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Lafayette announces next Hall of Fame class

The Virginia Gazette

— Over 40 years, Lafayette High has produced thousands of great student-athletes.

On Friday, Oct. 18, the school's athletic department will honor some of the finest in school history with the latest installment of its Athletic Hall of Fame.

This year's class will feature 15 inductees and will include standouts from 1978 through the Class of 2003. To qualify for recognition, inductees must be out of school for at least 10 years to be eligible for consideration.

Two legendary coaches were included in this year's group of inductees.

Carolyn Cross — (Class of 2002) Cross was a standout in girls soccer and cross country at Lafayette. She was a three-time all-state performer in soccer with the Rams as a forward. She played collegiately at Pennsylvania, where she finished her career as the program's seventh-leading scorer.

Rondollyn Givens — (Class of 1978) Givens played basketball and ran track at Lafayette. She earned Most Valuable Player honors in both sports for the Rams. She went on to play both sports at Hampton University.

Calvin Gray — (Class of 1976) Gray competed in football, basketball and track during his career at Lafayette. Gray played defensive back on the Rams' Group AAA state runner-up football team in 1973. He played collegiate football at Virginia Union and signed with the New York Giants.

Fran Hermance — Hermance was a legendary coach at Lafayette for more than 20 years. She coached gymnastics, softball and field hockey, winning 14 Peninsula District championships in field hockey and 12 Eastern Region titles, amassing 191 wins. She was named National High School Athletic Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 1980 and 1992. Hermance was awarded Virginia High School League Coach of the Year honors in 1992.

Connor Hughes — (Class of 2002) Hughes played football, basketball and soccer during his career at Lafayette. He was a two-time all-state performer in football and soccer for the Rams. As a senior, he played quarterback and served as kicker for Lafayette's 2001 Division 4 state champions. He held the state record for longest field goal (49 yards). Hughes went on to play at the University of Virginia and later won an Arena Football League championship with the Philadelphia Soul.

Amy Hundley — (Class of 2001) Hundley excelled at outdoor and indoor track during her career at Lafayette. She led the Rams to numerous district titles and competed at the state and regional level in the hurdles and sprints. As a senior, she finished second at the state meet in the high jump.

Mel Jones — Jones has been an institution at Lafayette as a coach and mentor to thousands of athletes over the years. He served as an assistant football coach when the school opened in 1973 and became head coach shortly after that. He's also been in charge of the indoor and outdoor track programs, leading the Rams to 19 outdoor district titles, six regional championships and a boys outdoor state title.

Chris Luzar — (Class of 1997) Luzar played football and basketball and competed in track and field for Lafayette. He was an all-state football player his senior year and still holds the school's all-time record for receptions (114), receiving yards (1,325) and touchdowns. Luzar played at the University of Virginia and went on to a professional career with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the New York Giants.

Aaron Nester — (Class of 2000) Nester led Lafayette High's swim team to the first state championships in school history, in any sport. He was a two-time state champion in the 100 breaststroke and led the Rams' swim team to back-to-back state titles. He went on to swim at James Madison University, where he was a three-time Colonial Athletic Association medley relay champion.

Michelle Niles — (Class of 1990) Niles played field hockey and was a member of the swim team during her Lafayette career. She led the Rams to the Eastern Regional tournament her junior and senior years. Niles played field hockey and swam for Hollins College. She was a professional cross-country mountain biker and now trains show horses.

Ross Pinkett — (Class of 2003) Pinkett led Lafayette to back-to-back state football Division 4 championship game appearances. He was Virginia Gazette Defensive Player of the Year in 2002. He was a member of the Rams' 2001 state championship team and played collegiately at Virginia Tech.

Ashley Reyher — (Class of 2002) Reyher was a three-sport standout at Lafayette in cross country, volleyball and tennis. She earned district and region honors in all three sports for the Rams and was named 2002 Female Athlete of the Year. She played tennis at James Madison University.

Karen Seaman — (Class of 1999) Seaman played volleyball at Lafayette. She was the first Lafayette player to earn all-state honors and led the Rams to a state runner-up finish in her senior year.

Brendan Summers — (Class of 2002) Summers was a two-time all-state performer in football at Lafayette. As a senior, he was named Group AA Defensive Player of the Year after leading the Rams to their first state championship. He went on to earn Most Valuable Player honors at the Virginia High School Coaches Association All-Star game.

Rian Thompson — (Class of 1999) Thompson competed in football, basketball and track at Lafayette. He set the single-season rushing record (2,089 yards) his senior year, leading the Rams to the 1998 Division 4 state championship game. Thompson earned all-state honors in indoor and outdoor track in the 1,600-meter relay. He went on to play football at Hampton University, leading the team in touchdowns in 2002.

Lauren Wenger — (Class of 2001) She was a four-time, all-state swimmer for Lafayette. Wenger captured the 500 freestyle state championships in 2001. She went on to swim at the College of William and Mary.

Want to go? The Lafayette Hall of Fame luncheon will be held Friday, Oct. 18 at 11 a.m. at Ford's Colony. Tickets are $15. Retired Lafayette teachers who would like to attend should call the athletic office. For more information, call 757-565-4229 or email athletic director Dan Barner

Harvey can be reached at 757-345-2352.

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