Athletics Hall of Fame
2018 Athletics Hall of Fame Inductees
Ladondra Johnson, ’14 – Women’s Basketball
Ladondra Johnson came to Young Harris College from Athens, Ga. While visiting the Enchanted Valley, Johnson was given the opportunity to make history as a member of the first women’s basketball team at YHC. And make history she did.
Johnson achieved her 1,000-point mark her junior year. In 2014, Johnson became the Mountain Lions' all-time leading female scorer with 1,598 points in her career. That same year, she was named YHC’s Female Athlete of the Year and made the All-Peach Belt Conference First Team.
In addition to finishing first in scoring at YHC, Johnson also finished first in rebounds, blocked shots and field goal shooting.
In the Peach Belt Conference, Johnson was named the PBC Player of the Week her senior year. In 2014, she finished second in the Peach Belt in rebounds, third in rebounding average, field goals and steals, fourth in points and scoring average, and eighth in field goal percentage.
While at YHC, Johnson studied human communication and minored in psychology. After graduation, Johnson moved to Europe to play basketball professionally. She played in Portugal for four seven-month seasons (2014-2018), and she played a summer league in Australia. Johnson is currently living and playing basketball in Helsinki, Finland. When she’s not on the court, Johnson advises and refers athletes who are trying to play on the next level.
Jacky Jones – Friend of the College
Jacky Jones has always been a sports enthusiast. His commitment to Young Harris College and its athletics department has been instrumental in allowing Mountain Lions programs to achieve a high level of success on the field and court.
The Hayesville, N.C. native is the co-owner and principal of Jacky W. Jones Ford, Inc. and operates eight successful dealerships in North Ga. and Western N.C. His extensive knowledge of the automotive industry helped his dealerships earn 16 Ford Motor Company Presidents Awards—an honor acknowledging superior customer service in all aspects of dealership operations.
Jones’ dedication to YHC can be seen through his generous corporate contributions to the Local Scholarship Campaign, Mountain Lions Booster Club and the annual Clay Dotson Open. Jones can often be found on the front row of the Recreation and Fitness Center cheering on the Mountain Lions basketball teams alongside his family, including his wife, Patsy, two children, Bobby and Jacqueline, and five grandchildren.
In 2015, YHC presented Jones with the Nancy Louise Haynes Stephens Sanderson Robertson Outstanding Friend Award. Jones’ unwavering support of the College’s athletics and scholarship programs continues to ensure a successful future for YHC’s students.
Niall McCabe, '14 – Men's Soccer
Originally from Dublin, Ireland, Niall McCabe was recruited to play soccer for Young Harris College by Coach McKeever.
While at YHC, McCabe earned Peach Belt All-Conference First Team, Peach Belt All-Conference Second Team and National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-Southeast Region First Team. He received the Golden Ball for most goals in a season. McCabe was the Division 2 national player of the week when he became the twelfth player to score four goals in one game. During his senior year, McCabe notched 18 assists in 17 games, which led the nation.
After earning a B.A. in communications with a concentration in media from YHC, McCabe signed professionally with the Louisville City Football Club of the United Soccer League (USL) and has been playing with them ever since. The Louisville City Football Club has reached three eastern conference finals in a row and won the USL Cup last season. McCabe enjoys playing professionally with his friends and former YHC teammates Ilija Ilic and Paco Craig.
McCabe stays active in the Louisville, Ky. community by visiting the children’s hospital, painting the hallways of the local elementary school, and helping children learn and participate in athletics. McCabe also stays plugged in to the YHC soccer community by maintaining his relationship with the coaches and traveling to see the team play as often as he can.
McCabe and his wife, Ashleigh Scarpinato, a former YHC women’s soccer player, have one son, Luca Emmet McCabe.
Coach Rick Robinson – Baseball
Rick Robinson grew up in Brevard, N.C. and attended Mars Hill College and Appalachian State University, where he graduated with a B.A. in education. Robinson later earned a master’s degree from Furman University in education and exercise science.
Robinson’s coaching career started at West Henderson High School, where he served as a varsity football coach and head baseball coach. He then moved to Pisgah High School to serve as assistant athletics director and defensive coordinator.
