2016-17 SCC Athletics Hall of Fame Class Set for February 4th Induction
Sandhills Community College will honor the 2016-17 Sandhills Athletics Hall of Fame class Saturday, February 4 at 5pm in the Dempsey Student Center. This fourth class includes Dr. Susanne Adams, Gordon Dean, Wayne Pyrtle, Dick Von Tacky and the 2014 NJCAA Men’s Golf National Championship team. The night will also honor the fifth anniversary of the 2012 NJCAA Men’s Basketball National title team. A Region X basketball contest versus Johnston CC at 7pm will follow the inductions and dinner. The event cost $25 (including dinner) and is open to the public. Please reserve your space by January 30 by contacting athletic director Aaron Denton at 910-246-4121 or email@example.com Inductees
Dr. Susanne Adams spearheaded efforts to restart intercollegiate athletics at Sandhills as the college’s Vice President of Student Services and Academic Support. Adams ushered in the Flyers era in the Fall of 2008 after a 25+ year absence of an athletic program. She worked to build support for adding athletics on campus and in the community culminating with Board of Trustees approval in February of 2008. She then led efforts to launch the identity, choose and recruit teams, choose team colors, establish a mascot and hire staff before the official launch just a few months later. Her hands-on approach and ownership of the athletic program resulted in a successful start for the Flyers on and off the court. Before leaving Sandhills in 2011 to become the president at Brunswick Community College, Adams impact at SCC was felt on all corners of campus. Over the course of her almost 25 years at Sandhills she served as the VP of Planning & Special Projects, Dean of Planning & Research, Director of Academic Support, Chair of Developmental Education and Professor of English. Always active in the local community, she currently is the VP of the NC Community College President’s Association and Chair of Communities in Schools of Brunswick County.
Gordon Dean led the Spartans’ tennis efforts for two seasons as the number one singles player from 1972-1974. Spartans coaches and administrators regard Dean as the best tennis player to suit up for Sandhills. He then transferred to UNC Wilmington where he continued his outstanding play as number one singles player both years (1974-1976). As a senior his efforts at UNCW garnered Dean 1976 NAIA All-District team honors with the Seahawks.
Wayne Pyrtle signed to play baseball for the Sandhills Spartans out of Walter Williams High School (Burlington) after earning 1st Team All-State honors. Before enrolling at SCC he was the fifth round selection of the Washington Senators in the MLB draft. Pyrtle became an All-Cavalier Tar Heel Conference first baseman both seasons at Sandhills. Competing against primarily NCAA schools, he garnered the Triple Crown & All-League laurels in the 1972 NC Collegiate Summer League. He followed up with summer league MVP honors in 1973. He helped Pembroke State University to the 1973 NAIA World Series leading the club in home runs. Shifting gears slightly after college he turned to softball and found similar success. Behind five National Slow Pitch Softball Championships Pyrtle grabbed All-American honors seven times and in 1999 was inducted into the NC Softball Hall of Fame. He again changed gears, this time in a different sport, as Pyrtle turned professional golfer. He qualified for the PGA Senior Tour, playing in seven events including the 2005 PGA Senior Championship – also Arnold Palmer’s last PGA event. An equally successful business owner, Pyrtle earned the Distinguished Service in Sports Award from the Alamance County Sports Development Council in 2009.
Dick Von Tacky ranks as one of the most decorated and accomplished Sandhills athletes. At SCC Von Tacky earned NJCAA All-American honors and a scholarship to the University of Tennessee. At UT Von Tacky served as captain of the golf team. Von Tacky earned a spot in the semifinals of the 1980 US Amateur at nearby CCNC. With it he earned an invitation to Augusta to compete in the 1981 Masters. Von Tacky was also selected for the prestigious US Walker Cup team. Von Tacky and the team bested the British in the 1981 event. He continued his successes as a golf professional playing in several PGA tour events and winning the 1993 Pennsylvania State PGA title. He has held several course records including a 62 at the former Titusville Country Club (PA) and a 63 at the Sharon Golf Club (OH).
The 2014 NJCAA Men’s Golf National Champions ran away with the title at Chautauqua Golf course in New York behind final round 70’s (2 under par) by All-American’s Nick Thompson, Ediz Kemaloglu and Cody Roberts. Alex Austin and Caleb Chavis both contributed two days of counting scores over the four day event. Nick Thompson led the way with a three under 285 total to grab medalist honors while Ediz Kemaloglu finished third with an even par 288 – both garnered first team All-American laurels. Cody Roberts earned second team honors with an eighth place finish. SCC bested Cincinnati State by 19 strokes in the final round to come from four down to claim the title. Coach Gus Ulrich earned Region X Coach of the Year honors after the team won the Region X title for the third straight season. Nick Thompson (East Carolina), Ediz Kemaloglu (Bethune-Cookman) and Alex Austin (St. Andrews) continued their golf careers after SCC. Roberts and Kemaloglu returned to NY in 2015 to help SCC to a runner up national finish. Assistant coaches included Rob Pilewski and Stewart Heilman.