Erskine Celebrates Homecoming 1999

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Anton Corneal, Erskine Hall of FameAnton Corneal

It was a super Saturday for Erskine College celebrating Homecoming 1999 with a Super Hero theme, highlighted by Erskine's come-from-behind overtime soccer victory over Longwood, where at halftime senior Laura Whitlock of Columbia was crowned homecoming queen, and four former graduates being inducted into the athletic hall of fame.

Whitlock was crowned by Erskine President Dr. John L. Carson and 1998 graduate and homecoming queen Erin Perry of Seneca at halftime of the men's game, which Erskine trailed 2-0 in the second half before rallying for a 3-2 overtime win. Sophomore Ashley Nichols of Hartsville was first runner-up and freshman Martha Peake of Winnsboro was second runner-up.

Homecoming festivities began Friday night with the annual Fleet-O-Rama float-building competition, bonfire and other activities. The sophomore class won the spirit competition.

Saturday morning the Erskine Alumni Association, chaired by Sarah Brice of Greenville, met, followed by the first meeting of the newly-formed Erskine Young Alumni Council.

At noon, students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members gathered at Main Street for the annual homecoming parade. The senior class won the float competition, the junior class was second and the sophomores were third.

Homecoming festivities concluded with a banquet for the 1999 Flying Fleet Athletic Hall of Fame inductees and their families. Terry Tyler, Class of 1964, and Paul Nickell, Class of 1956, were baseball inductees. Other inductees included Anton Corneal, Class of 1985, in soccer, and Darrell Storm, Class of 1956, in basketball.

Tyler, whose son Trevor is a freshman soccer player at Erskine who scored the winning goal in overtime against Longwood, was a powerful freshman from Savannah, Ga., in the early 1960s. He switched from pitcher to first base for his sophomore season, and in 1962 hit .483 for his first 14 games and ended the season with a team-leading .396 average, helping the Fleet to a 13-9 record. The next season he helped lead Erskine to its best record in 27 years, 15-5. Tyler hit .381, with six doubles, two triples, and 20 RBI.

At the banquet, Tyler said, “Today was one glorious day. I'm a proud father and proud to be entering the Erskine hall of fame. Erskine has meant a great deal to me and I'm sure it will mean a great deal to my son.”

Storm, In his four years as a basketball starter, helped Erskine compile a 66-37 record, twice making the NAIA playoffs.

“It's good to be back here at Erskine,” Storm said at the banquet. “This is a tremendous honor, and it has been fun to see many of my teammates and friends. I was truly fortunate to have played on some good teams at Erskine with some good players.”

In the era of wooden bats, Nickell hit .477 in 1955, setting a modern single-season record that would stand for 14 years. It is still today the fourth-highest average ever compiled by an Erskine batter and is the second highest with a wooden bat.

“When I hear the names of all the people who have gone into the hall of fame before me, I feel insignificant,” Nickell said. “But I can tell you right now, I'm not giving this back.”

Corneal came to Erskine from Maracas Valley, Trinidad, was the youngest member of the Trinidad National Team, coached by his father. Though opponents would double- and triple-team Corneal, he became the catalyst of the Erskine attack, a role he would hold for four years.

Corneal set a team record for assists (47) and scored 38 goals, while leading Erskine to three district championships and into the NAIA National Tournament in 1982 with a 17-5 record, Erskine's finest ever up to that time. Erskine's record during Corneal's four years was 42-22-5, with 15 of the 22 losses coming against NCAA competition. Corneal was all-district four times and three times won All-South and NAIA All-American honors.

Corneal said, “Thank you all, I had no idea what a big deal this whole event is. I feel like I should be honoring Erskine for what it has meant to my life.”