Looking Back 25 Years
Articles that appeared in the Albany
Herald in 1987
Sports Hall of Fame To Honor Local Stars
by Paul McCorvey
In Merideth Wilsons's The Music Man, Professor
Harold Hill Promised the citizens of the ficticious town
of River City, Iowa that "as sure as God made green
apples" the town would have a boys band and "that band's
going to be in uniform."
With the same kind of determination, the newly
formed board of the Albany Sports Hall of Fame is going
to see that athletes, coaches and those who have been of
service to sports locally will be given their due
recognition, and that those honored are given a place
We have had so many good
athletes here, it is time some of them got recognized,
"board president Pete Cox said."
five-letter athlete at Albany High in the early 1950's
and a Georgia state amateur golf champion in 1963, said
the genesis for a local sports hall of fame came from
discussions he had this past April with Cleve Wester, a
1954 Albany High graduate who went on to earn All Southeastern
Conference honors on Auburn University's 1957 national
"We talked about how well
the idea had been carried through in cities like
Savannah and Valdosta," Cox said. "They have excellent
Halls of Fame. So we formed a board from interested
citizens and got a state charter."
James H. Gray Jr. who lettered in football and baseball
for Albany High in the early 1960's, is vice president
of the board. Paul B. Robertson, retired Superintendent
of Dougherty County Schools and a former assistant
football coach at Albany High, is secretary for the
board. Richard Carson is its treasurer.
board members are Wester, Morgan Murphy, Jamil Saba, Jay
Walters, Billy Swilley and Joe James.
board has appointed a nominating and selection
committee, Gray said, to pick the first 15 inductees.
Marvin Lorig chairs the committee, which includes R.H.
Warren III. Buford Collins, Pat Field, Bud Shemwell,
Jerry Gerst, James Griffin, Lamar Clifton, Ralph
Satterfield and Brandon Seely.
that athletes of all sports would be given equal
consideration by the committee. "This is just not for
football players," he said.
Cox said the
committee will select 15 people for the initial
induction. Ten more inductees will be added in 1988, he
said, and four more each year thereafter. Tentative
plans are for the first induction banquet to be held in
the spring of 1987.
Gray said the committee is
culling more than 100 nominations for the Hall's first
members. He said the criteria the committee would follow
in its selections required that an athlete either have
attended high school in Albany or have played college or
pro ball locally and made residency in Albany for seven
years thereafter. The criteria for coaches is seven
years of coaching locally.
V-P GRAY (L) PRESIDENT
COX HEAD OF FAME BOARD
Tentatively Planned For Spring Of 1987.
(Harald Staff Photo,
The committee will weigh
nominations according to "50 percent high school
career, 30 precent career after high school and
20 percent contributions to the community, "Gray
"There are a lot
of highly qualified people," he said. "It is
going to be tough to crack that top 15."
The board also
plans to secure a building in which the
accomplishments of the Hall's inductees will be
"We think a local
sports Hall of Fame is a great idea," Cox said,
"and one that is long overdue."
|Knight, Oates and
James Head the Initial
Inductees for Albany Sports
Hall of Fame
By PAUL McCORVEY
Bart Oates, in Albany.
High graduate, after playing in the only
championship games as a member of the Philadelphia,
(later Baltimore) Stars, shifted to the NFL and quickly
became the anchor of the offensive line of the New York
Giants, who clobbered the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl
XXI this past January.
Herald Sports Editor
The Most Valuable Player of the
Series, the starting center for the 1987 Super Bowl
champion and the holder of the NFL record for
all‑purpose yards in a single season head a list of 15
who will be the first inductees into the Albany Sports
Hall of Fame.
Ray Knight, a Dougherty High graduate, led the
New York Mets to victory over the Boston Red Sox in a
dramatic seven‑game series last October and brought
national acclaim to Albany when he was named the Series
Lionel James, a Dougherty High graduate, totaled 2,535
San Diego Chargers to break the single‑season record for
all‑purpose yardage set by Terry Metcalf of the St.
Louis Cardinals in
These three are the only active
players among the 15 picked by the 10‑man Selection
Committee appointed by the Board of the Albany Sports
Hall of Fame. They, eight former standouts and four who
will be inducted posthumously are to be enshrined at a
banquet Thursday, May 14 at the Alrany James H. Gray Sr.
Civic Center. Pat Dye, Auburn University athletic
director and head football coach, will be the featured
speaker for the banquet.
