Two more athletes etched in history

hall of fame group

Wade Miley and Emilija Arnaudovska have been added to the Southeastern Hall of Fame.
The two athletes were honored this past weekend at a reception as well as during half-time.
 
The Lion’s Roar / Jay Love

Although the ceremony only lasted approximately an hour, the names Wade Miley and Emilija Arnaudovska will be remembered forever after their addition to the Southeastern Hall of Fame. 

Athletic Director Jay Artigues and University President Dr. John Crain inducted these two former Lion athletes last Saturday.

“Seeing Wade here is pretty emotional for me, and I know Jason [Hayes] can say the same for Emilija,” said Artigues.

Artigues was the head coach of the baseball team during Miley’s time with the Lions. 

Miley pitched for the Lions baseball team from 2006 to 2008 and accumulated several honors during those years. The Loranger native was part of the All-Conference team and was named the Southeastern Male Athlete of the Year in 2008. 

Miley’s stats only helped his case for being added into the Hall of Fame. He topped both the team and the league in strikeouts in 2008 with 119, six short of the school record for strikeouts in a season. Miley also finished his career in second for the most career strikeouts for the Lions. 

Miley would go on to carry on his success from the Lions into the pros, where he was drafted in the first round by the Arizona Diamondbacks. 

Once in the MLB, Miley was named a National League All-Star during his rookie season.  Despite having one of the most successful careers ever for a Southeastern athlete, Miley did not often have the future on his mind while he played with the Lions.

“I didn’t really think about it too much, I just tried to go out there and play my best,” said Miley. “My favorite memory was probably the first year when we went to the Southland tournament for the first time in a long time. It was an unbelievable experience.”

In attendance with the Hall of Famers were their friends, families and head tennis coach Jason Hayes, who coached Arnaudovska when she was part of the Lady Lions tennis team. Hayes had nothing but praise for his former athlete, and was confident that she would make the Hall of Fame one day.

“It wasn’t even a thought,” said Hayes. “To see her with this honor, it was a great day for her and me as well.”

The Macedonia native played at Southeastern from 2005-2008 and was named the Southeastern Female Athlete of the year in 2007 and 2008, one of only two athletes to have ever won the award in consecutive years. 

The awards do not end there. Arnaudovska holds the school record for career wins, amassing an 83-11 record. She was an All-Southland and All-Louisiana selection all four years and won league titles in 2005, 2006 and 2007. 

Southeastern received its first player to compete in an NCAA championship in 2007 thanks to the play of Arnaudovska. Her senior year was perhaps her most dominate, as she finished with a 22-1 record. 

The induction of Arnaudovska marks only the second time a women tennis player has been inducted into the Southeastern Hall of Fame. Following the ceremony, Arnaudovska reminisced on her time spent with the Lady Lions.

“We have a lot of good memories. We traveled a lot, all the girls were nice and we were like a family,” said Arnaudovska. “It was great to win the conference tournament two times in a row and go to the NCAA championships.”

Lions baseball will begin their season this spring on Feb. 13 against Louisiana Tech. Lady Lions tennis will kick off on Feb. 5 against Alcorn State. 

Inductees into the Southeastern Hall of Fame are chosen during the summer. Check lionsports.net for news on who will be included in the 2015 class.