CHAPEL HILL — Several former prep standouts from Robeson County were included in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s final ‘100 To Remember’ lists Wednesday, a series headlining the governing body’s centennial celebration.
Through the efforts of the Centennial Selection Committee, a group consisting of statewide school administrators, coaches and members of the media, Pembroke’s Dwight Lowry and Lumberton’s duo of Billie McDowell and Anna Evans were among the honorees on the NCHSAA’s top male and female athlete lists.
“Coming up with a list of ‘100 To Remember’ was a tremendous challenge,” said Davis Whitfield, commissioner of the NCHSAA. “So many individuals have participated, coached or been involved with the rich history and tradition of the first 100 years of the NCHSAA. This group of distinguished individuals not only served their schools, school systems and communities in an exceptional fashion, but our association as well.”
Lowry, one of the best baseball players to ever come through Robeson County, starred at the University of North Carolina before playing four years in the professional ranks with the Detroit Tigers.
McDowell and Evans each starred on Danny Graham’s 2001 state champion girls basketball team at Lumberton before earning basketball and softball scholarships at N.C. State and North Carolina, respectively.
McDowell played three sports for the Pirates and was named the NCHSAA’s 4A state player of the year her junior campaign in 2001. Evans was just as talented, setting numerous school records on the softball field as well as becoming the first freshman to start on the varsity hoops squad at Lumberton in 30 seasons.
Evans was named the NCHSAA’s Female Athlete of the Year in 2002.
Robeson County’s three player selections were joined by a former coach and two longtime administrators on the ‘100 To Remember’ list as well. Ray Oxendine, a graduate of Pembroke High and Catawba College, served time as principal at both Purnell Swett and South Robeson.
NCHSAA Hall of Famer Donald Bonner was mentioned as a top administrator having served a 15-year stint as associate superintendent of the Public Schools of Robeson County. Bonner was elected to the House of Representatives in 1996.
Prospect High graduate Ronnie Chavis was an obvious choice after posting an impressive coaching and administrative career in Robeson County. The UNCP Hall of Famer and former pitcher was named National Athletic Director of the Year in 2009 by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education.
Reach staff writer Brad Crawford at 910-272-6119 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MrPalmettoSDS.