ollowing months of much anticipated waiting, the Saints Athletics Hall of Fame has inducted its inaugural class. Friday night at the Athletics/Hall of Fame Banquet, four individuals and one team became the first to be enshrined in the hall. Long time coaches Galen McSpadden and Jim Littell as well as former NJCAA Players of the Year Cory Patton and Kim Ortega joined the 2001-2002 Womenís Basketball team as the Class of 2012. Amidst the uncountable memories shared during the evening and the stories and laughs of times past, the one theme that seemed to come out the most was that the group of 21 were home once again as they were honored in the Greenhouse in front of a capacity crowd.

The 2001-2002 Womenís Basketball Team will go down as the trendsetters in Seward County athletics history. The team won the first NJCAA National Championship in school history and also completed the first undefeated season in school history. The team was a perfect 38-0 and finished the season outscoring their opponents by over 34 points per game. Their domination was unprecedented as they saw only five games all season decided by 10 points or less and took it a step further by winning the final three games at the National Tournament by an average of 19 points per game. At the NJCAA National Tournament, the Lady Saints had three players named to the All-Tournament Team and also had the Most Valuable Player and Coach of the Year on their sideline. The team had three NJCAA All-Americans, three 1st Team All-Jayhawk West picks, three 1st Team All-Region VI selections, the Jayhawk West Freshman of the Year, Most Valuable Player, and Coach of the Year. Three Lady Saints were named to the Region VI Tournament All-Tournament Team and the tournament Most Valuable Player also came home with Seward County.
Cory Patton has his name atop nearly every all-time hitting record in Seward County Baseball history. Patton is the all-time home run leader with 41, the all-time RBI leader with 168, as well as the all-time hits and runs scored leader. His 2002 season for the Saints is widely regarded as one of the top individual seasons of any player in NJCAA history. Patton was the NJCAA National Player of the Year as well as the NJCAA male Student-Athlete of the Year as a sophomore when he hit .454 with 31 home runs and 120 RBIís, both of which still stand as SCCC records today. Not only was Patton a deadly weapon at the plate for the Saints, but he was equally as decorated as a pitcher where he was 8-1 with 75 strikeouts in 73 innings pitched that season. He was the Jayhawk West Conference Most Valuable Player in 2002 and was 1st Team All-American while also taking home the Central District Big Stick Award. Patton was a career .403 hitter for Seward and finished with over twice as many extra base hits (84) as strikeouts (31). Upon completion of his career at Seward County, Patton was selected as a member of the NJCAA National All-Star team where he not only participated in a series against the Chinese Olympic Team, but he was the star on the squad, hitting a walk off home run in the bottom of the 9th inning to beat the Chinese 5-4 in the series finale. Patton transferred to Texas A&M after graduating from SCCC and was a two time All-Big 12 selection for the Aggies. He was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 6th round of the Major League Baseball draft following his junior year and again in the 6th round of the draft following his senior season by the Toronto Blue Jays. He signed with the Jays and played in their minor league system for four seasons and has played independent baseball for the past three years including 2011 when he hit 25 home runs and drove in 82 runs for the San Angelo Colts of the North American League.
Kim Ortega is simply put, the most decorated player in Seward County Community College athletics history. Ortega is the only two time 1st Team NJCAA All-American in school history and was also named the Region VI Most Valuable Player and the Jayhawk West Most Valuable Player in both seasons in Seward County green. She was the 2002 NJCAA National Player of the Year as well as the 2002 NJCAA Womenís Student-Athlete of the Year. Ortega led Seward County to a 71-1 overall record in her two years with the Lady Saints and helped Seward capture back to back Jayhawk West Conference Championships with perfect 16-0 conference seasons. In the 2001-2002 season, Ortega was at the forefront of the Lady Saints undefeated 38-0 season and helped Seward claim the first National Championship in school history. She was named the National Tournament Most Valuable Player and set an NJCAA tournament record with 19 free throws in a single game. She is the 3rd all-time leading scorer in school history with 1,267 career points and is one of just seven players in school history with over 1,000 points. Ortega is in the top four in school history in seven different major categories including scoring, assists, three point makes, free throw makes, and is the all-time leader in steals with 324. The model of consistency, Ortega put up nearly identical numbers in her two seasons in the green and white. As a freshman she averaged 17.7 points per game and finished the season with 213 field goals and 159 assists while during her sophomore season in 2002 she averaged 18 points per game and had 211 field goals and 165 assists. Ortega finished her Seward County career averaging 17.6 points per game, 4.5 assists per game, and 4.3 steals per game while shooting 48% from the field and 41% from the three point line.
