No record is truly unbreakable. Some are just more unreachable than others.

Take Cal Ripken’s 2,632 consecutive games played, for example. The longest current streak in Major League Baseball belongs to Atlanta’s Matt Olsen at 540 straight. That means the Braves’ first baseman will have to play every game for the rest of this year, as well as the next 12 seasons, to even have a shot at surpassing Ripken’s mark.

But then, no one thought Ripken could possibly touch Lou Gehrig’s previous mark of 2,130.

So anything is possible.


No way.

And that’s a record you can challenge just by showing up for work. Performance marks such as Wilt Chamberlain’s NBA-record 100-point game, Emmitt Smith’s 18,355 career rushing yards or Wayne Gretzky’s 1,963 assists present an even greater challenge.

What are some of the ACC’s most unreachable records and achievements?

Glad you asked.

Let’s take a dive into the record books of various sports to find out.

Marshall McDougall’s 6-homer game

Some college baseball players don’t hit 6 home runs and drive in 16 runs in a season. Florida State’s Marshall McDougall did it in one incredible game at Maryland on May 9, 1999.

Both are still NCAA records that aren’t likely to be challenged. For several reasons. One is the rules change that outlawed the super-charged aluminum bats used at the time. Another is that it’s doubtful anyone would continue to pitch to a guy who had already gone yard 5 times and was 6-for-6 in the game.

But that’s what Maryland pitcher Aaron McFarling decided to do in the 9th inning that day 26 years ago.

“It’s the only drama left in the game when we’re down 23-2,” McFarling told his school’s student newspaper, The Diamondback, after the game. “The last thing I want to do is hit the guy or walk the guy and look like a coward.”

McFarling’s bravery was admirable. But not advisable.

McDougall, who finished the 1999 season with 28 homers and 106 RBIs while hitting .419, sent McFarling’s first pitch over the centerfield wall for his 6th homer, a 26-2 victory and the ACC’s equivalent of Chamberlain’s 100-point game.

Dickie Hemric’s 36-rebound game

Hemric was the ACC’s first superstar, winning Player of the Year honors in the first 2 seasons of the league’s existence in 1954 and ’55 while playing for coach Murray Greason’s Wake Forest Deacons. A testament to his greatness on the basketball court is that some of his records are still on the books 7 decades later.

His most memorable achievement came on Feb. 4, 1955 when he pulled down 36 rebounds in a 120-65 rout of Clemson. Although there have been 6 other 30-plus rebound games in ACC history, all happened before 1970. In fact, no one has recorded as many as 25 in a game since then.

As impressive as his performance was at face value, it’s even more amazing considering that Hemric wasn’t a 7-foot center who towered over everyone else. He was just 6-6, 225 pounds. Hemric is also credited with the ACC’s career record of 1,802 rebounds. That mark, however, carries an asterisk (literally) because his first 2 seasons were played before the ACC came into being.

Ryan Switzer’s 5 punt return touchdowns in a season

North Carolina got off to a horrendous start in 2013, losing 5 of its first 6 games. But Larry Fedora’s Tar Heels turned things around to win 6 of their final 7 to earn bowl eligibility and finish with a winning record.

A major catalyst for the strong finish was Switzer, an undersized freshman receiver with deceptive speed, an innate knack for finding the open field and a flair for the dramatic. Especially on special teams.

Switzer’s first punt return for a touchdown was an 85-yarder against Virginia in Week 9. He was twice as good the following week at Pitt when he took 2 punts back to the house – one for 65 yards in the opening quarter and a game-winning 61-yard return with less than 5 minutes remaining – before tying an NCAA record against Old Dominion by scoring on a punt return for the 3rd consecutive game.

He then put an exclamation point on his big year by bringing one back against Cincinnati on his way to earning MVP honors at the Belk Bowl to set an ACC and NCAA mark with his 5th return touchdown of the year.

Rusty LaRue’s 78 pass attempts in a game

LaRue is best remembered as a basketball player on Wake Forest’s back-to-back ACC championship teams in 1995-96, and a key role player on the 1998 NBA champion Chicago Bulls. But he was also a prolific passer on the Deacons’ football team, as well as a relief pitcher for the school’s baseball team.

On Oct. 28, 1995, showed off his strong arm by throwing the ball 78 times, completing a then-NCAA record 55 passes for 478 yards in a 42-26 loss to Duke.

LaRue’s aerial assault didn’t happen by design. After mustering only 15 yards on the ground in the opening half and trailing 35-0, Deacons coach Jim Caldwell scrapped the running game, went to a no-huddle offense and turned his quarterback loose. Fifty-six of LaRue’s attempts came in the second half, when he got his team as close as 35-20 with 12 minutes remaining.

Even though the comeback fell short, LaRue still came away with something to show for his effort by writing his name in the ACC record book. Where it will almost certainly stay for a long time.

Charlie Wysocki’s 50 rushing attempts in a game

A 5-11, 200-pound running back for Maryland, Wysocki gave new meaning to the term “work horse” when he almost single-handedly led the Terrapins to a 17-14 victory against Duke on Oct. 20, 1980.

Playing on a muddy field at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham with starting quarterback Mike Tice sidelined by an injury, Maryland coach Jerry Claiborne turned his sputtering offense over to Wysocki, who ran for 217 yards to help his team rally from an early 14-point deficit for the win.

Wysocki actually carried the ball 51 times in the game, but one was nullified by a penalty. He also sat out for part of the 2nd quarter in favor of backup Wayne Wingfield, or his workload would have been even heavier.

As it is, his record figures to be untouchable thanks to football’s shift away from the running game. Unless, of course, someone channels their inner Paul Johnson and brings back the option offense.

Mia Hamm’s 103 career goals

Hamm is to women’s soccer what Michael Jordan is to basketball. She’s the unquestioned GOAT and the gold standard against which all players in her sport are measured. Before becoming an international icon by leading the U.S. to World Cup and Olympic gold medal championships, Hamm honed her skills by dominating the competition at North Carolina. You know, just like Jordan.

UNC went 91-2-1 and won 4 national championships during Hamm’s career. Her 103 career goals from 1989-93 are still 25 more than anyone else in ACC history.

She also holds conference records for assists (33) and points (97) in a career that will likely never be matched. Let alone surpassed.

Featured photo courtesy of Florida State athletics.