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Chester County Showcase Scrimmage honored guests

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By Travis Jenkins

Patsy Pearson McCrorey- A 1964 Chester High School graduate. As number 45, she was a forward for the girls basketball team from 1961-1964 and was coached by the former Lavinia McDonald. Patsy played halfcourt basketball for a six-man team and was named all-conference for her junior and senior years. Throughout her last three years of basketball, Patsy scored 858 points in 55 games for an average of 15.6 points per game. She scored 124 points in 18 games during her sophomore year, 340 points in 19 games during her junior year, and 394 points in 18 games for her senior year. As a senior, she set an all-time scoring record in a single game during the 1963-64 season when she scored 47 points in a 56 to 45 victory against Clinton. Although there have been at least two girls to come close to topping her record, her 47-point total in one game still stands.  

Patsy still resides in Chester with her husband Jimmy. She has two children, Matt McCrorey and Susan Lancaster, and 3 grandchildren, Garrison McCrorey, Madison McCrorey, and Josie Lancaster. Patsy was a secretary for FA Triplett Incorporated, an AP clerk for the county of Chester, and is a retired AP clerk for the Chester County School District. She is an active member of Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church and loves being retired and spending time with her family.  

 

Michael Barber- A 1990 graduate of Lewisville High School Barber was a multi-sport standout who was named team MVP of the Lions baseball team but made his biggest impact on the football field. A quarterback and linebacker at Lewisville, Barber recorded 112 tackles his senior year and earned an invitation to the Shrine Bowl. He was defensive MVP of that prestigious all-star game in 1989, scoring the contest’s only touchdown on an interception return. He was an all-state pick and a Blue Chip Magazine second-team All-American selection that year and was named the Class A Lineman of the Year by The State and The Greenville News. Recruiting analyst Max Emfinger ranked Barber as one of the top 20 linebackers in the country.

Barber played one season at Fork Union Prep School, racking up 112 tackles and 20 sacks that year, earning Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Barber then moved on to Clemson where, despite battling injuries, he had the best tackle percentage for the Tigers for two straight seasons. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics.

Barber played five season in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks and Indianapolis Colts. After his career ended, he became a real estate investor and was president of the NFLPA Charlotte Chapter from 2015 until 2017.

 

Hiawatha Clifton- A proud 1975 graduate of Chester Senior High School. He was a two-sport letterman, and an all-around athlete with the ability to excel at any sport. Clifton was a wide receiver on the football team. He could both catch and run. He enjoyed the excitement of the crowd when a big play happened.

Football requires sacrifice, discipline and teamwork. Clifton says he has used this combination of knowledge throughout his life of sports. In the mid-1970’s the Cyclones used the triple option on offense - running the ball exclusively. However, being a team co-captain, and scoring a 67-yard touchdown on Homecoming in 1975 against the Rock Hill Bearcats was truly memorable. Clifton learned to play football in the Chester County Youth Football League, where he was a speedy and elusive touchdown machine for the Chester Gamecocks.

Clifton was considered a five-tool baseball player. He was a team captain, outfielder and clean-up batter who was at his best in clutch situations. During his high school days, he was never thrown out while stealing bases. Clifton’s love for the game was displayed in his last game when he played his final two innings on a broken ankle. He received several awards and finished his high school career with a .410 batting average.

Clifton learned to play baseball in the Negro Little League in East Chester. He played for the York Road Little Mets and was coached by Mr. Mannie “Duck” Ware.  It was an honor to play against the East Chester Dodgers, Mill Street Tigers and the Brooklyn Giants. However, wearing that York Road Little Mets uniform is still indescribable.

During high school, Clifton was scouted by several professional baseball teams and recruited by a few colleges in the South. He ultimately accepted a baseball scholarship at Wofford College in Spartanburg. He graduated in 1980 with a B.A. degree in Sociology. While playing baseball at Wofford, Clifton received several honors from his school and conference. He was named team captain and received the “Outstanding Player” Award. He finished his senior year with a .386 batting average.

Clifton is an active member of Gethsemane Baptist Church. He is a trustee, president of the Usher Board Ministry and president of the Pastor’s Aide Ministry.

He is still active in sports in that he plays softball on the Senior Circuit for Omega, I.T. based in Maryland.

Clifton has been blessed to coach and support youth athletics in Chester County for the last 40 years. He is employed with Duke Energy Corporation, and still lives in Chester, South Carolina.

 

Gaither Bumgardner- A 2009 graduate of Great Falls High School, Bumgardner was a six-year letter-winner in baseball and a four-time letter-winner in football. He was a multiple-time all-region and all-state pick in both sports. In baseball, he was one of the primary building blocks of a program that went from winless to the upperstate championship bracket. As a senior, he batted .506, did not strike out in a single plate appearance and posted a .61 ERA on the mound. He was named the Region III Player of the Year on three occasions. In football, he led Great Falls to the 2007 Class A state championship game and is the program’s all-time leading passer.

Bumgardner opted to play baseball at the college level, signing with USC-Upstate. He was a four-year starter with the Spartans and was the rare player to both pitch and play a position. He batted .349 for his career, nearly set an NCAA record for consecutive base hits (11) and consecutive times reaching base (15). He threw the first complete-game shutout in USC-Upstate’s Division I history and was drafted in the 23rd round of the 2013 MLB Draft by the New York Mets. In three professional seasons, he posted a combined 3.56 ERA. Bumgardner is currently working as an account executive with Lending Tree in Charleston.