County Athlete of the Year
Also Will Be
Announced at the Banquet
The inactive to be honored include
Pete Cox, who lettered
in five sports at Albany High and who was the Georgia
State Amateur golf champion in
Phillip Clark, a
multi‑letter athlete at Albany High who went on to a pro career as a pitcher in the St. Louis Cardinals
organization; Harley Bowers,
Sports Editor of The Albany Herald from
the Executive Sports Editor of the Macon Telegraph;
Alice Coachman Davis,
a basketball and track star at Albany State College who
won a gold medal in the high ump in the
Olympics; Cleve Wester,
High graduate who was the Most Valuable Player on Auburn
championship football team;
John Duke, a
Albany High graduate who played end for the University of Georgia from
Burt Jr., a Class B state champion tennis player for
Albany High and later the No.
player for Baylor School for Boys in Chattanooga, Tenn. in the late 1930's;
and Weyman Sellars a
High graduate and a defensive end for the University of
deceased who will be honored include
Jack "the Ripper"
Roberts, fullback at the University of
Harold E. McNabb,
head coach at Albany High from
1931-41 ‑ he
94‑6-4 record that included a state championship in 1939;
Neal Allen, a
High graduate who lettered in three sports and
who was a second‑team Little All‑America at
Mercer University, where he played from
1936-39; and Hugh M.
High football coach in the 1920's who founded
the South Georgia Football Conference that
served as the foundation on which the Georgia
High School Association was built.
Board: (L-R) James, Robertson, Murphy, Saba,
Cox, Wester, Gray, Swilly and Carson
The 15 were chosen from approximately 200
nominations, Pete Cox, President of the 10‑man
Board of Directors for the newly-formed Albany
Sports Hall of Fame said.
Cox and Wester are the only two members of the Board
who were chosen by the Selection Committee.
Other Board members are Jimmy Gray Jr. (vice
president". Paul B. Robertson (secretary),
Richard Carson (treasurer), Joe James,
Morgan Murphy, Jamil Saba, Jessie Walters and
chaired the Selection Committee, which included
Warren III, Bufford Collins, Pat Field, Dermot
"Bud" Shemwell, Jerry Gerst, James Griffin,
Lamar Clifton, Ralph Satterfield and Brandon
used as criteria for its selection 50 percent
high school achievement, 30 percent achievement
beyond high school and 20 percent community
Tickets for the
banquet will go on sale next week. Tickets can
be purchased from any board member or at the
Albany Chamber of Commerce. Admission to the
banquet induction ceremonies will be $10 per
person. The ticket price includes a barbeque
buffet that will begin at 7:30 p.m., following a
6:30 cocktail hour.
Gray said the
Committee did not solicit nominations, but was
given a maximum of 15 it could induct this year.
"Ten will be added next year and no more than
five each year after that," Gray said.
"Nominations will be thrown open every year."
"The Selection Committee did a good job," Cox
said. "It worked nearly three months in
narrowing the nominations to the eventual 15
Gray said he thinks
the criteria used worked well for the
Committee's choices. "We think they are very
valid criteria, and we intend to stick with
them," Gray said.
Sports Hall of Fame uses the same type of
criteria," Cox, who is on the Board of the State
Hall, said. The major difference, he said, is
the emphasis the Albany Committee placed on
local athletic achievement. ,
think the Selection Committee really dedicated
itself," Gray said. "The members took their task
seriously. Their meeting were not short meetings
by any means. Marvin Lorig did an excellent job
chairing the Committee."
the committee represented a diversity of ages,
but was designed to include "people who have
been in Albany a long time and who know the
The Hall of Fame will
be housed in the Civic Center. Portraits of the
members will be hung there.
said he hoped the Hall of Fame, a non‑profit
organization, would in the near future, be able
to award a scholarship each to Albany Junior
College and to Albany State College.
"The scholarships won't be Based on athletic
achievement," Gray said. "They will go to two
Gray said all
of the money realized from the banquet will be
"plowed back into the community."
The Albany Sports Hall of Fame will also honor
the Dougherty County Athlete of the Year at the
banquet. The four public and two private high
schools were each asked to nominate its athlete
of the year. Selected by the schools were Darin
Erickson, Albany High; Teresa Brown,
Deerfield‑Windsor School; Corey Smith, Dougherty
High; Cheryl Cheeks, Monroe High; Curtis
Kimbrell, Riverview Academy; and Patrick Davis,
committee appointed by the Board will choose
from these six,, Gray said, and the Dougherty
County Athlete of the Year will be announced at
Albany Sports Hall of Fame - P.O. Box 72203 Albany, Georgia