Southeastern Hall of Fame adds three new members

The Southeastern Athletics Hall of Fame is a small, elite and intimate organization comprised of the best and brightest in Southeastern athletics alumni. Every year three athletes are chosen to be inducted, who will live on in Southeastern history.
A Harlem Globetrotter, a wide receiver college football coach and a javelin thrower all add to the melting pot.
Former Lion wide receiver and All-American football player Felton Huggins, three time NCAA participant javelin thrower Chris Carter and two-time first-team All-Southland Conference performer Nate Lofton were inducted into the Hall of Fame for the year 2013.
Just hours before Lion football returned home to Strawberry Stadium to play the Incarnate Word Cardinals Saturday, a ceremony was held inside the University Center to honor the three inductees. Huggins, Carter and Lofton now join the other 128 former athletes, living and deceased, who made a mark in Southeastern athletics on and off the field.
Huggins played football for the Lions from 2003-05 and was named third-team All-American in 2004 by the Associated Press and the Sports Network. He set single season records in pass receptions (84), receiving yards (1,313) and receiving touchdowns (13). After playing in the NFL as a free agent for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2006, Huggins chose the coaching path and now he is coaches the wide receivers for the LaGrange Panthers in LaGrange, Ga.
The honor was not solely on Huggins because he had to thank his family, teammates and coaches who brought him to where he is today. Due to job constraints, Huggins was not able to attend and was represented by his family at the ceremony.
“After finishing my collegiate and professional career, I actually came back to SLU and got my degree last fall, and got into coaching,” Huggins said. “I’m coaching wide receivers at the collegiate level and it is an awesome experience. I’m trying to pass along everything I’ve learned throughout the years to kids for the future and hopefully [help] make the transition of ‘student/athlete’ in college a lot easier.”
Huggins said he “played with a great group of guys that put it all on the line and went to battle for each other every day.”
A track and field star, Carter, was a javelin thrower from 2002-06. In his three-year collegiate career he became Southeastern’s fifth Division I All-American player and he finished sixth at the 2006 NCAA Championships. Carter currently holds the school record with a throw of 238 feet, 2 inches. Since graduating Carter has settled into bliss with his wife and newborn son, who he jokingly hinted in his speech may “sign here at Southeastern one day,” just like he did. Most of all, Carter thanks his mother.
“If it wasn’t for you mom, I’d never had been able to participate in sports,” Carter said. “You did what you had to do. If it was football, baseball, track, even when you had to work double shifts, I appreciate you and I love you for it.”
Lastly, it was Lofton’s turn to be honored among the three. He helped Lion basketball earn two of its best seasons with 44-18 records and a pair of Southland Conference regular-season titles, also, a play in the 2005 NCAA Championships. Lofton has moved on to have a very colorful and traveled career as a Harlem Globetrotter, nickname ‘The Big Easy.’ Some may recognize him from “The Amazing Race” and “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” Growing up in the projects of New Orleans, and losing his father at a young age, Lofton has overcome pain and struggles to achieve the career he has today.
He owed his success to many things, but mainly God, his parents and his coaches. Many of his coaches acted as father figures for Lofton and they are still in his life today.
“It’s an honor and it’s a privilege to be here,” said Lofton. “I was super excited. I was humbled [when I found out]. I feel like everybody was a winner today, my whole team, my coaches. I’m happy to be a part of it all.”
The Big Easy has globetrotted to over 73 countries but he truly believes home is where the heart is.
“I always think of home, and I always think of being up here in Hammond,” said Lofton. “I started here, and it’s always going to be in my heart.”