Lenoir-Rhyne Hall of Famers

Pictured, from left, are Lenoir-Rhyne 2019 Sports Hall of Fame inductees Lauren McLelland Mauldin, Tom Lumsden, Vernon Long, Audrey Kreske and Bill Davis.

Lenoir-Rhyne University added five members to its Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday as Bill Davis, Audrey Kreske, Vernon Long, Tom Lumsden and Lauren McLelland Mauldin were inducted.

The Hall of Fame induction ceremony was part of the Bears’ Homecoming Weekend and took place in the P.E. Monroe Auditorium on L-R’s campus.

Bill Davis (Basketball/Track and Field)

Davis is one of the finest dual-sport athletes to ever play at L-R. On the basketball court, Davis was a First Team All-Carolinas Conference performer, scoring 1,122 career points. A tremendous rebounder, Davis ranks second in program history with 11.3 rebounds per game and his 895 career rebounds places him fifth. In back-to-back seasons, Davis averaged 13.8 (1968-69) and 12.7 (1967-68) rebounds and he ranks 35th on the all-time scoring list.

On the track, Davis won both the Conference and Davidson Relays in the triple jump and set new meet records at both events. In the Carolinas Conference meet, Davis etched his name in the L-R record books with a jump of 45 feet, 11 inches, which stood for 41 years until broken in 2010.

Audrey Kreske (Softball)

Kreske was named to the all-conference team in each of her four seasons at L-R and was twice named South Atlantic Conference Tournament Most Valuable Player. Kreske led the Bears in wins three straight seasons and led the squad in strikeouts and complete games all four years. Kreske was an integral part of the first team at L-R to participate in NCAA Softball Regional.

Kreske’s 1.21 earned run average in 2001 ranks fifth in team history for a single season and she ranks in the top five in career appearances (111), starts (107), complete games (91), innings pitched (703), ERA (1.37), shutouts (29) and strikeouts (728), all while making the Commissioner’s Honor Roll every year she played. Kreske was a David A. Moose II Memorial Leadership Award Honoree and Verizon Academic All District III Second Team in 2003.

Vernon Long (Basketball)

Long’s influence on L-R basketball goes far beyond just his playing career and his impact reached outside the court. Long broke the color barrier at Lenoir-Rhyne, becoming the first African American to play for the Bears in the fall of 1968. During the Civil Rights Era, Long overcame many hurdles to enjoy an exceptional career.

On the court, Long poured in 1,253 career points which ranks 23rd on the all-time scoring list despite playing in an era without a 3-point line. Long remained in the school’s top 10 all-time scorers 20 years after he graduated and led L-R to 75 wins in his four years. In 1971-72, the Bears won the Carolinas Conference Championship and made the NAIA District 26 finals and came within a basket of making the National Tournament.

Tom Lumsden (Football)

A feared defensive lineman, Lumsden was named Carolinas Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 1970. The accolades didn’t stop there for Lumsden, who was a three-time all-conference and all-district player and was twice named to the all-state team.

On top of his Player of the Year award in 1970, Lumsden earned Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American honors and was named the Hickory Quarterback Club’s Best Defensive Player in the same year.

That season, Lumsden had five fumble recoveries and scored a touchdown while being the team’s co-captain. He was also selected as a Second Team All-American by the AFCA and helped L-R to a 28-11 record during his career.

Lauren McLelland Mauldin (Volleyball)

Mauldin stands as the best setter in L-R Volleyball history as evidenced by her 5,558 career assists, which are 1,777 more assists than anyone else who has ever donned an L-R uniform. Mauldin was the starting setter for the 2004 conference championship team, the first SAC championship in program history. In total, Mauldin led the Bears to a pair of SAC titles and was named the league’s Freshman of the Year in 2004 and Second Team All-Conference in 2006.

Mauldin owns the record for single-season assists (1,671), single-season assists per set (12.11) and career assists per set (10.98) on top of career assists.

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