SALEM, West Virginia – Another stalwart of the Salem Athletics fall season is the annual induction of a class of former Tigers into the Salem Athletics Hall of Fame, with the ceremony traditionally held during homecoming festivities in parallel with the Salem Apple Butter Festival. This year, the Hall of Fame Ceremony will return to the Benedum Library, and will occur on October 6th.
To be honored in that ceremony, the following 8 individuals and teams have been voted in this year by the selection committee.
1962-1963 Men’s Basketball Team
The 1962-1963 Men’s Basketball was most noted for their underdog run through the WVIAC tournament. The team downed Bluefield State in the opening round, 67-55, then upset West Virginia State 92-81 and rallied to nip West Virginia Wesleyan, 72-69. Unfortunately, the team lost to West Virginia Tech in the final. The fans in Charleston jumped on the Salem bandwagon and helped push the team to the finals. Salem was led by an outstanding head coach, Coach Don Christie who went on to have an outstanding career as head basketball coach at Salem for much of the 1960s and 1970s.
Djordje Stavrevski – Men’s Water Polo Student-Athlete from 2014-2017
On the pool deck for the second admission into the Class of 2023, Stavreski was a star of Salem men’s water polo program through 2017, and he held a school record in career goals, and currently holds the school record for career drawn KOs. He was also a 2-time All-American, the first player in Salem water polo history to accomplish that feat on either the men’s or women’s squads.
Melissa Swartz – Women’s Basketball Student Athlete from 1987-1991
Swartz joins the Class of 2023 after a successful women’s basketball career at Salem where she was a critical part of some strong teams in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Most notably, in 1991, she led the WVIAC in rebounding and scoring en route to a WVIAC Player of the Year Award, which she also won in 1990.
Kelly Corcoran Underwood – Women’s Basketball Student-Athlete from 1985-1988
Underwood and Swartz briefly were teammates here at Salem, but it is clear that Underwood’s efforts as a Tiger in the mid-1980s paved the way for future success. Scoring over a thousand points in her time at Salem, Underwood earned All-WVIAC honors in 1987 and 1988. A hard worker on and off the court, she was also a recipient of multiple All-Academic and Sportsmanship honors during her time playing for the Tigers.
Al Underdonk – Football Student-Athlete from 1972-1975
The next recipient joins this class of Tigers from his time playing football for Salem in the heyday of Tigers football, namely the mid 1970s. He earned multiple All-WVIAC and NAIA All-American honors in his time at Salem, and was a critical part of the 1975 team that made it all the way to the NAIA National Championship Game.
Mike Hicks – Football and Baseball Student-Athlete from 1959-1962
The earliest entrant on this list goes to Mike Hicks, who was a multi-sport athlete at Salem in the early 1960s. In football, he was a star running back, defensive back, and kick returner that earned various All-WVIAC honors. In baseball, he was a strong offensive player as he led the WVIAC in batting average, stolen bases, and runs scored during his time as a Tiger. He also regularly competed as a track and field independent, as Salem did not sponsor track and field as a varsity sport at the time.
Al Devart – Football and Baseball Student-Athlete from 1984-1989
Al Devart joins the 2023 Hall of Fame Class after a strong career as both a baseball and football athlete at Salem in the late 1980s. He earned All-WVIAC honors in both those sports in 1988, and was part of multiple conference championship teams during his time as a Tiger. A native of Grafton, West Virginia, he competed as a tight end in football, and as a pitcher/utility player in baseball.
Cheryl Morgan – Athletics Secretary and Administrator from 1983-2001
The final admission into the Class of 2023 is not from a student-athlete, but from an administrator. Cheryl Morgan filled various roles for Salem in her time as an athletic department secretary from 1983 through 2001, including, academic compliance, fund raising, gameday administration, financial reporting, and academic record keeping. She worked with various other Salem Athletics Hall of Fame inductees such as Corky Griffith, Mike Carey, Terry Bowden, and many more.
Salem University Athletics would like to thank all of our Class of 2023 for all their contributions to Salem Athletics over the years, and we cannot wait to meet with them all again at our induction ceremony on October 6th.