Home     Our Mission     History & Officers     Board of Directors     Selection Committee
    Ernest W. Benson was born July 22, 1939, in Evansville, Indiana. He earned his diploma from Lincoln High School, graduated from The University of Evansville with a B.A. degree, and earned his M.A. degree from Indiana University. After graduating from Indiana University, he accepted a job in the Department of Biology at Albany State College (University). After six years of teaching and research, he enrolled in the University of Georgia and was awarded his Ph.D. in Microbiology in 1973. In September, l973, he returned to Albany State and served in a number of capacities: teacher, mentor, researcher, committee member, president of the ASU Foundation, professor of Biology and Chair of the Department of Biology before he was appointed Vice President for Academic Affairs, the position he held upon retirement. He served on numerous committees for the University System of Georgia, and in 2001, the Board of Regents of the University System conferred Vice President Emeritus status upon him.
    In Evansville, Dr. Benson was an active member of the Watkins Temple Holiness Church. In 1965, he joined the Hines Memorial Christian Methodist Episcopal Church where he was an outstanding leader and a supportive member, Youth Advisor, Steward, Sunday School Teacher. He was a member of the board of directors for several organizations, including the YMCA, Albany Football Officials Association, Boys and Girls Club of Albany, Bank of America, Ritz Cultural Center, Phoebe Putney Hospital, Phoebe Putney Hospital Foundation, Salvation Army, American Red Cross, and American Cancer Society. He served as the Chairman of the Albany/Dougherty County Hospital Authority. Other affiliations include the Criterion Club (favorite activity: reading to the fifth grade class at Sylvester Road Elementary School for the past fifteen years), the Delta Delta Boulť of Sigma Pi Phi, and the Atlantic Coast Conference Football Officials Association. As an official with the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1974, Dr. Benson officiated over 250 regular season games and 26 bowl games, including two Orange Bowls. In 1996, he received the Joe Long Service to Officiating Award for service as an official and to the Association. In 2002, he received the Commissionerís Award, the highest award given to an ACC official. Benson was formerly married to Henretta L. Stallworth. They have two sons together, Rodger and Rafer Benson.
    Jerry has a successful Albany business, which he has operated for over 40 years, Doyalís. He also is a 25-year Deacon at First Baptist Church of Albany. He has been married to former Joy Aycock for 45 years and they have one daughter, Audrey and four sons, Lou, Dustin, Mark and Blair Doyal and five grandchildren.
    Jerry attended the Dougherty County Public School System starting in 1951. As a youth he played Little League Baseball, Midget football and learned to play basketball at the Albany YMCA. During his high school years at Albany High he played basketball and football. As a three year starter at halfback for the Albany High Indians, he rushed for a total of 1,890 yards for a high school rushing average of 6.3 yards per carry. His high school offensive total was 2,692 yards and scored 122 points. In 1959 his team went undefeated and won the Georgia State Championship in football. His senior year he was honored as first team All State, All Southern and an All American High School football player. Doyal played in the 1960 All American High School football game scoring the go ahead touchdown for the south teamís victory.
    Jerry received a four-year Grant-in-Aid scholarship to Florida State University. During his freshman year at FSU, injuries to his knee and shoulder kept him from continuing to play college football. While at FSU he did have the privilege of being on the same team with Fred Bilinokof of the Oakland Raiders and Steve Tensi who starred as quarterback for the Denver Bronocos.
    Margot Todd Evans was born at Phoebe Putney Hospital on August 13, 1962. Her attending physician was Doctor John Inman. She attended Sherwood play school. Her mother thinks that Dee Matthews was part of the staff at that time. She attended Lake Park Elementary and then over to St. Theresaís at grade three. She was one of the student painters who decorated the walls of Albany Junior High cafeteria. Since remodeled.
Margot became interested in gymnastics in 1970, when the YMCA had an active and busy gym team. After several years Coach Bob Swadell told Margot that he had taken her as high as his experience and training would let him. She was to move elsewhere if she wanted to move to higher level. In 1977 she qualified in United States Gymnastics Federation (USGF) for Junior Nationals. She moved to Atlanta and worked under Kevin and Marge Robins for a season.
