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Sports

October 24, 2013

Eleven honorees for Connors State athletic induction

Ten former Connors State athletes represent the school’s second athletic hall of fame inductees to be enshrined on Saturday at the Muskogee Country Club.

The event is sold out, school officials say.

The second class of inductees are Reggie Tinch and Clarence Lynch from men’s basketball; Kamara Stancle and Dr. Alicia Burke, women’s basketball; Julio Lugo and Baine Brooks, Dr. Kayse Shrum, softball; Harold Cagle, Cecil Devine and Harry Jackson. A special leadership award will be presented to Duwayne Briley, CEO and president of Ironhead Financial Group, Inc., the parent company of Armstrong Bank of Muskogee and Republic Bank & Trust of Norman.

Tinch attended Connors State for two seasons where he led the Cowboys to a 59-5 record and a National Junior College Athletic Association National Championship in 1995.

Following graduation at Connors he returned to the University of Georgia, where he played two seasons and was named to the Southeastern Conference All-SEC Defensive team. He was then the No. 1 draft pick of the Lacrosse Catbirds of the CBA.

Lynch served 33 years at Connors State College as both a teacher and coach that began as a member of the Cowboys basketball team in 1950. He is the Cowboys first junior college basketball All-American, that honor coming in 1952. Lynch, along with teammate Lou Henson, who was inducted in CSC’s first Athletic Hall of Fame class, led the Cowboys to seventh place in the NJCAA National Tournament at Hutchinson, Kan., in 1952. He also coached baseball and founded the school’s softball and tennis programs. His men’s tennis teams won four regional titles, while the women won three titles. His softball team was 167-49 and captured two regional championships. He also served as the school’s athletic director

Burke, a 1986 graduate, was named to the NJCAA All-American team in 1986 and was a member of the Cowgirls NJCAA National Championship team 1985. Burke then moved on to Oklahoma State University, graduating in 1989, and playing two seasons for OSU where she was the NCAA Division I Statistical champion for 3-point shooting connecting on 51.4 percent of her shots in 1989.

Stancle, a 1997 graduate from Muskogee High School, was a two-time National Junior College Athletic Association two time first team All-American in 1996 and 1997. She was also the Rawlings and NJCAA Player of the year in 1997 and led the Cowgirls to the Region II Championship in 1996 and a fifth-place finish in the NJCAA National Tournament with a 31-4 record. Following her graduation from Connors State she went on to play at the University of Arkansas where she played on a Lady Razorbacks’ Final Four team.

Lugo played two seasons at Connors and was a National Junior College Athletic Association first team All-American in 1995. He was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 43rd round of the 1994 Amateur draft and signed with Houston following his graduation at Connors in 1995 which led to a Major League Baseball career of 11 years.

Brooks was a member of the 1985 Connors baseball team and received NCJAA All-American honors. He then went to Oklahoma where he was a Big Eight All-Conference selection as a center fielder.

Shrum was a 1992 graduate of Connors who attained NCJAA Academic All-American status and later embarked on a successful medical career and teaching career is currently the provost of OSU Center for Health Sciences, Dean of College of Osteopathic Medicine, Chair and Professor of Pediatrics.

Cagle played quarterback at Connors in 1954 and later played at Northeastern State. His coaching career that followed included starting the football program at Missouri Western. He’s a former superintendent at Braggs Public Schools.

Devine was an All-Conference defensive end for the Cowboys before moving on to Northeastern State where he graduated in 1953. He coached high school football and later became, among other achievements, the director of officials for the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association.

Jackson played football for Connors State in 1949 where he played tackle and also played center on the basketball team. He coached football and basketball from 1953-56 at Ringling High School, before moving to Checotah High School to coach football, basketball and baseball. He led the Wildcats to an undefeated football season in 1957. He returned to Connors State in 1959 to coach football and baseball until 1965 and  led the baseball team to its first national tournament in 1963.

Briley, is a 1968 graduate of Connors State College. He’s been in the Armstrong Bank family for 34 years.

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