The Parkland College Foundation and the Parkland Athletics department recently announced the newest members of the Athletic Hall of Fame. The Class of 2012 will be honored at festivities on Saturday, February 16 in conjunction with the Parkland Cobras Men's Basketball game against John Wood CC of Quincy. The game begins at 4 p.m.
The following inductees, featuring four former student-athletes, one coach, and two teams, will be introduced during halftime at the game (some time after 4:30 p.m.) and will be honored at a private reception immediately following. Each was nominated by former Parkland College coaches and administrators and finalized in a vote by the Hall of Fame selection committee.
Jodi (Huddleston) Clark — Cross-Country
Jodi (Huddleston) Clark ran for Parkland from 1998 to 2000, a period highlighted by winning the 1999 Women’s NJCAA Cross-Country National Championship. She was also an NJCAA All-American in 1998. Clark continued her track and cross-country career at SIU-Carbondale, where she graduated in 2003 with a BS in Radiologic Science.
She has worked the past nine years as an ultrasound technologist at a local hospital. Clark and her husband, Josh, are the proud parents of two children, Kayla and Brayden. She thanks her parents, Gary and Debbie Huddleston, for all of their support during her collegiate career.
Brittany (Nash) Miller — Softball
Brittany (Nash) Miller was a two-time NJCAA All-American in softball, earning 1st Team honors in 2005 and 2nd Team in 2004. In 2005, she was named 1st Team All-Region and All-Conference, including CCCI Player of the Year, and received the NJCAA Silver Spikes award for the best base stealer. Miller holds Parkland career record for hits (198), batting average (.536), and on-base percentage (.663). In addition, she holds individual season records for hits (114), batting average (.553), on-base percentage (.760), and stolen bases (49). Miller excelled in the classroom as well; she was named an NJCAA Academic All-American and an NFCA All-American Scholar Athlete.
After attending Parkland, Miller received a softball scholarship to attend Tennessee-Martin, where she started in center field. She earned a BS in Health and Human Performance with a minor in Business. She is currently working as a personal trainer/exercise specialist at Crawford Memorial Hospital in Robinson. Miller and her husband, Dave, are the proud parents of a 2- year-old son, Cade.
Jim Thompson — Golf
Jim Thompson is the first golfer to be inducted into the Parkland Athletic Hall of Fame. He was a two-time qualifier for the NJCAA Golf Tournament in 1983 and 1984. During his career at Parkland, Thompson won the Danville Invitational as a freshman, setting the tournament record with a 36-hole total of 137, and he won the Joliet Invitational as a sophomore. During his amateur career, Thompson won 18 local tournaments, including three Champaign-Urbana Twin City Opens. As a professional, he won numerous Central Illinois PGA (CIPGA) events, and was named CIPGA Player of the Year in 1992. Thompson returned to Parkland in 2003 to coach the Golf Team for three seasons, earning Coach of the Year honors in 2004. He worked as a golf professional since 1990, concentrating on tournament competition, teaching, and organizing club events.
Thompson lost his long and courageous battle with cancer on December 12, 2012, leaving behind his wife, Pam, and stepdaughters, Brittany and Danielle. His former players at Parkland will hold a memorial golf outing in his name this summer to raise funds for the Parkland Golf program.
Holly (Walden) Wright — Softball
One of the top pitchers in Parkland softball history, this hard thrower was a 1st Team All-American in 2005 as she led the Cobras with a 22-2 record and a school record 302 strikeouts in 164 innings. Holly (Walden) Wright was a big part of a school record 41-game winning streak and a 2nd place finish at the NJCAA Softball Nationals. She was a two-time All-Region and Conference selection who also earned Pitcher of the Year honors. During her two-year career at Parkland, Wright went 45-5, with a 0.93 ERA, striking out 553 hitters.
After receiving an Associate in Arts degree at Parkland, Wright joined the Army National Guard for six years. She has earned a degree in Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management, and plans to attend Kansas State University in the fall to obtain a degree in Nutrition/Dietetics. Wright and her husband, Derrick, have been married for three years and have two stepchildren, Shae and Duane.
Lee LaBadie — Cross Country and Track And Field
Lee LaBadie coached the highly successful Parkland Cross Country/Track and Field teams from 1973 to 1985, leading his squads to five appearances at the NJCAA National Tournament. His teams placed 5th, 7th, 9th, and 11th (twice). During his tenure at Parkland, LaBadie coached six National Champions and 84 NJCAA All-Americans. After leaving Parkland, he was named the head women’s track and field/cross country coach at Bowling Green University, a position he held from 1985 to 1989. He was also a two-time assistant at Ohio State and has helped with the programs at the University of Illinois and Kent State. LaBadie was a standout athlete at Illinois, winning the Big Ten Conference title in the mile and becoming the first undergraduate to run the mile in under 4:00. He was also a member of the NCAA National Champion two-mile relay team that tied a world record and saw him placing 5th individually in the 800.
LaBadie is currently the men’s distance and cross country coach at the University of Akron, a position he has held since 2008. He and his wife Diane have two children, Lloyd and Laura.
2005 Softball and 2006 Softball — NJCAA World Series Runners-Up
Both the 2005 and 2006 Parkland College Softball teams have earned a place in the Hall of Fame by placing as the National Runner-Up at the NJCAA National Softball Tournament. The 2005 team finished 57-8, losing a heartbreaking 6-5 extra-inning championship game to Phoenix College. The 2006 team (47-7) would also fall short to the Bears of Phoenix, this time by a 6-1 score. It marked the Cobras third runner-up finish in five seasons under head coach Chuck Clutts. There were six players who were members of both teams, and they compiled an amazing 104-15 two-year record, winning two Regional and Conference titles. In 2005, in addition to Walden and Nash being named 1st Team All-Americans, Neeley Hupp was a 2nd Team selection. Brittany Bolender was a 2nd Team honoree in 2006.