    Late in 1977 she moved to Belcher, LA where she joined a team coached by Vannie Edwards, former coach for the Womenís Olympic Gym team for past two Olympics. Kathy Johnston was at Belcher when Margot arrived. She trained and taught beginning classes for seven years under Edwards and Neal King. In 1983 she taught gymnastics at Caddo Magnet High School in Shreveport. She will be inducted into the Centenary College Sports Hall of Fame in May of this year. In 1984, Margot was the recipient of the 1984 Gymnasts of the Year in NAIA Division II in Milledgeville, GA.
Margotís permanent address continued to be in Albany and she began college at Albany Junior College before she had completed her high school work. It was this course work that permitted Margot to move as a transfer to Centenary College before getting her high school degree. She later took the exams necessary for high school equivalency at Albany Area Tech.
    During Margotís four years at Centenary College, she was a member of three national championship Teams and first runner-up team. She won six individual national championships and an All-American all four years. Margot is the only gymnast in Centenaryís history to have been on three national championship teams in both floor exercise and vault and won six individual national titles. Kathy Johnson was next with two national championship teams along with eight others. Kathy won five individual national titles. Besides Margotís personal accomplishments, her greatest asset to her team was her ability for three years to be the anchor performer in sixth position which means she carried the key performance pressure position for the team.
    Margot and her husband Ron live in Cairo, GA. They have two children, Forrest and Amber. Amber is 17-years-old and a junior at Cairo High School, where her mother teaches biology. Both Ron and Margot are also working toward their Masters degrees taking night classes at Albany State University.
    William Steven Heidt was born and raised in Albany, GA. At the tender age of six he was involved with Midget football and Little League Baseball. While attending Albany High School, he played football and baseball for three years and received a letterman in both sports each year. During the summer, he spent his time working for the Recreation Department as a deck boy and lifeguard. He gave swimming lessons and taught Red Cross Lifesaving courses, tumbling and trampoline. He also taught clown diving and attended trampoline exhibitions in Albany and surrounding areas. He was a member of the Five Man Team that won the Dixie Clown Diving Team Championships for two consecutive years at Cypress Gardens, FL.
    Upon graduating from Albany High School, Heidt attended the University of Florida on a football scholarship. He was named Most Improved Back in his first spring training. His sophomore year he was red-shirted, then started for the next three years at linebacker. He was part of two top 10 defenses nationally and led his team in tackles his senior year. In 1966, he played in the Sugar Bowl against Missouri and in the 1967 Orange Bowl against Georgia Tech.
    After graduation from Florida, he joined the Air Force and began his pilot training in Valdosta, GA. He flew for the Air Force for five years as an Instructor Pilot in the supersonic trainer the T-38. While stationed in Valdosta, he coached youth league football and became a high school football official with the Georgia Football Officials Association.
    In 1972, he joined Delta Ar Lines as a pilot and flew until his retirement in 2003. He went back to school and graduated from Woodrow Wilson College of Law and became a member of the Georgia Bar Association in 1978. For the past 10 years, Heidt has concentrated on Tennis, playing both USTA and ALTA Menís and Senior Leagues. Mr. Heidt has been married for 43 years to his wife Sandra. They have two sons and four grandchildren.
    Emarlos Leroy (hula dula), a native of Albany, Georgia was born on July 13, 1975. He is the son of Julia and James Leroy. He has four brothers and three sisters. Emarlos is a product of the Dougherty County School System where he attended Monroe Comprehensive High School. Throughout his matriculation he embodied scholarship, competitive rigor and sportsmanship. He has excelled in all levels in life. He was a proficient student athlete who played at Monroe Comprehensive High School, NW Mississippi Junior College and University of Georgia. He played professionally with Jacksonville Jaguars in the National Football League.
    While at Monroe Comprehensive High School, he was USA Today All-USA honorable mention. He was also named to Super Southern 100, Top 50 in Georgia, 1-AAA All- State and Super 11 by the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC). He graded at 88 percent on the offensive line and was first team all-state offense and defense. Leroy was best noted for domination of the Georgia- Florida High School All-Star Game. He received the Defensive Player of the Year title by The Albany Herald. He was also named first team offense and defense All-Region after his junior and senior seasons. In Wrestling he was a twotime Region winner in the heavyweight division. His finished his wrestling career 130-5. In his senior year in 1994, he was a BLUECHIP Illustrated All- American first team. He compiled 101 tackles, 70 solo and 31 assist in football where he was a starter all four years offensively and defensively for varsity football. He was a wrestling State Champion in the heavyweight division and Discuss Region Champion. He graduated from Monroe High School in 1995.
