Southwest Tennessee Community College

January 17, 2005

For More Information, Contact: Keith Gentry (901) 333-4114/ (901) 619-1899 / Kimberly Stark (901) 333-4023

Release written by Keith Gentry

Southwest Tennessee Community College will honor five former Saluqi athletes on Wednesday, January 25, inducting them into the College's Athletic Hall of Fame. The Fourth Annual Saluqis Hall of Fame Banquet will begin at 7 p.m. in the Verties Sails Gymnasium on the College's Union Avenue Campus, 737 Union Avenue. Speaker for this year’s banquet will be former major league pitcher Charlie Lea, a 2003 Saluqis Hall of Fame inductee.

The 2006 Hall of Fame inductees include former junior college All-Americans Aretha Fason (women’s basketball) and Ronnie Sims (men’s basketball), former TJCCAA players of the year Andre Applewhite (men’s basketball) and Joe Lantrip (baseball), and Doug Darnall, a former all-TJCCAA baseball player who is also the College’s second all-time winningest baseball coach.

Fason, who played for the Lady Saluqis from 1986-88, led her teams to a 44-12 record in her two years, including undefeated conference records both seasons. As a freshman, Fason helped the Lady Saluqis to a 27-5 overall record and a berth in the NJCAA National Tournament. Her sophomore season, Fason averaged 25.6 points and 15.0 rebounds per game and was named All-TJCCAA, TJCCAA Player of the Year, and first team NJCAA All-American. She holds the Lady Saluqis’ single season record for highest rebounding average and the career record for highest field goal percentage at 67 percent. Fason is also the College’s 8th all-time leading scorer with 821 points, 7th all-time rebounder with 457, and fifth all-time shot blocker with 92.

Sims played for the Saluqis during the 1984-85 season and led his team to a 24-6 record, the Western Division and Region VII championships, and an 11th place finish in the NJCAA National Tournament. Sims led the Saluqis in field goal percentage, free throws made, and free throws attempted and his 88 blocked shots are the second highest single season total in school history. Sims was named All-Western Division, All-TJCCAA, TJCCAA Western Division Player of the Year, All-Region, and second team NJCAA All-American. He continued his education and basketball career at the University of Mississippi.

Applewhite, who played for the Saluqis from 1981-83, led his teams to a 53-10 record, two Western Division championships, and one Region title in his two-year career. Applewhite averaged 15.2 points and 8.4 rebounds as a sophomore and was named All-Western Division, All-TJCCAA, All-Region VII, and Western Division Player of the Year. He currently ranks as the College’s ninth all-time leading rebounder with 483 in his career and also ranks among the career leaders in free throws made, free throws attempted, and games played. He continued his education and basketball career at Texas Southern University, and is currently the head basketball coach and athletic director at Central High School in Memphis.

Lantrip played baseball for the Saluqis during the 1988 and 1989 seasons and as a freshman led his team to the TJCCAA Western Division Championship. In his first season, Lantrip posted an 8-2 pitching record with a 1.43 earned run average, the second lowest in school history, and struck out 84 batters, the 3rd most in a single season. He was named All-Western Division, All-TJCCAA, and was selected by the coaches as the TJCCAA Western Division Player of the Year. In his two-year career with the Saluqis, Lantrip struck out a school-record 160 batters and his three shutouts are the third most. He went on to play at Delta State University and the University of Memphis, and also played professionally in the Baltimore Orioles organization.

Darnall played baseball for the Saluqis from 1987-88 and led his teams to a 59-40 record, including the TJCCAA Western Division championship in 1988. His sophomore year, Darnall batted .429 with 55 runs batted in and was named All-Western Division and All-TJCCAA. After leaving the Saluqis’ program, Darnall went on to play two seasons at Western Kentucky University and also played semipro baseball for the Memphis Royals. In 1999, Darnall led the Royals to a 67-1 record and the United States Baseball Congress World Series Championship. Darnall also served as the Saluqis’ head baseball coach from 1996-2003 and his 194 wins rank him as the College’s second all-time winningest coach. Darnall guided the Saluqis to four straight 30-wins seasons from 2000-2003, (for the first time in the program’s history), including a school-record 37 wins and the Western Division runner-up in 2000.

Each inductee will receive a plaque. In addition, plaques for each sport are in the Hall of Fame trophy case with the inductees listed by year and sport. Pictures of each athlete and coach, along with a list of their accomplishments also will be displayed.