Five McNeese Legends Inducted into the McNeese Sports Hall of Fame

Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 11:01 PM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Friday night was a special one for five former McNeese Athletes, as they were officially inducted into the McNeese Hall of Fame at the Induction Ceremony at The Cowboy Club just outside Cowboy Stadium. Jamie Allred, Jose Larios, Diontae Spencer, Emily Vincent, and Steven Whitehead were each inducted Friday night after it was announced in December that they would be members of the McNeese Hall of Fame Class of 2023.

“This induction into the Hall of Fame means a lot for me, I mean I was here 30 years ago at McNeese, this is where I set the foundation for where I’m at today, so it means a great deal for me, it’s an honor to be inducted into the Hall of Fame” said former McNeese football player Jose Larios.

Larios continues to hold the school record for most points scored in a career with 356 on 158 PATs and 66 field goals which are also career school records, and he ended his career connecting on 158 of 163 PATs and 66 of 100 field goals. He also still holds the school record with 93 consecutive made PATs, and he was named First Team All-Southland Conference in 1993 and 1995, All-Louisiana in 1992 and 1993, he continues to hold 10 school records, was named to the Associated Press All-America team in 1993, led the nation in field goals per game (2.0) in 1993, and was a member of the 1990s Southland Conference Team of the Decade. The Cowboys posted a 42-11 record during his career including two conference championships in 1993, 1995, and he helped the Cowboys to four playoff appearances with a semifinal appearance in 1995.

Larios was one of three former Cowboy football players to be inducted into the McNeese Sports Hall of Fame on Friday night alongside Diontae Spencer who wasn’t able to be there on Friday, and Steven Whitehead who was in attendance, alongside his 10-year old son, Kai Willie.

“Yes it’s such a humbling experience, I haven’t been home probably in about seven years so to come here and be able to bring my son for the first time, and to get him to understand what McNeese cowboy tradition is all about, the pride, the campus, the university, and the people that are associated with it, I couldn’t ask for anything more” said Whitehead.

Whitehead played for the Cowboys from 2004-08 where he was voted a 2006 All-American by the Associated Press, Walter Camp and STATS, was a three-time All-Southland Conference selection. Whitehead also earned first team honors in 2005 and 2006, was a 2006 All-Louisiana selection, the 2006 Team MVP, 2005 and 2008 team Offensive MVP, 2005 and 2008 team outstanding offensive player, and was also voted the 2006 Southland Conference Player of the Year, one of only six Cowboys to receive the honor. Whitehead finished his career with 136 career receptions which ranks him tied for number two all-time in school history while his 1,696 receiving yards is ranked eighth. Whitehead had 57 catches for 810 yards in 2008 which continues to rank as the sixth-most receptions and ninth-most receiving yards in a single season in school history, and he is tied for the Southland Conference lead with 47 catches in 2006 and ranked second with 596 receiving yards and with 1,560 all-purpose yards. In 2005, he led the conference with 255 punt return yards and a 13.4 return average and was third with a 22.8 kickoff return average, and was a member of the 2006 and 2007 Southland Conference Championship teams.

In addition to Larios, Spencer, and Whitehead, two former McNeese Cowgirl Softball players were inducted on Friday night as well in Emily Vincent, and Jamie Allred, and for Vincent, who is from Sulphur, Friday night was special.

“Well I’m a local you know, being from Sulphur, this is just amazing that I get to represent not only Sulphur, not only McNeese, but also my family too, having the Vincent name in the Hall of Fame, that’s something, I really can’t replace that, so this is special” said Vincent.

Vincent was a four-time All-Southland Conference selection, two as a designated player and two as a pitcher, earned first team All-Southland Conference honors as a pitcher in 2016 when she led the league with 158 strikeouts, and she also led the league that season with a 1.45 ERA to go along with a 17-3 record. Vincent compiled a career record of 36-13 on the mound with nine career saves, which is the school all-time record, she holds the single-season saves record of five, that coming in the 2014 season, was a four-time All-Louisiana selection, All-Region as a pitcher in 2016, NCAA Regional All-Tournament in 2016. Her other career top 10 marks as a pitcher include ERA (third, 2.07), strikeouts per seven innings (third, 6.32), career wins (sixth, 36), career appearances (sixth, 85), career strikeouts (sixth, 312), career shutouts (sixth, eight), starts (eighth, 45), complete games (t-ninth, 25), and innings pitched (10th, 345.1). As a hitter, she ranks second in career triples (12), third in RBIs (141), fourth in doubles (43), fifth in hits (201), sixth in slugging percentage (.526), seventh in runs scored (122) and walks (78), tied for seventh in home runs (21), eighth in batting average (.320) and on-base percentage (.400), and ninth in at bats (629). Vincent was also the second overall pick in the 2018 ASBA (American Softball Association) Inaugural Draft by the Outkast, and played for the Texas Charge in the NPF league in 2017.

Alongside Vincent was her former teammate with the Cowgirls Jamie Allred, who was ecstatic to be inducted alongside one of her best friends, and former teammate.

“Oh it made it way more special, I think my grin doubled when I learned that Emily was being inducted with me, it makes it so much more special, especially with someone who, she was one of my best friends in college, and like she said, we were always each other’s biggest competition, and biggest fan” said Allred.

Allred was a three-time All-Southland Conference selection, two-time All-Louisiana, All-Region, CoSIDA Academic All-District in 2014, was the 2014 Southland Conference Pitcher of the Year, led the Cowgirls to a 157-66 record in her four years, including a school record 43 wins in 2016, and won three Southland Conference championships and a conference tournament, plus she participated in the 2016 NCAA Tournament. Allred was named to the Southland Conference All-Tournament team in 2014, was a NFCA All-America Scholar-Athlete, and a Southland Conference All-Academic nominee as well. Allred also holds the school record with 68 career wins, posted a career record of 68-26, is the school single season record holder with 27 wins in 2014 which also led the Southland Conference, she led the league in 2014 with a 1.57 ERA, holds the single-season shutout record with 10 in 2014, ranked second all-time with 20 career shutouts, is second in career ERA (2.02), second in career appearances (132), third in career games started (91), fourth in career innings pitched (614.1), fourth in career strikeouts (529), and is a three-time Southland Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll nominee as well.

The five Hall of Fame Inductees will also be honored on Saturday at the Legacy Center where both the McNeese Men’s and Women’s basketball teams will take on the Nicholls Colonels, the Cowgirls will tip-off at 1:00 with the Cowboys set to follow at 3:30.