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  • SOU Raiders' Hall of Fame class of 2014 announced

  • ASHLAND — Two teams and two individuals covering a wide range of Raider history will make up the Southern Oregon University Sports Hall of Fame's class of 2014, the committee announced Monday.
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  • ASHLAND — Two teams and two individuals covering a wide range of Raider history will make up the Southern Oregon University Sports Hall of Fame's class of 2014, the committee announced Monday.
    Former Raider basketball player Ryan Harbert and former Raider wrestling coach John Speasl will be admitted along with SOU's 1967-68 men's basketball and 1978 men's track and field team on the weekend of Oct. 11.
    The induction ceremony will coincide with SOU's home football game against Montana-Western and SOU's home soccer game against College of Idaho.
    One of the most prolific scorers in school history, Harbert carried the Raiders through some lean years from 1993-97. The 6-foot-4 guard, a product of Eugene's Marist High School, broke Bill Hollingsworth's 39-year-old SOU scoring record by two points in the closing seconds of his final game, finishing with 1,538 for his career.
    Harbert's scoring title was taken by Tom Chipps four years later, but his SOU record for career 3-point makes (220) stood for more than 16 years until Kyle Tedder eclipsed it last season. As a senior, Harbert posted career highs of 18.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game — still one of the best all-around seasons in Raider history.
    Speasl, a graduate assistant under legendary SOU wrestling coach Bob Riehm from 1971-73, is credited with helping build foundation and change the culture of a program that was soon a powerhouse. SOU had only produced one All-American before Speasl's time, but he was responsible for recruiting and developing seven: Al Betcher, Roger Duvall, Greg Haga, Brent Lofstedt, Dan Speasl, Jerry Stidham and Nathan Winner.
    Prior to his coaching days Speasl wrestled two seasons for the Raiders and earned the SOU Most Inspirational Wrestler award following both. In 1971 he placed third at 142 pounds in District 3 — helping the Raiders to their first of 44 consecutive winning seasons, a streak that is still active today — and after attaining his master's degree at SOU went on to become one of the most respected figures in Oregon sports with his career at Southwestern Oregon Community College.
    During his 38 years at SWOCC, where he started as a health and physical education instructor, Speasl was the head wrestling coach for 15 years, the head volleyball coach for 32 years and the director of athletics for 25 years. The floor at SWOCC's gymnasium was named "Speasl Court" in 2010, and he was inducted into the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges Hall of Fame in 2011.
    The 1967-68 Raider men's basketball team, coached by Bill Holmes, brought the program back to the NAIA national tournament stage on the 20thanniversary of its first appearance. The team's run-and-gun style yielded nine outings of 100 points or more, including three straight at the start of the season, and an Oregon Collegiate Conference championship.
    Speedy 5-8 senior point guard Terry Stahel was the catalyst, and 6-4 senior swingman Tony DiUlio led the OCC in scoring and rebounding, going down as one of the elite players in program history. The starting unit, comprised of those two along with forward Gary Johnson, center Ted Loftus and guard Al Hutchins, was known as the "Gunners," while reserves Ron Maillard, Craig Johnson, Rick Kellso, Gary LaSala and Mike Williams offered their own distinct style, earning the label of the "Storm Troopers."
    The Raiders went 23-6 overall, 14-2 in conference play, and defeated Northwest Nazarene 107-85 in front of a capacity crowd at McNeal Pavilion in a regional playoff to secure a spot in the NAIA tournament. Following the win, jubilant players carried Holmes off the court and tossed him into the adjacent swimming pool.
    A 40-hour bus ride then delivered them to Kansas City, where 15th-seeded Hanover, Ind., awaited in the first round. Southern Oregon led 27-24 midway through the first half before running out of gas, falling behind 56-44 at halftime and going scoreless in the first 10 minutes of the second half in a 107-59 loss. The Raiders wouldn't return to the tournament for another 31 years.
    The 1978 men's track and field team's unique story began prior to the season, when Mike Mendiburu resigned and left them suddenly without a coach. To keep the team intact and the administration from dropping the program, team member Kelly Jensen and student Stan Goodell (who completed his eligibility the year before) stepped up to take on coaching duties, eventually leading the team to a district championship.
    "The bulk of the team wants the program to stay on its feet and are willing to do anything to see that it does," Jensen told the Ashland Daily Tidings at the time. "As far as some of the guys who are worried, we feel we can resolve the problem by sitting down and laying it on the line."
    Added Jensen: "We know the fine points, and of course the finest point is talent itself. We've got quite a bit of it on the team, I assure you."
    Jensen backed up his words by winning the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the NAIA Championships. Among the eight other Raiders who qualified for the meet in Abilene, Texas, Jim Morgan placed fourth in the 5,000-meter race, Lee Webb placed ninth in the decathlon, and Bill Yeoman was 26th in the marathon.
    Jensen had been the only Raider male to ever win a national title in a running event and in cross country until Eric Avila did both during the 2013-14 school year.
    Baseball
    MOORE MAKES U.S. TEAM — At Cary, N.C., Oregon State pitcher Andrew Moore is one of 24 players who will make the final USA Baseball Collegiate National Team roster, it was announced on Monday.
    The squad will be composed of 12 pitchers and 12 position players, and Moore, who pitched in five innings during the team's training camps, is one of three players from the Pac-12 Conference on the club.
    Moore struck out eight in five innings, which included a start, during the training camp. Opponents batted .222 against him as he allowed four hits, one run and one walk.
    It's the first USA experience for Moore, who is also the eighth Oregon State player to don the red, white and blue for the Collegiate National Team.
    Team USA had Monday off before opening a five-game series with Chinese Taipei today in Cary. The teams also play Wednesday in Shelby, N.C., Thursday in Charlotte, N.C. and Friday and Saturday at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, the Triple-A home of Tampa Bay's top affiliate.
    From there, Team USA plays a three-game friendship series against Japan in North Carolina before leaving for The Netherlands July 11.
    The nine-day tournament there will be followed up by a five-game series against Cuba in Havana, which will conclude on July 27, ending the team's tour.
    Track and Field
    HASTINGS ALL-ACADEMIC — Former Crater runner Sarah Hastings was an All-Big Sky Conference spring academic selection for Montana.
    She was one of 24 on the women's outdoor track and field team to make the list.
    To make the list, athletes must have competed in at least half of their teams' competitions and have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 through the most recent semester.
    Hastings a sophomore sociology major.
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