Sports Hall of Fame 2013
Centennial Weekend brought the announcement of new members elected to the Alumni Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2013. Inductees included William “Jeff” Booker ’82, Lewis Fore ’63, Susan Sautter Green ’98, and Lindsay Morton Rooks ’02, and The Four Ferrum College National Junior College Championship Football Teams.
William Jeffrey Booker ’82 was a member of the Ferrum College class of 1982 and a starting third baseman in 45 of 45 baseball games. He was selected to the All Western Region X Baseball team with a .355 batting average, 39 runs scored, 10 doubles, 7 home runs, 33 RBIs, and a .579 slugging percentage.
After Ferrum, Booker played baseball at the University of Virginia and in 1984 hit .312 and led the Cavaliers in HRs and slugging percentage. He played for two years with the Waynesboro Generals and Staunton Braves in the Valley League and competed in the Jayhawk League after fielding for the 1984 national team of Athletes in Action touring both Korea and Taiwan.
In 1985, UVA honored Booker with the Baseball Memorial Trophy as a “Gentleman, Scholar Athlete.” He was elected second team All-ACC and led the conference with a .436 batting average as well as All-State Designated Hitter on the Virginia College Sports Information Directors team, and on an all-region selection roster that placed him on the ballot for All-American. That summer he batted .324 while playing in 40 of 42 games for the Staunton Braves. They won the regular season title and went 6-0 in the playoffs to win the league championship.
In 1986, Booker began his professional banking career in Charlotte, North Carolina, but still found time to coach in the Senior Little League. Soon after, he became an American Legion head coach, spending four years with the Pineville Legion team and reaching the North Carolina state championship quarter finals.
Booker currently resides in Gastonia, North Carolina, where he spends time coaching his three children’s baseball, basketball, and soccer youth teams and where he and his wife continue to build their marriage on a foundation of faith and are elders in their church. He was formerly an assistant superintendent in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools and now works as the deputy superintendent for the Gaston County Schools. He remains devoted to his community, serving as board chairman of the Barnabas Center YMCA of Gaston and the Gaston County Economic Development Commission.
Lewis “Skeeter” Fore ’63 made history at Ferrum College in 1962 when he helped to create the school’s first golf team. As a freshman he played number one on that team, coached by Gary McPherson, as well as playing baseball for Gene Evans, batting .365, minding first base, pitching, and once in a while even covering the outfield.
Fore transferred to Lynchburg College, where he again played number one on the golf team, assisting his teammates to the second runner-up slot in state college golf. He was named the 1965 Mason-Dixon Conference Individual Golf Champion.
Fore retired from the Prince Edward Academy/Fuqua School after coaching for 48 years. His career began as assistant coach for eight years and then head coach for another 40 years. He led the varsity basketball team for nine years and the varsity golf team for 10 years.He was the head varsity coach for a total of 43 years and the athletic director for 15 years. His memorable records include winning 70 percent of games in all sports throughout his coaching career; state football championships in the Virginia Independent School Athletic Association in both 1995 and 1999; four baseball Conference Championships and three-time Coach of the Year; 11-year football Conference Championships and four-time Coach of the Year.
Outside of work, Fore officiated as a referee for the Farmville Athletic Association football league for 21 years, coached Farmville Post 32 American Legion baseball, and officiated USSSA Softball for 10 years.
Fore, who resides in Farmville, Virginia, is the eight-time Club Champion at Longwood Golf Club, the three-time Southside, Virginia Golf Champion, and the five-time winner of the Baskerville Bowl Invitational Golf Tournament. He received the Ruritan Citizen Award in 1990 as well as the Junior Chamber of Commerce Spoke Award.
Susan Sautter Green ’98 was an exceptional forward on the Ferrum College women’s soccer team. She continues to hold school records for career shots, goals, game-winning goals, hat tricks, points, goals per game, points per game, season shots, and assists per game.
Green was the Panthers’ scoring leader in 1994, 1995, and 1997, and made it to the All-South Region third team in 1995, posting three hat tricks against Wesleyan, Villa Julie, and Guilford.
