Esther Anyanwu, Morgan Smith, Anna Maness, Tori Brown-Cummings and Ashley Hagans hold their plaques.

Alumnae return for Athletics Hall of Fame induction

Oct 14, 2019
Kathryne Davis

Anna Maness and Morgan Smith embrace at the induction ceremony.

Five former student-athletes were inducted during Brenau University’s annual Athletics Hall of Fame ceremony Saturday, Oct 5, and all returned home to Brenau to share their stories and reminisce about their playing days.

The event, held at the Brenau Downtown Center, brought together soccer teammates Esther Anyanwu and Tori Brown-Cummings, softball teammates Morgan Smith and Anna Maness, and basketball player Ashley Hagans.

“You have set the bar high for future Brenau athletes,” said Mike Lochstampfor, athletic director and head soccer coach. “You’ve demonstrated how to train, how to compete, how to pursue excellence in your sport and in life. In a word, you have set the gold standard. Each of you truly embodies the spirit of the Golden Tiger.”

Anyanwu, class of 2014, spent two years on the soccer team and quickly helped the team become one of the best in the NAIA. During her time at Brenau, she was named to the Southern States Athletic Conference First Team both years and also received the SSAC Golden Boot Award for the conference’s leading scorer both years. In 2013, Anyanwu led the country with 32 total goals and was also named an NAIA First Team All-American. She finished her career with 59 goals and 13 assists, including 17 game-winning goals.

“It takes discipline,” Anyanwu said to the current student-athletes in attendance. “You can be good at whatever you do, but if you don’t have discipline, you cannot get anywhere.”

Brown-Cummings, class of 2015, started playing soccer as a child and eventually found her place in goal. She holds the records for number of saves (135) and shutouts (8) in a season and career with 351 total saves and 20 shutouts. Brown-Cummings was also named to the SSAC First Team from 2011-13.

“Esther, you are the greatest soccer player I’ve ever played with,” Brown-Cummings said. “And I played for a lot of teams. I’m so appreciative of you and all of the girls I played with.”

The 2013 team Anyanwu and Brown-Cummings played on was one of Brenau’s best. They were ranked No. 12 nationally and also finished with a record of 15-4-1.

Esther Anyanwu and Tori Brown-Cummings talk with Mike Lochstampfor.

Hagans, class of 2012, is one of eight players to score 1,000 or more points in her career, and the only player to do so in two years. During her speech, Hagans talked about how she had a tough road to Brenau and didn’t do well her first two years of college. Her sister went to Brenau and suggested their father look into the team for Hagans. She was able to try out and receive a full scholarship.

At Brenau, Hagans was named First Team All-SSAC and NAIA First Team All-Conference. She also holds the Brenau record for most points in a single game (38), most points in a season (635), steals in a season (92), field goals made in a season (242), field goals in a single game (14) and is tied for most three-pointers made in a game (8).

Maness, class of 2013, finished her Brenau career with 86 wins, which is the most pitching wins in school history. She started playing at a young age and decided to try pitching at age 9, when others on her team were trying as well. Maness found out she had a talent for pitching and continued her career, which turned out to be successful as she was named SSAC First Team All-Conference all of her four years at Brenau. Maness was also named an NAIA All-American in 2011.

Smith, class of 2012, was the softball team’s catcher and was named to the SSAC First Team All-Conference during her career. She also holds school records in career home runs (40), RBIs (177) and walks (184). Smith was an important part of the team’s first SSAC Championship in 2009.

“The time spent with Anna, we might have bickered like cats and dogs most of the time, but it was an incredible few years we got to play together,” Smith said.

President Anne Skleder attended her first athletics induction ceremony and addressed the students, alumni, friends and family in the audience.

“Use the Hall of Fame recipients we are honoring today and have honored in the past as examples of those constantly pursuing excellence.” Skleder said. “Most importantly, let it inspire you to do the same.”