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Two former Lady Falcons inducted into MMC Hall of Fame

Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 7:32 am

Former Lady Falcons Casandra Ellison Lawson (left) and Susanne Faulkner Gay (right) were inducted with the 1994-95 Lady RedHawks women’s basketball team into Martin Methodist College’s 2017 Sports Hall of Fame Saturday. The team claimed the National Small College Athletic Association championship. ~ Staff photo by Paul Henry

Two former Lady Falcons were part of the 21st class inducted into the 2017 Martin Methodist College Sports Hall of Fame.

Casandra Ellison Lawson and Suzanne Faulkner Gay were included with the 1994-95 Women’s Basketball Team.

Casandra graduated LCHS in 1991 and was a senior on the team. Suzanne graduated from Lincoln County in 1994 and was a freshman.

Also inducted with the 94-95 team was Coach Johnny Jones, who was the head women’s coach at MMC from 1988 to 1996, and is a 1985 graduate of MMC.

“The 1994-95 Lady RedHawks were a special group of ladies, pioneers for Martin Methodist College,” Coach Johnny Jones said. “The seniors on this team were members of the first-ever graduating senior class of Martin Methodist College. Rather than transfer to other schools after Martin transitioned to a four-year baccalaureate degree granting institution during the 1993-1994 school year, these women stayed on to help Martin make history. They took a chance, along with many other students in those transitional years, and by doing so, helped make MMC what it is today.”

The MMC Women’s basketball team won the National Small College Athletic Association championship; they were the second smallest college in the tournament at the time. The NSCAA is now known as the United States Collegiate Athletic Association. During their time at MMC, the athletic programs were in a transitory period. They were probationary members of the NAIA and had conference affiliation. In some cases, they had to play Trans South conference teams.

Despite having a 10-18 regular season and playing teams who were full-fledged conference members, the team won the end-of-season National Small College Championship Tournament, defeating Philander Smith, 78-53; Midway, 87-49; and then Mt. Senario, 68-46, in the championship game.

Wrapping up her career as a senior leader for the Lady RedHawks, Casandra received All-American honors.

“It is such an honor to see our hard work and dedication recognized by Martin Methodist College,” Casandra said. “Being inducted into the Hall of Fame is such a great honor.

“We were part of the foundation to what Martin Methodist sports programs are today,” she added. “I would like to thank my family, coaches and lifelong friends for their support throughout my basketball career.”

“Playing at the college level was a lot different than high school,” Suzanne said, “but we stayed with it, and we won the National Championship, As a freshman, I’m fortunate to have had the opportunity to a part of it.

“I especially want to thank my parents, Wayne and Julia Faulkner, for pushing me to be the person I am today,” Suzanne added. “I also want to thank all my family and friends that came to support me Saturday. I’m especially proud that my three wonderful kids could be part of it.”

The following is a complete list of the 1994-95 Lady RedHawk inductees: Julie Cox Swanson, Suzanne Faulkner Gay, Tricia Reed Reischman, Kristen Parrish Rich, Misty Griffin, Christie Waldroop, Monica Harney Barnes, Robin Leab Braden, Lorie McCurry Hedgepeth, Amey Daniels, Melissa Steelman, Jenny Morris Slayton, Casandra Ellison Lawson, Missy Bottoms Parker, Dana Peterson Seay and M’lisa Bryant Miffleton.