WILMINGTON – E.A. Laney High School has a rich history within its athletic portfolio, with the names of NBA legend Michael Jordan, WNBA star Tamera Young, former NBA player Kevin Whitted and college standout Qwedia Wallace enshrined in Buctown lure forever. Now, five more worthy candidates will be part of the latest class to be inducted into the Laney High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
Leading up to the boys basketball game on Friday night, the 2017 class will be honored for contributions on the field and court during high school. Ranging in age and sport, this group includes a pair of former division I athletes, a well-respected softball coach and key members to Laney’s success in basketball and tennis.
Tarence Williams – football/track – 1998 – Williams was an explosive runner who went on to play college football at Wake Forest. He led Laney to 27 wins over a three-year period, including a 13-1 mark during his junior season (1997). Williams totaled 1,872 yards as a junior, while scoring 34 times. He was named conference player of the year three times, compiled more than 4,000 yards on the ground for his career, while scoring 100 touchdowns.
“It is truly humbling and a blessing from God,” Williams said. “I am very ecstatic about being inducted. There is not a day that goes by without me reminiscing when I ran that ball up and down the field, during my years at Laney.
Williams credits former Laney Head Coach Gordon Walters as a big reason why he was able to succeed on and off the field.
“To all the young athletes, you can do anything you set your heart and mind to,” he said. “Just believe in the process. Life is not easy, but as long as you pray, respect others, spread as much love as possible, keep your grades up, train hard when no one is watching and dedicate your life to what you love doing, eventually you will become not only a Hall of Fame(r), but someone who will inspire the next generation to do the same.”
Williams currently resides in Wilmington and runs his own training business, Beast Behavior.
Jabbar Dickerson – basketball/track – 1999 – Dickerson is second on all-time scoring list at Laney, with 1,365 career points. He was part of the Bucs run to the 4A East Regional Championship game as a senior and played with the Wilmington Sea Dawgs.
Dickerson also made frequent appearances as a basketball player on the locally filmed show, “One Tree Hill.”
Fred “Chip” Adams – softball coach – Over the years, Adams has been a teacher to both players and coaches. A member of the North Carolina Softball Hall of Fame, Adams was the head coach at Laney from 1994-2001. He currently serves as Head Coach at nearby Ashley High School. With over 300 career wins, Adams has won two state championships. His teams have two state runner-up performances, with five final-four appearances, 15 state playoff appearances and eight conference championships.
“It is an extremely humbling honor,” Adams said. “It truly is a testament to the young athletes I was blessed to work with. Coming to Laney as a football coach and then being able to coach softball afterward was a challenge. The young ladies not only changed my career path turning me into a softball coach, they made it interesting and enjoyable.
“They were willing to take on any opponent and compete with everything they had. They had amazing heart and played with passion,” he said. “One of my most favorite moments was when they would all sing Disney tones on the bus ride home. The time I had at Laney with those young ladies and the football players made me a better person. Those young people taught me a great deal about giving your heart and passion to your task.”
Eryn Teague – softball/basketball – 2006 – Teague had an impressive softball career at Laney, which turned into an opportunity to play at Villanova. She was Mideast 4A All-Conference Scholar Athlete in 2004. Named team MVP in 2005 and 2006, also chosen as Mideastern 4A Conference Player of the Year as a junior and senior. A member of the North Carolina All-State team as a senior, Teague was named North Carolina 4A East Player of the Year.
“I was shocked when Coach [Fred] Lynch called and told me that they were going to induct me,” Teague said. “How awesome is that? I have not played ball since I graduated from college so this definitely takes me back to my glory days. I am very excited to see my old coaches and teachers and even some of the great volunteers that I know are still out there working and the basketball games. It is a great honor for sure and I am so excited for Friday night.”
Chris Menocal – tennis – Menocal competed in the individual 4A state championship during the 1992 season.