A-State Lettermen's Club to recognize 5 athletes and former sports information director
A-State's Lettermen's Club is expected to recognize six honorees at its annual Hall of Honor Banquet next Friday night.
A-State says the banquet will be held at the Woodard McAlister Family Club inside Centennial Bank Stadium's Johnny Allison Tower on September 3 at 6 P.M.
Those to be inducted into the 2021 Hall of Honor are:
Two-time First Team All-Sun Belt Conference selection Demario Davis shined at linebacker for A-State from 2008-11 en route to becoming a third-round selection of the New York Jets in 2012 (77th overall). In his four seasons, Davis racked up 229 tackles, including 22.5 for loss and 7.0 sacks. His final year with the Red Wolves also saw him earn a spot in the prestigious Senior Bowl. Davis spent five of his first six pro seasons with the Jets (2012-15, 2017) and one year with the Cleveland Browns in 2016, before signing with the New Orleans Saints. With the Saints, Davis has evolved into one of the NFL’s top linebackers, earning First Team All-Pro honors in 2019. This past season, the Brandon, Miss., native received the Saints’ Man of the Year award and was a nominee for the 2020 Walter Payton Man of the Year.
One of the most highly touted players in school history, former quarterback Ryan Aplin rewrote the school record books from 2009-12. The Tampa, Fla., native still owns the school records for career total offense (12,514 yards), completions (906) and passing yards (10,758), while his 67 touchdown passes stand as the second most. Aplin was twice named the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year in 2011 and 2012 when the Red Wolves won back-to-back league titles. After his playing career, Aplin began his coaching career, most recently spending the 2020 season as Western Kentucky’s co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach. He returned to his alma mater for his current position as running backs coach on Butch Jones’ football staff.
Joe Slayton punted for Arkansas State from 1976-79 and was one of the best in school history at the position. Slayton ranks second all-time at A-State with 9,269 punting yards and third with 239 career punts. His 54.0 average in the 1979 campaign remains third-highest in program history for a single season, while he also booted one of just two 80-yard punts in school history. The two-time All-Southland Conference honoree’s kick of 80 yards versus Lamar in 1979 is second-longest in a single game.
Todd Baumgartner etched his name atop several offensive categories in Arkansas State baseball history from 2008-11. The Edwardsville, Ill., native earned All-Sun Belt Conference laurels in 2010 (second team) and 2011 (first team) and ranks inside the top 10 in school history in nine career categories. During his stellar career, Baumgartner set program career records in at-bats (819), runs scored (173), hits (269), doubles (52) and total bases (396), while ranking second in RBI (139), tied for sixth in home runs (21), tied for eighth in stolen bases (35) and 10th in batting average (.328). He currently resides in Jonesboro, where he is the Northeast Arkansas Area Director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Baumgartner also serves as the analyst for ESPN+ broadcasts of A-State baseball games.
One of the greatest to compete on the track for Arkansas State, Sharika Nelvis won a staggering 24 Sun Belt Conference championships between 2011 and 2014 - 13 indoors and 11 outdoors. The Memphis native was a four-time All-American, including a sweep of the sprint hurdles in 2014, winning national titles in the 60m hurdles indoors and 100m hurdles outdoors. That season also saw her become a finalist for the Bowerman, considered the Heisman Trophy of collegiate track and field.
Former sports information director and longtime university staff member Gina Bowman will also be named an Honorary Letter Winner at the event. Bowman has served 45 years as an employee at A-State, including 32 as sports information director (SID).
After graduating from A-State in 1976 and beginning her career in collegiate athletics as an assistant SID, she was promoted to Assistant A.D. for Media Relations in 1994 and was Arkansas State’s Senior Woman Administrator (SWA) from 1994-2002.
Bowman served in the sports information office until May 2008 – a span of 32 years in which she was the primary media relations contact for every sport except baseball at one time. She worked with 35 different head coaches and eight of A-State’s 12 athletics directors and received the University’s Outstanding Service Award in 1998, while being added to the Arkansas State Staff Centennial Wall of Honor in 2010.
The event is open to the public. Single admission tickets are $60. Tickets for tables seating 8 are $450.
Tickets can be purchased by contacting the Red Wolves Foundation at 870-972-2401.
Arkansas State University is holds the license for KASU.