North Lenoir honors 2018 Hall of Fame Class Friday
From left, Danny Croom, Cliff Cashwell, Leon Morgan, Tammy Parham and Tyler Smith were inducted into the 2018 North Lenoir Hall of Fame. Guy Sanderson was the sixth member and was unable to attend Friday's banquet at King's Restaurant. Photo by Junious Smith III / Neuse News
A recent tradition continues to bring out decades of wonderful memories at North Lenoir.
The 12th annual North Lenoir Hall of Fame Ceremony took place Friday, as the school enshrined six former athletes into the class — Cliff Cashwell, Danny Croom, Leon Morgan, Tammy Parham, Guy Sanderson and Tyler Smith. The group was recognized at a banquet at King’s Restaurant in the morning before being scheduled to be honored at halftime during the Hawks Friday night football game with Southern Wayne.
Wayne Barwick was North Lenoir’s athletic director for 30 years and said the concept of a Hall of Fame came from former principal Ian Solomon, with the first class coming in 2007. North Lenoir is still the only school in Lenoir County with a Hall of Fame.
“I wish my alma mater (South Lenoir) did the same,” Barwick said. “It has been an enjoyable event every year — this is like a reunion and it’s a great thing.”
Cashwell was a three-sport athlete in football, basketball and baseball during his time at North Lenoir. Cashwell was the team’s MVP in football in 1970, in baseball the following year and was the point guard for the 1970-71 team with the Hawks finishing 27-1 and NCHSAA 2A state runner-ups.
“There was a whole lot of hard work and effort put into this,” Cashwell said. “It means a lot for them to think I was a little better than average as an athlete, and it’s an honor and privilege to be a member of the Hall of Fame.”
Croom played basketball and football, being named conference defensive player of the year in the latter. Croom was a third-team All-American in basketball at Chowan Junior College and was also the first Hawk to play collegiate football, going to Wake Forest.
“I’m very emotional and very excited,” Croom said of the honor. “It brings back a lot of positive memories during this particular time at North Lenoir. I had a lot of enjoyment with these individuals and those contacts have led to friendships that have lasted for more than 50 years.
“I’m honored to be a part of this group and this institution was a positive light in my life growing up. This moment today will be a positive moment I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.”
Morgan was an all-conference basketball player in 1989, averaging 23 points per game and receiving a slew of awards, including school MVP, all-district and Tri-County MVP. Morgan went to UNC-Pembroke and was an NAIA All-American honorable mention after averaging 22.9 points per game in his junior season. Morgan later played basketball overseas in Finland and won several MVP awards with the Korihait Sharks.
“It feels good to be here and I was shocked when (Coach) Barwick asked me to be a part of this class,” Morgan said. “It’s been a long time coming and I’m truly thankful for the nomination.”
Parham was the first woman to play Little League baseball in Lenoir County in 1974 and became a three-year starter in basketball and softball at North Lenoir. In softball, Parham was an all-conference player and MVP in softball in 1980 and was co-captain in basketball in 1979 and 1980. Parham would go to ECU, helping the team reach a No. 1 ranking nationally in 1981.
“It’s truly an honor to be a part of an outstanding group of athletes,” Parham said. “It’s a blessing to be a part of the tradition here.”
Smith played baseball and soccer with the Hawks, helping the Hawks win a state title in baseball during the 2006 season. Smith was an all-conference player in baseball and is currently third in goals scored all-time in soccer. Moving on to Mount Olive, Smith was part of three Conference Carolina championships, two College World Series appearances and a 2008 Division II National Championship.
“I’m humbled to be a part of such a great group,” Smith said. “There’s been a great tradition built here at North Lenoir and I’m thankful to be a part of a group who paved the way.”
Sanderson was unable to attend the banquet, but he was a two-sport star as a kicker and punter in football, while also pitching and playing centerfield in baseball. Sanderson was selected to the all-tournament team at the Wilson Eastern Tournament in 1981 and was a part of the Snow Hill Post 94 team in American Legion that became state runner-ups in the same year.
Jackson Massey, the current athletic director, said it’s a great way to bring members of the community together.
“It’s exciting for a lot of the former players to come back here,” Massey said. “For some, it’s their first time being back in years and it’s exciting to hear some of the stories about the individuals. I thank them for what they’ve done as student-athletes for the program and we hope it’s a great day and night for them.”
Here’s a list of previous North Lenoir Hall of Fame honorees:
Hermia Humphrey Grimes
The 2006 State Champion Baseball Team
The 2005 State Champion Baseball Team
The 2005 State Champion Softball Team
Paul Dunn III
Charles L. Mooring
John H. Waters
Myrtle H. Wilson
Dot Lang Permar