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September 12, 2011

New and Notes

By: Jimmy Robertson

Six to be inducted into VT Sports Hall of Fame

The 2011 class to be inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame possesses a Southwest Virginia flavor as three of the six inductees hail from that region of the Commonwealth.

The class includes:

• Brad Clontz, a Patrick County, Va., native who was a record-setting pitcher for the Hokies in the early 1990s and who went on to help the Atlanta Braves to a World Series Championship in 1995

• Shayne Graham, a standout at Pulaski County [Va.] High who went on to become Tech’s all-time leading scorer in football and one of the heroes during the Hokies’ march to the national championship game in 1999

Phil Rogers, a gifted tailback from Gate City, Va., who became the first Tech player to rush for 1,000 yards in a season before excelling as a quarterback his senior year

Josh Feldman, who wrestled his way to an 85-23-1 career record and All-America honors as a heavyweight for the Hokies

• Tere Williams, the Hokies’ all-time leader in rebounds and the first Tech women’s basketball player to be selected in the WNBA Draft

• And John Moody, a former Tech football player who became an athletic fundraiser supreme over nearly four decades of service to the university.

All six will be inducted at a Hall of Fame dinner on the Tech campus on Friday, Oct. 7, the evening before Tech’s home football game against the University of Miami. Each of the inductees will be introduced to fans at halftime of the football game. The new inductees will bring the total number enshrined to 158.

Six true freshmen dress for opener

Six true freshmen dressed and played for the Hokies’ season-opening football game against Appalachian State. That list includes defensive linemen Luther Maddy and Corey Marshall, defensive backs Boye Aromire and Kyshoen Jarrett, tight end Ryan Malleck and offensive lineman Caleb Farris.

“I looked out there one time and out of the four guys in the secondary, three of them were freshmen. Up front, three out of the four were freshmen. There were freshmen all over the place,” Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. “But that’s the only way they’re going to get better is to play and play against good competition.”

A year ago, Beamer played two true freshmen – Derrick Hopkins and Kyle Fuller – and in 2009, he played David Wilson, Jayron Hosley and D.J. Coles as true freshmen.

The most true freshmen to play in a season under Beamer were 9 in 2002.

Here’s a look at who has played as a true freshman in the past 10 years:

2010 – Derrick Hopkins, Kyle Fuller

2009 – David Wilson, Jayron Hosley, D.J. Coles

2008 – Jarrett Boykin, Dyrell Roberts, Justin Myer, Eddie Whitley, Jake Johnson, Xavier Boyce

2007 – Davon Morgan, Tyrod Taylor, Chris Drager

2006 – Nekos Brown, Kam Chancellor, Jason Worilds, Sergio Render, Stephan Virgil

2005 – Macho Harris

2004 – Eddie Royal, Justin Harper, Josh Morgan, Sean Glennon, Brett Warren, D.J. Parker, Jared Develli

2003 – David Clowney, Ryan Hash, Thomas McClelland

2002 – Darryl Tapp, Mike Imoh, Jonathan Lewis, Jimmy Williams, Cary Wade, Jimmy Martin, Danny McGrath, Reggie Butler, John Candelas

2001 – Bryan Randall, DeAngelo Hall, Kevin Jones, Jim Miller, Jeff Werner

2000 – Jim Davis, Kevin Lewis, Eric Green

(Note: some of these players redshirted later on in their careers. Also, Drager, Worilds and Boyce all played as true freshmen, but received medical hardship waivers after getting injured that year.)

Three walk-ons awarded scholarships

Three football players who came to Tech as walk-ons were awarded scholarships before the season – fullbacks Joey Phillips and Martin Scales and receiver Corey Fuller.

Phillips, a Blacksburg native, won the starting job at fullback. He played in 11 games last year, seeing most of his action late in games and on special teams. Scales, from Martinsville, Va., started on three different special teams units a year ago and finished second on the team in special teams tackles with 14.

Fuller, the older brother of starting cornerback Kyle Fuller, transferred to Tech last season after spending two years at the University of Kansas. He sat out last season to meet the NCAA’s residency requirements. This August, he earned a spot in the receivers rotation and also figures in on special teams.

Sun Bowl team member passes away

Horace Pearce, a member of the first Virginia Tech team to play in a bowl game (the 1947 Sun Bowl), passed away on Aug. 13 in a nursing home outside of Charlottesville. He was 88.

Pearce, a native of Hampton, Va., played on the 1942 team before heading off to the U.S. Navy to fight in World War II. He fought in the Pacific during the war and then returned to Tech, where he lettered following the 1946 and 1947 seasons. Following his graduation, he worked at Reynolds Metals Company.

Pearce is survived by a son, a daughter and two granddaughters.