Nate Allen is a columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Missouri, Allen is a voter for the Heisman Trophy. He has authored three books about the Razorbacks.
Hall of Honor class more than just Lewis
Top LPGA professional Stacy Lewis highlights women’s individual sports.
FAYETTEVILLE -- Last week's 2014 honor roll announcement could not have been more fortuitous for the University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor.
Stacy Lewis, the Arkansas graduate and former NCAA women's golf champion, is one of the nine who will be inducted Sept. 5 during the Hall of Honor banquet at the Holiday Inn in Springdale. Lewis, the No. 1-ranked women's golfer in the world, was already in town for the LPGA Wal-Mart Northwest Arkansas Championship, which she ended up winning Sunday at the Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers.
Lewis was ubiquitous, not only at the tournament but before it during her news conference Wednesday and then again Thursday while speaking in Fayetteville at a retirement ceremony for Bev Lewis, the former Arkansas women's athletic director who officially retired Monday after serving as the associate executive athletic director since 2008 when Athletic Director Jeff Long merged the men's and women's programs.
For days, Lewis' Hall of Honor induction drew mention with most every mention, and Lewis was mentioned constantly by members of the Arkansas media.
That was great for her and the Hall of Honor, but perhaps not so great for the other eight. For even amid Lewis' shining star, inductees Louis Ramsay, Pat Morrison, Freddie Childress, Kenoy Kennedy (all football), Pat Bradley (men's basketball), Shameka Christon (women's basketball), middle distance runner Graham Hood (men's track and field) and former Arkansas tennis coach Robert Cox deserve vastly better recognition than just being know as "the other eight."
I chronicled many exploits of Childress, Kennedy, Bradley, Christon, Hood and Cox and can vouch they are all are worthy inductees into the Hall of Honor.
I saw Morrison on TV as a tight end for those great Arkansas teams coached by Frank Broyles in 1968-1970.
Learning how well Morrison's pass receiving skills complemented All-American receiver Chuck Dicus to make each other and their team better, and knowing the contributions Morrison continually made with the Lettermen's Club, certainly makes the former All-Southwest Conference tight end Hall of Honor worthy.
Admittedly, I never saw Louis Ramsay quarterback Coach Fred Thomsen's Razorbacks in 1940 and 1941. But over the years I heard enough from late Arkansas sports writing icon Orville Henry about Ramsey -- who eventually served as president of the UA Board of Trustees -- to learn that the Pine Bluff native's business acumen, common sense and love of Arkansas and the University of Arkansas would have enhanced every UA board of trustees regardless of the year.
Any of the present Arkansas coaches of these honorees' sports would be more than glad if today they could play a facsimile of any of the nine honorees.
Certainly on the honorees' football weekend -- the nine will be recognized at halftime of the Sept. 6 game against Nicholls State at Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville -- Coach Bret Bielema would love another leader like Ramsay, another gigantic, athletic offensive lineman like Childress, another athletic tight end like Morrison and especially an enforcer in the secondary like Kennedy wreaking havoc for his Razorbacks.
Sports on 07/02/2014