Lenoir-Rhyne's Meghan (Jolly) Pritchett will be inducted into the South Atlantic Conference Hall Of Fame this June, league commissioner Patrick Britz announced today. Four former student-athletes and a
longtime coordinator of officials make up the Class of 2012. In addition to Pritchett, a former women's golfer, the group includes former Wingate men's tennis and basketball player Patrick Bartlett, former Carson-Newman softball player Sammi Hatcher Chafin, former Mars Hill women's basketball player Denise Shelton and current SAC Coordinator of Men's Basketball Officials James Burch.
"We are extremely privileged to announce the selection of these five individuals to the SAC Hall of Fame," Britz said. "Each of the 2012 inductees have played significant roles in building the history of the SAC, and continue to be great ambassadors for the conference today."
The 2012 South Atlantic Conference Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place on Thursday, June 7, at the Hilton Biltmore Park Hotel in Asheville, N.C.
Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Golf (1999-02)
One of the SAC's first women's golf stars, Meghan Pritchett was a two-time NGCA All-American and three-time SAC Player of the Year during her career at Lenoir-Rhyne. She was a three-time All-SAC performer, and was a medalist at the 2000 SAC Golf Championship - the first in conference history.
Pritchett competed in the NCAA Division II Women's Golf National Championship three times during her career, finishing in the top eight in each appearance. Her best finish was sixth in the 2001 Championship. After graduating with a degree in business administration, she went on to participate in 22 events on the LPGA Futures Tour.
She is currently the director of catering at Freebirds World Burrito in Austin, Texas.
Wingate Men's Tennis and Basketball (1996-00)
Patrick Bartlett achieved great success during his career at Wingate. He was the SAC Men's Tennis Player of the Year in 1999, earned tennis All-Conference honors in each of his four seasons and is the only three-time Academic All-American in Wingate athletics history.
Bartlett was also a two-year letterwinner on the Bulldogs' men's basketball team. He graduated with a degree in accounting. Today, Bartlett is the manager and director for audit services at McGladrey and Pullen, LLP. He lives with his family in Charlotte, N.C., and serves on the Wingate Board of Visitors.
Sammi Hatcher Chafin
Carson-Newman Softball (1990-93)
Sammi Hatcher Chafin is one of the most decorated softball players in SAC history. A leader of the Carson-Newman teams that won three of the first four SAC softball championships, Chafin was a two-time All-American, three-time All-District selection, three-time All-SAC selection and the SAC and District Player of the Year in 1993. Chafin's .524 batting average in 1992 and 68 runs scored in 1991 remain SAC single-season records, and her 87 hits in 1992 are still the second-highest single-season total in league history.
As a teacher and coach in Bristol, Tenn., Chafin remains heavily involved with the game. In addition to her coaching duties, she works alongside several youth softball leagues and summer camps. Chafin graduated from C-N with a degree in psychology and later earned her Master of Education from Milligan College.
Mars Hill Women's Basketball (1998-02)
Denise Shelton earned a laundry list of accolades during her career at Mars Hill, which was headlined by an NCAA Elite Eight appearance in 2002. She was a two-time SAC Player of the Year, two-time All-Region selection, four-time All-SAC selection and a four-year member of the SAC Commissioner's Honor Roll.
She was also named the SAC Freshman of the Year in 1999 and earned All-America and SAC Presidents Award accolades after a standout 2002 season. Shelton's career scoring average of 19.7 points per game is the highest in SAC history, and her 41 points against Gardner-Webb on Dec. 15, 2001 is tied for the league's fourth-largest scoring output of all-time.
Shelton played professionally in Iceland for two years after graduating with a degree in biology, and currently works as a nuclear chemist at Duke Energy in Huntersville, N.C.
James T. Burch
SAC Coordinator of Men’s Basketball Officials (1995-present)
Jim Burch has spent the past 17 years managing men’s basketball officiating operations for the SAC. He also served 16 years as the SAC’s Coordinator of Women’s Basketball Officials.
Burch has been involved with officiating since 1953, spending 17 years at the high school level and 29 years at the collegiate ranks. His officiating resume includes 11 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball tournaments, five NAIA national tournaments, the 1975 Pan-American Games and the 1980 and 1988 Pre-Olympic Trials.
He is also a member of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association and Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Officials Halls of Fame. Burch worked as a principal and superintendent in the North Carolina public school system from 1949-1992. He currently resides in Apex, N.C.
Photo Courtesy: Meghan Pritchett, LRU Athletics