Three former athletes became the newest members of Clarke County’s Athletic Hall of Fame Friday night. They were honored at a pre-game reception sponsored by the Bank of Clarke County and inducted during the halftime ceremony of the Clarke County/Stonewall Jackson football game. The Hall was begun in 1990, and the honorees comprising the newest class were:
Mike Riley, Class of 1979 — Riley was a standout four-sport athlete, earning honors in football, basketball, baseball, and track. He lettered in varsity football his sophomore, junior, and senior years, and helped lead his team to many victories. He started as a defensive back all three years. His nine interceptions his junior year led the Northwestern District. During his senior year, he was selected as one of the team’s captains and the Eagles had one of their best seasons in years. They went undefeated with Riley as quarterback and play caller and had only fifteen points scored on them their first six games until they met Handley High in game seven. After an extremely tough back and forth game, Handley squeaked by with a 24-21 victory. The team finished the season 8-2. Riley was selected All-Area second team as quarterback. He lettered in basketball his sophomore, junior, and senior years and played as a forward. He was selected Unsung Hero for the team his senior year. His freshman year he participated in track as a high jumper and pole vaulter, earning a letter, but switched to baseball his last three years at CCHS. Riley started all three years as a pitcher and outfielder, taking the MVP award his junior year and Unsung Hero Award his senior year.
Tim Tomblin, Class of 2001 – Tomblin was an outstanding cross country and track runner for all four years of his high school career. His freshman year in cross country he placed ninth at the District meet while his team finished in second place, twelfth place at the Region B meet, with his team third place, and was the second place runner on the team that took third place at States, their best finish ever. As a sophomore, he did even better, with a third place at the District meet as his team finished in second place. His strong races at both Regionals and States helped his team to second place at both Region B and Single A championships. His junior year was his strongest year yet, as he took second at Districts, second at Regionals, and fifth place at States. Clarke County was finally at the top of the podium as the team won Districts, placed second at Region B, and took the school’s first State championship in boys’ cross country. His senior year he again was All-District with a ninth place finish and All-Region B, finishing fifth. The team placed fourth at States.
He was also a standout athlete in track. His freshman year he took third in both the 1600 and 800 in Districts while his team won their first Shenandoah District championship, and he finished sixth in the 1600 at Regionals. As a sophomore, he won both the 1600 and 800 at Districts and ran a leg on the first place 4 x 4 team while his team was again District champions. He followed that up with a third in the 1600 and fifth in the 800 at Regionals. He placed sixth in both at the State meet. As a junior he was second in both the 1600 and 800 at Districts, third in the 800 and fourth in the 1600 at Regionals, and fifth in the 800 and sixth in the 1600 at States. His final season as a CCHS athlete saw him again take second in both the 1600 and 800 in Districts, fourth in both at Regionals, and eighth in the 800 at States, closing out as one of the most successful middle distance runners as a CCHS athlete. His outstanding athletic contributions were recognized as he was awarded the senior sportsmanship award.
Kyle VanSice, Class of 2002 – VanSice participated in both wrestling and baseball. During his freshman and sophomore years in baseball this centerfielder was leadoff hitter on a team coached by Chris Parker. The team won the Bull Run District Championship and made it to State semifinals. However, VanSice’s primary focus was wrestling. His freshman year was the first year wrestling returned to Clarke County after a long hiatus. Coached first by Mike Smith his freshman year and then by his father, John VanSice, the rest of his career, he repeatedly demonstrated mental toughness in facing countless opponents. During his sophomore year he finished as Bull Run District champion and State runner-up. He took it one step further his junior year as Bull Run District, Region B, and State “A” champion. He repeated all three championships his senior year, and finished with an overall record of 124 – 26, a school record that stood until 2011, and finished with an outstanding State meet record of 11-1, all in the 125-pound weight class. He was the school’s first member of the “Century Club”, signifying 100 career wins, and was named Single A “State Wrestler of the Year” in 2002 by VA Wrestling Round-Up. He was his team’s top wrestler for 2000, 2001, and 2002. The school coaches awarded him the “Bud Miley Dedication Award” at the end of his senior year for his outstanding leadership and contributions to the athletic program.