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Published on October 24th, 2014 | by Millennium Magazine Staff


Benedict Inducts Three Into Athletic Hall Of Fame

Pictured above left to right: Peggy Ratliff McManus, Benedict Athletic Director Willie Washington, Mavis Golston Hook, and Claude Brownlee

COLUMBIA, S.C. – A football great and two of Benedict’s best softball players were inducted into the Benedict College Athletic Hall of Fame recently.

The honorees were: Claude Brownlee, a football standout who was drafted by both the Baltimore Colts and the Miami Dolphins; Mavis Golston Hook, a three-time softball MVP; and Peggy Ratliff McManus, a three-sport athlete who earned MVP honors in softball and volleyball and is now a lieutenant colonel in the United States Army.

Claude Brownlee

Claude Brownlee was a four-year starter and lettermen for the Benedict football team from 1962-1966. He also was a standout in track.

Brownlee was a second-team All-SIAC selection as a junior, and was named first-team All-SIAC and an All-American by the Pittsburgh Courier following his senior season. Following his senior season, Brownlee, a 6-foot-4 defensive tackle, was drafted by the Baltimore Colts of the National Football League in the 10th round, the 156th overall player chosen. He was also drafted by the Miami Dolphins of the American Football League in the fifth round, the 86th overall player chosen. He played one season with the Miami Dolphins in 1967.

A native of Columbus, Ga., Brownlee graduated from William H. Spencer High School in 1962, where he played for coach Thomas “Iron Duke” Works. Works had been an outstanding football player for Benedict, and Brownlee attended Benedict based on his coach’s recommendation.

Mavis Golston Hook

Mavis Golston Hook started loving the game of softball at the age of 9 playing the organized game with her hometown team Dixiana Ladies Softball. As her passion and love for the game grew, she also played at Airport High School.

Mavis then continued her studies at Benedict College where she took a leap of faith and tried out as a walk on player for the team. She exhibited outstanding athletic skills, leadership and abilities while participating as a member of the women’s softball program.

She contributed significantly in the success of the program during her time enrolled at Benedict College. An exceptional first baseman, she also played other positions both infield and outfield as needed by the team. While her defense was dominating, she mesmerized her opponent by her offensive powerhouse abilities. Racking up RBI’s, hits and home runs were just a few of her impeccable stats.

She started all four years as a star player for Benedict College. Mavis earned the accomplishments as: Rookie of the Year 1979-1980, MVP 1980-1981, MVP 1981-1982, and MVP 1992-1993, and USA Today Player of the Week.

Following her graduation with a BS in Family and Child Development in 1993, Mavis played recreational softball for several teams just to name a few: Ebony Ladies, Double O’s, Co-Ed Teams, R&S Stars, Rapture Ladies, C 103 Radio Station, and Brookland Baptist Church. During her years playing, she was on several All Star teams, 2000 and 2002 USSSA women’s 3S and over Master’s Slow Pitch World Tournament Champions.

In 2004, she was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame as a female player. After retiring, Mavis continued her love for athletics by officiating softball and volleyball teams around the world.

Mavis is very passionate about giving back to her community. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, a Double Dutch coach (Ebony Force Team), National Kidney Foundation volunteer, mentors young single mothers and was a foster parent for 17 years.

Mavis has been married to James Hook Jr. for 26 years and they have two daughters (Shardae and Sharma). Shardae Hook Avents followed her mother’s legacy and attended Norfolk State University on a full softball scholarship. Sharma was also an outstanding student athlete of the Benedict’s College women’s volleyball team from 2008-2011 while receiving a full athletic scholarship.

Mavis has worked as a childcare provider for 21 years as owner and operator of Let’s Learn & Discover Academy, as well as Director of First Nazareth CDC, South East CDC, and Brookland Baptist CDC. Mavis’ love for children has not stopped since retirement, she is on the verge to launching cloud based software to enhance the safety and productivity of child development centers across the United States. She is a member of Brookland Baptist Church, West Columbia Campus. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and traveling. She volunteers and supports local softball, baseball, volleyball, Double Dutch and football organizations.

Peggy Ratliff McManus

LTC Peggy McManus is the Branch Chief of Accession and Training Branch, U.S. Army Reserve Command, at Fort Bragg, N.C. She is responsible for the management of USAR Initial Military Training, Accession, USAR Vacancy Management, and Recruiting Support; manages a combined budget of over $400 Million and the accessioning, training, and retention of 25,000 new soldiers, over 3,000 newly commissioned lieutenants and warrant officers, 12,000 reenlisting soldiers; manages all United States Army Reserve units vacancies advertised in the Recruit Management Quota System (REQUEST) based in the tiered readiness levels dictated by ARFORGEN; directly supports ROTC Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC).

Peggy is currently serving in Kuwait where she is the G1 Liaison Officer. Her duty Station in the states is Fort Bragg, N.C.

LTC McManus earned her commission through ROTC at Benedict College, Columbia, S.C., in the Ordnance Corps as a Maintenance Officer. While attending Benedict, she was also a standout athlete, playing volleyball, basketball and softball. She was named NAIA All-District VI in softball and was the District VI Player of the Week on several occasions. She also was the conference MVP in both softball and volleyball and All-Conference and Benedict team MVP in both sports. She received the John Brown Award, presented to Benedict’s most outstanding student-athlete.

She was assigned to the 175th Maintenance Company, Columbia, S.C., as a Platoon Leader, 460th Replacement Company, Florence, S.C., Operations Officer. While at the 460th Replacement Company she was appointed Company Commander of a unit of 100 Soldiers. In 2005 she was assigned to the 108th Training Command, Charlotte, N.C., Adjutant and Branch Chief of the Full-Time Support Branch for the 95th, 98th and 104th Command where she was responsible for a total of 8,000 soldiers.

LTC McManus is a graduate of the Ordnance Corps Officer Basic Course, Adjutant General Officer Advance Course and the Command and General Staff College. McManus has a Bachelor of Science Degree (Criminal Justice) from Benedict College and is scheduled to graduate in 2015 with a Masters Degree in Human Resource Development from Webster University.

Her awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Army Achievement Medal with four oak leaf clusters; National Defense Service Medal; Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Global War on Terrorism Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.

LTC McManus is married to Robert McManus Jr.; they have one son, Andre’ McManus who is currently enrolled at Marshall University, W. Va. and a daughter Gabrielle McManus who is deceased. Peggy is also an Associate Minister in the Galilee AME Zion Church under the leadership of her Pastor Rev. Luther McLendon, Elder Michael Massey and Bishop George C. Battle Jr.; of the Piedmont Episcopal District.



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