MO State HS Sports

Right Where They Belong – 2023 Hall of Fame Class Revealed

Hall of fame

Columbia, Mo. – Columbia College is pleased to announce the upcoming induction of three individuals and one team into the 21st class of the Columbia College Athletic Hall of Fame.

This year’s induction ceremony is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 13,in the New Hall Event Center and will feature the following inductees: Laurie Frew ’18 – Women’s Soccer, Carly Spalding ’17 – Softball, Tex Little – Play-by-Play Voice and the 2003 Women’s Volleyball Team.  

“The Hall of Fame ceremony is such a special event and truly one of the highlights of the calendar year,” says Drew Grzella, associate director of Athletics. “The opportunity for our Cougar community to gather and celebrate our best of the best is something we don’t take for granted. I am excited that Laurie, Carly, Tex and the 2003 Volleyball Team will be celebrated as they should be. We can’t wait to welcome everyone back to campus this fall!”

The Columbia College Athletic Hall of Fame was founded in 2003 to recognize those who have made a significant contribution to CC Athletics. Tickets for October’s induction ceremony are on sale today at Click on “Special Events” for more information or to register.

Meet the CC Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2023:

Laurie Frew, a 2018 graduate from Columbia, Missouri,becomes the second women’s soccer player inducted into the CC Athletic Hall of Fame. During her four-year career, she earned American Midwest Conference honors four times and twice was named an NAIA All-American. Laurie was named the 2014 AMC Freshman of the Year following her first season in the navy and silver. During the 2015 campaign, she guided the Cougars to an 18-4 overall record, AMC regular-season and tournament titles, and ultimately the program’s third consecutive appearance in the NAIA National Tournament. On the season, she tallied 25 goals and 17 assists. Her 25 goals broke the single-season record previously held by Stephanie Hale (24).Additionally, Laurie’s 67 points on the year marked the fourth-highest total in the NAIA. For her efforts, she was named the 2015 AMC Player of the Year and also earned NAIA Honorable Mention All-American recognition.  

While her sophomore season was full of individual milestones, her junior season in 2016 was full of team success. The Cougars finished the season with a 19-2-3 record, an AMC Tournament title and a run to the Elite 8 of the NAIA National Tournament. Individually, Laurie was stellar once again, ranking second on the team in both goals (14) and assists (10). She was named to the AMC First Team for the third straight season and was honored as an NAIA Scholar-Athlete following the season. Her final season with the Cougars in 2017 was another dominant performance. The team finished with a 21-2 overall record,advancing to the second round of the NAIA National Tournament. She scored 24 goals and tallied 19 assists to equal her previous high of 67 points (ninth-highest in the NAIA). She was named the 2017 AMC Player of the Year, an NAIA Scholar-Athlete and an NAIA Third-Team All-American. 

Laurie finished her storied CC career with 72 goals and 50 assists. Her career record with the Cougars was an astounding 69-15-4 (.807). She helped lead the team to three AMC regular-season titles, three AMC Tournament titles and four consecutive trips to the NAIA National Tournament.   


Carly Spalding, a 2017 graduate from Monroe City, Missouri,was one of the most electric players to ever grace the softball field for Columbia College. Her ability at the plate, speed on the base paths and first step defensively in center field allowed her to thrive each game day. Carly started all 47 games during her freshman season, recording a .321 batting average. Her 36 stolen bases were the 10th-best mark in NAIA softball. Like most talented players, Carly used her first season as a springboard to success. Carly led the Cougars in almost every major statistical category the next year during the 2015 season, including hits, batting average, runs, triples, home runs, RBI, slugging percentage, on-base percentage and stolen bases. Her .491 batting average was the fifth-best in the NAIA and set a new Columbia College single-season record. She also stole an incredible 53 bases while never being caught. Her 53 stolen bases ranked second in the NAIA during the 2015 season. After the season, she was named AMC First Team, AMC Player of the Year and NAIA Second-Team All-American. While the 2016 season fell short of her individual and team goals, Carly still led the Cougars in runs, triples and stolen bases. Her 42 swipes on the base paths ranked seventh in the NAIA.

After beginning the 2017 season unranked, the Cougars started22-2 against stiff competition, earning themselves a No. 3national ranking. The early success and increased expectations didn’t throw off the Cougars, as they ended the season with a 48-7 overall record. Their fourth-place finish in the NAIA National Tournament marked the best finish in Columbia College history. Carly had another stellar year, leading the team in 10 different individual categories and ranking favorably nationally. She hit .473 (ninth in NAIA) while recording 95 hits (sixth), eight triples (fifth), 57 stolen bases (second) and 82 runs (third). Her stolen-bases mark set a new program record, and her .473 average ranks fourth all-time in the navy and silver. Following the season, she was named to the AMC First Team and NAIA All-World Series Team in addition to being an NAIA First-Team All-American.

