By DAVID SALLEY | HSU Sports Network
For the 26th time in school history, Henderson State will bestow the highest athletic honor the university has to offer on eight Reddie legends this fall when they are added to the Hall of Honor as a part of the 2023 class.
The ceremony, which will take place on Friday, Oct. 6 in the Garrison Center Grand Ballroom, will kick off with a social hour at 6 p.m., followed by the induction of the 26th Hall of Honor class at 7 p.m. The Reddie Bookstore, located inside the Garrison Center, is the first-ever presenting sponsor of the banquet ceremony. Tickets to the event cost $25 and can be purchased through Angie Bradshaw by calling 870-230-5161.
The 2023 class features two stars from the gridiron in record-setting quarterback Nick Hardesty and two-way standout Keaton Stigger, GAC All-Decade baseball selections Bryant Haralson and Jordan Taylor, women’s golf standout Kendall Earp, NAIA All-American diver Kris Weber-Martin, and a member of the Reddies’ legendary 1979 NAIA National Championship runner-up basketball team, Terry Deloney.
Receiving special recognition as a part of this year’s Hall of Honor class is Randy Hicks, former Reddie basketball player and high school coach and administrator, who is the recipient of the Willie Tate Meritorious Humanitarian Award.
Nick Hardesty was an Honorable Mention All-American in 2010 when he was a national finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy – the NCAA Division II Heisman Trophy. A Daktronics First Team All-Region selection that season, Hardesty was named Gulf South Conference Offensive Player of the Year after leading Henderson to a share of its first GSC title and the first conference title for the program overall since 1985. A four-time GSC Offensive Player of the Week, Hardesty racked up 4007 total yards that year for an average of 368.3 yards per game — the second-most ever in a single-season at HSU. During his two seasons at Henderson State, he threw for 5254 yards and 41 touchdown passes. In 18 career games, Hardesty averaged 291.9 yards passing per contest. He is one of only two players in school history to have thrown for over 4000 yards and 30 or more touchdowns in a single season.
A three-time First Team All-GAC linebacker, Keaton Stigger put together one of the greatest individual seasons in school history in 2013 when he dominated the Great American Conference playing on both sides of the ball. Stigger was the GAC Defensive Player of the Year after leading the league with 136 tackles and also rushed for 15 touchdowns as a short-yardage back on the offensive side of the ball. A Second-Team All-American that season, Stigger was named a CoSIDA All-Academic Super Region 3 selection and earned national and conference Defensive Player of the Week honors three times. Stigger’s 136 tackles in 2013 are the most in a single season all-time at Henderson State and his 15 rushing touchdowns that year are the second-most in program history. A finalist for the inaugural Cliff Harris Small College Defensive Player of the Year Award, Stigger recorded 303 tackles and 26 tackles for loss in his three-year career and helped lead the Reddies to their first two GAC titles in 2012 and 2013.
One of the most dominant pitchers in program history, Bryant Haralson rewrote the Reddie record book in just two seasons at Henderson State. In his career, Haralson struck out 214 batters in 209.2 innings, pitched six shutouts, carried a record of 19-6 in 30 starts, and had an ERA of 3.00. Only two pitchers in school history have struck out 100 or more batters in a single year and Haralson did it twice. He struck out a school-record 114 batters in 2017 and then struck out 100 exactly as a senior in 2018. Haralson was an All-American on three publications in 2017, the GAC Pitcher of the Year, and a finalist for the Brett Tomko Award for NCAA Division II Pitcher of the Year. In his career he was twice named First Team All-GAC and was selected as the conference Pitcher of the Week a record eight times. Haralson was named to the Great American Conference’s All-Decade Team in 2020.
A three-time All-GAC selection during his three-year career with the Reddies, Taylor started 155 of the 158 games he played at Henderson State and was a Second Team All-Region selection for the 2015 College World Series team. Taylor ranks sixth in program history in RBls (105), seventh in hits (175), and sixth in both total bases (264) and at-bats (589). In addition to his hitting prowess, Taylor made 30 career appearances on the mound for HSU and held a career 3.63 ERA in 44.2 innings pitched. A true utility player, Taylor was named to the All-GAC team at a different position in each of his three years at Henderson State – designated hitter (2015), third base (2016) and second base (2017). He was named to the Great American Conference’s All-Decade Team in 2020.
In just two years at Henderson State, Kendall Earp won five tournaments as an individual, including the 2013 Great American Conference Championship. A two-time First Team All-GAC selection, Earp finished as the runner-up at the 2014 GAC Championships, where she helped lead the Reddies to their first ever team title as a senior. The Reddies made the program’s first two appearances in the NCAA Central Regional Tournament during Earp’s two seasons in Arkadelphia. In her career at Henderson State, Earp had a stroke average of 77.51 and recorded 11 total Top-10 individual finishes, including seven in the 2013 season alone.
Kris Weber-Martin was a four-time NAIA All-American for Henderson State as a diver from 1989 to 1992. During her time in Arkadelphia, Weber-Martin captured New South Intercollegiate Swimming League (NSISL) championships in the 1-meter dive in both 1991 (374.30) and 1992 (346.60), and finished as the runner-up in the 3-meter dive in three-straight seasons. From 1989 to 1992, the Red Wave women won four-straight NSISL team championships and Weber-Martin was named the conference Diver of the Year each of the last three seasons. A four-time qualifier for the NAIA National Championships, Weber-Martin had five different Top-5 individual finishes in her career in the 1-meter and 3-meter dives, including third-place results in the 1-meter dive in both 1990 and 1991.
Terry Deloney was an All-AIC and All-District 17 selection for the Reddie basketball team in 1981-82 when he was selected as the District 17 Tournament Most Valuable Player. During his four year career at Henderson State, Deloney helped lead the Reddies to AIC titles in 1979 and 1982, along with District 17 championships in 1979, 1981 and 1982. In 1979, Henderson finished as NAIA National Runners-Up. Statistically, Deloney compiled 1001 career points and 320 rebounds in 119 games played. He ranks second all-time in HSU history with 466 career assists, including 162 in his senior year. As a senior, the Texarkana, Arkansas, native averaged 10.9 points, 2.3 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game while shooting 46% from the floor.
RANDY HICKS (Willie Tate Meritorious Humanitarian Award)
Randy Hicks played basketball at Henderson State from 1973 to 1977, where he started his career as a walk-on, but eventually became a two-year starter on back-to-back NAIA Final Four teams in 1976 and 1977. After graduating from HSU, Hicks went into high school coaching and made stops at Barton Junior High, Wilmar High School, and Camden High School. He earned Arkansas State Coach of the Year honors in 1981 when he led Wilmar to the school’s first and only state championship, and again in 1986 as the head coach at Camden. Hicks came back to Henderson State in 1989 as an assistant coach for the Reddies’ men’s basketball team before returning to the high school ranks in 1991 to become the head coach at Arkadelphia High School. During his time at Arkadelphia, Hicks earned his third Coach of the Year award in 1992 and eventually assumed the role of APSD Athletic Director in 1996. Hicks was a two-time Athletic Director of the Year at the 5A level in 2008 and then again at the 4A level in 2010. He became Arkadelphia’s Dean of Students in 2012, where he impacted thousands of young people until his retirement in 2017. Hicks currently serves on Henderson State’s H-Club Board of Directors and volunteers at the Senior Citizen Center in Arkadelphia.