|Eight To Be Inducted Into VMI Sports Hall of Fame
Inductions ceremonies to be held November 2-3
LEXINGTON, Va. – Seven former standout cadet-athletes and one distinguished coach have been named to the VMI Sports Hall of Fame and will be officially inducted in November.
The eight inductees, voted for induction at the Spring, 2007 Honors Committee meeting, are William R. Haberlein ’61 (Football), James G. Sherrard ’65 (Track), Michael M. Mayo ’88 (Football), Michael T. Naifeh (Track) ’91, Lewis E. Preston ’93 (Basketball), J. Adam Mickiewicz ’97 (Wrestling), Thomas A. Haskins ’97 (Football) and the late Oscar W. Gupton, former wrestling coach who will be inducted under the special citation category posthumously.
The induction ceremony/dinner will be held Friday evening, November 2 at Cameron Hall at 7 p.m. (Cocktails at 6 p.m.) and the honorees will take review of the Saturday morning parade and will be recognized at halftime of the VMI-Charleston Southern football game Saturday, November 3.
The Nov. 2 dinner is open to the public and the cost is 25.00. Reservations can be made by calling Ms. Brooke Higgins at 540-464-7784.
Family, friends, and brother rats of the inductees who need lodging for the weekend may call Natural Bridge Inn and Conference Center where a block of rooms has been set aside for the event. Reservations may be made by calling 540-291-2121. Hotel room accommodations $89.00 and Cottage Rooms are $70.00. The deadline for reserving rooms is Oct. 3.
Athletic bio information on the inductees is found below.
WILLIAM R. HAEBERLEIN ’61 (FOOTBALL)
Lettered three years from 1958-60 and played a big role on the line of VMI’s Southern Conference championship teams of 1959 and 1960...second team-All-State and honorable mention All-SC in 1959...regarded in his senior media guide bio as a “standout middle guard on defense”...Bomb and Cadet accounts cite his excellent blocking in 1960 games against Lehigh (win) and Boston College (tie)...was injured for half of the 1958 season, but came back with a strong finish and played ahead of several more experienced linemen...was named second team All-Southern Conference designation in 1960...also lettered in rat wrestling.
JIM SHERRARD ’65 (TRACK)
A standout long jump and triple jump performer from 1963-65...won the 1965 indoor Southern Conference title in the long jump (meet record 23’3 ½”) and triple jump (45’ 8 ¼ ”)...also won the 1964 state indoor title in the long jump (22-1 ¼”), and the 1965 state indoor title in the triple jump with a meet record leap of 45’1 ¾”...won the 1965 VMI Winter Relays indoor triple jump with a meet record jump of 45’9-3/4”...placed second in the 1963 indoor Southern Conference long jump and 1965 outdoor Southern Conference long jump...swept first place in the long jump and triple jump in the 1965 William & Mary Outdoor Relays...placed second in the 1963 state outdoor long jump and 1965 state outdoor long jump and also placed second in the triple jump...was the second highest point scorer in VMI track history at the time his collegiate career ended in 1965...co-captained both the indoor and outdoor 1965 VMI Track teams. Helped the Keydets to State and Southern Conference Indoor Track titles in 1964 and 1965...also ran on the 440 meter relay team...Coach Walt Cormack said Jim Sherrard “could be counted on to consistently produce points, particularly at the end of close meets.”
MIKE MAYO ’88 (FOOTBALL)
A four-year letterman at defensive back...twice named to the All-Southern Conference team in 1985 and 1987 and also selected to the All-SC second team in 1986...played primarily free safety and started three + years...named All-State by SID’s in 1986 and also second team All-State by the Roanoke Times and World News...finished his career with 320 tackles which ranks seventh all-time and his career 166 solo tackles is the seventh best in VMI history...also intercepted 15 passes for his career which placed him first all-time on the school list...led the team in interceptions for three consecutive years...compiled 205 career yards on interception returns...co-captained the 1987 team with Mark Stock...led the team in solo tackles with 89 during his third class season of 1985...was second on the team in total tackles in both the 1986 and 1987 seasons. ..one of his top games was the 1986 “Military Classic of the South” when he posted eight tackles, returned an interception 69-yards, and broke up two passes.
