by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi
Three accomplished coaches will be honored this weekend when they are inducted into the Northern Neck Sports Wall of Fame.
Tim Lowery of Richmond, Tim Rice of Farnham and Loren Messick LaPorte of Harrisonburg make up the 2018 class and will be inducted at 2 p.m. Saturday, August 25, at the Haydon Building at Dream Fields, 1385 Irvington Road, Kilmarnock.
Prior to the induction ceremony there will be a meet-and-greet with the inductees from 11 a.m.-noon at the Sports Centre, 60 South Main Street, Kilmarnock.
The Wall of Fame is inside the Sports Centre and available for viewing during store hours.
LaPorte is a 2004 graduate of Northumberland High School who is making her mark on the college softball scene as the head coach at James Madison University in Harrisonburg. She served as an assistant coach for the Dukes for five years before moving into the head coach role in September 2017.
In her first season as head coach in 2018, LaPorte guided the Dukes to a 43-14 overall record, including 19-2 in Colonial Athletic Association play. LaPorte helped JMU earn its seventh overall and sixth consecutive NCAA Regional appearance and was named the 2018 Colonial Athletic Association Coach of the Year.
During three years as an assistant coach at Radford University, LaPorte helped lead the Highlanders to a 110-59 overall record, a 48-9 Big South Conference record and three consecutive Big South Conference Regular Season Championships.
A former standout at Roanoke College, LaPorte made a successful transition from player to coach, serving as the Maroons’ infield instructor for a season and helping them to a 24-11 overall and 12-6 Old Dominion Athletic Conference record.
As a player, LaPorte was a four-year starter as a shortstop and was first-team All-ODAC all four years. At Northumberland High School, she was named to the all-state first team three times and was the district, region and state player of the year in 2003 and 2004.
Lowery, a Lancaster County native, has made his mark as a successful high school baseball coach. He played for four years at Lancaster High School and two at Longwood University.
Lowery coached from 1986 through 2006 at Clover Hill High School, where he won 276 games. In 2007, he became head coach at Cosby High School and in 11 years has won 470 games.
During his coaching career, Lowery has won 11 Dominion District titles, had 21 regional berths, six state tournament berths and won three regional titles. His 1994 Clover Hill team won the state championship and was ranked #10 nationally by USA Today.
He was named the Dominion District coach of the year four times, the 6A South Regional coach of the year once, the Central Region coach of the year three times and a state coach of the year twice. Lowery has coached nine players drafted by Major League Baseball and 67% of his graduating seniors have gone on to play baseball in college.
Rice, a transplant from Mebane, N.C., to Richmond County, is a basketball legend locally.
Rice has coached over 450 junior varsity and varsity games in the Northern Neck, starting as a JV coach at Lancaster High School under then successful head coach Lloyd Carrier.
Rice, who left Lancaster briefly for a stint at Essex High School, has served as head varsity coach at LHS since 2007 and has won 199 games. During his tenure, he’s won seven Northern Neck District championships, three regional titles and state championships in 2012 and 2018, claiming the only two state basketball championships in modern LHS history.
Rice’s Red Devils have been to the state semifinals five times and earned a berth in the state tournament six of the past 11 years. He was named the 2018 Class 1 state coach of the year.