PRCC Hall of Famer still holds kicking records after 49 years
Published 2:13 pm Saturday, July 23, 2022
POPLARVILLE, Miss. — An NJCAA All-American, holder of numerous kicking records and football standout, Terry Wayne Adkins is set to be enshrined in the Pearl River Community College Athletics Hall of Fame presented by Keith’s Superstores July 29 at Hollywood Casino & Resort in Bay St. Louis.
Joining Adkins in the 2022 class are baseball’s Eric Adkins, football’s Ricky Cuevas, Sports Information Director Mitch Deaver, softball’s Rachel Hickman Kirkland and women’s basketball’s Carmen “Coco” Labat. PRCC will present Dub Herring with the Inaugural Spirit of a Wildcat Award. The River will also recognize its 2002 baseball team during the banquet. Under the guidance of PRCC Hall of Famer Jay Artigues, the ’02 Wildcats were the first PRCC squad to break through to the NJCAA World Series.
“It just means the world to me,” he said. “It’s important to set yourself a goal and put everything you have into accomplishing it. When you wind up being successful in whatever you set out to accomplish, it means the whole world to you.”
Not only is Adkins going into the Hall of Fame, but so is his son and baseball standout Eric Adkins. Adkins was the one who got to break the news to his son that they would be the first father-son duo to be inducted in the same class.
“It was a tremendous joy when I found out that we were going in together,” Adkins said. “It really, really was. Before I told him, he was telling me how great it was that I was going in. Then I told him that he was going in with me. His emotion after I told him was totally awesome. He couldn’t believe that it was happening. It took me a little bit before I could say anything because I got choked up. It turned into a crying match for three or four minutes. The fact that it hadn’t been done before added another aspect. It’s very, very, very special to both of us.”
They are just the second father-son tandem to be inducted, joining Dwayne and David “Goose” Hanberry.
BEFORE THE RIVER
Adkins grew up just north of Hattiesburg and attended North Forrest High School. Because they had a small student body, Adkins did it all for NFHS. After making the varsity team as an eighth grader, Adkins played fullback, cornerback, punted, kicked and returned kicks.
After his high school career had ended, Adkins had made quite a name for himself as a kicker. His high school coach had a connection in New Orleans and helped line Adkins up for an opportunity to play professionally for the Saints. Adkins’ parents felt that it wasn’t a good idea for someone fresh out of high school to go play with grown men, so he opted not to go that route.
Adkins also held offers from Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Wisconsin, but the situation was the same. That’s when Pearl River head coach John Russell contacted him.
“Coach Russell wanted me to come up to Pearl River for a visit,” Adkins said. “I went and I really liked it. I knew that they had a good record and thought that it would be a good move for me. It was much closer to the house. Soon after, coach Russell came to the house and signed me up for kicking. I told him that kicking wasn’t all I could do and he let me know that he already had the other positions and needed a kicker. He liked how I had progressed in high school and that’s what they wanted to sign me for. I decided to give it a try.”
Tasked with handling extra points, field goals and kickoff duties, Adkins turned out to be one of the premier kickers in the country for coach Russell.
A few games into his 1973 freshman season, Adkins kicked the Wildcats past Hinds. He finished the game by accounting for 17 points on a 5-for-7 showing on field goals plus a pair of PATs.
“I had gotten into a groove. Everything was happening so fast in that particular game,” he said. “It seemed like every time we turned the ball around, I was being sent back out there to kick. It was a very important game for us because it was a conference game and we were in the running to go play for the National Championship.”
Two games later, Adkins propelled the Wildcats to a victory over North Division champion Mississippi Delta, hitting a 42-yard field goal for a 17-14 victory.
“In those moments you get focused and really forget your surroundings,” Adkins said. “You don’t really realize what is happening in the bleachers. All I was thinking about was how much we needed that and how perfect my form needed to be. I knew had to do it just right or it wasn’t going to happen. In the moment, I didn’t really feel the pressure. I wasn’t conceited about it, but I knew how much I had practiced and I knew what I needed to do. Thankfully, everything went the way that it was supposed to and I thank God for that. That was as neat as the Hinds game.”
By the time the season had ended the Wildcats had a 9-1-1 record and Adkins had accounted for 62 points, which was second nationally. Soon after, he was named to the All-State squad and that was followed by an All-American Honorable Mention award. Adkins was also nominated to compete in the All-Star game, but freshmen weren’t allowed to play in the game at the time.
“I was just a freshman, so I couldn’t believe it when they told me I was an All-American,” Adkins said. “At that particular time, the football at the junior college level wasn’t that far beyond SEC teams. There were a lot of players who just didn’t have the grades to go off to big schools. It was special because I knew the level of talent around me. It was big-time football.”
While the Wildcats only finished the 1974 season 4-4, Adkins continued to kick Pearl River to victories and was again named All-State at the conclusion of the season.
By the time Adkins’ Wildcat career had ended, he held several PRCC kicking records, many of which still belong to him. He still holds the records for field goals in a season (13 in ’73), field goal attempts (24 in ’73), longest field goal (54 in ’74) and field goals in a game (five in ’73).
“It’s hard to believe that some of my records are still holding up after 49 years. A lot of my friends have already gone through the Hall of Fame process, so when I got the call, I was really surprised. I am pretty pumped about this.”
AFTER PEARL RIVER
Due to injury, Adkins’ football career came to an end. He went on to start a career working on the railroad where he worked for 30 years before retiring.
JOIN THE FUN
The ceremony will begin with a social hour at 5:30 p.m. and the banquet set for a 7 p.m. start. Tickets are $100. Children 5 and under are free. Tickets can also be purchased at PRCCAthletics.com/tickets.