Maclay School hosted the 3rd Annual Athletics Hall of Fame induction and Distinguished Alumnus Award Ceremony at a luncheon on Saturday, Octobers 29, 2016. The year’s Athletics Hall of Fame inductees included longtime baseball coach Tim Ashcroft (coaches and administration), five-time All-State selection, Billy McHugh (multi-sports, Class of 1979), Tallahassee's only state individual champion Nick Meros (tennis, Class of 2005), and current Oakland Raider Seth Roberts (football, Class of 2010). The 1975 girls volleyball and 1976 girls basketball state championship teams were also inducted.
Tim Ashcroft, Coaches and Adminstration
Tim Ashcroft was one of the pioneers of Marauder Athletics. Then Headmaster Bill Jablon was looking to expand its coaching staff. Ashcroft, who had recently graduated with his Master's from Florida State, was teaching at Kate Sullivan at the time. So in 1979, Ashcroft was hired to teach Lower School PE, typing, and coach three JV sports at Maclay. It was the beginning of a long and successful career.
Four years later, Ashcroft took over the varsity baseball program from then Athletic Director Bruce Irvin. For the next two decades, Coach Ashcroft built a reputable Marauder program that reached great heights. In his first season, Maclay made it to the state tournament for the first time and later repeated in an amazing three year run in 1991, 1992, and 1993 taking state titles in 1991 and again in '93.
During his tenure, Ashcroft was named the Florida High School Activities Coach of the Year and twice named Coach of the Year by the Tallahassee Democrat. Coach Ashcroft produced many players who continued their baseball careers at the college and professional level.
Billy McHugh, Multi-Sport Athlete, Class of 1979
Billy McHugh was the first back-to-back Most Outstanding Male Athlete for Maclay School. He won eight varsity MVP awards and served as a captain for nine teams while earning 18 varsity letters in soccer, baseball, basketball, tennis, and cross country/ track. McHugh was a five-time All-State player in basketball (1979), soccer (1978,1979), and cross country (1978,1979).
In 1979, Billy was the individual district champion (setting the district 3k record 15:05 including 1st mile split of 4:25) and finished eleventh at state for cross country. In addition, he was a five-year starter for the baseball team with the highest batting average during his high school years and hit the game winning two run homer in extra innings to help Maclay win its first ever district championship in 1977; he was a four time MVP and leading scorer every year for soccer, leading the 1979 team to the state semifinals which was the deepest Maclay soccer had reached. Billy also played on the starting ladder #3 on the tennis team for three seasons. A member of the 1979 boys basketball state championship team, McHugh sprinted down the court with seconds remaining in a tied game and made the pass to teammate Steve Brown who scored the winning layup.
After graduating Maclay in 1979, Billy attended the United States Naval Academy (Annapolis) and later became an active duty naval officer and was the youngest officer in naval history to win the Junior Ship-handler of the Year award in 1985. He graduated from Ohio State University with two masters degrees and went on to attend Florida State University where he earned his law degree and MBA in 1994.
Nick Meros, Tennis, Class of 2005
Nick Meros was a three-sport athlete from 1999-2005. He earned 13 Varsity letters during his career: 7 in Tennis, 4 in Soccer, and 2 in Baseball. Meros joined the Men’s Tennis team in 6th grade, the first ever, and began playing #1 singles in 8th grade. He led his team to four District Championships, three Regional Championships, and to the State Tournament three times. Individually, Meros won four City and District Singles Championships, three Regional Championships, and went undefeated in Tallahassee during high school. He and partners Brooks Van Cameron, Derrick Reed, and Matt Kiser also won multiple doubles championships, including two City, District, and Regional Championships.
Meros set multiple school and city records during his Maclay career. He holds the Maclay record for career singles and doubles wins. He is the first and only player to be named All-Big Bend Player of the Year, as voted by the Region’s coaches, four times. He is Tallahassee’s first and only individual State Champion. Meros played on the 2001 Men’s Soccer State Finalist team and was a starting defenseman for the 2004 State Champions. The Upper School Faculty voted him Maclay’s Most Outstanding Male Athlete in 2005.
After Maclay, Meros attended and played tennis for the University of Virginia. During his four years, his team was ranked #1 in the country and won the ACC Championship three times, reached the NCAA semifinals twice, and won two ITA National Indoor Championships. Meros also excelled in the classroom. He was an ACC Scholar Athlete, made the Dean's List seven of eight semesters and the All-ACC Honor Roll all four years, and earned the highest student-athlete GPA among the Class of 2009.
