Emory & Henry Announces Sports Hall Of Fame Induction Class Of 2023

EMORY, Va. – The Emory & Henry College Department of Athletics inducted the 2023 Sports Hall of Fame class on Saturday, November 4 on Bob Johnson Court at the John Rutledge King Center. The group was further recognized with a public presentation on Nicewonder Field during halftime of the football game.

Five individuals were awarded with the College’s highest athletic honor. In addition, a Certificate of Appreciation was presented by the Sports Hall of Fame.

The 2023 Emory & Henry College Sports Hall of Fame class consists of Aaron Brand, Sr., Ben Blevins, Reid Ebert, Jr., Dr. Taylor Lyne and Stafford Stephenson. The Certificate of Appreciation was awarded to Dana Boyd.

Sports Hall of Fame
Ben Blevins ’09 helped set the standard for the E&H men’s tennis program as he was the first student-athlete in the program’s history to be named to the All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference First Team for the #1 position in singles, an honor he received for his performance during the 2008 season. Blevins was also named to the All-ODAC Second Team at #1 doubles during both the 2008 and 2009 seasons. He received ODAC Player of the Week recognition during the 2009 campaign for defeating the four-time defending ODAC Player of the Year in singles play. For his performance on the court, Blevins was named Most Valuable Player of the E&H team for the 2006 and 2009 seasons. 

Aaron Brand, Sr. ’98 was a four-year letter winner as a quarterback for the Wasps’ football team and never suffered a home loss during his Emory & Henry career. The Wasps accumulated a 33-8 overall record and won the Old Dominion Athletic Conference an unprecedented four consecutive years during Brand’s time on campus. He was named to the 1997 Old Dominion Athletic Conference All-Conference Team, Virginia All-State Team as well as being selected as a Preseason All-American. He was also named Most Valuable Player for the E&H team for his performance during the 1997 season. Brand was also a standout player for the Wasps on the baseball field. He started every game during his career either in centerfield or on the mound as a pitcher and did not commit a single error in the field. Brand threw 85 innings his senior year, which set an Emory & Henry record at the time. He was named Most Valuable Player for the E&H baseball team for the 1997 season as well as being named to the ODAC All-Conference Team and Virginia All-State Team as a centerfielder. 

Reid Ebert, Jr. ’94 was a stalwart on the offensive line for the Wasps on the football gridiron from 1990-1993. His Wasps teams accumulated an overall record of 31-9 during his time at Emory, including two Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championships and an undefeated 10-0 record during the 1992 regular season, which led to a trip to the NCAA Division III Playoffs. Ebert was a three-time All-ODAC selection, earning a spot on the First Team in both the 1992 and 1993 seasons. He was named a 1993 Preseason All-American and was also a three-time Roanoke Times Small College All-State selection from 1991-1993. Ebert played in 42 consecutive games during his career and was honored as Emory & Henry Most Valuable Offensive Lineman for 1993. His leadership on and off the field was evident as he was the on-field liaison for 1992 ODAC Player of the Year and Dudley Award-winner Cary Perkins. He was also named a team captain as a senior.

Dr. Taylor Lyne re-’88 was a four-year letter winner for the Emory & Henry football team during the 1984-1987 seasons. He was a leader along the offensive line as the Wasps posted a 35-12 record during his time in Emory. He was a part of two teams that won Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championships during the 1985 and 1986 seasons. Lyne was a crucial part of the 1987 squad that finished with an 11-3 record and reached the NCAA Division III National Semifinals with a pair of playoff wins over Ferrum College and Washington & Jefferson College. He was named a Second-Team All-American following his senior season, posting a blocking average of 90 percent or better. He also earned a pair of All-ODAC and All-State accolades over the course of his career. Lyne was also a founding member of the Emory & Henry Rugby Club while he was a student-athlete. 

Stafford Stephenson ’69 was a four-year member of the varsity men’s basketball program at Emory & Henry from 1965-1969. Stephenson was a standout on the basketball hardwood as he scored in double digits every game of his Wasps career as well as eclipsing the 1,000 career points mark. He utilized the knowledge learned on campus at Emory to establish himself as a well-known and respected name throughout the country in the sport of basketball. Stephenson was a mainstay on the sidelines of basketball courts as a coach for 16 years, making stops at locations such as Pulaski High School, John Battle High School, Wake Forest University, Wingate College, the University of Evansville and Southern Illinois University. Stephenson then made the transition into broadcasting, as he was well known for many years as the color commentator for High Point University men’s basketball.

Certificate of Appreciation
Dana Boyd ’85 has dedicated 30 years to working at Emory & Henry College including the past 22 years in the Department of Athletics. An Emory & Henry graduate, she has also worked in the business office, residence life and student activities office and even spent time as the cheerleading coach. She plays a vital role in the day-to-day operations of Emory & Henry Athletics. She greets everyone with a smile and a genuine willingness to be of assistance. Dana works tirelessly to ensure that bills are paid on time, budgets are followed and the correct paperwork is submitted “up the hill.” She also coordinates transportation for each of the teams, working closely with the campus motor pool and charter bus companies to make sure our student-athletes travel to and from their competitions safely and comfortably. She also plays a large role in the upkeep of our facilities, communicating with the facilities and housekeeping staffs regarding maintenance and repairs. Dana has been recognized multiple times for her dedication to the College. She received the Fanelli Award in 2007 for her service to women’s athletics. She was named the Dave Thomas 12th Man Award winner in 2013, given by the football team for outstanding contributions to the program. In short, Dana Boyd is the heartbeat of Emory & Henry Athletics. Vice President for Athletics Dr. Anne Crutchfield is always quick to say, “Dana is in charge, the rest of us just work here!” The Emory & Henry Sports Hall of Fame joins the list of those who have recognized Dana for her outstanding work by presenting her with the Certificate of Appreciation.

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