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
Central Oklahoma spoils solid effort by Lions' Walker, wins series opener
Jake O’Brien’s two-run home run in the seventh inning broke a 1-1 tie, and Central Oklahoma defeated Missouri Southern 4-1 Thursday night in the first game of a four-game MIAA series at Joe Becker Stadium.
MSSU pitcher Hill overcomes cancer surgeries
Skylar Hill has progressed to become Missouri Southern’s mid-week starting pitcher.
Joplin's Brown, junior college product sign with MSSU
Charlie Brown made it official on Wednesday afternoon, signing a basketball letter of intent with Missouri Southern in front of friends and family in the Joplin 11-12 campus cafeteria.
Juco star Morice signs with MSSU women
Tami Morice, who scored 1,250 points during the past two seasons in junior college, will continue her career at Missouri Southern.
Lions, Moon eclipse PSU
Logan Moon went 2-for-4 and scored twice as Missouri Southern defeated Pittsburg State 6-4 in a nonconference game Tuesday night at Joe Becker Stadium.
Missouri Southern softball splits with William Jewell
Missouri Southern scored two unearned runs in the seventh inning and nipped William Jewell 3-2 Tuesday afternoon in nonconference softball action.
Lions to host Gorillas in Sonic Trophy Series matchup
Missouri Southern will face Pittsburg State in a Sonic Trophy Series matchup at 6 p.m. today at Joe Becker Stadium.
After a successful season, McDowell continues to improve play, leadership
Jay McDowell walks up to the line of scrimmage and barks out his commands. Then he motions to get a teammate in position before he takes the snap and makes another correct read on the option.
Softball Lions battle back to earn split with Nebraska-Kearney
Missouri Southern responded from a deflating first-game loss to pound Nebraska-Kearney 10-2 in five innings in the finale of an MIAA doubleheader at Lea Kungle Field on Saturday afternoon.
Southern tied for 9th in baseball after split
Mitchell Osburn drove in the winning run with a two-out single in the seventh inning as Missouri Southern defeated Northeastern State 6-5 in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday at Joe Becker Stadium.
- More Missouri Southern Sports Headlines
- Central Oklahoma spoils solid effort by Lions' Walker, wins series opener