If you take a look at this week’s Sports Flashback feature, you’ll see where this week marks 53 years since Donnie Jones became the first person ever selected for inclusion in the Evergreen High School Baseball Hall of Fame. Jones, the son of Mr. and Mrs. E.L. Jones, was a senior that season, and he was selected for the honor based on a vote by his teammates.
The best that I can remember, this is the only reference to Evergreen High School’s Baseball Hall of Fame that I’ve seen, and I’m not sure how many years it existed or how many players were named to this hall of fame. Henry Allmon was the school’s head baseball coach 1963, and this hall of fame may have ceased to be when he left that position.
Speaking of halls of fame, I think it would be cool to have a Conecuh County Sports Hall of Fame, and I think you could fill it up pretty quick with well-known sports figures from the county’s past. Maybe one day when the Conecuh County Cultural Center gets on its feet, the administrators of that institution might considers starting a full-fledged local sports hall of fame like those that already exist in other counties in the state.
As far as who would be suitable for inclusion in a Conecuh County Sports Hall of Fame, it’s easy to come up with a lengthy list. If you started with coaches, I think you would have to include the likes of Wendell Hart, Richard Brown, Tommy Dukes, Mike Bledsoe, Russ Brown, Charles Branum, Hugh Wilson, H.L. Watson, M.C. Thomasson, Oran Frazier and Mike Cheatham. I’m probably leaving a few out, but you get my drift.
From the world of football, I can think of an even longer list of local names. Suitable candidates would have to include Wayne Frazier, Deatrich Wise, Bob Meeks, Drew Davis, Justin Nared, Ted Watson, Chris Dukes, Homer Faulkner, Ronnie McKenzie, Buddy Monroe, Michael Pate, John Greel Ralls, Jeff Moorer, Lee Goodwin, Doug Williams, Marvin Williams, Jimmy Hart, Buck Quarles, Hollis Tranum, Dewayne McQueen, Jeff Brock, John Law Robinson, Gillis Morgan, Tony Rogers, Dickey Bozeman, Shirley Frazier, Homer Chavers, Billy Melton, Sam Cope and Donald Lee.
When it comes to basketball, I’d start out with Tommy Dukes, Chris Hines, David Thomas, Ronnie Jackson, Wavie Ausbey, Randy White, Ronald Fantroy, Michael Campbell, Nicky Jones, Erica Palmer, Andrea Ward, Kelvin Davis, Adrian Woods, Wayne Pope and Bill Dukes.
From the world of baseball, I’d include Ottis Johnson, Edsel Johnson, Skin Hyde, Warren Bolton, Jerry Peacock, Lee Wild, Sid Lambert, Hugh Ellington and Steven Gall.
A few others that I would nominate would be Sparta super-booster Byron Warren Jr., World Turkey Calling champion Eddie Salter, outdoorsman Ken Tucker, Olympic boxer Clint Jackson, track star Mathew Likely, Evergreen native Keith Pugh, public address announcer Willie Crutchfield, tennis player Philip Harold Jr. and golfers Jason West, Bill Ivey and Johnny Brown.
Many of the people mentioned above were great all-around athletes and would likely qualify for inclusion in multiple sports. I think Tommy Dukes is a good example of this. Not only did he lead Hillcrest to a state basketball title as a head coach, but he was also one of the greatest high school basketball players to ever come out of Conecuh County. In addition to this, he was also a dominate football player, earning all-state honors as a defensive lineman during his playing days at Repton High School.
Those are about all of the names I can come up with off the top of my head, and I’m sure there are many, many other outstanding athletes deserving of inclusion in a local sports hall of fame. I’d like to hear from you if you can think of a name that needs to be added to the list. Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’ve got a name you’d like to throw in the hat and provide the reasons why you think they should be included in a local sports hall of fame.