Cowley College will induct five new members into its Tiger Athletic Hall of Fame at its annual Hall of Fame banquet on Feb. 11, 2006. The 2006 inductees are:
Ernest “Junior” Spivey
Spivey played baseball at Cowley in the 1995 and 1996 seasons. After playing second base as a freshman, Spivey led the Tigers to a record of 51-13 while playing shortstop as a sophomore. He went on to sign with the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, and made his Major League Baseball debut on June 2, 2001. He played 72 games his rookie season, and helped lead the Diamondbacks to the World Series title. In 2002, Spivey was named to the National League All-Star team as he batted .301, with 34 doubles, six triples, 16 home runs and 78 runs batted in. Along with playing for the Diamondbacks, Spivey has also played for the Milwaukee Brewers, and is currently a member of the Washington Nationals. In five years in the major leagues, Spivey has a career batting average of .270. The right-hander also has 48 career home runs, 90 doubles, 12 triples and 201 runs batted in.
Biddle played football at Cowley during the 1978 and 1979 seasons. He helped the Tigers end a string of five consecutive losing seasons as Cowley posted records of 7-3 in 1978 and 7-4 in 1979. During the 1979 season, Biddle broke the school-record for catches in a season (60) and yards in a season (676) while helping lead the Tigers to a share of the KJCCC title, a national ranking, and an invitation to represent the conference in the Coca-Cola Tiger Hall Fame of 2006 Bowl played in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Biddle hauled in a school-record 13 catches for 185 yards in a 55-28 loss to Ellsworth in the bowl game. He was a First-Team All-KJCCC / All-Region VI tight end each of his two years at Cowley. He was also voted the team’s Most Inspirational Player in 1979 and was the recipient of the team’s 110 Percent Award. Biddle went on to play football at Southeast Missouri State.
Curry was the first head football coach in Cowley history, and spent seven seasons as coach of the Tigers (1924, 1926-1932). After going 0-7 in the program’s first season, Curry did not coach the following year as Clarence Cooley coached Cowley in the 1925 campaign. Curry returned as coach of the Tigers in 1926 and led the squad to what remains as the best season in the program’s history. In just the program’s third year of existence, Curry led the Tiger football team to a record of 9-1, and a conference championship. The Cowley football program would play 57 more seasons and never again reach the nine win plateau. He went on to lead the Tigers to winning seasons in 1929 (6-3) and 1930 (6-2-1), and finished with a 26-30-4 career record. Curry also coached football, track, wrestling, golf, and girls and boys tennis at Arkansas City High School. He led the 1924 Arkansas City High School football team to an undefeated season (8-0). The December 2005 | 5 Arkansas City High School football field is named after Curry.
Chaplin played tennis and basketball at Cowley from 1949-1951. He teamed with Al McKeever to win a state doubles title in tennis his freshman year, and then teamed with Jim Thomas to win another state doubles title as a sophomore. In basketball, Chaplin was named to the All-State second-team as a freshman, and was a first-team All-State selection as a sophomore. He went on to play tennis at Kansas State University and finished second in the Big Seven (now Big 12) tennis tournament in singles, and played on the Wildcats’ No. 1 doubles team with Ark City native Don Upson. He later excelled in basketball, tennis, and softball while in the United States Air Force, and spent 33 years working as an engineer at Lockheed. Chaplin and his wife, Bettye, have one daughter.
Rhonda Babb Navarre
Rhonda Babb Navarre starred in volleyball and basketball at Cowley from 1982-1984. She became the volleyball program’s first All-American in 1983 as she led that year’s team to a record of 26-9-3. She also helped lead the 1983-84 women’s basketball team to a share of the Jayhawk Conference Eastern Division championship.