By Chuck Tidmore
Sports Information Assistant
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Huntingdon College will induct six new members into its Athletic Hall of Fame this weekend. The ceremony will be held in Leo J. Drum Theater at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. The ceremony is open to the public.
The six inductees represent three sports and five different decades of Huntingdon athletics. This year's inductees are Jeremy Pittman (basketball, Class of 2009), Shaw Pritchett (golf, Class of 1992), Lori Bonds Rider (basketball, Class of 2010), Clare Shannon (volleyball, Class of 2011), Jerry Smith (basketball/golf, Class of 1966) and Robert Talley (basketball, Class of 1970).
Huntingdon College Athletic Hall of Fame
Class of 2016
Jeremy Pittman '09 – Pittman is a native of Valdosta, Georgia, and transferred to Huntingdon College from Mississippi Valley State University. He started two successful seasons for the Hawks basketball team, averaging 18 points and 8 rebounds per game. He tallied 105 steals and 93 assists in his career. During his Huntingdon career he was named Great South Athletic Conference (GSAC) Player of the Week ten times, GSAC Offensive Player of Year and First-Team All-Conference in both seasons, 2009 Conference Player of the Year, Huntingdon's 2009 Male Athlete of the Year, First Team All-Region, and an All-American Honorable Mention. In addition to his involvement on the basketball court, Jeremy served as a Huntingdon Ambassador and an Orientation Leader.
Shaw Pritchett '92 – Pritchett came to Huntingdon after graduating from Monroe Academy in Monroeville, Alabama.He played on the Huntingdon College golf team from 1988 through 1992, when he was recognized as an NAIA All-American and was a member of the 1992 NAIA national champion golf team. During Shaw's junior and senior seasons, when he won four tournaments (including wins in three consecutive tournaments as a senior) and finished in the top ten in 75 percent of the tournaments he played, he was named captain of the golf team, was on the All-District team, and had the team's lowest stroke average. Following his senior year, he was invited to be a member of the United States Golf Team for the World University Games in Mallorca, Spain, where he helped lead the team to a second-place finish. Shaw had a brief career playing on the professional golf tours and continues to compete in local and statewide amateur events today.
Shaw lives in Montgomery, Alabama, with his wife, Rhonda, and daughter, Rai. Professionally, he is a partner in the Jackson Thornton accounting firm, where he serves clients as an investment adviser and personal tax consultant. Shaw is a member of Montgomery Kiwanis Club and serves on the boards of Macon East Academy, Child Protect, and the Alabama National Fair.
Lori Bonds Rider '10 – Lori graduated from Escambia Academy in 2006. She led her team to five state championships in basketball and one in varsity softball. She was MVP in the softball championship and was MVP in basketball in four of five years. She holds the record at Escambia Academy for total points with 1,988 points in her varsity career.
At Huntingdon, she played in 104 games, scored 1,291 points, had 225 assists and made 178 steals. She also pulled down 485 rebounds in her Huntingdon career. She was named to the Great South Athletic Conference All-Freshman Team in 2007 and was a member of the GSAC All-Conference Team in 2008, 2009, and 2010. She was also twice named to the GSAC All-Academic Team, and she set two program records— 27 points against LaGrange, and eight assists in a game against Maryville College—that have since been broken. Lori was named GSAC Freshman of the Year in 2006–2007, and was named to the All-Conference Team and the All-Academic Team all four years.
Clare Shannon '11 – Shannon was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, and grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and went to John Carroll Catholic High School. She played international volleyball for team U.S.A. in the DownUnder Sports program Australia before coming to Huntingdon. A four-year starter for the Hawks from 2007 to 2010. In 2007, Clare earned a spot on the Great South Athletic Conference's All-Freshman Team. In 2008, 2009, and 2010 she earned All-Conference and All-Academic honors. Each season she ranked in the GSAC Top 5 for kills per season. Her freshman year she set her personal record for kills in a single match with 25 vs. Reinhardt College. She ended her Huntingdon career with 1,228 kills, 204 aces, 859 digs, and 150 blocks.
Clare was a sister of Chi Omega women's fraternity and served as the intramural chairman for two years. She served Huntingdon proudly as an Ambassador and an Orientation Leader. Clare was selected by her peers to compete in the Miss Huntingdon pageant, where she placed in the top 10. She was a member of the Student Government Association and biology's Beta Beta Beta honor society.
Following graduation in 2011 with a major in biology, Clare attended Auburn University's College of Veterinary Medicine and focused her studies on equine medicine. Following her clinical rotations, Clare completed a preceptorship at Shambley Equine Hospital in Charleston, South Carolina, before accepting an associate position in Nashville, Tennessee. Clare became an associate veterinarian with the Gateway Animal Care Group in Tennessee.
Jerry Smith '66 – Smith is a native of Columbus, Georgia. After a successful high school career that culminated in a state championship and MVP award, Jerry attended Columbus College (now Columbus State University) and led their basketball team to two conference championships and took home numerous individual All-State and All-Region awards. After leaving Columbus, Jerry's academic and athletic career brought him to Huntingdon, where he majored in business administration and played on the Huntingdon basketball and golf teams.
Upon graduation from Huntingdon, Jerry served in the Alabama Air National Guard and also began a job as a deliveryman with Royal Crown Cola in the summer of 1967. He transferred into the international division of Royal Crown in 1971 and propelled their products into 65 countries and through two key acquisitions over the next four decades. He retired as president of Royal Crown Cola International in 2006, after serving in that position for 15 years. Jerry was a lifelong member of First Baptist Church in Columbus and continued to serve his community before passing away in the spring of 2014 after a three-year battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife, Peggy Blanchard Smith, and many family members.
Robert Talley '70 – Talley was born in Montgomery, Alabama, to parents Rene Mae and John Daniel Talley and graduated from Sidney Lanier High School in 1965. During his senior year, he led the Lanier basketball team to a 33-2 record. Under the leadership of Coach Bill Joiner, he and his Lanier teammates won the state championship. Robert was named to the tournament All-State Team.
Robert was awarded a scholarship to the University of Missouri, but eventually committed to play for Louisiana Tech University. Following his freshman season, when he led the Louisiana Tech freshman team in scoring, he transferred to Huntingdon to play for Coach Neal Posey. He was a three-year letterman for the Hawks and was the leading scorer for Huntingdon during the 1969–70 basketball season. He totaled 986 career points for the Hawks, scored a career-high of 32 points against North Alabama, led Huntingdon in rebounds in the 1968–69 season, and was named All-Conference as a senior.
Following his graduation in 1970 with a degree in business/accounting, he enlisted in the United States Air Force, entered Officer Training School (OTS) and received the commission of 2nd Lieutenant. Robert attended Undergraduate Navigator School, followed by F-4 fighter training, where he was the top Weapons Systems Officer graduate. He then served our country in the Vietnam War, where he earned two Distinguished Flying Crosses and 12 Air Medals. He ended his Air Force career in 1993 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
After his retirement from the military, he worked for several government contractors as a logistics program manager until his second and final retirement in October 2010. He and his wife, Sally, live in retirement on Lake Sinclair in middle Georgia. Robert has three children, six grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter, born in August of this year.