Wiregrass Sports Hall of Fame Inducts Class of 2012

By: Matt Harris Email
By: Matt Harris Email

The room was packed for the 20th Annual Wiregrass Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

The Hall of Fame inducted 10 members this year that made signifcant impacts in sports as players and or coaches.

The Class of 2012:

Tommy Whitehurst
Ronnie Joe Barnes
Joe Pate
Merrill Shirley
George Little
Charles Clark
Mickey Crawford
Jimbo Payne
Wayne Grant
Phillip Parker

Every inductee was humbled and honored to be inducted in the Class of 2012.

Tommy Whitehurst graduated from Kinston High School in 1961 and played four years of basketball for Creig Purnell. He received a scholarship to play basketball at Troy State and played there for four years for coach John Archer.

"This is just a great honor for me," said Whitehurst.

"All of us have been in this business a long time and it's great to be recognized for it," he said.

Joe Pate is a native of Ashford who enjoyed a long and successful career as a football coach on both the high school and college level.

"Other than marrying my wife and us having our three daughters, I think this is right up there with those. It's just a tremendous honor," said Pate.

Pate coached at the college level at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, Arkansas and N.C. State.

Charles Clark graduated from New Brockton High School and attended Chipola Junior College in Marianna, Florida.

He spoke about the relationships built through playing in addition to being humbled by the honor.

"I enjoyed all my associations with people that I played with as well as people I played against. I have a lot of friends who were opponents. But you make a lot of friendships that carry on through life," said Clark.

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