The Class of 2012 will be inducted into the University of Pikeville Athletics Hall of Fame this Saturday prior to the Mid-South Conference doubleheader with Lindsey Wilson College.
The Blue Raiders will bring a pair of Top 25 teams to the East Kentucky Expo Center on Saturday. The women are 25th in this week's basketball poll, while the men are No. 8.
The ceremony will take place in Booth Auditorium on the fifth floor of the Record Memorial Building. To access Booth, take the pedway from the parking garage and the elevator to the fifth floor.
This year's class includes Frank Conley, baseball; Larry Forester, football; Kelly Neace, softball; and Cassidy Schaub, men's bowling. There will be one inductee into the Honorary Hall of Fame as Burnin White will be recognized for his years as the in-house voice of the football and men's and women's basketball teams.
The ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. and will begin a full day of activities for UPIKE. The ceremony will be followed by the basketball games, with the women playing at 2 p.m. and the men at 4 p.m. Between games the Hall of Fame class will be introduced at the East Kentucky Expo Center.
The Hall of Fame inductees are as follows:
Beyond question one of the most distinguished baseball careers in Bears' history belongs to Frank Conley. A native of Ashland, Frank was the consummate team player. While his individual statistics are gaudy, the numbers Frank lists first on his resume are these: His teams had a record of 138-54 in his four seasons as a Bear, including a school-record 40 victories in 2000.
Frank had a lifetime batting average of .388, thanks to having three seasons of hitting higher than .400. His 37 home runs are second in school history and he remains the school's all-time leader in runs batted in with 208, behind the strength of his 71 in 2000 and 66 in 1999, which lead the league and are the two highest single-season totals ever.
He is a rare four-time all-conference selection, and holds the distinction of hitting the first home run ever at Johnnie LeMaster Field.
A member of the school's fabled Elite Nine – the nine members of the original 2000 club team who finished up together in the 2004 season – Larry Forester was the force upon which the secondary was built in the early days of Bears' football.
Larry had all eight of his career interceptions – which was tied for the school record when he graduated and is still tied for third – as a freshman or sophomore, primarily because opponents very rarely threw to his side of the field the last two seasons. His five interceptions as a freshman was second most in a season when his career ended and is still tied for fourth.
His two interceptions in a 2002 game against Concord tied the school record at the time, and the two fumble recoveries he had against Georgetown in 2004 is still tied for the school mark. In his career, he made 126 tackles, with 92 of them being solos. Despite playing in the secondary, he was in on seven tackles for loss as a Bear and was credited with 37 passes broken up.
One thing was certain for the Pikeville softball teams from 2004-07: If Kelly Neace was pitching, the Bears were going to be in the game. The Hazard native was a three-time first-team All-Mid-South Conference selection who completed 70 games and made only 77 appearances as a pitcher and recorded 335 strikeouts, compared to only 86 walks, in 482 innings.
Kelly was also a four-year bowler, and owns a national-championship ring from the 2004 season, posted 36 wins and had a miniscule 2.31 earned-run average for her career. As a sophomore and junior, Kelly had ERAs below 2 – a 1.42 mark in 103.1 innings as a sophomore and 1.91 in 172.1 innings as a junior.
Kelly's tiny ERA as a junior came in her most dominant season. She recorded a dozen wins that year, pitching complete games in all 26 appearances. That season, she struck out 136 batters while walking only 25.
Cassidy Schaub did for men's bowling at Pikeville what the 2004 national championship team did for the women: He put it on the map. In four seasons as a Bear, the Polk, Ohio, native posted three of the top 11 single seasons by average in school history.
Cassidy's senior season was exceptional even by his standards. His average of 206.41 established a school record that had only been surpassed once at the time of his induction. He was in the top five in five of the 11 tournaments in which he participated and had a differential – the number of pins his total was above the tournament average – of a school-record 24.269. In three of his four seasons, the school's first men's bowling All-American averaged higher than 200.
Cassidy, who led the team to its first national-tournament appearance, was a force on the lanes away from college bowling as well. He won 10 medals while representing his country as a member of Team USA, winning six golds, three silvers and a bronze. He spent the 2009-10 season on the PBA tour where he broke the 16-game scoring record in an event held in Wichita.
A local minister and lifelong sports fan, Burnin White was a natural fit as the public-address announcer for the Bears. He works all football, men's basketball and women's basketball games at the university, providing a consistent, steady voice for sporting events.
“Burnin was the perfect person to fill our opening as a PA announcer, and I thank (Vice-President for Student Services and former Athletics Director) Ron Damron for the suggestion,” said Rick Bentley, assistant athletics director and sports information director. “Burnin is the perfect complement to our press box for football and our scorer's table during basketball season.
“He is a talented, entertaining presence at our home events, but the most important thing about Burnin is his reliability. It's great to know you don't have to be concerned about scrambling around to find a fill-in at the last minute. Burnin is a Bear inside and out, and I'm thrilled, along with the staff he works with at the scorer's table, to see him receive this well-deserved honor.”