Thursday, March 23, 2017

Former Hillcrest coach Larry Boykin is eventual shoe-in for Alabama hall of fame

Larry Boykin during his time at Hillcrest.
A lot of college basketball games have been played since last week’s paper hit the streets, and several unexpected upsets made their way into the history books.

Wisconsin upset defending NCAA champion Villanova on Saturday, and then South Carolina beat tournament favorite Duke on Sunday.

As of Monday, there were 16 teams left in the tourney, including Arizona, Baylor, Butler, Florida, Gonzaga, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Oregon, Purdue, South Carolina, UCLA, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Xavier.

Of those teams, I predict that Michigan, Gonzaga, Kansas, Arizona, North Carolina, Baylor, Florida and Kentucky to make it to the Elite Eight round, which will be played this coming Saturday and Sunday.

The Final Four round will be played on April 1. I predict that Florida will face Gonzaga, and Kansas will play North Carolina with Florida and North Carolina advancing to the April 3 championship game.

If that comes to pass, I look for North Carolina to win it all.

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I also saw earlier this week where 12 major contributors to prep athletics in Alabama were to be inducted into the 27th class of the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame on Monday night at a banquet held at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa.

Inductees included football coaches Peter Braasch of Vestavia Hills High School; Wayne Grant, Pike County High School; Danny Horn, Benjamin Russell High School; Russell Jacoway, Sand Rock High School; and Dwight Sanderson, most notably Notasulga High School; basketball coaches Wayne Bowling of Danville High School; Richard Carter, Lanett High School; Bob Harpe, Austin High School; volleyball and softball coach Rebecca Lee, Hatton High School; softball coach Tony Scarbrough, Baker High School; tennis coach David Bethea, Montgomery Academy; and coach/administrator Lorenzo Jackson, who was selected in the “old-timer” division. Jackson, who spent his entire teaching, coaching and administrative career in the Decatur School System, is deceased.

I’ve said it before, but it bears saying again, that I think that former Evergreen High School coach Wendell Hart would be a perfect candidate for induction into the Hall of Fame in the “old-timer” division.

From his playing days as a young man to his many years of coaching in and around Evergreen, you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who contributed more to local sports.

Hart is still well remembered and well thought of by many of his former players and assistant coaches, and I would be more than willing to help them put together an application packet for the hall of fame in his name. If anyone is interested in spear-heading this project, let me know, and I’ll be happy to lend a hand.

Also, now that he’s retired, I looked for former Hillcrest head coach and athletic director Larry Boykin to one day be inducted into the hall of fame as well. Boykin was one of the greatest head football coaches in the state’s history, and his record speaks for itself. Very few head coaches have played for and won as many state titles as Boykin won during his heyday at Southern Choctaw High School in Silas.

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