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September 10, 2009

Six to be inducted into the Tech Sports Hall of Fame

By: Jimmy Robertson

Six to be inducted into the Tech Sports Hall of Fame

A former head coach and former student-athletes from five different sports make up the 2009 class selected for the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame. The six inductees include:

• The late Gene Crane, a distance runner of the late 1970s who still ranks as the top steeplechaser in Virginia Tech track & field history.

• Maurice DeShazo, a mobile quarterback whose productivity on the field helped the Hokies to back-to-back bowl games for the first time in school history.

• Aaron Marchetti, an All-America tennis player who earned the highest rankings of any Tech tennis player during the late 1990s.

• The late Chuck Noe, a fiery, innovative coach who instilled a winning tradition into Tech’s men’s basketball program during seven successful seasons at the helm from 1955-62.

• Brian Sharp, who still stands as the only Tech golfer to be named both all-conference and first-team all-state four consecutive seasons.

• Lisa Witherspoon Hansen, whose tough, unselfish play at point guard helped spark the Tech women’s basketball program to new heights in the late 1990s.

The six new honorees will be inducted at a Hall of Fame dinner on the Tech campus on Friday, Nov. 20, the evening before Tech’s home football game against N.C. State. Each of the living inductees and families of all of the inductees will be introduced to fans at halftime of the football game.

The new inductees will bring the total number enshrined to 147. The Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1982 and is currently located near the Bowman Room on the fourth floor of the Jamerson Athletic Center. Hall of Fame plaques engraved with portraits of all the members are displayed there. Under Tech Hall of Fame guidelines, persons are not eligible for induction until they have been out of school for a period of 10 years.

Wang planning a nice gesture

Tech offensive lineman Ed Wang isn’t making a statement or expressing his individuality by letting his hair grow long. On the contrary, the 6-foot-5, 309-pound redshirt senior has plans for his ever-growing locks – and great plans at that.

Once his hair grows out to the requirement of 10 inches, Wang plans to get it cut and donate it to Locks of Love, a non-profit organization that takes hair and makes hairpieces for children who are suffering medical hair loss from any diagnosis.

“I originally was just growing my hair out long,” Wang said. “Then people kept asking me, ‘When are you going to get it cut? When are you going to get it cut?’ and ‘You should donate it.’

“So I thought about it and figured that if I was going to get it cut, I may as well donate it to a worthy cause. I know that they [Locks of Love] are a legit organization, so I decided to donate it to them. I’m excited about it, just the opportunity to help out.”

Thomas to redshirt; three other true freshmen play

Logan Thomas, one of the most highly touted prospects in Tech’s 2009 recruiting class, impressed Tech’s staff with his play at quarterback in August, but couldn’t quite edge out redshirt freshman Ju-Ju Clayton for the No. 2 job. The staff named Clayton the No. 2 quarterback and decided to redshirt Thomas, though Thomas will travel with the team this season.

“I think they’re trying to save me for later on in my career,” Thomas said. “This will give me a year of learning experience and then four more years to build on it.”

Many expected the 6-6, 230-pounder from Lynchburg, Va., to end up at tight end. When he signed with Tech, he was rated the No. 1 tight end prospect in the country by Rivals even though he played his final two seasons at Brookville High at quarterback, throwing for 1,535 yards and 20 touchdowns as a senior. He also rushed for 842 yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior.

“I wasn’t surprised [at Tech keeping him at quarterback] because [Bryan] Stinespring was telling me to be ready for anything and that I might get a shot at quarterback,” Thomas said. “I do like quarterback. I’ve got to keep working at it to get a lot better than what I am right now.”

Only three other true freshmen dressed for the Alabama game – tailback David Wilson, receiver D.J. Coles and cornerback Jayron Hosley.