Pearl River enshrines 2022 Hall of Famers
Published 3:16 pm Thursday, August 4, 2022
POPLARVILLE, Miss. — Pearl River Community College kicked off the 2022-23 Athletic year with a bang Friday, celebrating its Athletics Hall of Fame class of 2022 which was presented by Keith’s Superstores.
The celebration began with a golf tournament at the Bridges Golf Club and was punctuated by a remarkable banquet at Hollywood Casino & Resort.
“Friday night was the perfect unofficial start to the 2022-23 school year,” Director of Athletics Patrick Ochs said. “As the Athletics Department’s marquee event, the Hall of Fame ceremony certainly was a night to remember. We were honored to highlight so many amazing individuals for not only what they did wearing our maroon and gold, but for being first-class individuals.
“To hear each inductee talk about their time at The River, what the college did for them and their retelling of their fondest memories was an absolute treat. Events like Friday’s only reinforce what we already know about Pearl River Community College and how it can change a person’s life. Friday night only solidified those thoughts. It’s an event we look forward to for 12 months a year and we’re already looking ahead to the 2023 ceremony.
Ochs also highlighted the Hall of Fame committee for their dedication to the event.
“Our Hall of Fame celebration is certainly a labor of love,” he said. “We wouldn’t be able host such a wonderful event if it wasn’t for all of our amazing committee members and volunteers. Because of their tireless effort and dedication to our institution, we were able to honor our Wildcat family and give them one more evening in the spotlight.”
Pearl River’s golf format was a four-person scramble and featured a longest drive and closest to the pin competition. Also included was a hole-in-one contest that was sponsored by Paw Paw’s Campers and Cars.
David Smith, Jeremy Tynes, Jason Alexander and Hayes Weathersby took home first place. Trey Cuevas, Seth Hester, Allan Martel and Ben Spruill grabbed second. Alex Riser, Derek Tororich, Tristan Rogers and Matt Discon rounded out the top-three teams.
Riser claimed the closest to the pin award and Weathersby won the longest drive competition.
The evening portion of the event was highlighted by the enshrinement of the Class of 2022 Hall of Famers. Included in this year’s class were baseball’s Eric Adkins, football’s Terry Wayne Adkins, football’s Ricky Cuevas, sports information director Mitch Deaver, softball’s Rachel Hickman Kirkland and women’s basketball’s Carmen “Coco” Labat. Continuing the tradition started at last year’s banquet, each inductee received a special maroon blazer with the PRCC Athletics Hall of Fame logo.
Pearl River also honored one of its greatest supporters, Dub Herring, with the inaugural Spirit of a Wildcat Award. PRCC recognized the 2002 baseball team which was the first to break through for an NJCAA Division II World Series appearance.
Eric Adkins talked about the honor as well as being inducted along with his father.
“It’s not something that I ever thought about while I was playing,” he said. “God gave me the ability and I played because I loved the game. I wanted to be a role model to the kids. Knowing that after all these years, what I did on the field caught someone’s attention enough that I was inducted into the hall of fame is special. There are no words for it.
“Also, knowing that I am going in with my dad takes it to another level. The competitive fire and grit all came from him. I used to sit and listen to old football stories. Him getting in probably makes me prouder than me going in. Getting to do this together is not something many people can say they’ve ever done.”
Terry Wayne Adkins echoed his son’s message about the duo’s induction.
“This means a lot to me,” he said. “It’s a big deal for me, but my son and I going in together is an even bigger deal. I’m extremely proud of him and everything he accomplished. I’m proud of the recognition that I have received. I had a lot of friends that thought I needed to be here and I really appreciate that.”
Cuevas was happy to be surrounded by friends and family for his induction.
“Some of my old teammates are here and my family is here. This is a really good honor to have. I’ve never had an honor this high before. I want to thank the staff and board of trustees at Pearl River Community College. They have been mighty good to me.”
Mitch’s brother, Mac, spoke about what the honor meant to their family.
“It means a lot to us. When I was called and told that this was going to happen, it was emotional to me,” he said. “It’s a great honor for Mitch. My first thought was sadness that he wouldn’t be here. I had that feeling for a long time but just a few days ago I decided that we were going to celebrate that Mitch was here and what he did. It’s an honor for us for his memory to be honored this way. We know how much it would mean to him and that means a lot to me. We know that Mitch would be too.”
Labat talked about receiving this level of recognition.
“It’s an honor to be recognized for my hard work and my talents. I’ve been playing basketball for a long time and have never received a recognition of this level. I just really appreciate this opportunity.”
Former PRCC baseball coach and Hall of Famer Jay Artigues spoke about his ’02 team.
“It’s pretty special, especially to see the turnout of how many guys came back for this,” Artigues said. “I’ve coached a lot of teams and this might be my favorite team that I have ever had. It’s just because of the type of people that we had. This is definitely the toughest group of guys I have ever been around. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 20 years since this group was on the field together.”
Dub and his wife Donna were thrilled about being the Spirit of the Wildcat Award.
“It’s such an honor,” Donna Herring said. “He’s proud of so many of his accomplishments over the years, but some of his favorite memories are with Pearl River. We’re just proud that this is the icing on the cake to receive this first Spirit of a Wildcat award.”
Added Dub Herring: “It’s just a great honor to be in the Hall of Fame. It’s a privilege to be here. I just appreciate everything that PRCC does for us. We try to help out when we can. It’s a two-way street. Pearl River Community College is an outstanding place.”
HOW TO NOMINATE
Know someone who’s deserving of consideration to be included in the Class of 2023? You can nominate them by visiting PRCCAthletics.com/hof/Hall_of_Fame_nomination_form.