Seth Roberts, Football, Class of 2010
After transferring to Maclay his junior year, Seth Roberts drew immediate attention as a dynamic playmaker at the Marauder games. He began playing varsity football and basketball, displaying quiet leadership skills and some very versatile playing ability.
In his two years at Maclay, Roberts helped lead the basketball team to win two District Championships and received Most Improved Player and Most Outstanding Male Athlete. On the football field, Seth helped put the newly created Maclay football program on the map. As a junior, he was ranked second in the state in total yards, was named 1st team Panhandle Football Conference, and FACA honorable mention. His senior year, Seth had nearly 1000 yards receiving and was named the Tallahassee Quarterback Club's Offensive Player of the Year.
Roberts went on to play football at Pearl River Community College in Mississippi, where he was team captain and named a pre-season All-American as a sophomore. The next two seasons he played for the University of West Alabama becoming the fourth lead scorer in the 2013 Gulf South Conference averaging over 14 yards per catch. He, along with his then teammate and future Super Bowl MVP Malcom Butler, helped lead UWA to back-to-back Gulf South Conference Championships.
In 2014, Seth signed with the Oakland Raiders as an undrafted free agent, making him the first player in the history of the Maclay Football program to play for an NFL team. During the 2015 NFL season, the wide receiver made two game winning catches for the Raiders and had over 500 receiving yards. Seth often comes back to train at Maclay and speak with current players, strongly believing that his coaches and teachers at Maclay left a lasting impact on who is today, on and off the field.
1975-76 Girls Volleyball and Basketball Teams
The 1975-1976 school year was monumental for female athletics in Florida and especially at Maclay School. In the fall of 1975, a first-year coach and a group of girls led the Maclay volleyball team to the school's first-ever state championship. This accomplishment was followed up that same school year with another state title in girls basketball in the inaugural state girls basketball tournament with the same coach and many of the same players as the volleyball champs.
Maclay Hall of Fame coach, Joy Kirkland (Becker) was a first-year coach who brought a new philosophy of girls’ athletics to Maclay. She started rigorous conditioning programs, held practice every day after school, and even held some practices on Saturdays, which was not a common occurrence for girls’ sports teams in the 1970s. However, she had a group of girls who were talented and competitive.
In Class 1A, the volleyball team competed against schools in all classifications, even as big as 4A. The training schedule and the tough competition obviously paid off as the team advanced to the first ever state championship hosted in Howie-in-the-Hills. The semi-final opponent was an undefeated Miami Christian which the Marauders eliminated in a three-game set. The team went on to defeat St. Edward’s of Vero Beach in just two games capturing the state title and finishing the season with a record of 13-4.
Coach Kirkland Becker and six of the volleyball players transitioned straight into the basketball season. The team had a very up and down season, starting off strong and winning but losing momentum over the Christmas break. Late in the season, the tide turned and the Cinderella march to the state tournament began. The Lady Marauders won a thrilling two point semi-final game over Shorecrest to advance to the finals. An underdog going up against the undefeated Trenton, Maclay won 39-34, gaining the school's second state championship title in a row. The team finished their season with a record of 14-9.
The 1975-76 girls volleyball and basketball teams was truly the birth of girls sports at Maclay and laid the groundwork for the future of the Maclay Athletic program which to date has 35 state titles – 18 that belong to our girls sports teams.
Players for 1975-1976 Girls Basketball Team: Margaret Black (Groves), Sherrie Cartee, Miranda Davis (Jarnot), Lacy Douglass, Pam Duys, B.K. Grant, Leslie Jane Grant (Lundberg), Talley Morgan, Bridget Palmer (Booth), Margie Perry, and Nancy Stone (Poznansky)
Managers for 1975-1976 Girls Basketball Team: Leila McClure and Suzanne Rich (Miller)
Players for 1975-1976 Girls Volleyball Team: Margaret Black (Groves), Wendy Byerly (Matthews), Sherrie Cartee, Miranda Davis (Jarnot), Lacy Douglass, Dodie Duys, Pam Duys, Leslie Jane Grant (Lundberg), Kathy Mackay, Beth Moor (Desloge), Nancy Stone (Poznansky), and Tenley Toole (Barnes)
Manager for 1975-1976 Girl Volleyball Team: Talley Morgan