GOOD SPORTS

Four Catamount standouts will be inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame in November

By DANIEL HOOKER ’01

A quartet of former student-athletes from four sports will be inducted into the Western Carolina University Athletic Hall of Fame during the weekend of Nov. 4-6, the 22nd class in school history. Inductees for 2011 are football’s Todd Harkins ’93, track and field and cross country’s the late Terry Helms ’73, baseball’s Chris Moore ’99 and women’s soccer’s Nardia Moore ’03 MAEd ’05.

“The selection committee once again has done an outstanding job bringing forward a stellar group of Catamount student-athletes whose records on the field, performance in the classroom and contributions to society are in keeping with the original mission of our Hall of Fame – to recognize and honor those who have enriched the athletic program of Western Carolina, and to provide an enduring memorial of those whose endeavors reflect positively on the university,” said Chip Smith, WCU’s director of athletics.

Harkins, a member of the football team from 1989 to 1992, was a three-time All-Southern Conference offensive lineman during his playing career at WCU, starting every game for four seasons at guard. The Canton product was the squad’s top-rated blocker in 1991 and 1992, garnering second-team All-America honors from the Sports Network and third team plaudits from the Associated Press in 1992. Over his last two seasons, he surrendered only one quarterback sack. Harkins is one of just 29 Catamount football players to earn All-America honors all-time, and one of 20 since WCU moved to NCAA Division I in 1976.

A member of the Statesville Rotary Club and a 2000 inductee into the Pisgah High School Athletic Hall of Fame, Harkins has continued as a strong supporter of Western Carolina since his graduation. He consistently offers corporate sponsorship of various Catamount Club Golf Tour events, including the Catamount Classic and Bob Waters tournaments.

A distance runner, Helms amassed 15 individual event championships and guided WCU to three district championships from 1968 to 1972, almost single-handedly putting Catamount cross country on the map. A native of Kannapolis, Helms won nine of the 11 meets the team entered during his freshman year, also setting five course records and pacing the Catamounts to a 25th-place finish in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics championship meet. In 1969, he claimed top podium honors in five meets while setting three course records before finishing sixth in the NAIA national championship meet to become WCU’s first-ever All-American in cross country.

Following his graduation from WCU, Helms embarked on a 32-year teaching career, including 26 years at Ledford Middle School in Thomasville. He retired from teaching in 2007 before passing away from mesothelioma in 2008. In 2010, Helms’ college roommate at WCU, Gaither Keener ’72, and his wife, Beverly, created the Terry M. Helms Endowed Scholarship Fund, which provides financial support for one WCU track or cross country distance runner each year.

Chris Moore, who competed from 1996 to 1999, was one of only three Western Carolina baseball players in school history to earn All-Southern Conference honors for four consecutive seasons.  A two-time All-America selection – garnering freshman All-America honors in 1996 and Collegiate Baseball Louisville Slugger All-America honors in 1999 – Moore earned 1999 SoCon Player of the Year accolades, capping a string of three straight seasons that a Catamount claimed top player honors. At the time of his graduation, Moore not only led Western Carolina in hits but was the SoCon’s all-time hits leader with 311, a mark that today ranks him second in school history.

Moore, a Wilmington native, was taken in the 11th round of the 1999 Major League Baseball draft by the Colorado Rockies and spent four years in the Rockies’ system before embarking on his coaching career. His first stop as a coach came as an assistant at Davidson College in 2003 before spending five years at Lander University, the final four seasons as the program’s head coach, guiding the squad to as high as No. 17 in the NCAA Division II national rankings. After a season at West Georgia University, Moore spent the 2010 season coaching infielders and hitters at
Appalachian State.

Nardia Moore, who played from 1999 to 2002, was the first-ever signee for the WCU women’s soccer program and was selected for the WCU Women’s Soccer 10th Anniversary Team in 2008. Named Soccer Buzz magazine’s Freshman of the Year for First-Year programs in 1999, she remains Western Carolina’s only three-time All-Southern Conference selection, garnering second-team accolades from 1999 through 2002 and twice earning all-tournament recognition.

A native of Fountain Inn, S.C., Moore continues to rank atop two of WCU’s career charts while also owning a pair of single-season and single-game markers. She scored a school record 38 goals from 1999-02 – tied for eighth all-time in the SoCon – including a single-season record 15 in the inaugural season. She also ranks atop the points tally with 96 career points, including 38 in 1999 to hold the single-season record. Moore helped lead the Catamounts to its first-ever women’s soccer championship, sharing regular season honors with UNC Greensboro and Furman in 2001.