|Year of Graduation:||1990-1994|
We’ve heard about a great scoring soccer player. Now let me tell you the story of another scoring machine. Would our next inductee, Leah Onks-England please join me at the podium.
In 1988-1989 women’s basketball, under the direction of Coach Wes Moore, was in the beginning phase of one of the most dominant streaks in Maryville College Athletic history. The Lady Scots had made the NCAA National Tournament for the first time in school history.
Their success during the cinderella season enticed a two-time Blount County Player of the Year to continue her winning ways and education at Maryville College. As a local sports star at William Blount High School, she proved that she could play with the best.
It did not take long to establish herself on the college floor. During her freshman campaign in 1990-91, Leah led the team in scoring in 15 of their 29 games played. With the help of key teammates Kathy Scott, Lisa Locke, Lanai Ballard, Cindy Huffaker, Honey Brown, Sheryl Ramsey, and Sherri Daigle, the Scots finished the year at 23-6. Leah had a team leading 16.1 points per game average. Not bad for a freshman. This up and coming program received their third consecutive bid and advanced to the second round of the National Tournament.
Her freshman year was a success, but this was only a glimpse of what was to come.
Head Coach Wes Moore would rely a little more on Leah during her sophomore season. Leah would again lead the team in scoring 18 of 28 games. She raised her scoring efforts to an outstanding 18.4 points per game and scored over 500 points for the season.
The silky smooth guard with a jump shot that could tickle the twine posted a 37 point performance against Tusculum College. She led her team to a 24-4 mark and into the NCAA post season for a fourth consecutive time. Maryville hosted Roanoke College and lost 73-71 on a last second shot.
Coach Moore would spend his last season on the hill introducing a talented crew to compliment his present player’s skills. Newcomers Jamie Parrott, Lisa Campbell, and Jennifer Buck helped Leah enhance her game. Once again, Leah was the go-to girl.
The left-hander led the team in scoring an amazing 21 of 26 games played. She posted four 30 point scoring performances against Rowan, Knoxville, and Centre on two different occasions. Leah scored her 1,000th point at the Marymount Tournament vs Christopher Newport when she posted 29 points to defeat the Lady Captains 81-75.The Lady Scots rolled to a 23-3 record and their 5th consecutive post-season tournament –Leah’s third trip to the big dance.
Maryville avenged last season’s loss against Roanoke in the first round of the National Tournament by the score of 85-67. Maryville would end the season with a loss to Concordia 87-69.
The junior averaged 22.9 points a game and increased her scoring total to 597 points for the season. Her efforts were rewarded nationally by being named the school’s first Kodak All-American.
Maryville’s All-American had a coaching change to deal with for her senior season. Head Coach Wes Moore would accept a coaching position at North Carolina State and Kelli Casteel-Cook would take over the program.
With the inside punch of Jamie Parrott and the outside punch of Leah, the two were unstoppable as a lethal 1-2 combination. Leah once again led the team in scoring. She posted six 30+ point efforts against Greensboro, Marymount, Averett, Berea, Thomas More, and Milligan.
In the game against Berea she scored her 2,000th career point as the Lady Scots won 79-67.
Maryville continued their NCAA streak. They defeated North Carolina Wesleyan 84-65 and then lost in the second round to finish the year with a 23-4 record.
Her career accomplishments are too many to list, but allow me to brag on her for a minute.
A career record of 93-13. A winner of 85% of all contests during her career at Maryville.
She was the Scots leading scorer in 73 of 109 games played. In 69 of those games she scored over 20 points.
Four consecutive NCAA Tournament bids.
2,222 Career points and Maryville’s second All-Time leading scorer
The 1994 Maryville College J.D. Davis Award winner and Two-Time Kodak All-American had an outstanding career for a remarkable student-athlete.
After graduation in 1995 she began teaching and coaching in the Blount County School System. She has directed women’s basketball and softball teams to several outstanding seasons. She presently teaches at William Blount Middle School. Leah, her husband, Patrick, and her two children Kaylee and Jacob currently reside in Maryville.
Please join me in recognizing Leah Onks-England as a 2006 Maryville College Wall of Fame Inductee.