Olive College Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place Saturday afternoon at the Lois K. Murphy Regional Center. The first installment of the Hall was part of the Alumni Weekend and 41st annual Pickle Classic festivities.

Kenney Moore, Larry Nance, Clarence Rose, Ray Scarborough, and Russell Stephens comprised the first Hall class. Each inductee selected his own presenter and current Trojan student-athletes formally awarded the Hall of Fame plaque to each inductee.

Kenney Moore

A two-time all-conference shortstop, Moore played on the Trojan baseball team in 1982 and '83. Mount Olive won the Carolinas Conference championship and advanced to the NAIA District 26 tournament. The Trojans came within one win of participating in the national finals.

Moore noted that the Trojans, during his freshman year, had several players drafted by Major League teams. But it was the team the following year that enjoyed the most success.

"It's truly an honor to be here," said Moore. "It's not always the most talented individuals that succeed, but a group of people with a common drive and a common dream."

Former MOC baseball coach Larry Dean introduced Moore and current Trojan shortstop David Cooper presented the Hall of Fame plaque to Moore.

"Kenney was always focused, he always had it in his mind what he wanted to do," said Dean. "When I was recruiting Kenney, the scouting report on him was 'above average glove, hitting suspect.' Kenney went on to hit .400 as a freshman and .365 as a sophomore."

Dean said that one shouldn't always believe everything in a scouting report.

Moore is founder of Andy's Cheesesteaks and Cheeseburgers, which has grown from one restaurant in Goldsboro in 1991 to approximately 100 locations in eastern North Carolina.

Larry Nance

Nance organized the MOC athletics department in the mid-1960s and served as the school's head coach in three sports -- baseball, men's basketball and men's golf. He also created the Pickle Classic.

Nance spent time as the Dean of Students and Dean of the Physical Education Department at Mount Olive. A graduate of Appalachian State University, Nance is also in the ASU Athletics Hall of Fame for his accomplishments as a tennis player.

Nance joked that he didn't have a great deal of coaching experience when he took the job.

"I had to leave a baseball game because my wife took ill and we were trailing when I left," said Nance. "When I got back to the game, we were ahead. I coached the rest of the game and we lost."

Sam Mitchell, a standout volleyball player and chair of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, presented the plaque to Nance. Dr. W. Burkette Raper, former MOC president, credited Nance for much of the college's current success.

"If not for Dr. Raper's vision, we would not be here today," said Nance. "I'm honored to be here today. It's an honor I will cherish the rest of my life."

Clarence Rose

Rose played on the Mount Olive golf team in 1977 and '78, and helped lead the Trojans to back-to-back postseason appearances. The Trojans advanced to the national finals in 1977, and emerged the conference champions and a regional qualifier in 1978.

A two-time All-American at Mount Olive, Rose continued his education and excelled on the golf links at Clemson University. He is a member of the Clemson Athletics Hall of Fame and was named to the prestigious Atlantic Coast Conference 50th Anniversary Team.

Rose went on to play golf at the professional level, amassing more than $2.5 million dollars on the PGA Tour. He won championships at the 1996 Sprint International and the 1997 J.C. Penney Classic.

Ed Ezzell introduced Rose and current Trojan standout Mick Moberg presented the plaque to Rose. Ezzell, Rose's former high school coach, complimented Rose's poise -- even as a prep player.

"Clarence four-putted on a hole and took a six, But he didn't lose his cool and the way he walked off the green, you would have thought he made a three," said Ezzell. "On the next hole, a long par four, he hit his drive straight down the middle of the fairway and made a three. That's when I knew he had what it takes to be a great golfer.

"It was the highlight of my life seeing Clarence play on the Pro Tour."

Rose coached Wayne Christian to the 2005 N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association Class 1-A championship.

"I have a lot of great memories and I had a lot of great times at Mount Olive," said Rose, who established the Clarence Rose Foundation to help needy children in Wayne County. "When I was recruited, I asked what can Mount Olive College do for me. Now, I ask what can I do for Mount Olive College."

Ray Scarborough

Scarborough played a significant in MOC reinstating its baseball program in the early 1980s. He was involved with the design and construction of the field, which was named in his honor in 1980. Scarborough assisted with recruitment and development, and created an endowment for an academic scholarship and for maintenance of the field.

Scarborough enjoyed a successful Major League Baseball career, which included selection to the 1950 All-Star Game while playing for the Chicago White Sox and earning a World Series ring in 1952 with the New York Yankees.

Scarborough's widow, Edna Scarborough, and their daughter, Beverly Blackwelder, were presented with the Hall of Fame plaque by long-time family friend Buddy Pope. Josh Carter, a two-time all-conference selection, presented Scarborough's plaque.

Blackwelder reminisced about a time her father left her tickets at Fenway Park shortly after he had been traded to Boston.

"When the man in the ticket booth realized I was Ray Scarborough's daughter, he said my dad always beat the Red Sox," said Blackwelder. "He told me, 'If we can't beat him, sign him.'"

Russell Stephens

A member of MOC's men's basketball team from 1990-94, Stephens was named the Carolinas Intercollegiate Athletic Conference freshman of the year in 1990-91. He earned all-CIAC honors each of his four seasons and remains the Trojans' all-time career leading scorere with 2,165 points.

Stephens received all-district honors on two occasions and drew All-America honorable mention recognition as a senior. He has spent his post-collegiate career as a high school basketball coach.

In an emotional moment, Stephens was presented with his plaque by senior basketball player Chris Bartley, who played for Stephens at Jacksonville High School.

Stephens was introduced by his wife Shorlette Stephens. Shorlette mentioned she met her husband at College Hall, now Kornegay Arena.

"It was not his great athletic ability I remembered, but his generous spirit and warm smile," said Shorlette Stephens. "A true measure of a man is in his deeds, not his accolades, and Russell is truly a great man."

Russell Stephens spoke of his memories of the college and his fondness of head men's basketball coach Bill Clingan.

"Sports has always been my thing and it's an honor to be on stage with the other inductees," he said. "Playing for Coach Clingan, I always felt like I was not only part of a team, but part of a family. We even broke our huddles with '1-2-3 Family!'"