Knights induct 5th class to Ring of Champions

Friday night was a special time for six former Thomas Dale athletes as they were inducted as the 5th Class of Thomas Dale’s Ring of Champions.

The night’s first inductee was Cy Jernigan, a 1969 graduate. Jernigan lettered in wrestling and football. In the ring, Jernigan was a three-time district champion, a two-time regional champion and a one time state champion. In football, he won All-District and All-Regional honors as a senior.

After attending Fork Union, Jernigan received a full scholarship to the University of Maryland (Class of 1973). Jernigan went onto wrestle professionally in Atlanta, Charlotte and St. Louis.

The second inductee of the evening was Mary Beth Harvey Johnson, a 1980 Dale graduate.

Johnson lettered in softball and basketball, garnering 1st Team All-District honors, Most Valuable Player and Most Spirited accolades.

Attending Roanoke college (Class of 1984) she played LaCrosse and basketball, becoming a Division III All-American in basketball and scoring over 1,000 career points. Johnson was named the 1984 Female Athlete of the Year at Roanoke College.

The night’s third inductee was Frankie Webster, a 1975 graduate. He was a three-year starter on the boy’s basketball team.

Webster garnered 1st Team All-District honors in 1974 and 1975 and was named Central District player of the year in 1975. In that season, he led the Knights to a 25-2 record as they fell in the regional final to Thomas Jefferson.

Ranked as one of the top five players to play for Thomas Dale by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Webster also scored over 1,000 points, playing his college basketball at Virginia State University.

Inducted fourth into the ring was Brad McKeiver, (Class of 2000) another Thomas Dale basketball alum, who also lettered in volleyball.

In volleyball, the teams

McKeiver played on were three-time regular season Central District champions and also won a Central District tournament.

McKeiver’s senior volleyball season was a memorable one as he garnered Central District Player of the Year honors, was named 2nd Team All-State, 1st Team All-Metro and All-Academic.

On the hardwood, McKeiver was just as much a force as he collected 1st Team All-Central District, 2nd Team All-Region, 2nd Team All-Metro and All-Academic honors. USA Today ranked McKeiver as one of the top 16 players in the state in 2000.

McKeiver received a full scholarship to Campbell University for basketball and is currently a CPA in the Charlotte, N.C. area.

Robbyn Poole (class of 2001) was the fifth inductee of the evening, lettering in basketball and volleyball from 1999-2001.

Poole, dominant on the hardwood earned All-District and All-Region 1st Team honors as a junior and senior. As a senior, she was an All-Metro selection and also had a game in which she scored 30 points and collected 29 rebounds. Poole was named team MVP in both her junior and senior seasons.

Poole received a scholarship to play basketball at Loyola University and graduated in 2005 with BA in Communications.

The final inductee was coach Debby Richardson Howard, who taught and coached at Thomas Dale from 1986-2008.

Howard started the field hockey program at Thomas Dale in 1990 and coached the squad until 2005. Her teams won 10 straight district titles from 1995-2004, winning the region in 1997 and 1998, and were state runner-ups in 1998.

Howard also coached varsity softball for eight years, and the softball team brought home a Central District title in 1993 under her guidance.

Congratulations to all the inductees.


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