Alfred Ashton "Spritter" Adkins '27
Football, Basketball, Track, Baseball, 1924-1927
Alfred "Spritter" Adkins earned 12 letters in four sports (football, track, basketball and baseball) between 1924 and 1927. His major claim to fame, however, came in football and basketball, where he was a captain in both. In the 1920s, the captain was looked upon as a coach on and off the field.
Adkins played football in an era when the Tigers played many of the top colleges in the South. In 1926, his senior year, Adkins led Hampden-Sydney to a 5-2-3 record. Big wins came over Richmond, 20-7, and Davidson, 12-0. The Tigers tied Florida, Virginia and Marshall. The team's right halfback, "Spritter" was a true pioneer and legend in his time. he was one of the first players to letter four years.
After football season, Adkins turned his attention to basketball. As a captain in 1927-1927, Adkins led the team to the Virginia State Championship. In the spring, he pitched for the Tiger baseball team and ran hurdles in track.
Adkins was president of his sophomore class, a member of the German and the Monogram clubs, and vice-president of his senior class. He was also a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha social fraternity. As a senior, he was awarded the Gold Key of ODK, the highest honor on campus.
Following his graduation from Hampden-Sydney, "Spritter" was hired as head coach of all sports at the famous Greenbrier Military School in West Virginia. A native of Richmond, he attended John Marshall High School. After retiring from Greenbrier, he returned to Richmond, where he died in July, 1973.
William G. Benson '60
On 31 Autumn afternoons during four years, followers of Hampden-Sydney College football cheered the talents of this 5-feet-9, 165-pound, football player wearing number 35, Billy Benson, one of the finest backs in Tiger history. He held practically every offensive record when he left the Hill and remains the third all-time leading rusher with 2,591 career yards.
Undoubtedly, the halfback speedster was the most-honored Tiger in his time. In the span of four years, Billy earned every award possible for a small college performer. He made honorable mention All Little Eight as a freshman, and first team All Little Eight in each of his final three years, twice tabbed as a unanimous choice. He was twice selected first team All Mason-Dixon. He won the Bedford Junior Chamber of Commerce Sportsmanship Award, presented to the Old Dominion's finest small college player, and was twice voted the top performer in the Little Eight by the Virginia Sportswriters and Sportscasters. Culminating all of these was Billy's selection to the Associated Press' Little All-America second team after his junior year. In rolling to the Hampden-Sydney scoring record, Billy twice led the state in scoring.
Billy's speed (9.6 in the 100 and 21.5 in the 220) was his greatest asset. He holds the Hampden-Sydney track record in both dashes.
All All-American off the field too, Billy was a member of ODK and Who's Who, while serving on both Student Assembly and Honor Council.
Clarence "Soup" Campbell, Jr. '35
Baseball, Football, 1931-1935
"Soup" Campbell starred as captain of the Sparta (Virginia) High School baseball team for four years; he went on at Hampden-Sydney to become a standout for four years in baseball and two in football. He also was an outstanding member of the student body, serving as President of the Athletic Association and as a member of ODK.
During the summers of his college career, "Soup" played three years of semi-professional ball with Culpeper, which at the time was rated by many as the "greatest semi-pro team in Virginia." Five members of the team were sent to the majors: "Soup" to Cleveland; Herb Hash and George Lacy to the Boston Red Sox; and Bud Metheny and Walter Beall to the New York Yankees. Campbell began his big league career in 1937 with Williamston (NC) in the Coastal Plain League. Then, batting .321 for New Orleans in Triple-A, he joined the Cleveland Indians for the 1940 and 1941 seasons where his roommate was young fireballer Bob Feller.
Campbell's career was interrupted by a stint with the Air Force (1942-1945); stating as an enlisted man, he was discharged as a major. He returned to the Indians for the 1946 season and finished his career with the Baltimore Orioles in 1947, after which he retired to his home in Sparta, where he still resides today with his wife "Ducky."
James William Hardin '63
A native of Huntington, West Virginia, Bill Hardin completely rewrote the Hampden-Sydney basketball record books during his four years. At the time of his graduation, he was the College's all-time leading scorer with 1,965 career points.
The Virginia Sports Writers selected him as the Player of the Year in 1961 and he was selected to the All Little Eight from 1960 through 1962, while earning All Mason-Dixon honors from 1961 through 1963. He earned second team Mason-Dixon Conference Tournament honors in 1961, Fort Lee Invitation All-Tournament in 1961 and 1962, All-Seafood Festival Tournament in 1962 and First Team All-America in 1963.
He was the state's leading scorer, averaging 27.3 points-per-game as a junior and 24.9 points as a senior. In 1961, Bill ranked 14th nationally among small college players and 21st among all college players.
Hardin's scoring records are all the more incredible considering his stature, at 6-feet-2, quite short for a center in college. However, his height deficit was overcome by his 30-inch vertical leap. Bill's favored soft bank shot from the corner or outside enabled him to score 42 points against Washington College in 1961 and 43 points against Mt. St. Mary's in 1963. In his junior and senior years, he averaged over 11 rebounds-per-game and was consistently a defensive standout. He also ranks among the top players all-time in Tiger history with 1,017 career rebounds, along with his scoring average for a season (27.3) and career (20.2).
Lewis C. Everett '63
The close of the 1962 football season marked the end of Lewis Everette's college football career, a career the like of which Hampden-Sydney has not witnessed since that of Little All-American Billy Benson. One need only to look at the awards received by Lewis to realize the extent to which he contributed to the Tiger squad.
Foremost is that of honorable mention on the Little All-America team. Lewis, having been selected to the third team on the Williamson Rating Poll, was one of four small college players from Virginia and North Carolina to receive the distinction. Lewis was twice selected to the Virginia All-Small College team. The Bedford Junior Chamber of Commerce presented him with its award for the most outstanding sportsmanship in Virginia's small colleges. He was runner-up for the small college player of the year in Virginia. Last but not least, Lewis' own teammates voted himt he most valuable player on the team in 1962.
In 1962, Lewis gained 1,669 yards on 407 carries (4.1 yards-per-rush) - which is remarkable since he made most of his yardage by pounding away at the center of the opponents' line. In addition, Lewis scored 42 points during the 1962 campaign. Lewis also did most of the Tiger punting, as he kicked 117 times for a 36.4 punting average. His overall point total for four years was 144 points.
Dr. Gilman Z. Simms '30
Head Athletic Trainer, 1973-1982
Gil Simms' association with Hampden-Sydney College began over 60 years ago as a student. He attended H-SC from 1926 through 1928, playing basketball and participating in track.
While playing basketball at H-SC, Simms played for Charles "Yank" Bernier. In track, he competed in the high jump and pole-vault. His vault of 12 feet was a Virginia Conference record.
After attending the Medical College of Virginia (MCV) for a year, accepting a one-year basketball scholarship to West Virginia Tech, and earning a dental degree from the University of Louisville, Gil returned to his hometown of Charleston, WV, to practice dentistry. There, Gil found time to single-handedly recruit countless young men as students for the College, often bringing them and their parents at his own expense to visit the campus.
Gil returned to the College in 1973 as head athletic trainer. His outstanding contributions showed that behind every great athletic program is a great trainer: from football practice in late August through the last baseball game of the spring, his loyalty, friendship and dedication were evident. Even today, Simms finds time to help the College in various ways.
Gil has received many honors, including ODK honorary membership (1962), Presidency of the Alumni Association (1963-64), 12th man football award (1967), Algernon Sydney Sullivan Medallion (1967) and the Alumni Citation (1981).
**All information listed is current as of 1989.