Robinson went on to start Brevard College’s first baseball program, which included building a field, weight room and clubhouse. Robinson then spent a year as a scout for the Cleveland Indians and coached the local American Legion team in Seneca, S.C. while his wife, Luann, worked on her master’s degree at Clemson University and served as an athletic trainer.
After that, Robinson accepted a position as a recruiting coordinator at Old Dominion University. In his four years at Old Dominion, the baseball team won two conference championships and played in two regionals at Florida State and Clemson.
In June 1997, the birth of their first child prompted the Robinsons to move to the Enchanted Valley, and Robinson began serving as a coach at YHC. For his first 12 years here, YHC was a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). During that time, Robinson garnered many accomplishments. Some of those include: coaching more than 150 players who moved on to play Division 1 baseball, including seven who played in Omaha at the Division 1 World Series; eight conference championships; five regional championships; one district championship; one NJCAA World Series appearance; and four 50-win seasons. For six years, Robinson served as chairman of the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association (GJCAA) Baseball Committee. All told, Robinson coached YHC to 665 wins during his time in the Enchanted Valley.
After YHC, Robinson served as head coach at the University of Tennessee, Martin. In his three seasons there, the team set the record for the most wins in a season, as well as the most wins over a three-year period.
Over 25 years, Robinson has coached more than 125 all-conference players and 100 players who have played professional baseball. Six of those players have played in the Major Leagues. Robinson has also coached more than 24 assistant coaches who have moved on to a higher level of coaching.
The Robinsons currently live in Tuscaloosa, Ala. and serve as full-time missionaries for SCORE International. Robinson is the son of J. P. and Judy Robinson. He and his wife, Luann, have three children and a son-in-law: Faithe and Miguel Saccsara, Rhett and Ryan.
Bryson Smith, '09 – Baseball
Originally from Athens, Ga., Bryson Smith played baseball at Augusta University during his freshman year and was named co-freshman of the year for the conference. Seeking an opportunity to better his career and get closer to his dream of playing in the College World Series, Smith came to Young Harris College and played for the Mountain Lions.
While at YHC, Smith earned many athletic accolades, including Georgia Junior College Athletic Association (GJCAA) Player of the Year and National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Player of the Year. Smith led the team in hits, average, RBIs and home runs that year.
Although he was drafted by the Cleveland Indians, Smith chose to play for the University of Florida following his season at YHC. He achieved his dream of playing in the College World Series—in fact, he played in two College World Series while at Florida and was part of two SEC Championship teams.
Smith was selected to the All-College World Series team and All-Regional Team. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds, where he played six years at the AAA level. Smith was named an Organizational All-Star in 2012. He later retired due to injuries.
Smith earned an associate’s degree in chemistry at YHC and a bachelor’s degree in criminology at the University of Florida. He currently resides in Brookhaven, Ga. and works at Ethicon (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson) selling medical devices. He also coaches for East Cobb.
Sam Stovall, '72 – Men's Tennis
Sam Stovall grew up in Waycross, Ga. In high school, Stovall played tennis, football and basketball, and he was awarded Best All-Around Athlete his senior year.
In 1970, Stovall received a scholarship to Young Harris College. He ranked No. 1 in singles and doubles tennis for two years, and he was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) both years. His freshman year, Stovall was the State Singles Champion and made All-State. He was the runner-up in singles his sophomore year.
After playing for the Mountain Lions, Stovall went on to play for West Georgia College, where he again ranked No. 1 in singles and doubles tennis for two years. His junior year, Stovall was named MVP. He advanced to the quarter finals of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national tournament.
Stovall became a tennis professional in 1974 and played the WATCH professional tennis circuit in 1975. He served as the head tennis professional at Sundial Beach Hotel and Tennis Resort on Sanibel Island, Fla. for five years and at Okefenokee Country Club in Waycross, Ga. for three years.
In 1990, Stovall embarked on a teaching and coaching career that spanned 26 years. He coached football, basketball, golf and tennis in three Ga. counties: Ware, Wayne and Pierce. Stovall coached three tennis state champions at Southwood School in Waycross, Ga. He won three region tennis championships at Pierce County and made one final four state appearance.
Stovall and his wife, Peggy, reside in Waycross, Ga. They have five children and 12 grandchildren.