Northwood High School inducted six former athletes and coaches into its athletics hall of fame during halftime of the Chargers’ 55-9 win over Southeast Alamance Friday.
The 2023 class included Diane May-Braswell, Tyron Edwards, Jack Shaner, Dee Marsh, Todd Sanders and Saundra Stroud.
May-Braswell graduated from Northwood in 1978 and was a member of the basketball, softball and tennis teams.
She was named the Female Athlete of the Year in 1977 and was an all-conference selection in both her junior and senior years, including all-conference and all-county honors for softball her junior season.
“Being a part of teams at Northwood was an incredible experience,” May-Braswell said in a release. “Teamwork is the foundation for so many areas of life: workplace, church, family, community service. The teamwork skills that I learned from Northwood coaches and teammates helped me succeed in all other areas of life. I continued to experience that incredible teamwork as I served in the boosters during my son's four years at Northwood.”
May-Braswell graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a business administration degree in 1982, and she earned an associate’s degree in nursing from Coastal Carolina Community College in 1987. She spent most of her nursing career working with athletes at Duke Sports Medicine.
Edwards graduated from Northwood in 1975 and was a basketball standout.
In his senior year, he averaged 19 points, 18 rebounds and five blocked shots per game, earning numerous scholarship offers. After being selected to the All-East, All-State and Prep All-American basketball teams his senior year of high school, Edwards played college basketball at East Carolina and North Carolina A&T.
Edwards enlisted into the Air Force after completing college, and continued to play basketball. He credits his time at Northwood with providing skills and values that afforded him the opportunity to travel the world and continue playing basketball during his college years.
Shaner was hired as Northwood’s first ever head football coach. He led the Chargers to 8-2 and 9-1 records in 1971 and 1972, respectively, earning back-to-back conference coach of the year awards for the Central Tarheel 2A conference.
Shaner’s final season as Northwood’s head coach came in 1983, and afterwards, he remained involved in the program as an assistant or a volunteer through the early 90s. He also spent time working with the East Chatham Football League before passing away in May 2010.
“At our first team meeting, Coach Shaner and his coaching staff emphasized that in order for us to be successful as a team we must first and foremost respect each other as individuals,” Johnny Richardson, a 1972 Northwood graduate and hall-of-famer who played for Shaner, said. “The advice about respecting others has followed me my entire life. Coach Shaner was an honest and fair person. Coach Shaner genuinely cared about each player on his team and the players respected him.”
Marsh graduated from Northwood in 1991 and was a member of the football, basketball and baseball teams. As a quarterback, Marsh was a two-time all-conference and all-area selection his junior and senior years.
Marsh accounted for 546 rushing yards and 1,230 yards through the air during his senior season, becoming the leading scorer in Chatham County that year with 80 points to his credit. He also set a county record by passing for 18 touchdowns.
The Sanford Herald named Marsh Player of the Year in 1990 and he was the Central Tarheel Conference Back of the Year.
“Sports was an outlet,” Marsh said. “I grew up in a single mother house and we didn’t have a lot. But sports was something that allowed me to be involved in something and keep me focused. The coaches I had at Northwood were strong male mentors and really helped me when I moved to Pittsboro at the age of 15. I enjoyed the camaraderie with my teammates.”
Sanders graduated from Northwood in 1987, playing basketball and competing in the triple jump, long jump and 4x100 events in track and field.
He averaged 26 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks per game in his high school career and earned an all-state selection, Durham Herald-Sun All-Region honors and an invite to the NCCA East/West All-Star Game in 1987.
Sanders earned his bachelor’s degree in communications from Wake Forest where he was a member of the 1987-88 Demon Deacons team that beat No. 1 North Carolina.
“I had great teachers at Northwood,” Sanders said. “Mr. Green and Mr. Horton were big on pushing us to be in the weight room and go through our plyometrics. It was really everyone on staff at Northwood that had a tremendous influence on me as a young man. Without them I do not believe I would be where I am today.”
Stroud was a standout on the Northwood women’s basketball team, setting a school record at the time of 32 points in a single game.
She earned three straight all-conference selections and was named Conference Player of the Year.
“My coach Fay Loflin was very inspirational to me,” Stroud said. “I considered my teammates as family and enjoyed the relationships that I formed with them.”
Stroud went on to work at UNC Hospitals in the medical records division. She served 30 years with the hospital and is currently retired.