She was Ferrum’s first four-time All-Conference soccer player and one of only three soccer players (men or women) in history to earn four All-Conference honors: All-Conference first team in 1994 and All-Conference second teams in 1995, 1996, and 1997, along with an All-State honorable mention in 1995. She also played on the USA South Silver Anniversary Team and currently resides in Slate Hill, New York, where she spends her free time volunteering at the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Lindsay Morton Rooks ’02 was an outstanding member of the Ferrum College class of 2002. Not only was she captain of the tennis team but also a Bonner Scholar (students who receive scholarship support because of their previous experience in service to their communities and their continuation of service activity during the school year and in the summer), secretary of the Lambda Sigma National Honor Society, and the service vice president of Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity. She won both the Residence Education Programming Award and the Residence Education Spirit Award for the 2000-2001 school year.
Rooks holds the Ferrum women’s tennis records for both singles wins (34) and overall wins (54) and was voted MVP in both 2000 and 2001. Also in 2000, she received the National Collegiate Athletic Association Outstanding Sportsperson of the Year award, one of only three given in the nation each year. She was All Conference in 2000, ranking second at #3 singles; and placed third at #3 singles in the 2001 Dixie Conference Tournament; and made the Second Team All-Conference in 2002 and the Academic All Dixie Conference in 1998 and 1999.
Rooks and her husband live in Richmond, Virginia, with their children, Ethan, Julia, and Vivian. Rooks works as a math/science innovation center teacher and administrator. She was formerly a physical science teacher and served as the assistant coach for the Prince George High School’s boys’ and girls’ tennis teams 2004 through 2008, as well as teacher liaison for N.B. Clements High School’s student newspaper. Her continued service to her community is demonstrated through her commitment to her church as a Sunday school teacher for the toddlers class and a Vacation Bible School director—she organizes the program and coordinates more than 100 volunteers and 230 children.
The Four Ferrum College National Junior College Championship Football Teams
1965 NJCAA National Football Champion: Ferrum College Panthers
In Hank Norton’s sixth year as head coach, the Panthers were undefeated in the regular season, making College history. Norton and company rolled into Savannah, Georgia, with a 9-0 record to play in the Shrine Bowl.
The Shrine Bowl was recognized by the National Junior College Athletic Association as the national championship game, and Norton’s team would face mighty top-ranked McCook Junior College out of Nebraska. After four hard-fought quarters, Ferrum left no doubts about who the top dog was that year, emerging with a 16-0 shutout to claim the title.
In Norton’s ninth year, his team once again came through with flying colors. Ferrum steamrolled its way past 10 opponents, including defending national champion Northeast Oklahoma A&M on the road. The Panthers blasted Phoenix Junior College for the national championship that year, Ferrum’s second overall title. Players that year worked together to create an unbeatable team, meeting each physical and competitive challenge with spirit and determination.
Anyone who thought Ferrum’s 1968 national championship was the last was in for a wake-up call in 1974. A national championship game was not played that year, and after a 10-0 regular season, Norton’s squad was crowned national champion. The Panthers had to eke out a couple of tight wins, including a 17-13 win over a strong Wesley team and a 14-10 win over Potomac, but the team embodied the belief that hard work and shared goals can make winners of us all—a fine example of living the Ferrum College motto.
Norton’s 1977 football team claimed the fourth and final National Junior College Championship in school history. The only mark on an otherwise perfect season was a 16-14 loss to a powerful Grand Rapids Community College out of Michigan for a championship football season 9-1 record.
Ferrum began to attract national attention after winning its first national championship, let alone its fourth. Recruiting was easier and college coaches from bigger schools, including a number of big NCAA Division I schools, took notice of Ferrum’s rise. Coaches from across the country began sending representatives to the Blue Ridge Mountains to recruit some of Ferrum’s best players to play in the ACC, Big 10, Big 8, and SEC schools, many eventually matriculating to the pro leagues.