Erin Floyd, Bruce Francis, and Paul Schliep walked to center court and waved to the crowd when they were introduced as the first members of the Timber Creek Athletic Hall of Fame.
The fourth member of the inaugural class, Kyle Hines, waved too. Sort of.
Although Hines is currently in Greece, he was able to make an appearance at the celebration thanks to the technical magic of Skype. Kyle’s father walked an iPad around the gym allowing his son to see all of the supporters who packed the Timber Creek gymnasium.
Being selected out of hundreds of candidates to be first Chargers selected into the Hall of Fame was a tremendous honor for each of the inductees Tuesday.
“I was ecstatic,” Floyd said of finding out that she would be inducted. “Timber Creek is my home. It’s where I grew up and it’s where I met my life-long friends. To be honored with them sitting in the stands, and with family and coaches here, means more than any honor I have got at the collegiate or any other level. Being home and being honored by the people who I love and who I grew up with is just the best.”
Floyd, who graduated in 2006, had a dominant career on the basketball court, scoring 1,273 points and grabbing 1,276 rebounds.
“I am just so proud,” Floyd said. “I have always been so proud to be a Charger and it is such a privilege that I share all by myself as the lone female athlete.”
Francis (2004) was a standout football player and track star. His most notable accomplishment came when he won a state title in the high jump.
“It’s amazing,” said Francis. “It’s one of those things that you only see in the news and you never think that you will actually be a part of one of these things. To be a part of it with such great athletes and such great people is an amazing, amazing feeling.”
Schliep (2004) was elected to the Hall of Fame for his work on the wrestling mat. A four-year starter, Schliep won two district 30 titles and a region crown. He was also the first Charger to win 100 matches, finishing his career with 104 wins.
“It’s just such an honor to be recognized with such great athletes,” said Schliep. “I’m proud of my school and this just goes to show that our town has great caliber athletes and it was an honor to be recognized as one of them.”
The inductees and their families were officially inducted during a dinner ceremony at the school prior to the boys’ basketball game against Winslow. They were then brought out at halftime of the game to large ovations.
“I guess I am in awe of how this school got it all together and how everybody was able to come," said Schliep. "Even Kyle was able to come even though he was in Greece.”
Hines was inducted for his work on the basketball court. He finished with 1,562 career points.
The inductees noted how pleased they were with the athletic program’s quick rise from a start-up in 2004 to one of the most respected in South Jersey currently.
“We started out rough, but now we are a powerhouse in (multiple) sports,” Francis said. “We have back-to-back state championships in football and what Rob Hinson is doing is amazing. I think we have four state champions in track. I’m really proud to be a part of this whole tradition.”
“It’s a very young school but has accomplished so much,” added Floyd. “The number of banners in this gym is only going to keep growing. I think Timber Creek is still growing and will continue to grow and become the next Highland and the next Triton and the next force of South Jersey.”