North Surry inducted five new members into its Sports Hall of Fame on Friday, Feb. 3.
Whitley Culler is a 2008 graduate of North Surry. In volleyball, Culler was a three-year varsity player and an all-conference member twice. In basketball, Culler was a four-year varsity member where she was named All-Conference four times, Player of the Year twice and was named to the all-tournament team twice and tournament MVP once. In 2008, Culler was named The Mount Airy News Athlete of the Year as well as the North Surry Female Athlete of the Year. Culler was a conference champion twice and All-Northwest Conference three times. Culler participated in the North Carolina/South Carolina All-Star Game, along with the East/West All-Star Game. Culler claimed over 1,600 points as well as graduating in the top 10 of her high school graduating class. Culler received a full scholarship to Lenoir-Rhyne College, where she was a three-year starter. Culler was named All-Conference once in college. At Lenoir-Rhyne, Culler won two conference championships and one tournament championship. Culler was named captain for two of her five years at LRC, but suffered a career-ending ACL injury as a fifth-year senior. Today, she works at the Carolina’s Medical Center as an Occupational Therapist in the trauma unit. North Surry Head Coach Shane Slate presented Culler with her North Surry Hall of Fame award.
Jeff Brintle is a 1980 North Surry graduate, where he earned letters in basketball and baseball. In baseball, Brintle received all-conference recognition in baseball. After his time at North Surry, he continued his baseball journey at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tenn., where he played four years. ETSU was in the NCAA Atlantic Regionals against Wichita State in a 13-inning game when Mr. Brintle was called in to close and found himself on the mound against future Major League Baseball star Joe Carter. Brintle struck Carter out, and the Buccaneers finished second in the regional behind Mississippi State. Brintle currently holds the lowest ERA for a single season at ETSU at 2.04. Coach Ron King presented Brintle with his North Surry Hall of Fame Award.
Danny Martin, also a 1980 graduate, played football and ran track all four years of his time at North Surry. In football, Martin was named All-Conference during his junior and senior years. In his senior year, he was named All-Conference on both sides of the ball, offense and defense. Martin also played in the Shrine Bowl and in the East/West All-Star Game. Martin inked an athletic scholarship to Wake Forest University, where he was named captain his senior year. Martin later received the Bill George Award and the Most Valuable Lineman Award as a junior and senior at WFU. Coach Ron King presented Martin with his North Surry Hall of Fame Award.
Bill Atkins coached basketball in the 1960’s at North Surry. He coached and led two teams at North Surry to two 2A state titles in 1966 and 1967. Coach Atkins’ players remember him from the way he treated them and also for the relationships built with him. Coach Atkins did not only teach his players basketball, but also the game of life. After Coach Atkins left North Surry, he continued his coaching career for the Blue Comets in Asheboro. Coach Atkins was inducted into the Guilford College Hall of Fame as a basketball player. Amy Atkins Peverall accepted her father’s North Surry Hall of Fame award from Coach Ron King.
Gerone Penn was an eight-time All-Conference athlete in three different sports: track, basketball and football. As a member of the track team, Penn competed in the high-jump, long-jump, 120-low hurdles, and the 110-high hurdles. During his senior year conference championship track meet, Penn scored all of his teams points in winning the conference championship. He accomplished all of this without actually having a track to practice on. Penn also collected three MVP awards during his time. In basketball, he was a varsity player for three years, and during his senior year he was named MVP and Co-Outstanding player. Penn was a member of the varsity football team for four years, and was a conference champion in all three sports his senior year. Penn also participated in the Shrine Bowl at East Carolina University his senior year. Penn received a scholarship offer from Guilford College in Greensboro, but instead signed with Bethune-Cookman University in Florida.