Clarke County Athletic Hall of Fame Inducts Three New Members

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 with CCHS Principal Jeff Jackson. Photo credit Iva Longerbeam

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 with CCHS Principal Jeff Jackson. Photo credit Iva Longerbeam

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 Tim with CCHS Principal Jeff Jackson. Photo credit Iva Longerbeam

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.

First Row (seated): Rudy Telek, Nancy Merriman, Bonnie Dodson, Betty Levi, Marty Reardon Proffitt, Haskell Jenkins, Nancy Digges Specht, Kyle VanSice, Tim Tomblin Row 2: Don Specht, Ernie Turner, LaJuan Gaither Curry, Charles Kackley, Donnie Fuller, Walter Barr, Bobby Lloyd, Bobby Barr Row 3: Jim Hartung, Gary Lichliter, Kenny Peffer, Dave Childs, Gary Elsea, Jesse Longerbeam, Dave Hall, Terry Hayton, Harlan Combs Back Row: Charlie Ramsburg, Gene Strother, Bob Fiddler, George Bowman, Dwayne Dillow, Travis Nowlin, Ken Stickley, Charlie Lutman. Photo credit Iva Longerbeam



  1. Orange Crush says:

    Congrats to the new athletes inducted on Friday night. Where is the coach and contributor? Someone made mention at half time of the game that Coach Mike Smith had been nominated. I can’t believe he didn’t get in. He started the wrestling program up again and coached the baseball team to 2 state playoff apperances and the only regional baseball title in school history. I feel bad that he didn’t in. I guess the powers to be have their reasons. Maybe next year Coach!

    • Uncle Jessie says:

      Head baseball coach for a few years and win 1 regional championship- and that’s a Hall of Fame coaching career? Nothing personal- but bravo to the selection committe on that no vote.

      • Orange Crush says:

        Uncle Jessie..Coach Smith was also nominated as a contibutor and failed to get in also. He was there from 1996-2003 and did an outstanding job coaching young men in 2 sports. I have seen over the years the people that get in as contributors, and he most certianly deserves that much. What he did with the baseball program hasn’t been matched since he left. Little known fact…it was Coach Smith who had the idea to name the field after Singhas.

        • Uncle Jessie says:

          Orange Crush- It’s not realistic to think little old Clarke County has enough Hall of Fame coaches and/or contributors to justify putting in 1 each EVERY year. Again- nothing personal and my opionion- the person you are rooting for was a good coach and a good contributor- not Hall of Fame in either. Jimmy Singhas should of been in there years ago. That’s what a Hall of Fame coaching and contributor career looks like- and then some.

          • Orange Crush says:

            I saw that Dave Hall was in the picture. Didn’t he go in as a contributor as a volunteer baseball coach? I have no idea what the criteria is, but how did he get in? thanks

  2. I have one better for you! How does a man have a baseball field named after him and he isn’t in the Hall of Fame? C’MON MAN!

    • C’mon Skip you know what it’s all about.(Who knows who,Who ‘s related to who,Who likes who and so forth and so on).It’s unfortunate because something that’s supposed to be a prestigous honor has pretty much turned into a joke.Better get the wagons fired up though because there are a lot of DESERVING athletes from the mid 2000’s STATE CHAMPIONSHIP TEAMS that are rightfully HOF talent.But if the past is any indication that will be screwed up also.

      • In-the-Know says:

        Two important parts to this puzzle:
        If you don’t submit the paperwork, you can’t go through the nomination process.
        And athletes must have graduated at least 10 years previous before they can be considered.

        • SAY WHAT!!! says:

          So by your statement that means that each person in the HOF has nominated THEMSELVES by filling out paperwork?If thats the case there’s more brazen people in CC than I could ever have imagined.Reading some of that would be just like reading the Sunday comic section of the Wash. Post.Looking at all the inductees,you could say 1/2 to 2/3 are Deserving HOF people.Nothing against the other 1/2 to 1/3,but the criteria just doesn’t cut it.

          • Nancy Specht says:

            What it means is if a member of the Hall wants to nominate someone and gives them the proper paperwork to list their accomplishments, if the nominee-to-be never returns the paperwork, they can’t be considered.

            The applications for individual, coach, and contributor were posted on CDN mid-June as was the criteria for selection. Go back into CDN archives and you can locate it.

    • Two words: Character matters.

  3. Justin Cidas says:

    Looking for a nomination for Jonathan “Pear” Larrick, co-captain of the baseball teams Mike Smith coached. Multiple-time All-District and All-Region selection; defeated last year’s MLB A.L. MVP, Justin Verlander, in Region B playoffs in 2001; and, little-known fact, winner of the 2001 Bull Run District Golf Tournament. And, props to Kyle VanSice, the most competitive athlete on any field of play. Period.

  4. It’s interesting that Tim Tomblin would be inducted but not Dustin Sweeney. Dustin was a great athlete and coach for Clarke. During his coaching career his Cross Country and Track teams won 11 times and finished 2nd 6 times over 18 state championship appearances. Hopefully he’ll be considered next year.