May 13th, 2013 – Catawba Valley Community College’s Tarlton Complex
Robert Logan “Bobby” Warlick
Hickory native Bobby Warlick graduated Ridgeview High School in 1959 and his basketball career reached the sport’s highest level. He was also a standout player in football. He was the first Ridgeview player selected to the Black High School Shrine Bowl. During his senior season, he passed for more than 1,000 yards and six touchdowns and rushed for another seven touchdowns. He was an all-conference and all-state selection for the 1959 season. His greatest achievements, however, were on the hardwood. In basketball, he earned all-conference and all-tournament honors for two years, averaging 22 points per game his senior year, including one 40-point game. After graduating Ridgeview, Warlick attended the University of Denver and Pueblo Junior College in Pueblo, Colo. While at Pueblo, he earned All-American and National Junior College Player of the Year honors. He also helped Pueblo Junior College win its first National Junior College Basketball Championship. Warlick was an All-American basketball standout at Pepperdine University from 1961–1963 and was a key member of Pepperdine’s 1961–62 West Coast Athletic Conference Championship team. He was the first major National Basketball Association professional player from Pepperdine and was honored by his alma mater with a special Athletic Achievement Award. He was inducted into the Pepperdine University Athletics Hall of Fame in 1980. He spent his professional NBA and ABA career (1965–1970) with the San Francisco Warriors, Phoenix Suns, Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Stars of the ABA. After his professional sports career ended with a knee injury, he joined Purex as assistant to the president in 1972. He was elected vice president of Civic and Government Relations by the Purex Board of Directors, and served in that capacity from 1974 until 1985. While working for Purex in Long Beach, Calif., he started Star Child (now Youth Sports Foundation). Warlick died Sept. 6, 2005. He was 64.
Joe Harold Rhyne
Newton native Joe Rhyne was an outstanding football player for Lenoir-Rhyne College from 1959 to 1962, and was part of three Bears teams that played for the NAIA National Championship, including the NAIA National Championship team of 1960. He was also a “one-man track team” for Lenoir-Rhyne, competing in the 100, 220, 440, anchored the 440 relay and competed in the broad jump, the triple jump and sometimes the high jump and pole vault. After his athletic career, Rhyne became a coach and educator, eventually returning to Hickory Public Schools College Park Junior High from 1966–1993. In 1993 he received the Bagby Teacher Award in recognition of his service to the youth of Hickory. He was inducted into the Lenoir-Rhyne Sports Hall of Fame in November 1986.
Charles Thomas “Tommy” Edwards
Tommy Edwards coached girls’ basketball at Bunker Hill High School for 23 seasons as part of a career that included state playoff berths in 20 of 23 seasons, seven conference championships and a varsity girls coaching record of 418–199. Edwards was named conference coach of the year six times, and earned Catawba County Schools’ system-wide teacher of the year honor in 1989. In addition to coaching basketball at Bunker Hill, his high school coaching career included coaching positions in golf, baseball and football. After retirement from Catawba County Schools, Edwards became the first coach for Catawba Valley Community College’s women’s basketball program. In the 2012–13 season, the Lady Buccaneers achieved a regular season record of 29–0, and he was named National Junior College Athletic Association’s Region X Coach of the Year. Edwards announced his retirement from CVCC with a record of 82–30 over four years.
Tisha S. England
Tisha England is one of the most decorated basketball players to graduate Newton-Conover High School, where she was inducted in the school’s inaugural hall of fame in 2010. The 1988 NCHS graduate was a four-time MVP, a member of the All-USA Today first team, a Kodak High School All-American and received numerous player of the year honors, including the Gatorade Circle of Champions Player of the Year. She is one of only two all-Americans to ever attend NCHS. After scoring more than 1,000 points in high school, she was the only NCHS athlete to have her jersey (No. 32) retired. During her college career at USC-Aiken, she helped lead her team to the 1990–91 inaugural NCAA Peach Belt Athletic Conference Championship, and was named the PBAC Player of the Year – the only USC-Aiken basketball player (male or female) to achieve the honor. Despite only two years of NCAA competition, England ranks fourth on the all-time leading scorer list. She was inducted to the inaugural USC-Aiken Hall of Fame in November 2007, and was named to the inaugural All-Time NAIA District Six Women’s Basketball team in May 2012. She currently serves as assistant basketball coach for the Catawba Valley Community College women’s basketball team that achieved a regular season record of 29–0 during the 2012–13 season.
Lisa Foster Witherspoon
Dr. Lisa Witherspoon is not only one of the best all-around athletes to graduate Newton-Conover High School, she continues to be a trail-blazer in the world of physical education.
Witherspoon was a four-year varsity athlete in tennis, softball and basketball at Newton-Conover. She won a state title in doubles tennis in 1994, and in basketball she scored more than 1,500 career points and was part of the 1992 state championship team. She was part of the 1994 Carolina Flight AAU National Championship Team, and after graduating NCHS in 1995, she attended Virginia Tech on a four-year basketball scholarship.
She was 1999 Player of the Year for the State of Virginia, received the 1999 Frank Loria Award for Outstanding Student Athlete involved in his/her community. Since 1998, she is the all-time assists leader at Virginia Tech (both men and woman), and was inducted to the Virginia Tech Hall of Fame in 2009. She is a 2011 ACC Women’s Basketball Legend inductee.
Witherspoon is currently a professor at University of South Florida where she established herself as an international leader in technology-based active gaming research, which promotes physical activity among youth through video games.