    At Northwest Mississippi Junior College, in 1966, Leroy was named a SUPERPREP Top 100, the AJC ďsuper Southern 100,Ē first team All-State North Division, North Divisionís most valuable player, first team All-American NJCAA and second team J.C. Grid-Wire All-American. He complied 70 tackles and 9.5 sacks in only seven games due to a broken arm. He was the most valuable player of the team. He graduated from NWCC with a degree in Health and Physical Education in 1997.
    After graduating from NWCC, Leroy attended the University of Georgia (UGA). While playing only two years for the UGA bulldogs, Leroy compiled 64 tackles, 29 solo, 35 assistances, 3.5 sacks and 1 INT. He graduated from UGA with a degree in Child and Family Education. He was soon drafted into the National Football League. He was drafted sixth round by The Jacksonville Jaguars. His career shortly ended after 2.5 years due to injury.
    Currently, Leroy is a Duval County Public School system Disciplinary Coordinator and Athletic Coach. One day he looks forward to being the first black head football coach at The University of Georgia.
    Charles Jason Willcox, a native of Albany, Georgia has been a athletic prodigy since his early years. At the age of 12 he was a National Champion, Georgia and Florida State Champion and Grand National Championship Champion. The following year, he became a two-time Georgia and Florida State Champion, runner-up in the Grand National Championships and was the nationís second place overall finisher for the year.
Willcox attended Westover High School where he continued to succeed in cross country and track. He led his track and cross country team to a three-consecutive Region Championship wins, the Region 1- AAAA Cross Country Champions in 1986, 1987 and 1988 and the Region 1-AAAA Track Champions in 1987, 1988 and 1989. As a freshman his cross country team went on to finish sixth in the State Championship. Individually, he was among AAU/TAC Southern Region Top Ten and AAU/TAC National Cross Country Championship individual qualifier and participant in Los Angeles, CA. As a sophomore he was runner-up in the 1600 meter at the Region State Championship. He led his track team to a sixth place win at State. That same year, he placed fourth in the overall individual at the State Cross Country Championship. He was also the AAU/TAC Individual State Cross Country Champion and the AAU/TAC High School All-American. He placed seventh at the National Cross Country Championship. In his junior year, Willcox was the Region Champion in the 1600 meter and runner-up in the 3200 meter. His track team placed fourth at State and his cross country team placed sixth at State. Willcox individual awards includes being the AAA State Cross Country Champion and 1-AAA Region Cross Country Champion where he had an undefeated individual season. During his senior year at Westover, Willcox finished his track season as the Region 1-AAA 1600 meter Champion. At the State Championship he finished runner-up in the 3200 meter and placed fourth in the 1600 meters. He was awarded an athletic scholarship to The University of Georgia (UGA) for Track and Cross Country.
    In 1989, he was a second place finisher for UGA at SEC Cross Country Championship in Auburn, AL, Top five freshman in SEC and the only freshman to run for UGA at NCAA Region Cross Country Championships. The following year he was the winner of the Georgia/Auburn 3000 meter steeple chase, and he was a participant in the 3000 meter steeple chase SEC Championships.
    After his years at UGA, Willcox began to run triathlons. His accomplishments include: the 2004 USA Triathlon Male 30-34 All-American Honorable Mention, participant in the 3000 meter steeple chase SEC Championships, 2005 USA Triathlon Male 35-39 All-American Honorable Mention, 2005 Iron Arizona Finisher with a time of 11:12, 2005 Georgia Veterans Triathlon Overall Champion, 2006 USA Triathlon Male 35-39 All-American Champion, 2006 Ironman 70.3 World Championship Qualifier (placed 36 in the Male 35- 39 category), 2006 fourth annual Turtle Crawl Triathlon Male 35-39 Champion, 2006 Beach Blast Olympic Triathlon Overall Champion, 2008 Gulf Coast Triathlon (placed 10 overall and second place in the Male 35-39 category), and he was the 2009 Atlantic Coast Triathlon where he was the second overall finisher.
    Willcox was an exceptional athlete on and off the track. His community involvement include: being a member of the UGA G Club, on the Darton College Foundation Board of Trustees, on the YMCA Board of Directors, former Board of Directorsí member for the Artesian Sertoma Club and the Easter Seals Southern Georgia. Willcox is also on the Board of Trustees for Porterfield United Methodist Church and a past member of the Administrative Board.
Albany Sports Hall of Fame - P.O. Box 72203 Albany, Georgia 31708-2203