Pittsboro, NC – Northwood High School will induct six members into its Athletics Hall of Fame Friday, September 8, at 7:30 p.m. The induction will take place during halftime of the football game against Southeast Alamance High School. Those being inducted into the 2023 class are: Diane May-Braswell, Tyrone Edwards, Dee Marsh, Todd Sanders, Jack Shaner, and Saundra Stroud.
Diane May-Braswell graduated from Northwood in 1978. She was a member of the basketball, softball, and tennis teams. May-Braswell was the Female Athlete of the Year her junior year in 1977. She was an All Conference selection in back-to-back seasons in 1977 and 1978. She was an All Conference selection and All County selection in softball in 1977.
May-Braswell attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated with a Business Administration degree in 1982 . She then went on to obtain an Associates Degree in Nursing from Coastal Carolina Community College in 1987. May-Braswell spent most of her nursing career at Duke Sports Medicine as the Nurse Manager/Health Center Administrator. Regarding her career at Duke, May-Braswell said, “I found it very rewarding and I was very grateful to be able to work with athletes for most of my nursing career. No one is more motivated to recover from injury or surgery than an athlete! I was also able to work with high school health care students and encourage them to enter a medical career field.”
Reflecting on her time at Northwood as a student athlete May-Braswell said, “Being a part of teams at Northwood was an incredible experience. Teamwork is the foundation for so many areas of life: workplace, church, family, community service. The teamwork skills that I learned from Northwood coaches and teammates helped me succeed in all other areas of life. I continued to experience that incredible teamwork as I served in the boosters during my son’s four years at Northwood.”
Tyron Edwards graduated from Northwood in 1975 where he was a standout on the basketball court. His senior year he was dominant averaging 19 points per game, 18 rebounds per game, and 5 blocked shots per game. He had numerous scholarship offers to play collegiately. He was selected to the All East, All State and Prep All American basketball teams his senior year of high school. Edwards continued his career at East Carolina University and then transferred to North Carolina A&T where he was a member of the basketball team. Upon graduation, Edwards enlisted in the Air Force and continued to play basketball during his time serving our country.
Edwards credits his time at Northwood providing skills and values that afforded him the opportunity to travel the world and continue playing basketball during his college years. Mr. Edwards has two daughters Tara and Tanya who live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His two nephews Lamont McClinton and Trahern Chaplain both graduated from Northwood. Edwards is currently employed by Chapel Hill Transit.
Coach John Shaner was an employee of Chatham County Schools for 33 years. He began his teaching and coaching career at Pittsboro High School, then taught at Northwood from its opening in 1970 until his retirement in 1993.
Coach Shaner was hired as Northwood’s first ever head football coach. Along with fellow Hall-of-Famer Ernest Dark and Leo Campbell, Coach Shaner led the Chargers in their inaugural season. The 1971 team marked the first season after integration and the environment of the team was a major influence on the success of merging Horton High School and Pittsboro High school. The Chargers went 8-2 and 9-1 in 1971 and 1972 respectively, earning Coach Shaner back-to-back conference coach of the year awards for the Central Tarheel 2A Conference. Coach Shaner served as head coach for the Chargers for eight total seasons, his last being in 1983. He returned as an assistant coach in 1985 under then head coach Hall Elliott, and later volunteered under head coach Jim Papas in the early 1990s.
After his high school coaching career, Coach Shaner spent some of his time working with the East Chatham Football league coaching youth football. Throughout his career, Coach Shaner influenced the lives of hundreds of players spanning generations. His life lessons and focus on respect and accountability still are alive today in many of his players and others in our community who were touched by his coaching.
1972 graduate and Hall-of-Famer Johnny Richardson described his experience playing for Coach Shaner as a transformative one, and made the following statement: “At our first team meeting, Coach Shaner and his coaching staff emphasized that in order for us to be successful as a team we must first and foremost respect each other as individuals. The advice about respecting others has followed me my entire life. Coach Shaner was an honest and fair person. Coach Shaner genuinely cared about each player on his team and the players respected him. His record shows the leadership and dedication that Coach Shaner had for Northwood High School.”
Coach Shaner passed away in May of 2010, but his influence on his players, students, and our community is still felt today. Many of his players have moved on to coach themselves and his legacy is still alive touching generations of players years after his death.
Dee Marsh was a 1991 graduate of Northwood and was a standout in football, basketball and baseball. A quarterback, Marsh was a 2-time all-conference and all-area selection his junior and senior years.
Marsh was a dual threat who could beat you with his arm and his legs. Marsh accounted for 546 rushing yards and 1,230 yards through the air during his senior season. Marsh was also the leading scorer in Chatham County that year with 80 points to his credit, and set a county record by passing for 18 touchdowns. He was awarded the NCHSAA Player of the Week for a three touchdown performance in a 42-7 win over Western Harnett his senior season. Marsh was also awarded the Tom Suitor Extra Effort Award and was a 1990 selection to the Durham Herald Sun All Area Team. The Sanford Herald named him Player of the Year in 1990 and he was the Central Tarheel Conference Back of the Year. He was also a part of Northwood baseball and basketball teams that
Reflecting on his experience at Northwood Marsh said, “Sports was an outlet. I grew up in a single mother house and we didn’t have a lot. But sports was something that allowed me to be involved in something and keep me focused. The coaches I had at Northwood were strong male mentors and really helped me when I moved to Pittsboro at the age of 15. I enjoyed the camaraderie with my teammates. The man upstairs gifted me with athletic ability and I tried to use it to the best of my ability.”.
Marsh, who resides in Graham, is married to his wife Sharon. He has two daughters, Kendall and Gloria.
Todd Sanders is one of the most well known and dominant athletes to ever come through Northwood. Standing an imposing six-foot-five, Sanders had a career average of 26 points per game, 14 rebounds per game and 5 blocks per game. He also participated in track and field by competing in the triple jump. long jump and 4×100 events.
Sanders was the first Northwood athlete to receive the Tom Suitor Extra Effort Award during his senior year. His Northwood teams were considered one of the top teams in the state in 1987. He was named to the NCCA East/West All Star game, All State and Durham Herald Sun All Region in 1987. He had numerous division I scholarship offers and committed to Coach Bob Stack. During the 1987-88 season, Sanders was a part of a Demon Deacons team that beat #1 North Carolina.
“I had great teachers at Northwood. Mr Green and Mr. Horton were big on pushing us to be in the weight room and go through our plyometrics.It was really everyone on staff at Northwood that had a tremendous influence on me as a young man. Without them I do not believe I would be where I am today.”
Sanders received his Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Wake Forest University in 1991. He lived in the Washington DC area and now resides in Durham. Sanders has mentored youth for a number of years with organizations that assist at-risk youth. He is currently an Enterprise Architect and owns ITOTS Networks LLC and owns a construction company in Atlanta, Behind the Walls LLC. He has a son Zachariah Sanders and currently resides in Durham, North Carolina.
Saundra Stroud was a standout on the Northwood women’s basketball team. She set a school record at the time of 32 points in a single game. The sharpshooter was a prolific scorer of her time. Stroud was selected All Conference for three straight seasons and was also named Conference Player of the Year. She credits Coach Fay Loflin for being an important mentor in her life. “My coach Fay Loflin was very inspirational to me. I considered my teammates as family and enjoyed the relationships that I formed with them.”
Stroud went on to work at UNC Hospitals in the medical records division. She served 30 years with the hospital and is currently retired. Stroud resided in Graham, North Carolina and has a son, Derek Bryant, who was a standout quarterback at Carrboro High School.
Congratulations to the newest members on their induction into the Northwood High School Athletics Hall of Fame!