Jim Littell put Seward County Womenís Basketball on the map. He coached a total of 14 years for the Lady Saints, amassing a 418-61 overall record and in the final 13 years of his career, put together an unbelievable 404-45 record, good for a .900 winning percentage. Littell led his teams to 9 Jayhawk West Championships, 3 Region VI Championships, and the 2002 National Championship, the only National Championship in school history. He had seven 30 win seasons, including the 2002 season when he led Seward County to a perfect 38-0 campaign. In a three year stretch from 2000-2002, Littell guided Seward County to a 48-0 Jayhawk West Conference record and three straight undefeated regular seasons. He was named the Jayhawk West Coach of the Year nine times, the Region VI Coach of the Year four times, the KBCA Coach of the Year three times, and the National Coach of the Year in 2001. During his final 10 years at the helm for the Lady Saints, Littellís Seward County teams were ranked in the NJCAA Top 20 for every single week of the regular season. Littell and his Lady Saints helped turned the Greenhouse into the intimidating building it is today. Going a decade without losing in Liberal, a span of 135 games which still today is an NJCAA record. In his 14 years at Seward County, Littell had a record in the Greenhouse of 189-2. Littell and his teamís accolades didnít end inside the lines, the Lady Saints won four straight NJCAA National Academic Championships from 1999-2002 and during their National Championship season on the court, Seward was also named the WBCA Team Academic Champions as the top academic team at any level across the country. In 2004 Littell was inducted into the Southwestern College Hall of Fame and in 2009 he was inducted into the NJCAA Womenís Basketball Hall of Fame. Following his tenure at Seward County, Littell was named the Associate Head Coach at Oklahoma State University and is now the Head Coach for the Cowgirls.
Galen McSpadden started his coaching career at Seward County Community College in 1982, taking over a program that had reached the 20 win mark just twice in its existence. Since then, McSpadden has built one of the top junior college programs in the country, amassing over 1,000 wins while leading his Saints to 14 Jayhawk West Conference Championships. McSpadden has guided Seward County into the National spotlight, with a pair of JUCO World Series appearances, nine 40+ win seasons, and two 50 win seasons. In 2008, McSpadden was inducted into the NJCAA Baseball Hall of Fame and shortly behind that in 2011 he was inducted into the Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame. He has coached nearly 100 players at Seward County who have been drafted or have signed with a Major League Baseball organization and well over 100 players who have signed with Division I Baseball programs across the country. McSpadden has won the Jayhawk West Coach of the Year award five times throughout his career and entered the 2011 season as the 7th active winningest coach in the NJCAA. Through 2011 McSpadden has seen 18 of his players garner NJCAA All-American honors including fellow Class of 2012 Hall of Famer Cory Patton who was the NJCAA Player of the Year in 2002. Early in the 2011 season McSpadden became one of just 21 coaches in NJCAA history to reach 1,000 career wins. Not only has McSpadden been successful on the field with his teams, but he has also taken his Seward County Saints into the Liberal community where they are active with Big Brothers/Big Sisters and plan a number of activities throughout the year with that program. His Saints have also won a number of awards in the classroom where he has seen over 30 student-athletes receive Academic All-American honors since the award was created. Along with his work as the baseball coach at Seward County, McSpadden has also served as the Athletic Director since 1985 where he has watched every program on campus reach their respective NJCAA National Tournament.