Aaron Pringle, Staff Writer
Armstrong State University inducted their seven newest members into the Pirate Hall of Fame Friday evening. The HOF banquet in the Student Union Ballroom was hosted by Armstrong’s athletic director, Lisa Sweany.
The 2016 Inductees included: men’s tennis player Dale White, women’s basketball player Tasha Washington, women’s soccer player Lyndsi Stricklen, women’s tennis player Sona Novakova, volleyball and women’s soccer player Candice Modlinski, men’s basketball player Ron “Skippy” Hancock, and the Service Citation Award winner, Donna Mullenax.
Novakova was the No. 1 ranked singles player in NCAA Division II for her two seasons with the Pirates in 2009 and 2010, helping lead Armstrong State to a pair of national Championships. She went unbeaten in singles play during her freshmen season going 23-0, was awarded the Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-American honors in singles and doubles, was the ITA National Rookie of the Year in 2009, and captured the “Super Bowl” of Small College Tennis.
Modlinski was a two-sport star for volleyball and women’s soccer teams, accumulating 1,063 kills and a school record 425 blocks in four years for Armstrong State volleyball from 2001-04, earning American Volleyball Coaches Association All-Region honors twice as well as All-Peach Belt Conference honors. After exhausting her volleyball eligibility, Candice turned to inaugural Armstrong State women’s soccer in 2005 and played two seasons as a defender, playing in 29 games.
White was a member of the Armstrong State men’s tennis team from 2002-05 who earned a No. 1 national ranking in doubles during his Pirate career. Dale was a 3 Time all Peach Bowl conference honoree, was named the PBC freshmen of the year in 2003, was a 3 time ITA Division II All-American Doubles honoree and finished with 165 total wins, 10th most in Armstrong State men’s tennis history.
Stricklen was a member of the inaugural Armstrong State women’s soccer team and played from 2005-08, finishing her career with 28 goals, 24 assists and 80 points. Lyndsi was a three-time All-Peach Belt Conference forward and a two-time All-Region performer, she still ranks second all-time in assists, fourth all-time in goals, and fourth all-time in points for the Pirates despite an injury cutting her senior season short, and also scored the winning goal in Armstrong’s first postseason win in 2006.
Washington played two seasons for the Armstrong State women’s basketball team in 2003-04, helping the Pirates capture the PBC title in 2003 and advance to the NCAA Championships in both seasons. As a junior, Tasha averaged 13.6 pts per game, leading a team high 49 three-pointers and 79 steals, then averaged 21.4 pts points per game as a senior, setting a school record and leading the PBC with 106 steals – She was the only Armstrong state player to record a hundred in steals and assists in the same season and score more than a thousand points in her two-year career as a Pirate and became only the second Armstrong State women’s basketball player to earn All-American honors.
Hancock played for the Pirates from 1970-74 and is the sixth all-time leading scorer in Armstrong State men’s basketball history, gathering 1,318 points in his four years, while ranking fourth in field goals with 540. He was an All-South Atlantic Conference honoree in 1973 and helped the Pirates win a school best 25 games his junior year. When he took to the podium Friday evening to give his acceptance speech, Ron said, “Ah, it’s been a long time, 42 years. What took so long?”
Along with the Sport Inductees, each year Armstrong also inducts a Service Citation Award winner into the HOF for making a significant contribution to the Armstrong Athletic Department. This years’ Service Citation Award winner was Donna Mullenax, a professor since 1999 in Chemistry and Physics here at Armstrong who is always seen loudly supporting her students at Armstrong athletic events.
These six sports inductees bring the total membership of the Armstrong State Athletic Hall of Fame to 78 and the total number of Service Citation award recipients to 15. One thing all of the inductees shared during their acceptance speeches was the ever-lasting impact Armstrong State University has had on their life.