MIKE NAIFEH '91 (TRACK)
A six-time Southern Conference champion in the weight events...started to show his form his third class year when he placed second in the shot put and discus in the 1989 Southern Conference Outdoor championships...won his first SoCon title one year later when he claimed the shot put with a throw of 53'-10"...continued his string of dominance in the weight events over the next two years culminating in the 1991 SoCon Outdoor championships (won by VMI) when he swept the hammer, the shot put, and the discus, joining Seamus Powers of East Tennessee State as the meet's only three-event winner...held the school shot put record for both indoor (55'6") and outdoor events (55'6") until they were broken in the late 90's...competed on five Southern Conference championship teams during his cadetship.
LEWIS PRESTON '93 (BASKETBALL) -
Recruited to the Institute as a walk-on and developed into one of the top Southern Conference post players when he was a first classman...finished his career as the Institute's all-time leader in blocked shots and also holds the season record (65-1992)...completed his cadetship as VMI's 17th all-time leading scorer with 1,146 career points...completed his career as the Southern Conference's second all-time shot blocker...led the '92-93 Keydets in scoring with a 16.7 points per game average and ranked fourth in the SoCon in scoring...also led the team as a first classman in field goal percentage (.540), rebounding (7.1), free throw percentage (.800) and blocked shots (48)...two time All-Southern Conference second team selection in '92 and '93...led the team in field goal percentage three consecutive years...co-held the school record for most field goals in a game (16 vs. Western Carolina in 1992)...twice led the Southern Conference in blocks (91 and 92)...twice named Southern Conference Player of the Week...scored a career-high 37 points against The Citadel in 1993 which then ranked as the fourth highest scoring game in VMI history.
ADAM MICKIEWICZ ’97 (WRESTLING)
Won three straight Southern Conference wrestling titles (126 and 134 pounds twice)...co-captained the wrestling team two years with his twin brother Aaron and posted a 93-30 career record...was 30-5 his senior season at VMI including an 18-match winning streak...was 21-4 record in 1996 winning four individual titles and two wrestling awards...named Outstanding Wrestler of the 1997 Southern Conference Championships and was also named 1997 Southern Conference Wrestler of the Year and was an honorable mention All-American after winning his first two NCAA matches and finishing among the top 12 wrestlers in the country in his weight class...also named Southern Conference Outstanding Wrestler for the 1996 Southern Conference tournament...also named outstanding wrestler of the 2006 Bloomsburg Invitational...was selected most improved wrestler on the team after posting a 20-10 mark.
THOMAS HASKINS '97 (FOOTBALL)
Selected to five first team I-AA All-America teams in 1996 and became then the NCAA I-AA All-Time leading rusher with 5,349 yards...led the Southern Conference in rushing for three consecutive years (‘94, ‘95, ‘96) and rushed for a school season record 1,698 yards his first class year...Named Southern Conference Offensive Player of the Year for 1995 and 1996...finished third in the 2006 Payton Award balloting which is the I-AA equivalent of the Heisman Trophy honoring the nation’s top player...Averaged over 220 yards per game rushing over the last five weeks of his career and rushed for a school record 277 yards in overtime win over the Citadel in 1996...has 10 of the 16 games a VMI football player has rushed over 200 yards in a game...named first team Associated Press All-America in 1995...played professionally for the Montreal Alouettes for six seasons before retiring in 2003...only VMI football player to have his jersey retired....finished his career ranked first in Southern Conference career all-purpose yardage (7,405 yards)...rushed for 34 games of over 100 yards...completed VMI career holding 21 school records and co-holding five school records and finished with 50 rushing touchdowns.
OSCAR W. GUPTON Wrestling Coach (1952-1978) (Special Citation)
Distinguished biology professor who coached the VMI wrestling team in the non-scholarship era for very season from 1952 to 1978 with the exception of three years when he pursued doctoral studies in Biology (1959-61)...had 15 winning seasons in 24 years...his 1957 team captured the Southern Conference championship...the 1954 team went 11-2 with wins over Maryland, Duke, and Virginia and won the Big Six dual meet title... other top teams included the 1972 team that went 9-1 and the 1973 squad that went 10-1...produced winning teams despite a lack of scholarships and got the most effort from his wrestlers both on the mat and on the Hill...the 1976 Bomb summed up Col. Gupton’s legacy, “Everything that can be said about Col. Gupton and the VMI wrestling team has been said many times before. Long hours, starvation diets, grueling workouts, and a great coach have provided VMI with a winning team year after year. With no scholarships in an age of scholarship athletes, Gup’s grapplers wrestle because they enjoy the sport, the competition and the comraderie of the team. (From Col. Tom Davis’ The Corps Roots the Loudest, p. 208).