09/07/07 — Aycock's Davis -- MOC Hall of Fame

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Aycock's Davis -- MOC Hall of Fame

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 7, 2007 2:49 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Less than a month after guiding Charles B. Aycock to the Class 3-A state baseball title, head coach Charles Davis received a phone call at home one evening.

He expected the caller to offer their congratulations.

That didn't happen.

The caller, instead, informed Davis he would be part of the second class inducted into the Mount Olive College Athletics Hall of Fame in mid-November. Surprise -- and almost speechless -- Davis couldn't believe the news.

"It's an honor," Davis modestly said. "I don't know if I deserve it or not because there have been some great athletes ... great people who have come through Mount Olive College.

"I'm very humble and thankful for people nominating me, and voting me in."

Joining Davis will be former Trojan baseball coach Larry Dean, Jimmy Adams and Sarah Leonard (Robinson). The quartet will be inducted into the Hall as part of the Alumni Weekend festivities.

Kenney Moore, Larry Nance, Clarence Rose, Ray Scarborough and Russell Stephens comprised the inaugural class inducted a year ago.

"Each member of this year's class has made very significant contributions to the tradition of Trojan athletics," said Jeff Eisen, MOC director of athletics. "We are pleased to honor them."

Davis said his induction is doubly rewarding since Dean is also part of the class. Dean recruited Davis, who starred at Wilson Beddingfield, and turned him into a relief pitcher.

Davis was part of the 1983 team that advanced to the district finals and came within one win of reaching the JUCO World Series. Mount Olive wrestled the conference title from Louisburg that season.

"We were by no means the most-talented team, and when you look back at the district that year, we were a child in a man's world," laughed Davis. "But we came together and gave the other teams a run for their money."

While he's just one of many threads woven into the tapestry of Trojan athletics over the years, Davis exemplifies a little bit of Dean and another mentor -- North Carolina coach Mike Fox. Each coach is known for his discipline and organization, two skills that Davis uses on a daily basis in his baseball program.

Davis constantly finds players who are good students and who fit his philosophy as a coach. During his 17-year tenure, several Golden Falcon teams have won conference titles and advanced to the postseason.

Aycock set a school record for victories (31) this past spring and brought back the program's first state crown since 1974.

"I owe a lot to coach Dean," said Davis. "He took a chance on me as a high school player. It's an honor for me to go into the Hall with him because he's very deserving."

Dean served as director of athletics during Mount Olive's transition from a two- to four-year school. He became head baseball coach when the program was reinstated in 1980 and led the Trojans to a top-20 ranking. He also coached the men's tennis team and was the school's first-ever head women's basketball coach.

"He was just fun to play for because he wanted the best for all of us," Davis said.

Leonard attended Mount Olive from 1977-79 and was a member of the Trojans' first-ever women's basketball team. Leonard earned All-America honors for two seasons and held the single-game scoring record (42 points) for nearly 20 years. It's currently the second-highest, single-game mark in Trojan history.

Rounding out the inductees is Adams, who laid the groundwork for the men's basketball and golf teams during the 1970s. He guided the golf team to regional and national prominence as Mount Olive emerged the Cavalier Tarheel Conference men's golf champion in 1974.