Shorter announces Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2009

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Marie Mercer Lewis is one of eight former Shorter greats that will be inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame on Nov. 13

Marie Mercer Lewis is one of eight former Shorter greats that will be inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame on Nov. 13

Oct. 20, 2009

Rome, Ga. - Shorter College announced today its Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2009, which includes eight individuals who competed in a total of six sports on the Hill.

Randy Hawkins '77, Zane Holland '77, Dr. Jonas Jarvholm '02, Marie Mercer Lewis '77, J.J. Merritt '98, Melvyn Ottinger '62, Tammie Simpson '86 and Andy Wade '85 make up the latest group of Shorter Hall of Fame inductees that will be officially enshrined during a banquet on campus on Friday, November 13.

This talented assemblage of former Hawks pieced together some of the most impressive individual careers in Shorter's proud athletic history.

Hawkins was a three-time All-Conference/All-District 25 selection and a two-time All-Area 5 performer. One of the best hitters to ever don a Shorter baseball uniform, Hawkins was twice named to the NAIA honorable mention All-America team.

Over his four-year career, Hawkins hit 34 home runs and collected 134 RBI - in his junior season alone, Hawkins belted 20 homers and drove in 51 runs while hitting .328. Hawkins helped lead the Hawks to four consecutive conference championships and back-to-back District 25 titles and was drafted in 1976 by the San Francisco Giants.

Holland is the only Shorter baseball player to be selected as an All-Conference/All-District 25 performer in all four of his seasons - he was named to the honor as an outfielder in his freshman campaign and as a pitcher in his final three seasons.

For his career, Holland won over 20 games on the mound while boasting an ERA no higher than 1.72 in each of his three seasons toeing the rubber. Holland was a two-time All-Area 5 and All-American choice and, along with Hawkins, helped guide the Hawks to four consecutive conference crowns and two District 25 championships.

Jarvholm was a four-time NAIA first team All-American selection in men's tennis and remains the only Hawk tennis player to ever accomplish that feat. He won 148 singles matches in his career, tops all-time at Shorter, and was a three-time Academic All-Conference selection.

Jarvholm captured the 1999 Rolex National Small College Doubles championship with Juan Pablo Selle and was a singles finalist at the Rolex Tournament in 2000. He led the Hawks to four straight NAIA National Tournament appearances and four straight top-ten final rankings while being named the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Senior Player of the Year in 2002.

Lewis earned nine varsity letters during her Shorter career and was a true pioneer in women's sports at the College. Lewis competed for three years on the men's tennis team where she was a two-time conference champion (1974 and 1975) at No. 5 and No. 6 singles - she was also a conference champion in 1975 at No. 3 doubles and competed in the NAIA Men's Tennis National Tournament in 1976.

Lewis was captain of the women's volleyball team and team MVP in 1976 while also enjoying a stellar, three-year career on the hardwood. For the women's basketball team, Lewis was the leading scorer and assist leader and was voted by her teammates as the team's top defensive player in each of her three seasons. In 1975, Lewis tried out for the United States Women's Olympic Basketball team.

She was twice named the Outstanding College Athlete of America (1974, 1975) and played on the first women's tennis team at Shorter in 1977.

Merritt still stands as Shorter's all-time leading scorer with 2,146 points, the only Shorter player to ever eclipse the 2,000-point plateau, and averaged 17.6 points-per-game over his four-year Hawk career. Merritt was a three-time All-Conference selection, leading the Hawks in scoring in each of those three seasons.

He holds Shorter records for most field goals made (944) and most free throws made (429) and scored in double figures in 106 of his 122 appearances. A four-year starter, Merritt led the Hawks to a 23-6 record during his senior season.

Ottinger made a name for himself on the basketball court, but earned 10 varsity letters in four sports (baseball, basketball, tennis and volleyball) during his Shorter career. In 1960, Ottinger was voted Best All-Around Athlete at Shorter and was the MVP of the basketball team as he led the country in free throw percentage, knocking down foul shots at a 90.1 percent clip.

Ottinger was a two-time All-Conference selection in basketball, earned All-Conference honors in tennis during his senior season and in 1961, helped lead the Hawks to a conference championship in men's volleyball.

Simpson was a four-year starter on the women's basketball team and one of the most dominant players in Lady Hawk history. She is the third all-time leading scorer at 1,907 points and ranks third in field goals made (797). Simpson shot 84.3 percent from the foul line in 1984-85 and ranks third all-time in single-season free throw percentage.

She was selected to the All-District 25 team at the conclusion of her junior season and was an All-America nominee after her senior campaign.

Wade, who will receive a Distinguished Service induction, has been an integral part of the Shorter Athletic Department for 30 years. During his undergraduate career at Shorter, Wade kept statistics for men and women's basketball, baseball and home tennis matches. He served as the District 25 Sports Information Director from 1987-89 before returning to Shorter where he served as head statistician for the Hawks and Lady Hawks' basketball teams.

Since 1994, Wade has worked every Shorter home basketball game and has worked for eight different coaches, including Shorter Hall of Fame members Hamp Alexander and Walt Attaway.

Shorter will honor is Hall of Fame Class of 2009 at a ceremony held at the Winthrop-King Centre at 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 13.

Tickets are now available for $15 and for more information, those interested can contact Shorter Director of Athletic Development, Rachel Rogers, at 706-233-7641 or

The ticket order form is available for download at

Shorter College Athletics News
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