Talk about family support.
“My parents taught me that life is not about being the best but about always trying and doing the best at everything you do,” Heather Hoyle Sams said. “They displayed unconditional love and support for all their children, and they’ve always been there – even when it meant driving four hours to watch me run a 12-second race.”
Hoyle Sams, a track sprinter, along with basketball players Katie Gariss Marsh and Eddin Santiago and men’s soccer coach Dr. Hal Bodon were inducted last weekend into the Missouri Southern Athletics Hall of Fame.
Gariss said some of her family would drive their car until they could get good radio reception on the Lions' games.
“If I think back to all my moments, if I could consolidate all of them into one, I think the best ones for me are the ones spent in an empty gym at 11 o’clock at night with my dad rebounding for me after he had spent an entire day at work,” Gariss Marsh said. “I saw my parents’ dedication, I saw their commitment, I saw their sacrifice, I saw their selflessness day in and day out. “
Bodon, who started the Lions’ men’s soccer program as a club sport in 1972, certainly appreciated his Hall of Fame honor. “You made an old man very happy,’’ he said at the luncheon on Saturday.
But Bodon’s weekend became a reunion as many of his former players returned to campus – including one who flew to Joplin from the country of Lebanon and another who flew from South America.
“To see the guys I haven’t seen in 35 or 40 years … in fact, some of them I didn’t recognize until (Saturday),” Bodon said. “They said ‘Coach, we were here (Friday)’ and I said really? Paul Knight came up and said ‘I’m Paul Knight’ and I said come on, you’re not Paul Knight. He had changed quite a bit. They all recognized me. I don’t change much apparently.’’
Santiago’s wife, Daisy, a professional basketball player in Puerto Rico until a knee injury ended her career in 2008, came to Joplin last weekend for the first time.
“I always knew Eddin would be a good coach when his career is over,” Lions basketball coach Robert Corn said while introducing his former point guard on Saturday. “After meeting Daisy, I know he’ll be a great recruiter.”
“It’s been a great weekend, especially for my wife,” Santiago said. “Meeting everybody … I know how people are here. I know it’s going to be cozy and everybody all together, but she’s never been here. I’m happy for me, but I’m happy for her, too.
“I wish the rest of my family could be here, but I know they got my back. This feels great.”
Talk about family support.
- Missouri Southern Sports
Slim huge as Lions defeat Lopers
The nickname is Slim, but on Friday night it could have been Gigantic.
Lions to face Emporia in MIAA series
Missouri Southern will face Emporia State in an MIAA doubleheader at 1 p.m. today at Joe Becker Stadium.
Pittsburg State backs strong pitching to beat MSSU
Pittsburg State collected 27 hits and defeated Missouri Southern 9-1 and 10-3 in a nonconference softball doubleheader Friday at Lea Kungle Field.
Fort Hays State ousts MSSU women
As expected, Fort Hays State’s center played a big role for the Tigers.
MSSU set for rematch against Lopers
Three months ago Missouri Southern tipped off its MIAA schedule with a 99-79 victory over Nebraska-Kearney at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
Lions, PSU to play softball doubleheader
Missouri Southern will face Pittsburg State in a nonconference softball doubleheader at 4 p.m. today at Lea Kungle Field
Tigers eliminate Lion women from MIAA tourney
Kate Lehman, 6-foot-4 junior center, collected 13 points, five rebounds and six blocked shots, and Fort Hays State hit eight 3-point goals in a 78-57 victory over Missouri Southern on Thursday afternoon in the MIAA Postseason Tournament at Municipal Auditorium.
Southern women to battle Fort Hays, 6-foot-4 center today in conference tourney
Missouri Southern coach Ronda Hubbard is not about to back down from a tall challenge, and she wants her team to employ the same mentality in today’s MIAA Postseason Tournament game against Fort Hays State.
S&T ends Lions' win streak at 12
No. 14-ranked Missouri Southern twice rallied to tie the game, but Missouri S&T tallied the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh inning and nipped the Lions 6-5 Saturday afternoon at the S&T Baseball Field.
Lions' Corn, Addison receive MIAA recognition
In his 25th and final season at Missouri Southern, Robert Corn has been honored as the MIAA Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year.
- More Missouri Southern Sports Headlines
- Slim huge as Lions defeat Lopers