February 07, 2011 4:00 PM
Three sensational student-athletes, a longtime coach and the first ever team will be inducted into the Pikeville College Athletics Hall of Fame on Saturday morning.
The ceremony will be held in Booth Auditorium beginning at 10:30 a.m., and will precede the basketball doubleheader at the East Kentucky Expo Center beginning at 2 p.m. and the baseball games at Johnnie LeMaster Field at 1.
Two athletes will be representing their sports for the first time as members of the Hall of Fame. April Ellis will be the first bowler inducted while Leonard Moore will be the first football standout to enter. They will be joined by softball player Amanda Fields and Cross Country Coach John Biery.
And, for the first time, a team will be inducted into the Hall. The 2004 women’s bowling team, coached by Ron Damron, was the first team to win a national championship for Pikeville College, and will now be the first team to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Also, two more will be inducted into the honorary wing of the school’s Hall. They are Doug & Judith Hinkle and Sondra Thrash.
Women’s Bowling Team: On April 17, 2004, the Pikeville College Bowling Team became the first “team” to win a national championship in the 115-year history of the school, winning the Intercollegiate Bowling Championships title. The Bears met top-ranked Wichita State University in the finals. Pikeville won the opener 197-160 before a 169-all tie left them in front 1-0-1. Needing only a tie to secure the title, senior Lindsey Durham rolled a spare in the 10th frame, and needed only four pens with the fill ball to win. She knocked down seven for a 196-192 win and a national title.
Coach Ron Damron was the national coach of the year in 2004, and junior April Ellis was a second-team All-American. Durham’s heroics all week saw her named to the five-player all-tournament team, and the championship, the first in team history, opened the door for the 2004 women’s bowling team to be the first team ever inducted into the Pikeville College Athletics Hall of Fame.
John Biery: Few people have served Pikeville College in as many capacities as John Louis Biery. A 1988 graduate of the school with a BBA, John was employed at Pikeville College for more than 20 years. During that time, he was associate director of admissions, assistant to the dean of students, has served as assistant coach of men’s basketball, coached both track and field and women’s golf, and, the title for which he is being inducted, Cross Country coach.
John started the program in 1998 and took runners six different runners to the national Cross Country championships eight times in 10 years. During his time, he was named the 2002 Mid-South Conference Coach of the Year in men’s Cross Country and the 2004 NAIA Region Coach of the Year in women’s Cross Country.
April Ellis: A native of Jackson, Tenn., April Ellis was named a two-time All-American, was named to the all-tournament team at the national tournament and helped lead the 2004 team to the school’s first-ever team national championship.
In four years at Pikeville, she finished in the top five in 16 of the 41 tournaments in which she participated, averaged 196.2 in a career that spanned 342 games, and finished with a scoring differential – the difference in her average and the average score of the tournament field – of plus-21.92. She is the first individual bowler to be selected to the Pikeville College Athletics Hall of Fame.
Amanda Fields: Amanda Fields came to Pikeville from Church Hill, Tenn., and essentially took over the shortstop position for the next four seasons. Amanda’s skills on the field were recognized by the coaches around the Mid-South Conference, where she was named all-conference on three different occasions.
Amanda was skilled beyond the field of play and was a leader in the classroom as well. She was named an Academic All-Conference selection two times and was a two-time Academic All-American as selected by the National Fast-Pitch Coaches Association.
Leonard Moore: It’s easy to say someone is the best at what they do, but in the case of Leonard Moore, it would be hard to debate Pikeville College has had a better running back. The Rock Hill, S.C., product still holds the career marks for touchdowns (30) and yards rushing (3,216) in a career, and, at the end of his career, his 184 points were the school record (currently second), and he had the two longest plays from scrimmage (runs of 80 yards, since tied, and 79).
His final two season totals of 1,191 and 1,031 yards were the top two in school history and, at the time of his induction, stand as two of only four seasons of 1,000-plus rushing yards. As both a junior and senior he scored 11 rushing touchdowns, which was the school record. His 254 yards in a game is still the school record and he has two of only three games of 200-or-more yards rushing games in school history. He had nine 100-plus-yard rushing games in his career. In addition, his four rushing touchdowns in a 2004 game at U.Va.-Wise is still the school record. He had three games of at least three rushing touchdowns and seven multiple touchdown games in his career.
Honorary Inductees: Doug and Judith Hinkle are both alumni of Pikeville College – she from the academy and he from the junior college – and are longtime supporters of both the school and the department of athletics. “In my five years at Pikeville College, I’ve come to depend on Doug and Judith heavily,” said Coach Kelly Wells. “I don’t think I’ve ever gone to them with a need that they weren’t willing to help.”
Sondra Thrash is in her 11th year as keeper of the scorebook for the women’s basketball team. “There is a great deal of comfort in knowing that we never have to worry about the scorebook, and anyone who has ever coached knows the importance of having your book kept properly,” said Coach Bill Watson. “Sondra has been a friend of our program since she came to Pikeville and we’re thrilled that she is being honored with this induction.”