Carly started and played in each of the 197 possible games during her four-year career, arguably her most underappreciated accomplishment among a long list of impressive stats and accolades.


For more than 30 years, Tex Little has been telling the story of Columbia College Athletics. For family members, friends and fans who can’t be at the game, his familiar opening “Good evening from Southwell,” makes you feel right at home. Tex moved to Columbia, Missouri, in 1987 to begin working with Zimmer Communications and KTGR Radio. In his first year with the station, he was assigned to report on Columbia College Athletics. He regularly attended soccer, men’s basketball and softball home games and reported scores and recaps for the Columbia community. He was present during the first game to take place in Southwell when the facility opened in 1988. When the 1990 Men’s Basketball Team advanced to the NAIA National Tournament for the first time in program history, Tex traveled to Kemper Arena in Kansas City to handle the play-by-play. His first game behind the mic resulted in the Cougars’ first NAIA National Tournament victory. From there, the strong and enduring relationship between KTGR Radio, Tex Little and the Cougars was born. 

KTGR began broadcasting all home basketball games live on the radio. With Tex on the call, the Cougars gained a newfound popularity in the community. His signature voice became synonymous with Columbia College Basketball. In the early 2000s, Tex stepped away from Zimmer and began working for the Cougars exclusively on webcast productions. Not long afterwards, Tex added women’s basketball and volleyball responsibilities to his plate. In 2006, he did play-by-play for the NAIA Volleyball National Tournament hosted in Columbia. Not even a freak snowstorm could keep Tex away from Southwell. Tex has had the privilege to call different NAIA national championships games for the Cougars. He was on the mic for the men’s basketball final in 2009, the volleyball finals in 2010 and 2012, as well as Cougar Volleyball’s 2015 national championship triumph over Missouri Baptist.    

Whether it’s a comeback win versus McKendree in the 90s, a 42-point performance by Petrolina Chilaka, a national championship victory or simply a pregame interview of a student-athlete and coach, the best moments in Columbia College Athletics history have been made better by Tex Little.


While many consider advancing to the national tournament quarterfinals a success, the 2003 Women’s Volleyball Team did not have that same view after the 2002 season. With eight returning players and three key newcomers, the Cougars were determined to make it back to the NAIA National Tournament Championship in 2003. Columbia College would prove it had the right mix of talent and grit to succeed.

The Cougars finished the regular season with a 33-6 overall record. Eleven of those wins came against teams receiving votes in national polls. CC claimed the AMC regular-season title and the top seed in the AMC Tournament. The Cougars swept Harris-Stowe, Illinois-Springfield and Missouri Baptist without losing a set. After another victory over Missouri Baptist in the Region V Tournament, the Cougars met up with Central Methodist in the Region V Championship. The Cougars defeated CMU 3-1 to avenge an unexpected loss to the Eagles earlier in the year.

Columbia College entered the NAIA National Tournament as the 11th seed and continued to show its toughness during pool play. The Cougars defeated 19th-ranked Southern Oregon 3-1 after losing the first set. Columbia then knocked off No. 1-ranked and defending national champion National American University in come-from-behind fashion. After trailing two sets to none, the Cougars fought back to win in five sets, a true testament to the team’s physical and mental conditioning. The Cougars won two more matches to win the pool and advance to bracket play. There, they defeated No. 4 Dickinson State and No. 6 Biola in straight sets to advance to the NAIA National Championship for the fifth time in six years. Unfortunately, the Cougars’ dream of another national title ended at the hands of second-ranked Fresno Pacific, falling 3-1. Columbia finished the season with a 44-7 overall record.

Following the 2003 season, Jacqueline Makokha, NikolinaRastovac and Doris Wefwafwa were named NAIA First-Team All-Americans. Jamie Diestelkamp, Tracie Ford, Jenna Holdmeyer and Katie Skibiski were honored as NAIA Scholar-Athletes for their academic success. The Cougars placed fourplayers on the AMC First Team: Diestelkamp, Makokha, Rastovac and Wefwafwa. Makokha was named the 2003 AMC Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year for her outstanding play. Melinda Wrye-Washington was named the AMC Coach of the Year for the third time in her four seasons atCC. Seven different Cougars were named to the AMC AcademicTeam for their work in the classroom: Shana Aubrey, Diestelkamp, Ford, Holdmeyer, Makokha, Skibiski and Kat Weisenborn.

This article is provided by Columbia Cougar Athletics